Thursday, June 3, 2010

Destination, Determination, Deliberation!

Apparently that pep talk worked, because the presentation went well. The other two girls presenting did a stellar job also, but I went last so I spent the whole of their presentations unable to pay attention out of nerves. I'm not normally a nervous person when it comes to presentations. Standing in front of a group of people doesn't bother me. What made me so nervous was how unprepared I felt. Here I was, standing in front of about 15 dietitians and 5 or 6 interns, talking all about hypoglycemia as if I am an expert on the topic, which I definitely did not think I was. But as it turns out, no one else knew anything about it so it all worked out.

I'm about 90% packed for Kenya! There are a few items in the washing machine and a few items I need to pick up at home, but other than that everything is in my backpack (pictured below!). To be honest, there isn't much room for anything else, so I might have to go through my bag and cut some stuff. I don't own a lot of clothes compared to most people, but it's still so hard to choose what to pack. I like to think I'm a fairly sensible, light packer for the most part, but it's hard to know exactly what I'll be doing over there and what clothes I am going to want while I am there. Last time I brought way to much and didn't use half the stuff I brought. This time I am bringing one less bag and trying my best to pack as little as possible. We have laundry facilities there so I can bring less and just do laundry over there. Farmers Helping Farmers recommends bringing 3 outfits, because in their experience, people tend to only really wear the same three outfits because they are functional and comfortable. I am sure that no matter how hard I try to pack light, there will be something from home I wish I had that I didn't pack, and there will be things that I packed and never used. This is inevitable I think. My other concern is weather. There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. It's only supposed to be about 10 degrees at night and low 20s during the day. I'm trying to make sure I pack clothes that I can layer to stay warm, but warm clothes are bulky and hard to squeeze into a 40 L backpack along with everything else that needs to fit into it. 11.5 weeks isn't that long, and I'm sure that if I do forget something, I'll live without it or be able to buy it there.

I received my final itinerary, and I'm thinking that I am going to be exhausted and sick of flying by the time I get there. I'll summarize it for you:

Charlottetown-Toronto (6 days in Toronto)
Toronto-Montreal (3 days in Montreal)
Montreal-Charlottetown (11 hours in Charlottetown)
Charlottetown-Montreal (8 hrs in Montreal)
Montreal-Brussels-Nairobi-4 hour car ride

It's going to be a really busy 2 weeks! I'm pumped to go home, and then I'm in Montreal for a culteural sensitivity conference, then I'm back on the island for 11 hours before departing with the team for Kenya. We have to go back to Charlottetown because we are using our second allowed baggage to bring computers and vet medications to Kenya for the organization. On the bright side it means that I will also need to bring back their empty suitcase, which I can fill with the fun stuff I buy there.

The past few days have been bitter sweet. Since it's my last few days on the island, I'm trying to squeeze in as much time with friends as I can before I go. Like I said above, 11.5 weeks isn't that long, and I was home for longer than that last summer, but I'm a lot tighter with a lot more people this year so it seems harder to leave everyone. Specially those who won't be back next year. It's hard to imagine that it is possible that I won't ever see these people again, but I like to think that that won't happen. I'll start saving my tips again to travel and visit them where ever their grown-up graduated selves end up.

Speaking of graduates, congrats to my big bro and future sister in law for graduating today! I wish I could have been home to witness it but I'll hopefully get to see pictures eventually. Pictures in my family tend to disappear into a strange vortex and never actually get seen by anyone once they've been taken. But maybe if I ask to see them enough times they may apparate. Luckily I'm going home only a few days after they taken, which means I might be able to catch a glimpse before they disappear forever.

Hmm.. I actually thought apparate was a word. Turns out it was made up by JK Rowling for the Harry Potter books. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Urban Dictionary Defines Apparate:
In the Harry Potter world, this is a spell which allows the user to instantaneously teleport from one location to another. You must focus on the three D's in order to achieve apparation: Destination, determination, and deliberation.

I guess I should have probably guessed that it's not a real word since apparition is not a real thing. I'm still a little bit in shock though. I wonder how many other words I know aren't actually even words at all.

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