Thursday, April 28, 2016

Adventures Await!

The other night, I dreamed that I was on an airplane over the Pacific and I couldn't figure out what time it was in my destination time zone. Horror of horrors—I couldn’t figure out how to properly adjust my sleep cycle!

I leave Papua New Guinea (PNG) for my home assignment in the US in just a few short days. The departure seems both surreal (can I REALLY trust that there are doctors and ambulances and 24-hour pharmacies available, and I don’t have to bring all my medicines?) and amazingly concrete (all the boxes and bags scattered around my room might have something to do with that.)

It’s exciting when it dawns on me that I don’t have to double-pack everything into ziplocs and dry bags (no dinghy rides for us!), or when I discover that my family’s cell phone numbers are the same as they were a few years ago (ours seem to change every few months or year here in PNG). I’ve gathered up my currencies for four countries and voiced my disgust at the inhospitable US money... (Why we can’t be like enlightened countries that use different color, logical size progression (corresponding to monetary value), distinguishable coins, clear artistic designs, large numbers, and waterproof materials, I have no idea.)
Then there’s the great weight versus volume challenge as I creatively pack my bags so that I not only meet weight restrictions, but also so the many different Customs agents can examine what they need to without ripping the whole thing to shreds AND so that I still have my clothes and necessities if my checked bags are lost over the Pacific (all the while trying to figure out the least number of clothes to bring that are appropriate for four countries, five cultures, seven flights, eight climates, and ten days of travel!).

Sometimes I think the packing and preparation for departure is just as adventurous as the travel itself! While part of me would like to share something deep and profound about the transition, my mind is rather filled with printing itineraries, rechecking lodging, taking care of horses and assisting in last-minute equine surgery, dealing with work permits and visas, doing bucket-loads of laundry, and a whole mountain of last minute tasks. So instead, I’ll just say, see you on the other side!