Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wow! A Productive Day!

It’s the last day in Maryland for Adam and I before we go to New York City to say goodbye to our family and friends. We come back through PA and NJ to say goodbye to Adam’s family on our way back down on Saturday, and then have Sunday only before I go back to Johns Hopkins for 12 more days.

And our plane tickets are for October 4th!

The takeaway message here: there isn’t much time left before we have to go.

Thankfully, being in the JHU study and Adam leaving his job last month has actually left us with the time to go through the multitude of crap we’ve accumulated separately and together, throw 90% of it away, but 5% of it into storage bins to deposit in friends’ basements, and 5% of it into suitcases and ready to go to Congo.

It’s going to take a little bit of extra time, but we decided instead of throwing a bunch of stuff away that we’d donate it to Furniture and Goodwill banks -- Adam has hordes of old VHS tapes and 3 winter coats he’ll never wear again -- not to mention books that he’s outgrown, and we thought it’d be the better thing to do.

We officially know every piece of clothing that is coming to Congo with us. We made a list:


and tallied everything that went into the suitcase. According to airline regulations, we’re each allowed 2 32kg bags (~70 lbs/each bag) to check under the plane, and 2 smaller-sized carry-on bags.

ALL of our clothing is in ONE bag! For Two People! I’m really impressed with us.

More importantly, this leaves us with 3 other bags for our sundries. I’m also leaving extensive amounts of empty space in ONE of our bags, because it will allow me to carry my (fecal) samples back to the US and not worry about running out of space.

It’s a lesson I’ve only ever learned the hard way: If you overpack your bags GOING to a destination, where do you put all the crap you accrue while you’re there in the luggage for the ride home? :)

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