Monday, 13 October 2008
That’s right everyone! It’s been just less than a month since I left “Home Sweet Texas Home” for the cloudy skies and cool atmosphere of “Bonnie Scotland”. The changes have been many, including much more than just the different climate. I don’t know how many of you guys have experienced any kind of European/British culture before, but there many enjoyable differences. For instance: They have hot tea instead of our iced tea. They rarely use traffic lights. Instead, they have roundabouts. Not to mention they drive on the wrong side of the road! Their currency is, at the least, consistent of half coins and half bills. I’m not used to carrying so much change around! They don’t call chips, chips. They call them crisps. What we call French fries they call chips. They call cookies, biscuits. I know it’s a bit strange, but I’m slowly learning to adapt. Thus far, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I’m excited about the months ahead.
From day one, it has been busy. Alex, my coordinator, and my teammate Justin had arranged a place for us to stay, so I was able to arrive here and immediately move into our very own flat. When that was settled, we set out to get registered for volunteer work. You have to fill out what is called a Disclosure Form for each of the organizations you wish to volunteer for. That can be quite a task considering the amount of information that is required. After you fill them out and send them off, there is a two week waiting period. I’ve been here for almost a month and I’m starting to receive my papers. That means I can get to work! There are numerous non-profit organizations we AIMers work with. Shop Mobility is located in the town centre (the mall) and is set up to assist the elderly and the disabled with their shopping. There is also a “Meals on Wheels” program that is run by the Women’s Royal Volunteer Service. In the next week, I’ll be starting at two of the primary schools (middle schools) in the area as a Teacher’s Aid. It should be great fun! If any of you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail me! I miss you all very much and appreciate your thoughts and prayers!