2010 Future Trip

Jo writes about her plans to visit Sri Lanka

OceanStars :: Tuesday 22nd June 2010 :: This Story

When Janaki phoned me up to invite me on the trip I was so surprised and excited. I didn't even consider turning this opportunity down. Janaki wanted Sarah (my cousin, Janaki's other niece) and I to share her experience of visiting Sri Lanka with Ocean Stars because she knew that we would absolutely love it as much as her - now I haven't been on the trip yet so this may sound naive but I know she was right. I know we are going to have the most amazing time and I am thoroughly expecting to fall in love with the country and the kind, beautiful people we will soon be meeting.

The first time I watched Amali's video of her trip on YouTube, I had tingles down my spine! I've since watched it quite a few more times! I've seen pictures of the kids on the Ocean Stars calendar, which stares at me everyday, and I know I'm going to fall in love. This is something I'm preparing myself for because I know how emotional it will be to meet the real children from the pictures and deal with the fact that we have so much and they have so little. It is naive, because I actually don't know anything about these people or how I really will feel. But I do suspect that my heart will be rendered and my life will be put into perspective and also that I might not be able to leave!!!!!!!!!!!! I am expecting to meet people that will make an impact on me for rest of my life.

It is due to the wonderful support from my family and friends that I can embark on this amazing adventure. I was nervous about being able to raise the amount that was needed and after my initial joy and excitement about being invited, I had a winter moment of worry that I was putting my energy and funds into a brilliant cause but in actual fact, maybe it wasn't the right time for me to be thinking about other people in need and exciting foreign adventures. Maybe I should be investing in my life in Oxford and concentrating on getting more work hours, paying my rent, bills, my car tax, insurance, ahhhhhhh!

Luckily, I was made to realise that I did not have to do this alone; my family and friends were so supportive. My Uncle, Janaki's husband offered his fundraising expertise and support, my Grandparents were particularly generous, financially, as were my parents who also kindly supported me and my friend Pricey to have a wicked Karaoke Extravaganza at our home in Abergavenny! Friends who came and joined in the random fun raised £178, that i was able to pay direct to Ocean Stars charity (plus gift aid!) as I had already saved and been given enough to cover my own costs! Hurray it has all fallen in to place. I have my toys, practical and creative tools to use and leave at the schools we visit, gifts for the teachers and taxi drivers, team t-shirts designed and I'm raring to go!