Thursday 6 September 2012

Come journey with me - Ethiopia, Part 2

Not for years has my head been quite so full and buzzing.  I am flying by on excitement and adrenaline at the moment as I get ready for my trip to Ethiopia in October. This planning stage and anticipation of what I might see, what may happen and how my world view might be changed is pretty all-encompassing.  As I mentioned previously I want to invite you to travel this journey with me start to finish, so here is an update of the last week or so.

As someone who likes to be organised I have been chomping at the bit waiting for an itinerary and my flight details, so I was super pleased when I got confirmation of my flights about a week ago.  The really good news is that I need to be at Heathrow at a decent hour and therefore dh and my kids can drop me there.  I think that will be great as long as the kids and I can manage to part ways without any tears.  It will certainly be nicer to travel there by car than train or bus. Coming back is a different story and I think I will be getting the bus back home but dh will give me an orientation of Heathrow when he drops me off so I am prepared.

Having my flight times also means that my Visa can get sorted and that is another worry off my mind.  I filled out the form and sent my passport/ photos off to ONE in London and they are sorting this for me which is just great and I really appreciate all their organisation and management.

Another thing that had to be done in good time before my trip was to sort out my vaccinations and to make sure I am as prepared as can be health wise. Last Tuesday saw me having 3 jabs and receiving a prescription for malaria tablets, not the cheapest thing to have done but I am sure it will be well worth it. I am pleased to report that apart from a bit of an achy arm and headache I have not suffered any other symptoms and I pray I do not have the side effects that the malaria tablets can give.

I think I can now safely say that I have finished my shopping for the trip, over the summer holidays whilst I have had time on my hands I have been picking up all the necessary bits and pieces.  I am now stocked with long cotton trousers, shirts and sensible shoes.  Lucky my birthday was in August and I could ask for things as presents or my pocket would have been a bit dented. Hotter Shoes have been super and offered me a pair of Leanne trainers to wear out there and Pink Lining have sent me the most divine cabin luggage.  I’ll be blogging about their products another time to say thanks very much and to share with you how they stand up to the challenge of travelling to Ethiopia with me.

Then lastly I have been researching and finding out a bit more about Ethiopia. I am lucky enough to have a friend who worked with Tearfund in Kenya for 4 weeks and another who worked for World Vision in Ethiopia and both these ladies are offering me invaluable advice. I also plan to have a chat with Chris from Thinly Spread soon to see what blogger specific tips and advice she can give me.
I am looking forward to trying an Ethiopian speciality food - injura, a spongy pancake type flat bread that my friend tells me is served with most everything and wot a spicy stew. Another highlight of my trip (apparently) will be joining in with some Ethiopian dancing.  Oh no I am told the locals will not be content for us to watch and whilst the dancing, which mainly consists of shoulder movements looks very easy, apparently it is not quite so but they will be happy as long as I try it enthusiastically! Oh joy!

So that is about it, bringing us right up to date. There are now 30 sleeps until I travel and I expect the next month to be full of last minute preparations and mild panic!  Only kidding.  Or maybe not, I wrote this post Tuesday and then on Wednesday found out the courier company have lost my passport while delivering it to get my visa done! Let operation replacement passport commence...


I am linking this post up as my Reasons to be Cheerful entry for this week. The host this week is Maria over at Tiger Tales. Write your post, head over to Tiger Tales to link up and leave some comment love and then wait for some lovely people to come and visit you too. Tweet with #R2BC as well if you fancy. A big thanks to Angie for hosting last week.  As of next week #R2BC is back home with me.

Many of you will know I have been following a letter prompt each week on Reasons to be Cheerful and this week is 'O', so I am listing this under October and Opportunity - as in a big amazing fat opportunity!

Image source

If you think others will enjoy taking this journey with me, then please share this and my other ONE Ethiopia posts and don't forget to sign up to ONE and offer your voice. I am taking this journey with Jennifer Howze of BritMums, so do follow her journey too and follow #ONEMoms on Twitter.

From 6th October I'll be travelling with a group of 11 other inspirational Mums and Moms to Ethiopia as part of an expense paid trip courtesy of the ONE Campaign. Our trip is about success – Living Proof -- of what is working and why it is important that we continue to support projects that are making a huge, measurable difference for less than one percent of the entire US budget. It is about letting more people know what a tremendous difference the US and UK are making in the lives of millions around the world.  And it is about adding thousands more voices to those already letting their elected officials know they support these life-saving programs.
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