I returned home to the UK in July 2013 to semi -retirement in Suffolk after living in Abuja, Nigeria since March 2012 working with MSA Nigeria, local NGO, in a voluntary capacity arranged through VSO. Previously, from November 2009 through November 2011, I volunteered with Shakti Organisation, in Rayagada, Orissa, India.
Initial reasons for this ashramblings blogHere's my initial explanation. "Firstly, I found the blogs of other volunteers useful when I was considering volunteering in general and when considering specific possible placement locations. Secondly, having decided upon this particular placement, I knew there wouldn't actually be that much to do here by way of entertainment or social life. Thirdly, it would be a useful way for letting the folks back home know what was happening and what it was like here.
So this blog tells it like it is. It is not dressed up to paint a rosy picture as some volunteer's blogs are. Neither is it a blog about my NGO. It is a blog about my experience, what I am doing and how I am finding things. Readers are very welcome - just take the blog as it is and me as I am. The usual disclaimer applies: all views expressed are mine - they have nothing to do with my NGO or with VSO. I will edit and/or remove any comments posted which in my opinion are potentially offensive."
ashramblings nowNow the blog is morphing into something else - currently it reflects my reading and writing. I hope you are still enjoying it.
Previous blogsAnd if you are so inclined you can read about some of my previous travels.
The origins of the ashramblings nameI have often been asked where the blog name came from. At the beginning, I asked around, hoping for several ideas for a name to emerge. Instead, the first suggestion blew me and everyone away, it was so good, a clear winner, spot on! My ex-colleague Dean is to be credited with the inspired choice for the name - a neat word play on my name, Ash, the fact that I often ramble on, and Indian ashrams. The original tag line of ...or the story Sheila's sojourn in India is mine. And so ashramblings was born. So appropriate was the name that it has stayed long after my Indian sojourn :)
Enjoy my ramblings!