We had our first big snowfall of the year this weekend here in Southern Ontario, and with that, I am so happy to be leaving in 3 short weeks. Yesterday was freezing and I am already living again in my furry hat. It won't come off until I step foot in the Toronto Airport. No wait, I will probably wear it on the plane, because I am always cold! Bring on the Sudanese Desert, I am ready to bake.
After literally one of the busiest weeks of my entire life, the time has finally come…we are officially moved out of our place.
It is Sunday evening and I am so relieved to have most of our loose ends tied up. Dave had a high school reunion on Friday and what a great way to start the holiday season catching up with old friends. It is almost too bad that we are leaving now that he has re-connected with his best childhood friend Avian. But thank God for the internet he can keep in touch all the way through Africa.
So here is a recap of the last week or so.
Things have been out of control.Between packing, moving, working, training and finishing up taxes and book keeping we didn't have a spare second to chill out. There are some great movies out there that I am itching to see before we leave!
Most of our bike parts have arrived, and with the exception of our wide tires from Schwalbe and our solar charger, everything is snuggly packed into our bike boxes. Looking great, but we have no idea how we are going to get the bikes from the bike shop to my brothers house. I don't think that those boxes will fit in the back of our car. Looks like we may be barreling down the 401 with two giant cardboard boxes strapped to the roof of our car. Can you say Chevy Chase's “Vacation?” I now understand why it is a good idea to take the driver service that The Tour d'Afrique offers in Cairo. I don't think that any taxi would be very thrilled to pick up two people with Giant boxes and backpacks in tow.
With other news, our Sudan Visa's arrived safely, and in typical Dave and Deb fashion, it didn't come easy. Yes, we sent them off nice and early, as soon as we received the accompanying letter from the Tour. But a couple of days later we received another letter from the Tour telling us to include it as well with our application. One problem, we already sent our application. No worries though, we will send it off with a letter explaining the situation. Great! All is well….until I get a call from the Sudan Embassy telling me that I sent the wrong amount of money. I managed to send the the fee for the Ethiopian Visa. It is $103 for a Sudan Visa and only $29 for the Ethiopian Visa. Not even close. They were very polite though and graciously asked me to please send a money order for Dave and myself for a total of $206, they would send my $60 cash back to me. (I sent $30 each and assumed that they would give me the$2 change) I was sure that they were going to deny my Visa application for the simple fact of just being too stupid to enter the country. Lucky for me the Visa's arrived safe and sound and the Ethiopian Visa's are already sent off.
We have now set up shop for the next couple of weeks at Greg and Jody's and we have taken over their spare bedroom with 2 backpacks, two suitcases, computer bags, carry on bags, a giant monitor and various other items that we are going to be needing for the next month. I feel more cluttered than ever and I know I am going to drive Dave crazy, but we have to downsize, fast.
In the meantime, 3 weeks left of work and Dave has started another quick 2 week movie. As much as the past couple of months have flown by, I think that December is going to crawl. It is funny, many people have asked me if I am excited or nervous or anything and all I can say is that I am tired and busy. I have work to be done, appointments to be kept, bills to pay and people to see. How do I have the time to think about a trip away when I have to make sure that my life runs smoothly while I am gone? I am looking forward to the moment when I do feel excited. Right now it doesn't even seem real that I will be in Cairo in less than 30 days!