Tired of reading my whining about heat, humidity and other stuff from the South Pacific? Great news! I'm starting a new adventure in February that will enable you to read my whining about my new adventure in Malawi, Africa.
Seriously, I'm tremendously excited about this new opportunity. I'll be a volunteer for a non-profit based in Scotland for a 2 1/2 to 3 month assignment. Aside from the geographical and cultural differences, I anticipate a number of other contrasts.
First, my stint will take roughly the time it took it took for Peace Corps training. Second, I'll be living and working as an expat in the second largest city in the country, rather than trying to integrate in a rural village. Third, I'll be working with adults, using my business consulting and training skills, rather than teaching English to children.
The time from application to acceptance took less than a week. I had a great Skype interview this morning, during which I felt like I really "clicked" with the interviewer. We have similar professional backgrounds and it was fun to talk about approaches to a variety of training and consulting situations.
My work will be to assist in training, mentoring and supporting local trainees who are being trained and certified to consult with small and mid-sized companies. My part in this effort is just one piece of a three year long project to enable locals to help develop businesses and improve the economy in one of the poorest countries in the world.
Part of me is excited about the opportunity to volunteer in helping others to improve their lives and the lives of others in their country.
Part of me is excited about learning about another culture and meeting new people. I'm hoping that since Peace Corps has volunteers in Malawi, I'll be able to meet some of them and experience their lives in a rural village. And I really, really want to go on a safari, which has been on my top five list for a very long time.
Part of me is excited about using my experience and skills to help others while adding to my resume.
I wish I could say my motives are totally altruistically, but they're not. I want to help. I want to learn. I want to have fun.
I can't wait for the trip, which will likely involve four layovers, to start. I hope you'll come along.