Countdown to Africa… So Much to Do!

Hi readers!

I’m so excited to share that I am going to Africa for the first time this summer! Brendan and I are leading a group to our two project sites in the villages of Olasiti and Ulolela in Tanzania. (It’s going to be a lot of travel- check out the map on our homepage.)

I would normally be more nervous about traveling so far for the first time, but luckily for me, Brendan has been to Tanzania twice before, in 2007 and 2009. So, he’s my guinea pig for all my questions (What do I pack? What will the weather be like? Can I do laundry? What will the food be like? etc. etc.)

So, as my departure date is almost a month away, here’s what I’ve taken care of so far:

  • Immunizations (very important not to wait for the last minute on this one, because some are pills you need to take before you go and should be in your system at least 2 weeks before you leave.)
  • Travel visa (everything’s in order to get it during our travel. You can get it before leaving, but separating from my passport goes against everything my dad’s instilled in me.)
  • Travel arrangements (from flights to lodging)
  • Telling my parents (they are as excited as they can be, but I’m pretty sure my mom will lose a lot of sleep while I’m gone. Worrying is genetic.)
  • Getting approval from work

Still on the list:

  • Getting new Africa clothes (Even if it’s just casual clothes that will likely be ruined during painting and building, shopping for a new wardrobe is always exciting. Especially because, unlike another pencil skirt, I really NEED these :))
  • Going to REI (travel backpack, loads of bug spray and sunscreen, and other outdoorsy supplies that I do not have.)
  • Spray aforementioned clothes with aforementioned bug spray.
  • Get wine shipping bags for any liquids that will go in checked bags to avoid spilling. (Great tip from a member of our Board)
  • Pack.
  • Decide whether to get international phone.
  • Buy books and stack iPod with lots of music for long trips (The flight has 3 stops each way, and we’ll be traveling on buses for a few days during the trip.)

Do any of you travel veterans have suggestions?? Am I forgetting anything? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks always for your support,


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