Tuesday, January 27, 2009

About the Name

To me, packing early means starting more than one day before you leave for the airport. This time, I started three days in advance, which must be a record. Tomorrow, I leave for Kampala, Uganda where I'll be staying for five weeks. While there, I'll be completing an elective rotation at St Francis Nsambya hospital in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. That means I'll be delivering babies. Hopefully, loads of them. 

Assembling my gear on the dining room table, I started thinking back to packing for my first two trips to Africa. The first was in 2003 when I lived and worked in Kigali, Rwanda and travelled into the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania. In 2007 I returned to Rwanda for a visit and travelled through Uganda and Tanzania. Packing gets a bit easier every time. I'll be taking a few of the same things that I took on the 2007 trip, but I have lots of new things too. (Thanks to my purse being stolen in Costa Rica last year). 

I have a new passport, new camera, and new mosquito net. My backpack is the same one I used in 2007. There are a couple of things that were with me on the first trip but not the second. Then, there are those few special items that will be coming with me for the third time. There is  a small religious medal that my Grandmother gave me and a heart shaped rock from my Mom. Then, there's my bathrobe. I had never been a big fan of bathrobes, but I decided to pick this one up just prior to leaving for Rwanda the first time. Now, it's one of my longest surviving pieces of clothing. With any luck, both my bathrobe and I will make it back and forth on this journey without any damage. 

The journey to Kampala will take 2 days, the highlights of which will surely be the subject of my next post. Until then, I'll be somewhere between Fredericton, Gagetown, Halifax, New York, Dubai, Entebbe, and Kampala.