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As days get closer
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~Anais Nin

You're getting closer to entering a milestone. How do you feel?

Milestones don't occur very often. Sometimes they don't happen for many years. For me, being in my mid-20s, the only milestones I've ever had was finishing school, graduating with a degree and getting a job.

The next milestone is to volunteer abroad.

I've actually done this on impulse one night when I received an email from work to take annual leave this year and realised that I had no plans to take leave. But I always wanted to volunteer abroad so I decided to use this year as an opportunity. I've had this on my "to-do list" while I was a uni student and anticipate to do this 2 years ago (as well as travelling the world).

I've always wanted to trek to small villages in Asian countries and assist with medical work. For 2 reasons:
1. to gain experience
2. to prove to myself that I can achieve something.

Now I'm not doing much trekking for the volunteering projects that I joined, but going solo and travelling is a huge step out of my comfort zone.

I have chosen 2 volunteering projects with an organisation called Projects Abroad:
1. public health in Philippines (in the towns affected by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013).
The Public Health project focuses on a healthy lifestyle programme, which aims to reduce the amount of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the City of Bogo and other areas located north of Cebu.
I'll be based in or around the city of Bogo, about a 2.5 hours drive from Cebu City.

2. medical in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Volunteers will work with the local doctors to provide treatment to underprivileged autistic children from different parts of Northern Vietnam. Volunteer also have opportunity to participate and assist in surgeries. The analgesia acupuncture department covers many types of surgery such as neck tumours, breast cancer, liver, urology, gynaecology (uterus-constituents), gastroenterology, trauma and orthopaedics.
I have been placed in the Hospital of Acupuncture (I know nothing about this... but seems like the hospitals are based on alternative medicines)

Initially I intended to volunteer in Nepal with an organisation named TrekMedic. Unfortunately my poor health and altitudes that the towns reside in do not agree. Or wait for a first aid Officer role in Red Cross.

I'm also going on this solo journey to mentally challenge myself and develop as a person I want to be. I'm not the best at everything. I'm not the best daughter/sister/aunt/friend/partner/etc. I am aware that I will be out of my comfort zone but I'm going to see how I'm going to cope without my hermit shell. And I'm okay with that. Perhaps, I could be finding some answers I've been searching for. Maybe, when I come back, I won't need my hermit shell.

The project goal was to share knowledge and practices that we do at our home country. I know in return that I will gain plenty of invaluable experience from the countries I travel as well.

Just over a month left to go.


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