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Getting Closer

USA | Monday, 11 May 2015 | Views [284]

We're flying out in 10 days.  We're no more prepared than we were at my last post.  We've made another REI run but only for things we had to purchase anyway like shoes for the kids.  I sent a followup email to the only WWOOF that we have actual plans to work at; the one in Uganda.  I'm still waiting for word back from him.  The hardest part has been logistics.  With no idea of the on-the-ground travel process it feels almost impossible to make any sort of plans.  That being said, who cares?  We have just over seven weeks to do whatever we feel like, and I think that is going to serve us well.  Historically one of the biggest expenditures has been making a purchase when we're in a bind.  For instance, we need to be somewhere by the next day so we buy the more expensive mode of transportation, or we need a place to sleep now and get a spendier hotel.

Things we still need to do include: spraying our tent and some outfits with permethrin (repellent), do a dummy packing session, get the rest of the antimalarial medication from the pharmacy (we're doing that today), build a vitamin/medication/second first aid kit, plus other stuff I can't think of now.

We're both finishing up this semester of school and next week are our finals.  Yeah, we're flying out a couple of days after our last final.  Kinda pushing it there, but that's how I do things.  Molly is attempting a summer school class while we are traveling so that should be interesting.  We'll need internet every few days at least so I'm not sure if that means we arrange to be at a hostel, or we buy an internet dongle thingy and use that too?  We'll see.

I think we'll need to take some serious cash out too.  We're buying the East Africa visa when we get to the airport in Nairobi, and it's going to cost about $400 total for the four of us.  Plus every other thing in Africa will be cash only, I'm sure.  This is always an issue of quandary.  How much cash to carry on one's person?  Too little and you'll need to get to an ATM all the time; too much and you have a lot to lose if you're robbed.  There's never a right answer either.  Totally situational.

I also think at this moment that Burundi is out.  There's some serious shit going on there leading up to the presidential elections.  However, once we're in Rwanda we'll be able to get a better feel for the actual situation.  It could be okay, one just doesn't know from halfway around the world.

Finally, for anyone heading to this region, I recommend a book.  Africa's World War by Gerard Prunier.  It's a comprehensive history of the conflicts and culture of Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, etc.  I have just started reading it, but it has been quite illuminating.

Tags: africa, books, family, kids, malaria, packing


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