(My mum has a sneaky habit of winning raffles and other such prizes. Sure enough, at the Missenden Christmas Fete last Saturday... mum not only won the main prize of a luxury Marks&Spencer's Christmas hamper and a 4.5kg fully iced Christmas cake but also the 'guess the number of sweets in the jar' (521 chocolate eclairs!). Combine that with the 4 packets of mince pies that Kings SLP sneaked into their suitcase, and the volunteers at Connaught might begin to feel a bit spoilt.)
So having had 6 weeks since my interview to prepare and get my head in gear, how do I feel?The main emotion, at the moment, is definitely excitement. That might come as a surprise and obviously there is a healthy amount of fear and anxiety mixed in there too.
However, if you've been watching the same news programmes and media sources as me then you'd be forgiven in thinking ebola is no longer much of a problem. It's certainly not half as prominent a news story as a month ago. I’m beginning to kick myself that I hadn't gone earlier and worried that there wouldn't be much for me to do when I arrived. And yet my daily HealthMap ebola email last night told me otherwise, it's 3 main alerts related to Sierra Leone: 1) More ebola cases recorded in SL than Liberia... 2) Junior doctors in ebola-plagued SL stage strike... 3) Ebola still spreading fast in western SL. So the demand for help on the ground is still very acute and it's with slightly anxious anticipation but lots of excitement that I pack my bags, hoping I've also packed my courage!