Typhoid and Rabies and TDAP, Oh My

Trip Start Aug 15, 2012
Trip End Aug 01, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Saturday, June 16, 2012

This post is all about the logistics of my current life and preparing for Madagascar.  As I sit here with various vaccines coursing through my veins and a packing list in front of me, it is finally becoming unavoidably clear that this Madagascar adventure is actually happening.  A side note: my favorite quote from a medical professional: (concerning typhoid vaccines), "These pills will make you feel like you have typhoid... a little bit."  While I have been excited about upcoming year through YAGM (Young Adults in Global Mission) ever since I was accepted in March, everyday life can distract from that excitement.  Pot lucks, rummage sales, vacation bible school, National Youth Gathering planning, Sunday school planning, youth group, and other youth director duties take a lot of time and energy, and it's easy to focus on the present instead of plan for the future.  Getting from Fairbanks on April 14 to Madagascar on August 23 felt impossible.  My savior has been checklists.  Checklists have become my guide, my source of comfort, and my hope.  Starting with April 22, this has been that list: 
 Quit my job; Get a travel doctor appointment, Get shots and pills; Fundraise $4000, Give a presentation to CLC, Send out money-begging letters to lots of people; Get my student loans deferred; Sell my car; Pay off my credit card (yikes!); Sell or donate most of my stuff, Craigslist!!!; Ship boxes of what's left to my folks' house; Start a blog; Schedule out my 2.5 weeks in lower 48 for adventures with friends; Cancel my cell phone; Save money!; Move out of my house and into my friends basement to avoid rent (Jon and Sara Oestreich are my favorite people); Find out how to get my prescription while ; Work on French and Malagasy; DEEP BREATHS
This list was pretty darn daunting when I first compiled it.  I have, however, done ALL of these except for canceling my phone.  And that feels amazing.  Taking these one at a time is what gave me guidance and made this adventure seem possible.  I will say this though: the downside of making lists like this is that when you are done with everything on it, you can't help but ask, "Now what?"  Finishing everything just makes me want to hop on a plane and finally start the adventure that I've been working toward.  It doesn't help that I keep finding more and more documentaries on wildlife in Madagascar.  There are lemurs EVERYWHERE!  Darn you, David Attenborough!  

Trying to focus on accomplishing all that I have to for YAGM while working full time AND planning out how to keep the programs I have started at the church going in my absence has been draining.  I have enjoyed every second of it, but sometimes I just want a nap.  I am so thankful for everyone in my life right now.  They have seen me jumping up and down with joy and hiding in dark rooms during my mini freak outs, and they have been there for me regardless.  Fairbanks breeds some good people: better than I deserve, for sure.
As I finish typing this entry, I am sitting on a deck surrounded (and sometimes covered) by the three Oestrich children.  Oh, for cute!  Check out some of our pictorial masterpieces.  I am excited for my last 4 weeks in Fairbanks and spending time exploring and playing as much as possible.  

Also, I think I'm going to buy a mandolin or ukelele before I leave.  Compact musical epicness.  Stoked!

Peace and Blessings, everybody

Veloma! (goodbye in Malagasy)
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Robin Brown (Moilanen) on

Hi Luke! I just signed on to get email updates of your adventures. Have a great time! I was so please to hear you were working as Youth Director for CLC. I will definitely keep you in my prayers! Love Robin

Charlie Burnham on

Looking Good! Looks like you're in for a great adventure and doing something good at the same time. Keep it going. My thoughts and prayers are with you all the way.

Lindean on

LUKE! I hope you write often - so fun to hear about the preparations and anticipation - now we can't wait to hear about your first impressions, etc.!


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