Light at the end of the tunnel. Here's Nicky's update on life as a gap assistant in the UK
Nicky is currently in the UK. She made the decision to stay at her placement.
Here is her account from May this year. Thank you Nicky.
It is hard to believe that I’ve been abroad for five months now. And it’s even crazier to think that out of the 21 weeks since the 1st of January, we’ve been in lockdown for 10 of them. I still have moments when I miss family and friends back home, and with a doubt I miss my pets as well as the freedom of driving. However, I have found myself becoming more and more attached to this community.
Over the last ten weeks of lockdown, there’s certainly been highs and lows. But I’m always going to be appreciative of how much love and support I have received from the residential staff. It is like I have been on some sort of exchange and they’ve been my ‘host family’. Along with keeping in contact with people back home, they have helped me cope in iso whilst being on the other side of the world.
As we begin our eleventh week of lockdown on the 1st of June, I’m taking this opportunity to look back on the month I’ve had. Despite not feeling like I’ve done much. A lot has actually happened. I got tested for Coronavirus; I found out my blood type; my nan brought a house back in Aus; had a few more attempts at being a chef… let’s just say there is (a lot of) room for improvement. I’ve been on some adventures through the woods and up to top of the hills over into Malvern (the town over).
This month I’ve spent way too much time on Tik Tok, but it is has actually taught me things that I would have never expected. Some of the things I’ve learnt include: did you know that washing machines have this tube thingy that you empty – a drain pump :0; I learnt that rather than writing a ‘To Do List’, make a list of all the things that I have done… definitely helps on the days when I don’t feel like I’ve done much. I made these yummy peanut butter cookies; learnt how to take off a bottle top using a knife; how to make banana and oat pancakes as well as how to make whipped coffee and a breakfast burrito. How to tie dye using bleach; what the Oxford comma is and even learnt the 50 states of the US using a song (not gonna lie, I always thought there was 52 states :0).
This past week has been half-term over here – basically a week off during the middle of the school term. Whilst I wasn’t able to spend it with a friend from Aus that was going to move to Brighton before Coronavirus. I instead used half term and still being in lockdown to explore different routes through the woods and the local village; cook different things; read The Secret Garden; keep working on a ‘paint by number picture’ as well as watching Grey’s Anatomy and The Handmaid’s Tale.
We begin June by some restrictions easing here… from the 1st we are now allowed to have 6 people meet up in a garden whilst social distancing and I’m back working 5 days a week as we are able to welcome back children in nursey (preschool), reception (kindy), year 1 and year 6 for four weeks and then we close for the Summer break.
Not sure what lies ahead, just gotta keep taking it day by day. Until then “Control the virus. Go to work. Sit in the sun. Stay alert. We have a route. We have a plan. Work from home if you can.” Boris Johnson – basically a Tik Tok remix of words Boris said in one of his announcements that the whole of the UK found lacked so much clarity so there were so many memes made. – Everyone’s coping differently over here, the humour helps!