Reflections from Istanbul (9.28.13)

Sitting in the Istanbul airport awaiting my third and final flight to Nairobi, I have a spare moment to reflect. The last few weeks have been spent pulling together all the little final threads to prepare for Kenya—malaria pills; new labels for the malaria pills as my name was spelled incorrectly; a yellow fever vaccination; a last refill of insulin, test strips and needles; ordering extra clothing- reordering, when some items didn’t fit as I wanted them to; finally receiving the backpack I had been waiting on, reminding my dad to bring home a green canvas sailing bag I planned to pack into that was on his jobsite; the constant organization and reorganization of a growing pile of items to take; buying Frisbees for the girls I will work with; sorting through board games from my youth to donate to the girls’ home; catching a coffee break, breakfast, lunch, dinner or walk with loved ones; finishing up my final summer job; washing the costume I wore at that job (a dirndl) and returning it to the restaurant… it was busy, to say the least.

 

But, here I am, sitting in a new country (alright, I won’t count it as “visited” yet as I don’t have the time to leave the airport, but it’s now on the “to-visit” list!), awaiting the final flight that will bring me to my home for the next 9 months. Getting through security with a lot of insulin and test strip supplies so far has been a breeze—I think my previous experience with travel helps this fluidity of taking out the laptop and insulin, shoes off, showing my pump before walking into the body scanner, being scanned, being pulled aside, then showing my pump, touching it with both hands, and my hands being wiped with a cloth that is then analyzed for any explosive materials. I will say I am worried about getting through Kenyan customs, and hoping that nothing gets taken out of my bags while out of my sight. I am sure it will make for an interesting post!! Some precautionary actions against things being taken out include placing copies of my doctors travel letter and prescriptions in each bag. Based on sheer quantity, I had to put the majority of my pump supplies, needles and extra meters in my checked luggage. I am carrying with me all my insulin and strips, my malaria pills, my thyroid medicine, and a meter—it makes for a somewhat bulky and hefty carryon! But, as I repackaged all my strips and pump supplies into gallon sized ziplock bags, my carryon is still within the limit! Ahhh, my flight is being called, so off I must go! Onward with this adventure!

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