Gap year for grown ups

Gap year for grown ups

While taking a ‘gap year’ is a concept more common amongst school leavers and ‘twenty-somethings’ experiencing an existential crisis, taking 12 months off to travel the globe isn’t just a Gen Y rite of passage.  As Peter and Denise Barnett discovered, the world is your oyster no matter how old you are.

The journey

After watching an Australian Story segment called ‘Africa Calling’, Peter learnt about the establishment of the ‘School of St Jude’ in Arusha, Tanzania by Australian, Gemma Sisia.

After the program finished, he checked out the School of St Jude website where he found a role available for a Purchasing Coordinator.

“We decided there and then to give it a shot,” Peter says, “and never had a second thought about whether it was the right decision or not.” 

“Before we made the decision to volunteer, we had already decided that climbing the corporate ladder was not for us,” says Peter. “Our daughters were all working, so we had nothing to stop us from taking a leap of faith.”

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To make sure parcels arrive and incur no expenses for the school

  • Please do NOT register or insure any mail as it costs the school at least USD $25 in taxes at our end.
  • Mark all parcels as being “second-hand goods” or “personal gifts”.
  • Ensure the description of goods written on the parcel matches the actual items inside as customs and postal staff frequently inspect contents of parcels.
  • Please label all parcels clearly with the first and last name of the recipient and your full name.
  • Please put the value of the package at no more than US$10 (the lower the better).
  • Ensure that your parcel is LESS THAN 2KG. We have been advised that parcels less than 2KG are technically tax-free regardless of content, but this is not guaranteed by all postal workers.

Tax-free items include books, personal goods and anything that is not new. Used goods, used clothes, etc…(please remove labels and packaging from all items before sending them)

Keep in mind that parcels sent by airmail can take up to four months to get here (sea mail is even longer – often 12+ months!), so don’t worry if it takes a while for us to let you know the parcel has arrived.