That’s my girl, she’s going . . .

Ist1_2791235_funky_young_people Great excitement!  Daughter has won a place on an 5-week expedition to Madagasgar in July/August 2009!  We’re all thrilled.  Even our traveller was issuing shrieks of delight and convulsed by involuntary physical movement upon receipt of the news!

You see, the deadline for applications closed a month before her application went in.  Why?  Because on the evening someone spoke to the Venture Scouts about the trip, she missed the presentation because she was tending here ailing mother (no guilt there, then?).  The boys in the Group didn’t tell her and, when she found out about the trip, we couldn’t track down the contact.  But, do we give up?  Not on your nellie . . .

She hunted down the presenter, who promised to email her the details.  A fortnight passed.  Tension increased.  Managed to see him and elicit details.  Contacted someone else who said the lady dealing was on holiday.  So passionate was she about going, even though by now she had been told the plan was to take 20 and those places had been allocated, with several on the waiting list, she decided to apply anyway.  Was chuffed that I was asked to look over the application form and, boy, was I glad I did! 

When having a mock interview at school last term (with an outside interviewer), she was told she should ‘big herself up’ more.  She’s a high achiever who doesn’t seem to want anyone to know!

Orphanage Anyway, the trip involves camping in the wilderness and observing the wildlife for part of the trip and living and helping in an orphanage for the remainder of the time.  (The picture is from the Akany Avoko Orphanage, where she’ll be helping.)  She’d only ‘forgotten’ to mention that she gives freely of her time at school to mentor young children from disadvantaged backgrounds who visit the school weekly.  I didn’t even know until I saw a touching Christmas card they had all written for her.

They have to be physically fit but she had omitted to say she is working for her black belt in TaeKwon Do and has almost completed the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.  She’s done the 30-mile walk, etc, just has to do a First Aid test to receive the award.

They must have participated in a foreign expedition previously and she went to Austria to join a huge celebration of 3,000+ campers from many countries, last year.

Monkey She desperately wanted to go to see the wildlife as she is passionate about, and gifted with, animals and has wanted to be a vet since the age of three and is working in an Animal Shelter in her spare time to gain experience (no longer possible to work in a vet’s practice but that’s a separate issue).

I knew something was a-foot last week when the Venture Scout leader rang to say the Area organiser had contacted him for a reference for our girl.  I think this was the deciding factor in the allocation of places to the waiting list.  Who could bring the most to the expedition and best cope with the potential discomfort and stresses of such an expedition?

I’m so proud of her and so very pleased that she will have this experience of a lifetime while realising a dream and helping others, too.  What a lucky young lady!  Now then, there remains the little matter of the £2,400 she has to raise to finance it!

I think she’s a little too large to fit up chimneys anymore . . .

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