The Countdown is ON!

So long time no see! (Again.) It has been another month since my last post but I have still been accumulating news for you.

We have had two more bake sales at parent’s evenings, one at S4 and one at S5/6. And I have a picture this time! We went in not hoping for anywhere near what we got at the last one. But each time we have surprised and surpassed ourselves. At the S4 bake sale we raised £320.40 and then our most yet at the S5/6 with £328.40!!!! We still have one more to go but it’s not for a while so I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ve also received more donations from family and friends and I am so grateful for the continued support. I would like to say a special thank you to my nanny and her friends who have been very generous and supportive. I also found out the other day that one of her friends has a friend whose daughter has been away to Honduras. It’s a small world!

As we all know Christmas is coming up and usually my mum and my nanny donate money to charity instead of sending Christmas cards. However this year ‘charity starts at home’, in the words of nanny and both of them have donated the money they would have given to charity to me instead!

Final update – Emma McRory, my mum’s friend, has knitted ten woolly hats to sell for my cause, raising £110!

So overall this has taken me up to £4,246.73 (ish!)! So less than £800 left to go before the Realising Dreams Foundation steps in to help me with the last bit and with everything I have planned and left to do, I should have it all covered! I have one more bake sale, at the S2 parent’s evening, which is hopefully another £300 (touch wood!) and I have still to include the money from my uncle after giving up one pint of beer a week.

I am also in the process of organising a Global Citizenship themed non-uniform day at my old primary school. Global citizenship is a big part of what Project Trust advocates and is a key part of any volunteer’s year abroad. Being a global citizen is all about having an awareness of the wider world and your place in it and wanting to make the world a more equal and sustainable place.

My plan is to run a series of workshops with P1-3, P4/5 and P6/7 with the help of Belle, a returned PT volunteer who went to Honduras last year. These will be done the week before the non-uniform day which is set for Friday 5th February, chosen not just because it’s the day before the February holidays but also because it is the day before the UNICEF Day for Change – rather fitting, I thought! The idea is that on the day, the kids pay a pound to come dressed like someone from their favourite country – example, a surfer dude in a cork hat from Australia – or in the colours of the flag.

I am very excited to meet Belle and hear all about her time in Honduras. I’m going to apologise to her now for bombarding her with millions of questions but I’m very grateful that she is willing to take the time to come and help me with my fundraising.

On that note, this weekend I went in to Stirling to what PT call coffee catch ups, where you can meet other volunteers in the area and talk to a staff member or a returned volunteer. Unfortunately, because of the weather up on Coll, the ferry hasn’t been able to get in so Laura wasn’t able to come down and meet us. Instead my mum and I met Craig from Linlithgow who volunteered in Ghana and Nuala from Balfron who volunteered in India, both in 2012/13. We got there at the start and stayed for the full two hours. I think Craig was a bit overwhelmed by my constant chatter but I think that when Nuala arrived she understood my excitement a little bit more.

It was great to find out how their experiences were and get some insider tips, even if they weren’t from the same country as me. I even got a very important question answered, one that has been weighing heavily on me since I was selected – how do I take a year’s worth of books to Honduras in a backpack? The simple answer, one that pains me to admit, is that I have to buy… a Kindle. That aside, it was a really helpful meeting and Nuala and Craig were great.

Unfortunately I only got to meet one other local volunteer but she’s not going to be far away. Sacha is from Comrie and will be volunteering in the Dominican Republic for her year out. She was selected a few months after me so I was more than happy to share my successes (and failures) and it was fun to have someone to talk to about selection, ideas and how daunting fundraising is when you start.

So that’s all for now. Expect things to be a bit quiet on the fundraising front for a while, the next event being the non-uniform day in February. In the meantime, I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Thank you for all of your incredible support this year, I can’t quite believe it, and hopefully it can continue into the new year to help me reach my target.

And just think, this time next year, I’ll be celebrating on a beach on the Caribbean coast. Try not to be too jealous!

WOOHOO!!! Celebrating smashing £4000 on top of 3G hill on Coll

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