Some Things About Packing

Well, I’m taking these two items with me. The suitcase is 21 inches, and the backpack is just cool. You know how people enter races just for the “free” t-shirt? Well, I can’t say that I would pay as much as I did for the study abroad to get the “free” backpack, but the backpack makes me feel like part of a very privileged club.

I intend to carry on my luggage for as much of the trip as possible. I’m going to try not to overstuff the suitcase.

You can see the suitcase is half-empty. The other half is for some donated clothes that we’re giving to the orphans.

Here is the backpack. I’ll be putting my shoes, my books, and then school supplies for the kids in it. I’m really looking forward to the service aspect of this trip.

It’s required for us to have this tattooed on the back of our left shoulders before leaving. The tattoo contains a special ink used for tracking students by the university. Mine is still a little bit sore, but the image is really clear. My technician had a very steady hand.

This the converter and possible adapters for the electrical outlets. I wish countries could at least agree on electricity, but I understand there are far greater problems for them to deal with. Like mortality. And clean water. To counter the water issues, see a few of the supplies below.

These necessities seem … necessary:
-trusty white running cap, for protecting my head from becoming an Easy-Bake Oven with my dark hair under the sun being so very close to the equator
-new razor, for silky smooth legs for free time at the beach and pool
-tampons, for that very lucky week
-bag of 3-oz bottles, containing: lotion, sunscreen, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, contact lens solution
-a ton of Q-tips, I don’t know why
-sunglasses, for protecting my eyes when monkeys or hippos spit in them
-contact lenses, mostly for looking less nerdy and enabling more physical activity
-doxycycline, for pre-treatment and prevention of malaria; must take daily; must take with a small meal and a full glass of (bottled mineral) water or else I feel very, very woozy; I already know this first-hand
-azithromycin, for traveler’s diarrhea; this does not sound very fun at all
-Tide detergent packs (not pictured), for doing laundry in the hotel room sink
-Kleenex pocket packs (not pictured)

I may add:
-Immodium or Pepto Bismol, for less severe stomach upset
-dramamine, for bus rides; we’ve chartered our own bus for traveling across the country, and if I’m going to get any reading done, I need to keep my stomach calm

You guys, I’m very, very excited.

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