Africa 2017

Africa 2017

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Preparing for our journey to Tanzania

     It is less than a week from our departure to Tanzania.  The excitement of this adventure caught up with me in the last month as I eyed my closet of what I would and should bring along.  Then again, the reality hit with the emails from the Big Five Travel of our itinerary.  Seeing the photos from the links of where we shall be staying at best made me pause to wonder that I would really be going to Africa.  I suppose anyone who knows me has thought that the chance of me being on a Safari to Africa would be quite low on my bucket list.  Little do they know me.....

      Okay.  It would be dishonest of me to say that I didn't wonder what possessed me to agree to go to a place that by all accounts is outside my comfort zone.  Camping?  Not it's called Glamping because there will be a big cozy bed inside a thin walled canvas tent and there will be a real toilet and a sink with water.  Hhhhmmm....last time I camped it was in a tiny tent with a sleeping bag on the ground that was prepared with a layer of pine needles below to soften the surface.  No toilet except the one outside aways from where we held camp and certainly no sink with water.

     Previous camp experience also remembers a bear snuffling and sniffing outside our tent while I tried to not think about the call of nature I was feeling in my bladder but decided I was NOT stepping outside anytime soon while something bigger and wild was roaming in the campground.  Oh two of our Glamping camps the animals are allowed to roam freely around us.  And just how will I feel when I look out and see zebras or even elephants strolling by?  Ha!  I'll get back to you on this one.

     I take preparation for trips seriously.  I study and read reviews and hem and haw over everything.   My dear husband packs a day before and is not in the least bit concerned if he might forget something.  But this is a long, long ways from home or a convenient shopping center, nor can I do Amazon Prime while I'm away.  Thank goodness for Amazon Prime!  This is a journey of thoughtful necessities because one needs to travel light.

     Now a really important part of traveling to exotic locations is vaccinations and what is needed and required.  I knew enough about this because husband and son traveled to Tanzania and Kenya 4 years ago.  They didn't seem to have any problems with their vaccinations except for sore arms for several days.   We made our appointment with the Travel Clinic and I checked in with the local pharmacy for an update of DTP.  I had my flu shot in the Fall thus I did not need to add this to the multitude of shots to come.   Lucky husband didn't need much but an update of the Typhoid shot.  I needed Typhoid, and Hepatitis A.  I was told I didn't need Yellow Fever due to it not being an issue in the area of Tanzania we were going so I passed that one up.  I shall sing strong praises for the Travel Doctor because I barely was sore from the shots days later.

     Then I started worrying, which is never good, about maybe I should have gotten the Yellow Fever shot.  It may not be required for Tanzania but, if for some rare reason we had to land elsewhere from where we were to land it could cause a problem with not having the Yellow Fever vaccination on my paperwork.  I could actually be denied entry if we landed elsewhere in Africa and then landed in Arusha where we are suppose to land.  That's all it takes for me.  And lets face it, travel these days is not always smooth.  I scheduled my appointment for the shot and it wouldn't happen till two weeks before our departure.  Then the day before I was to go the Doctor was ill and next opportunity would be the week before our departure.  Okay.  At least I'll get it done.

     The shot goes in the back side of your upper arm.  Different.  A most peculiar feeling when the vaccine hits the body.  I've had that with many flu shots but it quickly dissipates.  The Yellow Fever shot sends a feeling that I can describe as being juiced up on caffeine.  Or maybe I was just nervous getting the shot.  Regardless I left the office and went home to an afternoon of watching a movie and ironing.  Nothing taxing.  Then I began having a mild headache that while annoying didn't affect me at the time.  Another hour or so I felt my neck was a bit achy and I still had the mild headache.  Just great and I hope this doesn't last long.  By late afternoon I'd taken some ibuprofen to see if that makes this a tad better.  My next symptom was fair more annoying.  Fatigue and intestinal cramping.  This only got worse as the evening went on till finally after dinner I needed to take a bath which I hoped would make me feel better.  I tried to stay up but eventually I crawled into bed and prayed I wouldn't get worse.  Apparently you can get flu like symptoms and I suppose this is just what was happening.  I couldn't believe how fatigued I felt and the cramps would come and go till unwelcome as it was, I had the trots.  After that I lay in bed till sleep finally came and hoped in the morning I felt back to myself.

     Morning came but my energy was flat.  I managed to get up and have some oatmeal then back to bed.  And that was my morning, flat in the bed with the occasional cramping and fatigue.  Just after noontime I made myself get up and take a shower hoping this would help.  I did feel a bit more energized.   The next day I felt good thankfully.  Then today I was fine till mid afternoon when I felt fatigued once more.  Really?  And this is how I begin my blogging before our upcoming trip.  Sitting on the sofa with the pup who will be left behind for 17 days, sipping some mint tea, and resting as I look at the lovely blue sky outside.