Tuesday, October 14, 2008
It's raining this morning, the hummingbirds are really gone, and Rick got up to build a fire in the wood stove (our only source of heat) for the first time this year. I guess it's really fall. We're just three and a half weeks away from our trip though, so we're busy with preparations and packing. I think it's time to get the luggage out and start rolling up shirts and filling little toiletry bottles. Most of the time when we travel, we can just say, "Well, if we forgot anything important, we can buy it there." I have a feeling that's not going to be the case in Ethiopia. I think if we don't have it, we'll probably learn not to need it.
This is a real exercise in balancing Good Planning and Self Restraint. I guess I can do it. I was a girl scout. And I used to backpack. And it's always a personal challenge to me to see how little I can bring along on a trip. I like to be unencumbered by stuff when I travel. So I'm resisting the urge to buy a portable DVD player and a mini photo printer, and to take too many shoes, or even too much jewelry. As I go over the lists, I begin to realize that I'm more concerned with having what I need for the flight than for when we get there. 18 hours on a plane is a long time in a small space. Three weeks in Ethiopia is an as yet undetermined amount of mind-time in a very big space. That part doesn't worry me in the least. The flight does...
But stepping across to the to the bright side of the road, 18 hours to relax and do next to nothing hasn't happened around here in years. I'm taking notebooks of course, and favorite pens, a nice new glue stick, books to read, and yarn to knit. Even if the in-flight movies suck, I'll be OK. And when I get negatively stuck on that number, 18 hours, I think back to when people traveled by ship and land to far off places, taking months to get where they were going. I'll bet they would have loved the speedy convenience of a little old 18 hour flight.
We went to Santa Fe yesterday for a few things we can't get here. And now it feels like the countdown has started. If I can find some sort of countdown meter, I'll paste it in here somewhere. I'm getting excited... and a little nervous sometimes. I'm going to Africa. It's starting to feel real.
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Today I am grateful for...
The new REI store in Santa Fe.
Lots of fire wood.