Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Oscar moment...

So this is it. My last blog post. I promise I won’t do a Gwyneth and cry too much. So after 42 blog posts, 13 months, 10 days and 6 hours, my time as a VSO volunteer is over and I will return back to civilian status on the stroke of midnight.

I can’t believe it’s over. I’ve had the most incredible year that has actually felt like three year’s worth of experiences, fun, learning, adventure and madness that only India can give. So I’d like to use my last blog post to say thank you to everyone who has helped make it such an amazing experience in true Oscar style.

No Oscar winner can do their job without a best supporting actor/actress, so in this category I would firstly like to nominate my family. I’d like to thank my parents who have been their usual wonderful supportive selves. My father, who has been my very own Miss Moneypenny for the last year sorting out all my admin, my mother for sending me wonderful packages, Marmite supplies and newspaper clippings, my sister and brother in law for finally getting married, flying me home for the wedding of the year, wonderful phone chats, treats, ongoing support and all for visiting me.

Next up are my friends, both home and away. I can’t tell you how great it’s been to get snippets of news from home, pictures of little ones, packages of treats, updates on love lives and Skype chats over the course of the year. Thank you for keeping in touch and being there for me. To all the new friends I’ve made over the last year, especially fellow VSO volunteers, thank you for being part of the good times and making me laugh in the bad times. To everyone who I’ve reconnected with through my blog thank you for just saying hello and seeing what I’m up to.

For best actor in the leading role I would like to nominate George, the CEO of my NGO. The thing that makes your VSO placement is the placement itself. I have been extremely lucky to have volunteered at Score Foundation and hope I’ve managed to contribute as much as I’ve got out of the experience. George is a bit of a legend in my mind. Anyone who can run a half marathon in three hours, let alone be visually impaired deserves more than a medal. I’ve really enjoyed working with him over the last year and his drive, energy and determination to help those living life with blindness in India is a true inspiration.

For best visual effects well, the award has to go to India itself. I’ve been lucky enough to travel in thirteen different states over the last year. India really does live up to its tourism tagline and it’s truly incredible. From the majestic Himalayas to the madness that is the metropolis of Delhi itself, India at times is overwhelming in its colour, chaos and lack of consistency but will always be beautiful to me. For best sound editing, well if you’ve been here you will know there is no editing. Every time I hear a honking horn I’m going to think of India.

It may not be an Oscar category but for the best audience award I would like to nominate you, dear reader. Thank you for reading my blog, it started out as a bit of a diary for me so when I looked back I would remember everything, both good and bad. Never did I expect for so many people to read it and to get such lovely comments. Thanks to some rather clever Google tracking technology, I’ve discovered people are reading my blog everywhere from Australia to Zambia, so thank you whoever you are. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures as much as I’ve enjoyed having and writing about them.

So what’s next? Well tomorrow morning, I’m getting on a jet plane and heading to Sri Lanka. I will be spending Christmas and New Year with my gorgeous cousin at the beach. And then because January is such a cruel month, I’ve decided to fulfil one of my life long ambitions and learn to surf. I’m heading to Indonesia for a month (a girl’s got to mentally and physically prepare herself for a return to London town...). So, full civilian life awaits for February when I get back to Blighty and enjoy a good fry up, glass of wine, decent cup of Yorkshire tea, glass of tap water, roast beef, cheese, high heels, a hairdryer and catching up with everyone. There’s only one more thing to say, don’t forget to honk... if you like curry!

Highlights: Everything. It’s been one of the most; interesting, frustrating, liberating, repressive, challenging, educational, athletic, restful, creative, adventurous and exciting year of my life so far.

It’s been a blast and I’ve had a ball, now where is my bikini..?!


  1. Very well done Nikki and thanks and congrats for giving back to the world.

    Its been fun reading your posts. I was born in Zambia so would love to know who read your blog from my native land


  2. Nikki I'd like to thank YOU so much for sharing your experiences and adventures via your blog! Reading along, as well as the private emails we exchanged, was really helpful in me deciding to accept my upcoming volunteer position in Delhi. I'm only sad that you will not be there when I arrive so I could personally thank you with some chai or a Kingfisher or two :)

    I hope I get as much (and am able to experience as much) out of my year in India as you were able to. Enjoy Sri Lana and Indonesia....a month after you arrive home I'll be stepping foot in India!


  3. It's Marvellous post and also image. I liked it.