Thursday, March 13, 2008

Top 10 Things Most Difficult to Leave Behind

I just got back from a long walk (trying to prep for Kilimanjaro) and along the way I started thinking about the items/things that will be most difficult to leave back here in the States. I'm assuming there will be things I don't realize I miss until I'm in Tanzania, but for now there are a few items that immediately come to mind...

1. Evan-- The boy is irreplaceable. Describing why I'll miss him or what I'll miss about him could be a post in and of itself. He's the love of my life. Enough with the cheese... moving on.
2. My family--Although none of us live in the same area (Fort Wayne, Williamsburg, L.A.) I talk to them at least once a day, typically via phone. Giving up those conversations will be hard. Thankfully Megan's a big talker and her parents will be visiting us for the last 2 weeks of our trip. A stand-in family never hurts. :)
3. The Internet-- We live in a technological age and I personally live with a very techno-savy boy. Shamefully, checking my e-mail is one of the first things I do every morning and one of the last things I do before going to bed. The Internet is a way for me to stay connected to my family and friends but also the greater world at large. Hopefully we'll be able to hit up a web-cafe every once in awhile.
4. Cell phone- I'm spoiled by my father in-law, Bob, who pays our cell phone bill through his company. Thus we get new phones every 2-3 years through his company plan. Since upgrading to the newest Sprint phone, I've taken full advantage of all of the gadgets that come with a "smart-phone," like playing Solitaire, checking e-mail, and bugging my sister since she's now on speed-dial. The plan is for Megan and I each to rent a cell phone in Dar Es Salaam and use it primarily for safety reasons in case we're separated.
5. My car-- I'll miss the freedom and mobility it provides. Without my car, I wouldn't be able to do nearly the amount of babysitting I've done over the years or visit my family as often as I do.
6. Fresh water-- I'm an avid water drinker. Having the ability to have purified water come straight from my tap is a luxury. Through some heavy reading, I've learned to drink only bottled water while in Tanzania. Thus, I'm stocking up on my favorite Sigg water bottles.
7. Gluten-free food-- Without access to gluten-free food, my pesky wheat allergy will rear it's ugly head... sore joints, bloating and all. Luckily most of the food staples in Tanzania are gluten-free, but I'm convinced that staying gluten-free is going to be a difficult task.
8. Chocolate-- My sweet tooth is horrendous. There isn't a day that goes by without snacking on some Nutella or ending the day with a bowl of chocolate Ice cream. Hopefully Megan and I will find some decent chocolates in our town of Arusha.
9. Books-- I'm an avid reader and without my library card, I'd be totally bored. Unless I'm absolutely exhausted, I read every night for about an hour before falling asleep. I'm already making a list of the three books I want to take with me, but secretly I'm hoping to hit up a Tanzanian bookstore.
10. TV-- Another shameful treat of mine. Since the writer's strike, I've cut my TV watching by half. I still avidly watch the Today Show in the mornings and Nightly News in the evenings, however. Going without access to the TV for 2 1/2 months will be interesting for the basic notion that I won't be caught up on all of the American drama... AKA: Who won Big Brother? How're the American Olympians doing? Which politician shot himself in the foot with such and such comment?