Saturday, May 18, 2013

Thailand: It's Official!


I applied to the program, then had a panic attack because it was so much money, then applied for a grant to help cover the cost of the thing...I got the grant! It was a complete surprise, since there are only 100 available worldwide.  It covers 100% of the program cost, which is about $2,750! Unfortunately, I still have to come up with money for the airfare from here to LAX, then international airfare (plus taxes and fees!), as well as two internal airfare tickets within Thailand.  All that adds up to about $3,300!  It's terrifying, and I almost didn't apply out of fear, but it felt good to do something impulsive (clicking the apply button, at least, was impulsive!) and risky (I didn't know where the money would be coming from!), but I took a gamble...And with help from my mom, the travel advisor who has been helping us, the wonderful people at Rustic Pathways who liked my essays enough to grant me a 100% grant, and the generous souls who have/are planning to donate money for this cause, that gamble is paying off!

But I am going.

Since the grant covers up to 18 days of program costs, I have the opportunity to extend my trip by another week!  I will be doing a related program in conjunction with my main orphanage project.

A mad dash for fundraising has commenced, with me sending out tons of letters asking for sponsorship.  I will soon be doing a cheesecake fundraiser (probably after school gets out and I actually have TIME to do one!), and I have been gathering old books that I would have read in middle school or so and going to be taking them to Smith Family Bookstore to see if I can get any money out of that.

I have a chunk of the money already, which is reassuring, and I have received a handful of sponsorships from the generous people I have contacted.  My mom will be paying for part of it as well, but the goal is to pay as little out-of-pocket as possible.  I may end up seeling my car as a way to get the remaining money and have a bit of spending money while I am there.  It's coming along!

I leave July 31st!

~From Lily With Love~

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