Alright, well I am getting close to leaving and these past couple weeks have really sneaked up on me, much like I envisioned. My plane flies out on Monday night at 9:30pm and I will arrive in London at 11:30 (4:30am Central Time). My time in London is spent with the other volunteers as we get trained before we head out to our sites.
I did find out that there will be approximately 8 other volunteers working in Edinburgh. Three of them I believe I will be living with, however, that does not mean I will be working with them. This is why...the place I am working at is called the Bethany House, which is part of the Bethany Christian Trust. They have 8 different levels of care within Edinburgh. Which includes men and women's counseling centers, soup kitchens, second hand shops, drug rehab centers, and more. It is my guess that these other volunteers will be working with Bethany but perhaps not in the same area of concentration. Based on one e-mail to these volunteers it looks like a couple are from the United States, some from Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom!
If you are wondering what exactly I will be doing at the Bethany House let me tell you! My title is "Full time Assistant Project Worker (aka Full time Volunteer) What the Bethany House does is provides temporary housing for those in need of a place to stay, in essence it is a hostel. My duties will include some busy work, things like, paperwork, keeping files up to date, staff meetings, being on duty, etc... A large part of my job is to build relationships with the clients through general interactions, like informal counseling and organized Bible studies. As a volunteer I am expected to coordinate with all the other areas of the Bethany Circle (rehab center, second hand shop) in order to help the clients find permanent housing and financial support. Lastly all volunteers are expected to pick a church and become actively involved. That could mean anything from simply attending to leading worship or teaching a Sunday School class. Since the Bethany House works so closely with a number of churches I am looking forward to becoming involved in one.
My work schedule is the same every week. I work two 12 hour shifts and then get two days off. So on Mon and Tues I could work from 9am-9pm (which is always the work hours) and then I would have Wed and Thurs. off. Every four weeks I will work one week of just overnight shifts (9pm-9am).
I will be living in a flat with 3 other volunteers. I looked up our address on mapquest and it is about 1.5 miles from the Bethany House. Public transportation has been paid for thanks to a nifty bus/rail pass so I will be taking a bus, rail, or hopefully riding a bike to work everyday.
Make sure you check out my links, I have a photoalbum link up so you can see what I see and experience while in Scotland. Also if you want to know about Bethany and Time For God (the volunteer agency) then check those links out.
My mailing address is as follows:
1/1 Quality Street
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
I am confident that I will have some sort of access to the Internet, not that it is of incredible concern. But I know that this and e-mail will be the best ways for me to stay in contact with many of you. I will have a phone number but I have to wait to find out what it is.
In the meantime, God Bless and take care.