Saturday, September 22, 2012

do I look good in my hat? do I look ready?

The challenge of packing for a place that you've never been and a place that you can't be guaranteed will have any replacements available for the things you are likely to forget is not to be dismissed. Though an avid traveler, I've never left the country... and moving to Tanzania for weeks at a time cannot be considered simple traveling.

I had my passport expedited (yes, I'm probably the only person you know who accepted a job without knowing she could get there), I had seven shots and bought 150 malaria pills, and I'm working to assemble every medical, technological, and personal comfort that I can identify as normal in my daily life.

I'm also taking advice.  My survival skills have been discussed at length.  At this point, I'm intrigued to see what I can do with a leatherman and a roll of duct tape.  I'm planning to take up shooting lessons at Christmas, in case I do end tangling with a lion.  Not taking heels has been suggested (and obviously, immediately dismissed).  Tomorrow, I will spray all of my clothes with permethrin, an insecticide.

At this point, I am prepared to be unprepared.  It is likely I will get sick - not deathly ill, but the more benign and more annoying kind of irritant.  I will be shocked about how hot it is.  I have no idea what my apartment or my office will look like.  I have been promised daily showers and decent coffee.  I am bringing my little blue mug along for good measure.

It has been suggested that I bring a hat.  I look awful in most hats.  When it was first suggested, I noted it dutifully, as I have noted all other suggestions, and dismissed it in my head immediately (similar to the ban on heels).  When my brother brought it up as a must-have, I cringed and stated that I didn't look good in hats.  And he told me that I was going to want one anyway, even if it looks ridiculous.  I have since chosen a safari hat, which I'm sure is not doing as great a job as a real hat would do, but I've decided that it must be better than nothing...

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