In 3 weeks time I’m travelling to Nicaragua with Raleigh International to take part in a WASH project which focuses on improving water, sanitation and hygiene in Nicaragua.
While I’m there, I will have very little contact with home. There is no wifi, and no phone signal. I will, however, have access to paper and will be sending letters to my family and friends. Fortunately for you, my Facebook friends I will no longer be able to post fundraising status, unfortunately for me, I’m concerned that I will no longer be able to keep up with the Kardashians. I wish I was joking. I’ll also miss whatsapp and perhaps my family too. I’m also gutted that I’ll miss the season 4 debut of House of Cards – premiering 4th Match on Netflix. Do yourself a huge favour and immediately catch up on all 3 seasons. Kevin’s Spacey’s performance of Frank Underwood gave me nightmares. In a really good way. But yeah, it’s mainly my family and friends that I’ll miss.
The lack of contact is something that I know I’ll desperately struggle with. I really like my smart phone. It’s a fantastic invention. So to remove it for 3 months will be a challenge, but I’m excited to commit to this challenge.The lack of social media also means that I have to interact with human beings at all times, and will be able to fully immerse myself into the WASH project. I won’t even be able to show you how great everything is by posting about my charity work on Instagram with the caption #nofilter #soblessed. There is something quite exhilarating about not worrying if my Instagram has 11 likes on a Sunday evening.
I will be staying with a Nicaraguan family, who have graciously offered British and Nicaraguan volunteers into their home. The village I will be staying in will have no sanitation facilities and little access to drinking water. The goal is to improve this situation within the 3 months, but to also ensure that the local people are able to sustain the sanitation services long after the volunteers have left.
I will be living in basic conditions which will be another big challenge for me. Living without technology is a doddle really… But living without a flushing toilet or a power shower, or even a washing machine will be a very different experience. And I don’t think I can really prepare myself for this change. But I’m excited all the same, and just telling myself it will all be fine and I probably won’t even miss the luxury of hot clean running water.
Over Christmas and New year, family members have asked ‘But why? Why are you doing this?’
There isn’t one sole reason that I decided to apply to do ICS. And without sounding like a pompous prat, I really want to do this to make a difference in this community that will make their lives a little bit easier, improve their health and living standards. I also want to see if I can actually do this, to live without technology, without basic amenities, with a language barrier in a foreign country. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m optimistic that it will be an unforgettable experience either way.
There is still time to donate to my just giving page, and I would be massively grateful forever.
And anyway, how much do the Kardashians really get up to in 3 months? (Answer: a lot, I’m kind of hoping when I return back to the UK Kylie has released a new shade of her lip kit. A girl can dream.)