PRE-TRIP JOURNAL: MAY,
May 5, 1998: We Decided to Adopt
Well, the computer debate resolved itself. Actually, the computer found us. Good friends of ours, Linda and Kevin Cheung, found a great deal on the Libretto 50ct for us up in Northern California where they live. Kevin has been trying to convince me for about a year to buy this computer (because he secretly wants one himself!). A year ago it cost $1999. Last week he found it for $699. The catch? When he bought it, the computer only spoke Japanese! But, whiz that he is, he managed to get it in running order with American Windows 95 on it for us. However, the keyboard, still has Japanese and English characters. Also, this particular model did not come with a external disc drive, but we've decided that we should be able to make it without one. It has a modem and a 6 inch color screen. Updating the site should be no problem, providing we can get internet access. Many kudos and thanks to Kevin and Linda for all their help. You can check out their home page at http://www.dnai.com/~kevc
Here is a picture of our new "baby", weighing in at 1.87 lbs, measuring 8 1/4 x 4 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches:
For more info on the Libretto and how we do all this technical stuff, take a look at our technical page...
Our passports came in the mail last week, finally. They look different, updated, from our old ones. David looks like a member of the Russian Mafia in a beige turtleneck. I just look pale under the fluorescent lights.
I got a tetanus shot from my regular doctor during a scheduled visit, saving us some money from the travel clinic.
The planning process continues...we have three months
of desktop blotter sized calendar, stapled to a board, and covered with
plastic. This way we can write on it with a dry erase marker to help plan
the upcoming months.
May 18, 1998: Where to go?
I wish I could say that we've done more planning,
but the fact is work and everyday life are taking up all available time.
Right now we are trying to decide where to go first. Hawaii? Cooks Islands? Tahiti? Or straight to New Zealand? Tahiti may be out of our budget. Then we have to pick a safari before we leave. We want to avoid the heavily touristed areas of Kenya and Tanzania. What to do? Where to go?
May 25, 1998: Fear and Loathing in L.A.
Well, I woke up at 5 AM this morning with my heart pounding. And I thought to myself, "Am I having an anxiety attack, or did my cough medicine just stop working?" I figured it had to be a little of both. So, laying there, unable to fall back to sleep, I started thinking about my fears in relation to this trip. I realized that it all boils down to one thing, Fear of Being in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time.
Everyday life is scary enough (especially when you live in Los Angeles like I do), but add to it the stress and unknowns of a third world country and you have a full blown panic attack. If you get sick at home you may or may not go to the doctor. Even if you get food poisoning like I did recently, you don't really worry about it too much. But, if you're in Cambodia and you start vomiting and have diarrhea, you wonder, is it food poisoning that will go away on it's own, or do I have Malaria or some other weird parasite? If your appendix bursts here in the States you go to the hospital and have a relatively minor operation. If your appendix bursts in the African bush, it could be fatal. If you're in a car accident here an ambulance will come and whisk you away, increasing your chances for survival. If you're in a bus accident on a remote Indian road, you might die.
Ok, I'm not trying to be negative or paranoid here. If I were, I would never leave the house. But, these are all things to think about. It won't keep me home, but it may keep me up nights. I just mention all this to let you all out there know that I'm a little nervous about this whole thing, not just charging naively into the great unknown. Enough said.
We've decided to bypass Tahiti and go straight to Fiji. Tahiti seems geared to the package tourist and not much different than Hawaii. It's also way out of the budget. However I found a great web site on the internet that lists accommodations in Fiji. I double checked one that I liked in a guidebook and it seems like a great deal. About $40 a night for a bungalow on the beach. Nothing fancy, but it looks ok. We'll let you know.
David has his heart set on getting certified to Scuba dive. It appears that we can do this in about 4 days on Fiji, so that may become part of the plan.
In other news, I gave notice at work last week. I
feel like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Needless to
say, they were shocked, given that I've worked for the company for the
last seven years. Both David and I will finish working at the end of June.
We then have two months to go visit friends and family, and pack up everything
we own. We will also need to get various visas, the rest of our shots,
travelers medical insurance and many other things. I look forward to the