Friday, June 27, 2008


I'm currently taking a quick break from packing to write this...I'm leaving for camp in the morning and should probably pack up my laptop at some point because I will be taking it with me this year. I decided to bring it because I will need to be able to more readily get internet access to check the news/be able to get e-mail from my study abroad program. They have 3 computers at camp for us to use, but one of them doesn't work, and it's hard to get on the computer because so many other people want to use them.

But anyway, most of my stuff is packed up. I'm just waiting on a few things that were in the laundry and such. I feel like I have a lot of stuff, which is true. But I feel like I have even more stuff than I usually do. I don't really know. I feel like there's a lot of stuff that you need at camp that you might not need when you're going other places. Like costumes, for example. I'm taking an entire box of costume stuff, many things courtesy of my frisbee team. But seriously though, you never know when these costumes might come in handy for various things. I have some stuff of my roommate's in the costume box as well, so I have lots of fun things. But you wouldn't necessarily need costumes on other trips or anything like that. Well, I guess I better get back to packing, so that I can get on the road early! Bye!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


So before I leave for South Africa, there are a certain vaccines and stuff that I'm supposed to have. I already had most of the required ones, except for the required weekly malaria medicine that I have to take (which I now have a prescription for from my doctor). But they also recommend getting vaccines for rabies and typhoid before going. You have to get them a certain amount of time before leaving, I guess so that they're already working properly by the time you get there. But the problem is that I'll be at camp during the times when I would need to get the vaccines, so I don't really know what to do. Also, you have to get 3 rounds of rabies shots. It all sounds like a lot, but I definitely think it's better to be safe than sorry. But still, I need to somehow figure out what exactly I'm going to do about getting these vaccines. Maybe my dad will know what to do.

Today I got an e-mail from my program that said to make sure I went over all the pre-departure information again. So I decided to take a look at it, and discovered that I have to read 4 books about South African history before I get there. And although I kinda wanted to read Nelson Mandela's autobiography anyway, it kinda stinks to have summer reading. Plus one of the books is over 600 pages. I'm not to excited about that one. The info also said that there's a limited amount of bandwidth at the school center, so we're limited to what websites we can use unless we go to internet cafe's and such. But then it warned against going to internet cafes and spending tons of time on the computer because they say you're not making the most of your time there, which is understandable. But still, I think it would be nice to have the blog to update people on where I am and what I'm doing. I mean I wasn't planning on making a ton of novel-length posts anyway. So even though they discourage it, I'm still going to try to update it every once in a while. Maybe I'll start a real journal or something for longer accounts of my travels and use this for shorter versions. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Student Visa

Hooray! I'm FINALLY finished acquiring all of my stuff for my student visa application! I sent all of my stuff via UPS this afternoon, and hopefully it won't take too long to get my passport/visa back. I'm not really worried about not getting it in time because they said as long as you send it at least one month before you leave, you should be okay. So with 2 months to go before I leave, I should be fine! I the cost of shipping it was a little ridiculous. If I wanted to get it there before 5:00 on Thursday, it was gonna be like $15, but I asked for something cheaper, and having it delivered most likely by Friday, possibly Monday, it was only $7. I clearly chose the $7 option. One more day isn't gonna make that much of a difference. Anyway, I'm glad I've gotten that out of the way. Soon I'll be ready to go!

I sort of started getting ready for camp today, and by sort of I mean that I got my camp bedding out of the basement and that's it...I'm such a procrastinator. Oh well. I say that getting the application mailed was a big enough accomplishment for the day. I always have so much stuff that I take to camp and never end up using, but you never know what you might need when you get there, so I feel that it's always better to have everything I think I could possibly need. I remember my first year of camp, I had my trunk packed for like a month before I actually went to camp. Now I generally wait until the last minute, i.e. the night before. I'm pretty good at remembering everything I need though, so it works out. Besides, if you pack too early in advance, you have no clothes to wear because they're all in your trunk packed tight. Well I supposed I should go and start figuring out which shirts to bring and such. Bye!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Well, although it is a bit early to be starting this, I decided I might as well prepare my blog for my semester in South Africa! I really can't wait until I go! I think it will be an amazing experience! My program is based in Durban, which is on the eastern coast of the country in Kwa-Zulu Natal. However, I will be traveling to other places including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, the Umfolozi game reserves, and some rural areas as well. Right now, however, I'm still working on applying for my student visa. There's all sorts of things I've had to get for my application, like police clearance and proof that I don't have tuberculosis. It's a bit of a hassle, but understandable why they require it(well, at least the police clearance...). I also have to get a bunch of shots (typhoid, rabies, etc) and take anti-malaria medicine. But I think it will definitely be worth it!

On Saturday, I'm leaving for one of my favorite places! My camp in North Carolina! This year is my 10th summer there, and I really can't believe it. I feel pretty old. I even remember after my first summer there plotting out the years until I got the coveted 10-year ring. It's a little surreal, I think. But I figured if I started updating my blog on a fairly regular basis before I left for South Africa, I would be better at updating it while I get there. Anyway, I'm gonna go now because I'm hungry and I need to figure out what my family is going to do for dinner. Bye!