clare-hill.com The story of Clare Hill's voluntary work adventure in Belize

27/07/2008

Blog introduction

Filed under: — Clare Hill @ 10:14 pm

Hello! I am Clare Hill, and these are the emails I began to write to my family when my husband, Conor, and I abandoned them to do 6 month’s voluntary work here in Belize. The family enjoyed them and suggested that I put them into a blog for others to read – friends, the many folk who supported us to come in a variety of ways, and of course anyone who happens by! My son Aaron kindly obliged – thanks Aaron.

Both Conor and I are getting on (57 and 60 years) Process Oriented Psychologists by trade, usually living and working in the South of Scotland, UK. Three years ago we both had a brush with cancer – mine a misdiagnosis, thank goodness, and Conor’s a bit more serious. But he is well over the cancer for two years now, and the whole episode left us both a bit restless…

To cut a long story short, we are in Belize, Central America, just beneath the Yucatan and beside Guatemala, formally British Honduras, as a Challenges World Wide volunteer, a charity based in Edinburgh. They have had many years of connection with Belize. I am in the Women’s Department, one of three branches of the Ministry of Human Development, a government department. I am here to provide a counselling service to the women who come to the drop-in centre, to prepare documents for the general public, provide some training, provide a counselling service to the women’s prison, and do a feasibility study for a Batterers’ Intervention Programme here in Belize.

We came over on June 16, and the contract finishes on December 12. In order to come we had to put our house firmly in order! We put our teaching and psychotherapeutic practices on hold, arranged for our house to be let as a holiday home while we are away to cover costs of the mortgage, Council Tax, etc., and did some fund raising to cover the cost of the payment to CWW, the apartment here and a bit towards daily living costs. Conor has a great VPN gizmo which protects his Skype connection from being blocked by the local telemonopoly, and which allows him to work on the telephone with clients and students back in the UK. This enables us to be able to live here – not cheap except for bus fares and local fruit! – and also to explore the country at weekends.

It is a beautiful country. This blog is about where we work, what we do at weekends, our adventures and mishaps, the abundant flora and fauna, and the wonderfully diverse people of this country!

Read on! Please feel free to leave any comments. If you wish to be informed when new posts go online you can subscribe to the blog using the link on the left. If you use a RSS news feed you can also subscribe using the RSS link on the left.

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