I'm thinking seriously about going over to help with the tsunami rebuilding effort once my course ends in mid-March. (There's little point in my going before then as frankly I have no useful skills.)
Things to consider:
1) I'm flat broke. How do I get there when I can't afford a ticket?
This leaves me two options:
a) Sign up with some sort of voluntary organization.
b) Get the money together privately. Since I don't really have anything to sell off, except maybe a kidney, this means donations from friends or family, and probably blegging. Very very awkward and something I would hate to do.
2) How long for?
I was thinking of 2-3 months. It's my understanding that most voluntary organizations generally require one to commit for a minimum period of time, and I don't think anyone is going to be terribly impressed if they chip in for a plane ticket and then I'm only gone for a long weekend.
3) And do what, exactly?
When my course ends I will have some building skills. However, the bulk of my course consists of decorative stuff like stuccoing and tiling. Not sure that a handsome wall mural or a shiny new splashback is really going to be a big priority for a tsunami survivour.
I have a sound background in electronic* engineering, but I can't see how that'd be much use.
I do have some experience in fixing up electrical* bits and pieces, fitting light sockets and power outlets ect. However, this is mostly stuff I've learned on the fly. I never had any proper training and strictly speaking I shouldn't really have been doing it. I don't have any formal training or references or anything.
Apart from that, I can: doodle, clean floors, sweep streets, make tea, make sandwiches, do basic first aid. Not much else that I can think of.
4) I'm afraid.
It's pathetic, but there it is. Not just of being in a disaster area, although that's a thing. Mostly it's... well, I'm generally clueless about travelling since I didn't go abroad at all before I met Lurid and I've never been outside of Europe. Living in Barcelona is the abroadest I've ever been. Ever. Contemplating two or three months in SE Asia is very very scary.
*Electrical engineering vs. Electronic engineering: The difference, you ask? Oh, 'bout two hundred volts, mate.
Advice and input welcomed.