Africa on My Mind

Guinea West Africa InviteI’m totally freaking out. I have kind of a large friend group of West Africans from my stint at the circus, and tonight they invited me to Africa with them! At some point when I was working for the show in Dallas, they found out I liked to travel and asked if I had ever been to Africa. I have not. “When we go, you wanna come too?”

I said yes. But it was all very theoretical at the time. They had to wait for the ebola epidemic to clear up before they were allowed to go (or rather, before they’d be allowed to return), so I didn’t think too much more about it. Until last night, when I got the message… they’re going next week; they want me to come. Ack!

So, basically I didn’t sleep last night. My mind was doing acrobatics, flip flopping between what is sane and responsible and what is spontaneous and exciting. I couldn’t possibly get my ducks in a row to go to Africa by next week… could I? It would be irresponsible anyway. I don’t have that kind of money laying around. But when would I ever get another invite to go to Guinea? Answer: Probably never. Was it even possible?

So, the next morning, I get on the Googles, find the Guinea embassy Web page (which isn’t that great FYI) and make a detailed list of things that would need to happen to go to Africa next week. 1. Travel MD apt. 2. Yellow fever vaccine 3. Passport photos for Visa 4. Letter of intent for embassy 5. Overnight everything to DC and pay a ton to have it overnighted back 6. Buy electrical converter and a lot of bug spray 7. Figure out how much this is all going to cost 8. Break the news to parents.

To be honest, I haven’t fully recovered from my last trip. I could definitely go for another week or two of R & R, but this is Africa we’re talking about. I’m trying to talk myself out of going on this trip, but then my heart hurts. It’s like not going isn’t even an option. So, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and started the process. If I don’t start ticking boxes today, it’s not happening.

I started calling travel clinics for last minute appointments. I got my passport pics taken. I wrote a letter of intent (three whopping sentences), filled out the application, and literally had to chase after a UPS truck to make sure my stuff went out in today’s mail. And now, I wait.

And by wait, I mean obsessively hit refresh on the UPS tracking site to see where my Visa is and then manically look for discount flights. And then go back to the UPS site. Ugh! This is killing me.

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