Into the Wild spoke to Neil Lambert who is off to Fiji to get experience before beginning his University Pharmacy course. He'll be taking part in the Healthcare project and has told us how he'll be preparing and tells us about his previous eventful trip to Croatia!
Into the Wild: Why did you choose the Fiji Healthcare Project?
I'm applying to do Pharmacy at Uni so I really wanted to do something health related and I know that with Frontier I'll be making a positive impact in Fiji.
Into the Wild: How are you preparing for you trip?
I've been reading up on Fiji and have some travel guides from the library, while going through my field brief and trying to learn a bit of Fijian!
Into the Wild: Has it been difficult making all the necessary preparations whilst also sitting college examinations?
It's not been easy, but I aimed to get all my things ready by the end of May so it was all done by the time I had my exams, I've also been doing it bit by bit too which has really helped, like with purchasing all my equipment and getting all my documents ready.
Into the Wild: You’ve applied for Pharmacy at university; do you think the project will give you a head start on your studies?
Without a doubt, I'm hoping to specialize in tropical medicine/Pharmacy and so this will really help. But it's everything from the organization that I've done, the booking of my own flights, the purchasing of all the equipment, the independence gained there. It all adds up and will be fantastic for any career as they are all major life skills.
Into the Wild: What sparked your interest in pharmacy and healthcare?
I've always loved science, especially organic chemistry, and as much of a cliché as it seems, I've always wanted to help people.
Into the Wild: What are you hoping to gain from your experience?
Confidence, independence and some amazing memories and stories
Into the Wild: What are you looking forward to the most during your time on the trip?
Living with my Fiji Family - It will be amazing spending time with them, and really immersing myself in their culture.
Into the Wild: You said you’ve been to Croatia before, why choose Fiji as your next destination?
Croatia was really interesting, and a big change from any European holiday destinations, I think after a taste of how different it was to everywhere else I really wanted to push the boat out. And you can't get much further away than Fiji!
Into the Wild: Any favorite holiday memories or stories you’d like to share?
I remember in Croatia I threw out a fishing line into the sea, and I thought it got caught on some rocks or coral, we tugged on it and out came this fish about the size of a coke can covered in spines! We had to cover him in serviettes so mum could hold him while I used a toothpick from the hotel to unhook the hook from his mouth. We then put him back in the sea and he swam away. Robson Green eat your heart out!
Into the Wild: You’ll be staying for one month; what do you think you’ll miss the most about home whilst in Fiji?
Definitely mums cooking, and also some of my friends, but I can't wait to try some Fijian delicacies and make lots more friends out there.
Into the Wild: What skills do you already have that you think will help you out there?
I think I'm quite caring and easy to talk to, which will aid communication. I'm also a dab cook so should be able to rustle up something from the wilderness
Into the Wild: What do you think the most important item in your backpack will be?
Either my swimming trunks or my pen, to keep my diary up to date and to send lots of postcards!
Into the Wild: What books or music are you planning to take with you?
I'm taking a bit of a mix; ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ and my Fijian phrase book. I'm staying clear of ‘The Beach’ and would recommend everyone else to do the same! I'm going to be taking my iPod out there with some classic Jack Johnson which will be perfectly suited to the laid back culture of Fiji.
Into the Wild: You’ve said you enjoy snorkeling and swimming; are you planning on taking advantage of Fiji’s wonderful beaches whilst on the trip?
Yeah! My snorkel is packed and so are my flippers, hopefully I'll get to see something more interesting than just the little fish I've found all around the Med.
Into the Wild: You’ve mentioned you enjoy photography, are you planning on taking loads of good photos on the trip?
I was going to take my 'proper' camera but I was hesitant because it could get lost or stolen. So instead I bought a small digital one that I can sling in my pocket. But I'm taking along two cards and am hoping to fill them all up and stick them online (just to make everyone jealous)!