Africa trip left me changed in many ways. When I came back home to
Sydney in August 2012, as you would expect, everything was very
exciting. To catch up with friends and workmates, having a familiar and
stable home again. Where power points and drinking water no longer are
any issues. And comfort creeps back into one's life.
I must admit though, after this initial period of excitement I fell
a deep hole. Things have changed. Or actually they hadn't. But I had.
All of a sudden the daily routine felt so uninspiring, life felt so
predictable, so inflexible. And most of all: out of control. There was
so much potential for excitement, so much energy inside me but no
outlet valve. I felt like losing control over my life to an
overwhelmingly unchanging and uninspiring daily routine. So a new plan
needed to be developed.
Another thing that has changed - I no longer aspired traveling just
for traveling's sake. There was a much deeper interest in people now,
and in their ways of life. In forming friendships with people in other
countries and live there for a while with them. Focus being not to just
to visit but to live.
More and more I found myself studying websites of development agencies.
Spent much more time in volunteering here in Sydney. Followed the
international news like a religion. Always keeping in steady contact
with the people we met during our Africa journey, keeping up the
contact by phone, email, Skype or Facebook. It is now just over one
year since the completion of the Africa Journey and excitedly I can
report the new plan is ready to go and confirmed.
The Australian Red Cross provided me with the opportunity to
participate in the “Australian Volunteers for International
Development” (AVID) program. A 10 months assignment to support
provincial government of Aklan province in it's flood disaster
management program. Although the original plan was to start in November
2013, 'Super Typhoon' Yolanda devastated the
Philippines to a degree that my assignment was no longer feasible. It
got postponed by three month. Three long months of waiting followed.
And then finally the
31st January arrived and I found myself in a plane bound for Manila.
It's in the Philippine capital where I needed to stay for another 10
to attend the 'In Country Orientation' training. And then my new life
as an international volunteer finally started. The following will
be the story of my life in Kalibo, written live from the Philippines.