To pack; packing; packed

All week, people have been greeting me with “so, are you all set for Uganda?”. Yesterday, I was at a meeting where several people I’d never met before asked me this by way of a greeting – I still had just under 48 hours until I needed to be at Heathrow, so as if I’d have put anything into an actual suitcase already! Obviously, lists had been made and (much) shopping had been done. I felt ready, even though the emptiness of my case might not show it.

But departure day is now tomorrow. I began packing last night, consulted my (extensive list) – I wouldn’t want to make any major packing errors of the ilk I made just a fortnight ago! Today involves a few last minute tasks like picking up new contact lenses and buying bubble mixture (I’ll explain later). Ultimately, all is good.

What Would Jesus Pack? My friend Johnny posted this on my Facebook wall earlier in the week.
My response was that the answer to that question was probably significantly less than what was on my list!

Thing is, this trip involves breaking or adapting most of my regular travelling rules. Usually I would be going offline, and wouldn’t dream of taking my Macbook with me. Obviously, given the aim of the trip, the Macbook is essential (though this would be another occasion on which an iPad would be ideal), as is getting plenty of time online telling people what I’m up to. My travel journal would be my main companion and would be dutifully completed each evening. This time, I’m taking a notebook but I suspect my journalling (as such) online and the notebook will be just that – a book for making notes in.

Oh, and I’ve also got a surge protector – which seems to have caused quite a bit of hilarity on Twitter. From people asking what one was, to some rather dodgy jokes about travel companions called Serge… [For the uninitiated, it’s something to plug electrical items into to protect them against sudden surges in the electrical current. Obviously.] The oddest item in my luggage is probably the door stop, but I’m told it’s an essential.

In 12 hours time I’ll be on the tube to Heathrow and the adventure will have begun. Well, perhaps the Piccadilly Line isn’t terribly adventurous, but the adventure begins tomorrow nonetheless. The aim is to be blogging each evening – but as we arrive at the airport around 11pm tomorrow, I doubt anything will be up before Monday. There is also Twitter (we’ll have Ugandan 3G sims), so if that’s your thing, you can also follow our progress there. If you’re a praying type, do bear us in mind – especially for safe travels, great experiences and good bonding as a team. Thank you!

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