Yesterday marked one, short week until leave for, first, Philadelphia, and then, Ethiopia. I like lists and lists are what saved me when preparing and packing. About two months ago I made a list of all the things I needed and wanted to do before I left, Seth's List (named for a friend who suggested this). In addition, I had shorter lists for every day tasks, several packing lists, lists of things I needed to buy, lists of things I wanted to buy, and lists of reminders for packing specifications and such. Though it may seem overwhelming, it was somehow calming to keep checking off things from each list. research Ethiopia, check. Practice Amharic and fidel (the alphabet), check. Go contra dancing with my parents, check. Eat at an Ethiopian restaurant, check. Go ice skating, get insurance, buy Ethiopian books, update blog, clean off computer, get new music, take old clothes to Goodwill, ask endless questions of everyone I can, spend quality time with friends and family, check. Pack, check (well, mostly). Only a few, lonely things still need to be checked off my list, which hopefully will easily get done in the next six days.
I'm ready to go. It is a little bit scary that I won't see my family and friends, my beautiful hollar, my wonderful waterbed for a long time, but I'm excited, really excited.