Saturday, 17 October 2009

The final packing list

This time tomorrow I will be loading my bags onto a coach bound for Heathrow Airport. Eeeep! I have spent the last two days in a packing frenzy, carefully making lists of what need to do/take and crossing things off as I go. Easier said than done when you are planning a trip like this and have borderline OCD when it comes to lists and planning! I have found myself drifting off to sleep each night and then remembering some vital piece of equipment, having to fumble for the light, then a pen, and scribble down said item so that I can find it the next morning. I've even set alarms on my mobile phone to go off at various points throughout the day to remind me that, by that point, I should have completed "x, y & z". All this has proved useful for however is sending me into a crazed panic when the alarm goes and I realise that, no, I have not yet completed whatever task it is reminding me about. My phone is mocking me.

There are a few more things I need to do - buy flight socks, change my money into $$, organise my cameras and various chargers, get my son to update my iPod for me (I'm still hopeless with technology - thank goodness for offspring), give my mom a list of contact details in Uganda etc. But apart from that, I think I am packed and ready to relax. Had a most enjoyable dinner with my boss last night who wished me all the best and said he supports me 125%, especially with the Nepal trip as he went there a couple of years ago and fell in love with it. I tried to convince him that he and his wife should join me in January - he told me not to mention that to his wife because she absolutely would. So Kathryn, if you're reading this, start twisting his arm!

Special last minute "thank you" must go to the students on the Saltash campus of Cornwall College. Their tutor, Norma, came to my house this week to deliver the clothes, shoes, colouring books and bedding that the students have been collecting. I was bowled over by their efforts. They had managed to collect no less than six bin bags worth! Wow! They also collected money and went and bought chalks and pens etc with it - too many to count but it was loads and I am so grateful! I spent a frantic evening going through the bags and, although I couldn't take it all due to space/weight limits, I have managed to pack the shoes and the bedding. The clothes that were donated will definitely be given to the local community in Nepal in January so Thank You!!! Norma asked me if I would come and meet the students and chat to you about my trip when I return and I would love to. So I will see you guys in December! :-)

This morning, my son has gone to collect his new Yamaha motorbike, having passed his CBT test yesterday. I'm very proud of him of course, but at the same time, I do wish he wasn't entering the world of biking right before I leave the country for six weeks. I know he'll be fine - he's very sensible - but it still makes me quite nervous. It's not natural as a mother to feel 'okay' about their child sitting on top of a mass of metal attached to a very loud (and hot) engine. As is the same for all mothers I'm sure, my child is still about 5 in my head!

Later this afternoon, my sister is coming over with my cutie-pie nieces, and my mom is going to cook us all a roast beef dinner. I wanted lamb but following my sister's pregnancies, she can't even bear the smell of lamb (despite it being her favourite when we were growing up). Grrrrrr. Nevermind though, because for the grand finale, mom is making homemade rice pudding which is my favourite 'comfort' dessert. Good times!!

"So then, what is Neffy actually taking to Uganda?" I'm glad you asked! Here is my list:

1 x mosquito net
1 x sleeping bag and liner
1 x travel pillow/eye mask/ear plugs
1 x 'day bag' backpack
1 x wind up torch
1 x head torch
1 x ceramic cup (a pressie from my mom)
1 x She Wee
2 x pairs of shoes
1 x pair of flip flops
1 x wellies
6 x tops
4 x skirts
1 x pair of trousers
1 x pyjamas
6 x knickers
2 x sports bras
1 x wellie socks
6 x PVC gloves
2 x books
1 x money belt
2 x digital cameras (1 for photos, 1 for video)
1 x iPod
2 x small notebooks (1 for writing, 1 for drawing)
1 x pen
1 x small photo album (to remind me of the people I love)
1 x cot toy (another pressie from my mom - don't ask!)
1 x 'silky' (my comforter - I always sleep with it)
1 x water flask
2 x bandanas (1 green/brown, 1 pink/white)
1 x cowboy hat (yee-haw!)
4 x safety pins
1 x gaffa tape
1 x hooded sweatshirt (for cooler evenings)
3 x paper fans
1 x playing cards
1 x small towel

As for toiletries and medicines:

Malaria pills
Hayfever tablets
Insect repellent ("Jungle Formula")
Tiger Balm (for putting under my nose in the latrines)
Sudafed nasal spray
Eye drops
Immodium (lots of)
Lemsip Flu Plus
Immune support tablets
Emergency first aid kit (with syringes & all sorts of other goodies)
140 wet wipes
Factor 50 suncream
Tweezers/scissors/nail file
Travel wash (for body and clothes)
Body cream
Face toner
Cotton wool
1 x mascara (just in case I need to feel 'pretty')

I'm also taking a few gifts for the family I am staying with so that has taken up a bit of room in my bag. It literally just all fits. There is no room for anything else - not even a pencil! I don't think I've done too badly considering I know nothing about 'backpacking travel' or packing lightly, ha ha. I'm still getting over the fact that there is no make up (apart from mascara), no hair straightners, perfumes & potions, high heeled shoes etc. This is certainly an experience for me ...

Well guys, I am going to do a last minute check of all my stuff, clean the house, and enjoy the afternoon with my family. Next time you hear from me, I will be in Uganda! Excitement!!!

1 comment:

  1. Nothing to say except - YOU GO GIRL! xxx Katey x