Duvall resident Josh Bolton is currently preparing to embark on a journey of a lifetime.
In mid-August the 19-year-old is set to begin volunteer work with the IVHQ Tanzania Medical volunteer program.
IVHQ is an international volunteer organization working in over 25 countries that sends thousands of volunteers abroad annually. Established in 2007, the group works with hundreds of different projects through Africa, Asia and Latin America, according to William Rowland, program coordinator at International Volunteer HQ.
“The decision to volunteer abroad is not an easy one to make and Josh is working hard to ensure he can raise sufficient funds for his program fees, airfares, travel insurance and vaccinations,” Rowland explained by email.
Josh will spend 13 weeks with the Tanzania Medical program working alongside other volunteers from all over the world.
The 2013 Cedarcrest grad is already a veteran when it comes to volunteer work. He has put time in as an Evergreen Hospital volunteer at the help desk and the emergency department and also at Camp Korey (located at Carnation Farm for children with serious life-altering medical conditions).
In an email, he said he is very excited about the trip.
“I have never done anything of the sort so this will be a whole new experience,” he wrote. “I am excited to arrive in Arusha. However, I am not looking forward to the tremendous amount of flying. The longest flight I have been on has been about six hours so this will be very different. ...Even though it is not one of my bigger fears, I have put a lot of thought into how I am going to surpass the language barrier that I will be faced with.
“On top of the numerous fears that I am foreseeing such as Ebola, getting lost, wild animals, and disease comes excitement. Excitement to be in a new place, to see other parts of the world that I have never been before, and excitement to have many new experiences.
“In order to prepare for this journey I have done many things ... including buying an unexpected amount of stuff. ...Along with new clothes I had to buy scrubs and a lab coat which are required for volunteering in a clinic. All of the clothes I bought will be soaked in Pyrethrin to protect against mosquitos and other disease ridden bugs. Some other items ... include sunglasses, first aid supplies, travel insurance, a flashlight, a backpack, a knife, Nunn (electrolyte water supplement), bug spray, sunscreen, a baton as recommended by a friend, etc.
“I got vaccines for rabies, Hep A, yellow fever, malaria, and typhoid. I also watched three videos on bloodborne pathogens so that I can better protect myself from AIDS and other blood diseases.
“Also, I am very into photography, so I bought a new camera lens that I could carry around with me while I am gone. This is very exciting for me to go to such a unique place and have the ability to take some great pictures.”
Josh plans to apply to the radiation therapy program at Bellevue College in spring 2015. His long-term goal is to work as a medical dosimetrist, where he can help treat cancer patients.