It’s been a while, I know. I do apologise sincerely 😉
I have been back from Ecuador nearly four weeks now, I can’t believe it had gone so fast already! I have thoroughly enjoyed my trip it has honestly been the best so far. I think its been so good not only because it was a new place, a new culture,meeting lovely people, travelling and a great experience volunteering, I genuinly believe that I felt like I had achieved something, especially having gone by myslef without knwoing anybody before I actually went to the departure meeting
I definitely recommend the organisation that I found my project through, I fundraised the money, and with this money they organised transport around Quito, accommodation with a wonderful family, all meals, a one to one intensive Spanish course, two nights out, donations to the project and an experience to remember. They had a pre-departure briefing as well to tell s about the project and the city, talking about absolutely everything you could think of which was very reassuring and helpful.The most difficult part was the actual coming home, I wasn’t quite ready to leave and I was experiencing reverse culture shock and post travel blues, but I’m now looking ahead to my travels next year either to Ghana or India!
My deafness didn’t get in the way of my trip (excluding some meal times when there were 10 plus people talking), if anything I noticed it less than I do at home and especially less than at college. Its quite strange really because I didn’t even realise this until I came back home again.I really did feel happy there and I think a big part of it was because I wasn’t so ‘deaf’ all the time. Everybody spoke Spanish, which I only knew the basics of as did the other volunteers so we were all a little clueless and it didn’t matter that I couldn’t hear them because I couldn’t understand the language enough anyway. The project was working with 2-3 year olds which meant that the only things they ever said were ‘papas’ (potatoes),’no’ and ‘peepee’ (which is toilet if you can’t guess). I felt an sense of belonging in Quito, I even noticed that a lot of Ecuadorian people are quite small so I didn’t feel much different from anyone else, well aside from being white and ginger, but what are you gonna do?
The organisation I went with is Outreach International, this is their website http://www.outreachinternational.co.uk/ and my project code was E11, in case you’re interested in finding out more information or maybe sign up for a project yourself! If you want to ask me anything, I’m happy to help! I am already planning my next volunteering project for 2016, when I have finished a foundation course, it will be teaching disabled women in Cambodia different sewing skills (night-school will come in handy now!) so that they can keep earning money while keeping in touch with the changing trends. And then I’m going to be touring around south east asia! After the gap year I will then go to university to study fashion design…yes I have actually made my mind up for once…I feel so free haha!
Finally, I want to give a great big thanks everybody that has supported me and sponsored me, it was truly amazing!
(by the way the title is a song that has been constantly stuck in my head called ‘Lipstick Jungle’ by Newton Faulkner, it just sounds like fun to live in a lipstick jungle.)