Neal writes about his first term as a Step into the Gap ‘gapper’ and looks ahead to his travels (next week!) to Sierra Leone……
During the first term, being part of the massive Chaplaincy Team at St. Mary’s Blackpool, I have had a great time being fully immersed into the working school life. From jumping in at the deep end and helping organise a Mission Week, to arranging and playing music for mass and services throughout the term, to fundraising for the CAFOD Harvest Appeal, to being involved in assemblies and constantly designing and putting up new notice boards around school- the list goes on…….
I have definitely been kept busy while in Blackpool, with all that happening in between 3 primary school visits a week to help teach and guide group worship with years 2, 5 and 6 and going to the CAFOD office in Preston every Wednesday to have a catch-up with Rosa and Patrick and to log what I have done during the week.
In between training weekends held in London to meet with the Gappers scattered around the country, I try to relax and explore Blackpool and local towns. From walks in Knott End to 20 mile rides on my bicycle I have tried to see as much of the area as possible, even venturing into Manchester a few times to explore the city and go shopping.
I am incredibly excited about travelling to Sierra Leone with CAFOD on 11th January 2014 with 3 other gappers. I have always been inspired by CAFOD’s mission to tackle poverty and injustice and it’s very humbling to feel a part of that.
I am finally prepared to go on this adventure now that I have had all my vaccinations and packed my bags weeks ago just to be careful. I can’t wait to learn about CAFOD’s work overseas and as I am a keen photographer I will be documenting every part of my journey, but most importantly I will be able to witness how we can change peoples lives massively.
It is great that I will be visiting the Lenten focus and meet Samai and Mohammed on my journeys and I am really excited about coming back and telling everyone about my experiences in Sierra Leone.
We’re really excited for Neal and can’t wait to hear all about his trip to Sierra Leone!
We’ll be following Neal’s travels here on this blog and also on Twitter. You can follow us on Twitter at @CAFODLancaster and keep up to date with the latest news as we get it.
Bon voyage Neal : )