Preparation for my Trip

In 2.5 weeks I will be in Khartoum, Sudan, where I will acclimatize before travelling further to El Obeid to complete a 6 month volunteer placement as an English teacher at the University of Kordofan. I am being sent over by the Sudan Volunteer Programme (svp-uk.com), a London-based charity that works together with UK graduates and Sudanese educational institutions, to offer English tuition and cultural exchange. I stumbled across the programme while browsing on Guardian Jobs and looking for an ethical project in Africa. Keen to avoid “voluntourism” or paying a large donation on top of my flight ticket, I was searching for a project that does in my opinion good work, with admirable values. I found nothing comparable and was instantly persuaded by SVP’s both informative and no-nonsense approach. They sent me extensive information on the programme and volunteers’ experiences. I managed to get into contact with some of the current volunteers, who also gave me a lot of useful tips.

And so it began! My first step was to make a long list of supplies for the trip, based on everything I had learnt so far, along with further tips gleaned from internet forums. After writing it all down, I was looking at 2 pages of equipment, including a vast amount of medical supplies. I was worried about both the cost of the items and the space they would take up in my bag. The next question was: how do I go about locating these things? Well, all I can say is thank God for online shopping. I spent the next few months tracking down almost every item on Amazon or Ebay, comparing prices on the UK and German websites (I live in Berlin but am flying out from the UK). Now, just under 3 weeks before my trip, I have finally crossed the last item off the list! This feels like a feat in itself, let alone the adventure that I am about to embark upon. So, let’s see if it’ll all fit in my backpack…

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