Africa Update: Get'er Done!
So, the title is a bit hill billy, but actually, it does explain perfectly how the preparation is going! Things are coming along together and are "getting done"- 3 weeks, 5 days.
A little over a week ago, I sent off my passport, visa application and money order to Washington D.C. to receive my visa for Ghana. The directions for the visa said it would take seven days to process and be sent back to me. I figured I wouldn't receive it back until at least yesterday, Monday! I was very happy and shockingly surprised that I received the visa after five days...5 days!! Whoa! So, after waiting a few days to mark off a few other things on my long todo list, my dad helped me make sure I had everything set for sending off my items to get my Togo visa last night. The Togo visa shows it takes three days...who knows! It could show up today!
Last week, I made some important purchases. After days, actually weeks of research from Amazon and Backwoods, and arguments with the madre of finding the most efficient, reliable, safe and purified water bottle, I finally found one!
Katadyn brand turns out to be just what I needed and had the best ratings and research results. Next up, Typhoid vaccine and Malarone pills. Boy, are these important, as well as very expensive! I did make sure to check a few pharmacies for these prescriptions, Goddard Pharmacy (for OU students and faculty) had the best prices. When choosing between the Typhoid immunization or the pills, I definitely chose the pills for two simple reasons. 1) With the shot, the vaccine only lasts for two years until you have to receive another if you go abroad again. With the pills, the vaccine lasts for five years. 2) Why on earth would I want to have another shot, after five already, when I can choose a pill?! ...Exactly. I will have to complete the Typhoid vaccination 10 days before my departure, taking a pill every other day & the pills must be refrigerated until all have been taken. So, there I must say, they are waiting in the frig until the week before I leave.
The malaria pills, Malarone, will be taken a couple days before I leave, through the trip and for a week after I return home.I was advised to make sure and to take this pill after eating a full meal. I'm assuming, if not, it can do some nasty things to the stomach and probably much more.
So, as far as the things I have left on the to-do list before I leave would be: making a long trip to Wal-Mart, wait for my Togo visa to return, wait for my ISC (International Student Card) to return, pack, and start my readings for the classes I will be taking while I'm there. Not much longer & am so stinking excited!