With the new year, I can finally say "this year I'm going on safari" and now I can even say "next month I'm going on safari". When I go back to work tomorrow I'll officially be in the 30s in my countdown. Phew. The last few months have flown. But I know that January and the little bit of February I have to wait through can be cruel.
Since I last wrote I did indeed splurge on a new camera. This one is crazy expensive but I didn't trust my Nikon anymore and wanted a significant enough upgrade without going full-on DSLR. I wanted a DSLR but I just don't want to deal with changing lenses in the dustiest of all dust conditions. So I have spent some significant time learning how to use this camera, including another class at Hunt's Photo where I bought it. I feel good about it. I know I can't buy myself better photos, but I think putting some time and attention into this camera will pay off.
To that end, I then had to get a battery charger, spare batteries and a bunch of memory cards. I got the battery charger, a battery and a couple memory cards for Christmas, and topped that off with a well-placed Amazon order. As of right now, I'm going with four batteries and seven memory cards. I'm considering shooting RAW and JPEG this time, which may mean needing more memory cards. The jury is still out on that decision though.
I also ordered my roll-on insect repellant and have my eye on a new Tilley hat. I can't count the number of hats I've bought and not worn, but maybe this time will be different. We'll see.
I applied for and got my Kenyan visa already. I applied late on December 22nd and it was in my email on Christmas morning. I wish the Rwandan visa were that easy. So far I've submitted a rudimentary form and got a confirmation number and that's it. Strange. I'd really like to get them both ahead of time just not to worry about them when we get there.
My trainer has been great about preparing me for hiking in Rwanda. The only real way to prepare is to actually hike but given the weather here, I'm instead spending hours on the step mill and doing a lot of lower body and core strength work. And I'm starting to wear my hiking boots everywhere to break them in. The altitude is something I can't prepare for.
All that is really left is getting my prescriptions refilled for anti-malarial, Cipro and Ambien. Then it's truly over but the waiting and the packing.
With it being the dead of winter here, there is the worrying about getting sick and freakish winter storms stranding me here. I hold my breath until I get to the airport and actually depart. But this time it's more critical that I stay healthy as I cannot be sick and expose the gorillas to my illness. So I'll be starting up a heavy dose of probiotic and Emergen-C in late January. And hold my breath just about everywhere I go between now and then.