Sunday, 17 February 2008

Getting things done in time

November/ December 2007

I thought I had a lot to do, but seriously had no idea how much I hadn't taken into accont. The fact that my work situation only seems to be getting busier, both daytime and evening, and that I have decided not to discuss my trip until more arrangements are in place and my notice time is nearer, makes things all the more difficult.

Jatun Sacha confirm my volunteer dates, and I buy the flights the next day. The flights cost £895, which makes me feel a bit ill. The (really helpful) guy in STA Travel strongly suggests I purchase insurance, and I tell him that I certainly am planning to, but I might have to leave it for a week or so to allow myself to eat in the meantime.

I start selling things on ebay, spending every spare hour writing item descriptions for 99p lisings. I realise after not too long that after fees and commission I am making about 75p an hour for my efforts, and concentrate on some larger items. I worry that the only stuff that might actually make me some money if the suff that I really want to keep. I wish it was car boot sale season.

I start the visa application process, which involves a wild goose chase finding out what type of police check I need. The guidelines provided by the Ecuadorian Consulate in London say a Volunteer Visa requires an Enhanced Police Disclosure, but it turns out (and the Consulate confirm this over the phone), that a Subject Access Report (basically a simple criminal record check) will do. I download the form from the Greater Manchester Police website and walk it in to the police station in person. The application will take up to 41 days to process...

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