Friday, September 10, 2010

(almost) all my bags are packed

On Monday I'm leaving for my 4th trip to Ukenzagapia for another field season. My husband suggested that I get everything packed by tonight so that I have the weekend to remember and track down things I may have forgotten. Brilliant!

I'd say I'm 90% packed. I need to buy a few last-minute things (mostly gifts and a few drugstore items), pack my hiking boots (after I finish waterproofing them again), and pack my carryon bag. I have about 20 pounds to spare right now. This has never happened before. I've never packed my bags for Ukenzagapia and been below the 50 pound limit. For each trip before this I've written about how I was way over the limit (here and here). 

I should perhaps mention that the reason that my bags are comparatively light this time is that I have boxes of stuff stored all over the country (my friend's house, the university, and at my field site). Every time I go I bring more stuff and leave it there. I think I could equip a small field station now.

Anticipating that my bags would be relatively light this time, I offered to bring things for other people. I'm bringing more things for Dr. K, some for my friend in the city, stuff for some guys who work in Nyota, and several things for another American who is just starting his fieldwork in Nyota. It's mostly electronic items because they are difficult, impossible, and/or expensive to get in Ukenzagapia. This time I'm bringing more usb modems, a new laptop battery, lots of rechargeable batteries, extra computer ram, a used digital camera, a measuring tape, headphones, rite in the rain paper, a laptop cover, and a flash drive.

I also went to the bank today to get out a large sum of money (most of what I need for the next 2 months) in the newest, crispest $100 bills the bank teller could find (last year I wrote all about why). It was enough that I actually used my money belt to carry it, which is something I'm not sure I've ever done in the US before. 

I'm getting a lot better at this international field work thing. I'm more prepared than I've ever been- physically, logistically, mentally, emotionally. I hope this feeling persists!


EcoGeoFemme said...

You sound way more relaxed this time. Good luck with all your final preparations and your long flight!

Jax said...

Sounds like you've really got your stuff together for this. Great to hear that your trips and planning keeping going more smoothly the farther you've gone along. Good luck, and have a fun trip!