Izi gets ready for Camp Ecuador
February 6th, 2013 by Izi
I am off to Camp Ecuador on Monday. My lovely employer, Camps International decided it was time for me to see the Camps and projects first hand. And so, just like that, I am off.
I am no stranger to traveling, as I spent three years after completing my ALevels traveling to many places around the world. It wasn’t planned or anything, I just wasn’t quite sure what to do next each time, and so each time, I went off somewhere else.
My first destination was Kenya, and about a month after finishing school in July 2005 I jetted off to Mombasa in the care of a very small and not so well known company called “Camps International.” To be honest I picked Camps for no better reason, than I knew someone else that went and had a good time, and that the office was half an hour away from where I live.
It turned out to be a pretty amazing experience. I was there for three months, and was involved in a variety of projects ranging from cutting down grass to aid football matches, to painting new classroom walls with A B C’s, to building an A framed swing-set.
I made some incredible friends out there, a lot of who were Australian. We are still in touch and one of them just got married. I didn’t make it to the wedding as I now have a 9-5 gig, work type thing, that means I can’t just jet off whenever I feel like it. I have adjusted into this calm, daily routine quite easily. I like it.
With this trip to Camp Ecuador on the horizon however, I have been reminded of all the journeys I made before I came back to a life of mainstream-ness. My backpack, that I got when I was 15 for my Duke of Edinburgh expedition, has served me well. I decided several years ago that I would sew on the flags of the countries I have traveled to, so that everyone else might feel a little pang of jealousy. I have to get back in to the swing, of chucking everything in and hopping on a bus that heads in the general direction of where I want to go.
As you can perhaps tell the bag has not been used for some time, and is stored affectionately in a dark, dusty, spidery cupboard. Its last excursion was a 10 month round the world trip taking in seven countries. That was five years ago now. And since then I have completed a degree and found a rather wonderful job. I’m fairly certain that without my travel and volunteering experiences, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now.
I can’t wait to be out there again, bag on my back, grin on my face, e-ticket on my phone…WHAT!!!! This is new and very exciting! I can check-in for my flight on my phone, and select my seat (I’m hoping for the isle) I hate it when you need the loo at 30,000 ft and you have to climb over 3 sleeping bodies, trying as hard as you can not to disturb them just in order to relieve myself. No no no, that is not me, I’d rather a quick exit than a view of the clouds. Very unromantic.
In preparation for my trip I went out and bought a few essentials.
Number 1: The Lonely Planet guide to Ecuador and the Galapagos (so far I have just looked at the map on the inside of the cover – very educational)
Number 2: Mini toiletries (they’re so dinky)
Number 3: Highly expensive and some may say (my Dad) unnecessary Patagonia outdoor wear (no regrets)
My to do list
Book appointment with travel clinic to check vaccinations are up to date. CHECK
Complete ESTA to get into the USA where I transit. CHECK (nightmare)
Exchange some GBP into USD (currency used in Ecuador). CHECK
Organise transport to airport at stupidly early o’clock CHECK (Mother)
Brag to friends that I have a job where they send you to cool places. CHECK X 10
Find a good book to read, maybe two. STILL DECIDING (Suggestions welcome)
I arrive into Quito late in the evening on the 11th Feb and will be heading to a backpackers hostel. Here I will be in my element, ASLEEP!!!!! The following day I set off for Camp Amazonia. From here I am blissfully ignorant of what I will face and I am very happy for it to be this way.
All I know is, if I run into a Jack T Colton-esq character (look it up if you don’t know,) find a strange old map with a big X on it, and have people chasing me for unknown reasons, I’m just gonna roll with it!!!
Watch this space.