Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Expense of it All - Preparation Continues

Suddenly, our schedule is counting down days and weeks instead of months. How time flies!

And now that Adam and I are both not working, and just relying on study money and savings and “miscellaneous“ (parental donation fund), collecting our various Congo necessities.

It’s quite different for me this time, which I think I’ve mentioned before, because I’ve lived in various countries in Africa before, but never anywhere quite so remote.

In Entebbe, we could go up the road to ”The Indiscriminate Pharmacy“ as we called it, and get any sort of drugs we needed. Aketi is a village, not a town or a city. Buta, the closest town, is far enough away that I’d rather make my visits there less frequent.

There is also no guarantee that many of our standard ”necessities“ are available in Buta.

Ergo, we must bring everything with us. Pharmaceuticals? Chargers? Extra batteries/bulbs/hodgepodge? Yup, Yup, and Argh. Yup.

I’ve not bought stock in Ziploc, but I have separated all of our various needs into blanket health categories, like:


in attempts to provide us with our own little Western-quality pharmacy-in-a-suitcase.

But it all adds up.

Dear Cthulhu/<Insert Deity here>, why must you make me shell out cash now for drugs I might need when I have diarrhea 7 months from now?

Sometimes, life is cruel.

I’m also going to have to wean myself from the internet. Because while we’re in Aketi, we will be using a BGAN primarily for internet. The good news is that our NGO is
providing us with the actual hardware -- the potentially bad news is that we might be paying for some, or ALL of our monthly BGAN service charges.

The thing I am learning all-too-quickly is that everything having to do with the BGAN costs a helluva lot. It is, literally, a hefty price to pay for being connected with the outside world.

Do we pay $130/month and get only 20MB/month or do we spring for the ”big“ bandwidth and pay $500/month for 100MB/month?!

We’re selling Adam’s car, which will give us a bit of a bubble, but we’ve already paid $300 for a tent, and we’ve still got to sign up for International SOS ($300/person), get hiking shoes, and a sleeping bag!

I haven’t even had any children, and I’m already feeling like I’m hemorrhaging money!

(Time to call Bill Gates, maybe?)

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