Getting closer . . .

Trip Start Jun 29, 2009
Trip End Aug 07, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thank you to everyone who has given me advice and donated items for this trip! Because of so many friends I have really had fun preparing -- which is a switch because packing is usually the part of a trip I dread! Thank you for sharing my excitement, letting me talk about it endlessly, and being so supportive. I am truly blessed!

Preparation time is coming to an end as departure day nears. I have packed almost all the personal items I'm taking (clothes, toiletries, other supplies) and the good news - everything fit! It wasn't the final pack-job, as I am still trying to weed out a bit. I'd rather not have a completely full pack. One thing mountain climbing in Colorado growing up taught me - "If you pack it you must carry it" - those are good words to live by on a trip like this! Balancing that with being a boy scout - or being prepared like one (since I wasn't actually a boy scout) - is delicate.

Another interesting packing challenge has been the mental hurdle (for me at least) of temperature. Many times when we think Africa we think hot, and I don't remember the last day we have not reached at least 100 degrees here in Austin -- so, it's hard to keep my mind from thinking hot. Zambia is south of the equator, so it is winter there. My best educated guess is mid to upper 70s to low 80s during the day and low 50s to high 40s at night. Sounds wonderful! And right now is the dry season, though they say I should be prepared for rain. Again, the boy scout thing. I think I'll be okay.

Along with my trip preparation I have been hanging out with friends doing some great "Austin" things before I leave. And several of them have been firsts. One of the many things I love about this city -- even after living here for 15 years you can still find great things to do (or places to go) that you haven't done (or been to) yet. And how nice of the Texas Legislature to come back into town to wish me well and see me off! Only kidding . . . they aren't coming to Austin just for me, there's something abut a special session, too.

I started taking my anti-malaria meds this weekend. No weird dreams or hallucinations [ thx Dr C! :o) ]. I go tomorrow to get my last shot before I go. The immunizations for the trip weren't as bad as I thought they might be -- or rather as numerous. I did have a bit of a reaction after the first round. And I think I got a small bout of Typhoid when taking those - but I guess that is what it's supposed to do and is definitely better than getting Typhoid!

I will post another entry before I leave with more information, or as much as I know, about what I will be doing while in Zambia. This entry is somewhat a test to see if the emails get sent and the entry gets posted. If you would like to be added (or removed) to the travelblog email list so you receive an email when I post a new entry, please let me know.
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