Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Test Run

With little over a week until we depart for Kilimanjaro, we're down to the short strokes. Preparation is kicking into high gear. Tonight I laid my first "draft" packing list out on  my bed to scrutinize the collection. I may whittle it down a little more when it comes time to actually pack it into the suitcase. I went heavy on the tee shirts as it will be hot and humid and with the volunteer placement for the first half and the cultural experiences in the afternoon, I may burn through two a day!

I picked up my anti malarial meds as well as a back up antibiotic just in case my nasty tooth acts up. I withdrew my American money and scoured each bill to ensure that none were dated prior to 2006. Apparently they aren't widely accepted in Tanzania. I am going to bring the equivalent of $100 dollars in Tanzanian schillings to spend in the village and roadside stalls. And I am considering unlocking my phone so I can buy a SIM card there and use my phone to tether. Have to keep the blog updated!

Final webinar this week with CCS and the rest of the group who will be volunteering in Tanzania at the same time. Jill and I agreed to learn our key Swahili phrases on the plane over. (I pity the people who sit in front of us). Hopefully then I will actually remember it.

Note to self: remember to pack some nuts, trail mix and other snacks that won't melt.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Friendship Safari


Let me introduce you to Jill, the other half of the Tanzanian adventure. We will both be posting to this blog so you will get all sorts of perspectives! Lyn

There are certain people who seem to come into our lives for a reason, and my friend Lynda is one of them. We met in Grade 6 when I was the shy kid who had just moved from the big city to a small town, and Lynda was the outgoing kid who decided we were going to be friends. Turns out, I hit the friendship jackpot. For more than 40 years Lyn has been my confidante and my guide, blazing a trail that has helped me navigate almost every one of life’s turning points – from driving cars to dating boys, from becoming a mother to losing a mother.

When Lynda returned from her trip to Kenya a few years ago, I could see that it had a profound impact. She said she would be going back to Africa, and planted the dream that we would make the journey together.

There’s something about turning 50 that leads you to stop putting things off, and start saying “yes” to the things that really matter. So that was my answer when Lynda decided it was time to make the dream of her return trip to Africa come true, and asked me to be a part of it. (Or maybe it was more like “Yes, but I should tell Walter first, since this will pretty much wipe out the family vacation fund.”)

Thanks to an incredibly supportive husband and family, I’m now about two weeks away from the journey of a lifetime – a journey I never imagined I’d be making at all, let alone with my treasured friend. I’m nervous, excited, open to possibility. I’m wishing I could remember more words in Swahili. Good thing we have the long flight to Tanzania to brush up on our vocabulary. Perhaps we’ll discover a word to describe a friendship that’s taken us from goofy Grade sixers to where we are today. That is, if we can stop giggling at my hoodie pillow.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

To Do

My "to do" list is paying off. I finally had my travel clinic appointment last week and got the hazards lecture and the shots I needed -  typhoid  and a Twinrix booster for Hep A/B. Although the yellow fever vaccination is not required, the shot I got for Kenya three years ago is a little extra insurance. A prescription for the anti-malarials  and served up with a reminder to take the meds with lots of food along with a script for Cipro to treat any infections I may get. I am just debating whether or not to bring my own mosquito net.

And today, to my relief, I received my passport back in the mail with a Tanzanian visa on page 6.

Things left still "to do" include:

  • get a root canal (no joke)
  • work on my Swahili!
Unataka mimi bahati.