I finally booked my ticket to Haiti. $596. December 26th to January 2nd. I’m not sure if that is a good price or not, but I do know I was looking at ticket prices all weekend and I was preparing to have to pay $780, so this is a win for me. My seat selections are somewhat questionable, and the airline I am flying is not my favorite. But, it is what it is. You do what you gotta do so you can do what you wanna do. /cliches.
I almost put the ticket on hold for 24 hours. Then I thought, no, go ahead and book it. I think my apprehension was due to my being a little scared and nervous about this trip. I guess for as long as I didn’t have a ticket, it wasn’t so….final? Even though I have been raising money for this trip, I may have had some slight denial in my mind. I do that from time to time. After I booked my flight, selected my seats on the plane, and filled out my passport info on my reservation, I started to get a little emotional. I wanted to cry and vomit at the same time. I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe it’s my nervousness as well as my excitement. I wasn’t nervous about this when I first signed up, but I guess as I keep reading the news and things in Haiti keep getting worse, I guess it creates more concern in me. But, I’ll be okay. If I lived in a vacuum I am sure I wouldn’t be nervous about this at all.
We have our final team prep meeting tomorrow night, where we will go over the logistics of our trip. This weekend I have another optometry clinic training to finish up. A few days before the trip we will have a packing party, where we will pack all of our extra luggage with materials we’re taking with us such as medical supplies and clothing donations for our patients, and medical textbooks for our Haitian team of doctors and med students.
I have been thinking over my personal game plan for preparation leading up to the trip. Luckily I have been making really good friends with people who are going on this trip with me. One of my favorite new people went in May with a team our group coordinated, so she gave me a rundown of what to expect and how to plan for it. We plan on taking some bottled water with us, as well as some powdered electrolytes in order to ensure we stay hydrated. Luckily we know a food scientist who can make us some flavored powered electrolytes (random, I know). Yum. We also have some military-strength bug spray to keep the bugs away. Bugs love me, especially mosquitoes, so of course I am wary about this.
We’ve been asked to pray for Haiti daily from now until our trip. I plan on fasting for the three days leading up to the trip, (three for the Trinity). Yes, this means I am fasting on Christmas. Who does this? Me, that’s who. It’s just how the calendar played out. I figure my Christmas is already “different” since I am stuck here in New York, away from my family. I once had a “Jewish Christmas” in Philly, having Chinese takeout for dinner, so a fasting Christmas won’t be so abnormal given my track record. I thought about fasting on the trip but I think it’s best for me to have as much energy as possible while there, so I nixed that idea.
Other than that, the next item on my checklist is figuring out how to get malaria pills with no health insurance. One of my friends said she didn’t get sick on the last trip and she was pretty up close and personal with most patients, more so than others on the trip. She said almost everyone else on her trip got sick though (including one person who got the mumps!). I need to get my immune system super charged up as these final few weeks play out. This means no junk, no booze (o, rly?), and just…focus.
I can’t tell you how much it has meant to interact with all of my donors. I have to get a final count but I think I may have something like 80 people who have donated to this cause for me. I have emailed them all individually and the responses I’ve received are so encouraging! Many of them are people I do not know personally, but they have given and sent words of encouragement and faith. I often go back to my inbox and re-read their messages because they keep me focused and encouraged. I’m so thankful for them.
Alright. This post is long enough. More later!