Monday, December 2, 2013

Airports and packing and towels ...oh my!

We can now officially say that we leave next week, which suddenly makes our trip VERY real! We just had our final conference call this evening with our participants, going over travel schedules, packing, and other details. Discussing these logistics seemed to make everything come to life in a different way.  Instead of talking about clothes & gear we might want to take, we are making final decisions on what we will be bringing along. These things we've been pondering for months are now choices we will make in the next 10 days...and everyone is very ready!

Some of us have been doing a "dry run" of packing to figure out what we are taking along, what we will leave home, and just how much stuff can fit into a suitcase that will be under the 50 pound checked baggage weight limit!  We have a diversity of experiences and places in store on this exchange so we have to be prepared for many circumstances.

Here's a quick pic of what my packing "staging area" looks like in the guest room of our house:

From running shoes to sunscreen, host family gifts to sundresses, we need to be ready for it all! For example, we will be with host families most of our stay so very casual clothing (shorts & skirts, t-shirts, sandals & flip flops, etc.) are going to be appropriate. However, in the Samoan capital city of Apia we need to be dressed professionally for visits at the embassy and with other officials. Also, we have learned that during our home stays we will be expected to wear all white on Sundays for church services. So it becomes a bit complicated to make sure we aren't overloaded, but are truly prepared, for all of the experiences we have ahead.

One quick, interesting note:
You'll notice in the picture I'm packing a towel or two. We've learned that in Samoa we shouldn't come to expect towels to be provided for us, even in hotels. It's a personal item that people bring with them, and so we too will bring our own towels on our travels. It's the small and seemingly insignificant cultural differences like this that make me so excited and so fascinated by the millions of "a-ha!" moments that are in store for us on this trip.

Fingers crossed this will all fit in my backpack ... and I'll have the strength to lift said backpack ... as we prepare to leave in just a little over 10 days!

No comments:

Post a Comment