Less than 2 days and counting…A little fear…A lot of excitement…

Everything I own, except six pairs of shoes in a smaller bag, to be sucked into the Space bags.
A pile of clothes I’m offering to Lisa, owner of the house.  If they don’t fit or she doesn’t want them, perhaps she’ll give them to someone else.  It no longer bothers me to get rid of my stuff.  Bye, stuff!

A flutter of excitement began to waft over me this morning, as I ran from room to room, gathering, sorting, and planning. We’re on the move. In less than two days we’ll be out the door on three travel days to Africa, in itself a daunting task.

As a young girl I dreamed of Africa and now as a grown woman in my “golden years” I finally have the opportunity to fulfill that dream. Yes, it is wrought with some degree of fear. It’s all a part of the excitement.

Without a doubt, the flies will be chasing me longing for a morsel of my flesh, the mosquitos will be dining on our blood and, a wide array of dangerous and not-so-dangerous insects at times will run past our feet or across the bed at night. I read somewhere to pull down the sheets at night to inspect the bottom sheet for crawling things before climbing into bed. I’ve done that every night here in Tuscany.

The heat will be unbearable (we’ll be in Africa during their spring and summer), especially with no air conditioning, the dripping humidity, and rampant storms at times unpredictable.

We have no delusions. We go with our eyes wide open. In reality, living in the bug-infested, hot, humid mountains of Tuscany without air conditioning, without screens, and without overhead fans in the midst of summer was good practice. Adapting with modifications. Coins hanging in plastic bags over doorways. A floor fan. Keeping doors closed when a flying thing is buzzing inside. We figured it out.

For now, our thoughts center around safely arriving at our new home in Diani Beach, Kenya, where the hardships may or may not be considerably less than when three months later we head to Marloth Park, Kruger Park, South Africa, far from civilization, among the wildlife we so much anticipate.

We’re no worse for the wear. In our old lives, we turned on the AC in late May, never turning it off until September.  We rationalized it as hay fever prevention, mosquito reduction, and better for health, to be comfortable, to be cool.   

Little did we realize how willing, we both were for a change! Sure, we whined, mostly here to our readers, but less to one another, determined to maintain an air of acceptance and contentment between us. It’s worked.

In only a few days, we’ll have a four-hour layover between flights in Istanbul, Turkey, next door to Syria. Watching the news by the hour, we’re hopeful, if there is US involvement, it will wait until we safely reach our new home in Kenya. 

A few days ago, when Tom mentioned that our flight path from Istanbul will be in the flight path of military planes and missiles, making their way to intervene, I immediately brought up Google Maps to see the proximity to Istanbul, cringing at the result.

It was only three months ago that we were concerned about going out and about in Istanbul, ending up safely taking an excursion to Ephesus to see the ruins.  And now, once again we feel a bit of angst heading onto a four-hour layover and subsequent six-hour flight that passes through Turkey, so close to the war zone.

Trying to put such thoughts out of our minds is not possible. It helps to keep us on our toes, staying observant for possible risks, holding close our belongings, hanging close together, checking most of our bags. Once we’re settled, we’ll be at ease.

The packing continues, bit by bit.  My piles of clothing are neatly arranged, the vitamins packed out of sight, and nothing that would raise inquiry is in our carry on bags. Tom will pack today. Learning lessons from past experiences, we travel lighter, with no items drawing any attention to us in any way.  How we’ve learned! 

Thanks to Lisa and Luca, a very special couple, who’ve worked so hard to ensure our stay in their 300-year-old stone house a memorable experience who both focused on making our comfort and convenience their utmost concern.

Sunday morning, September 1st,  we’ll leave early for the half-day drive to Venice.  Once we arrive, we’ll post our arrival and any photos we’ve managed to take along the way. 

Monday morning, September 2nd, we’ll board the plane for the first of three flights to Kenya, arriving at 3:00 am on Tuesday. You won’t hear from us again, other than Sunday from Venice, until after we’re settled at our new home, late in the day on Tuesday. Most likely we’ll try to sleep for a few hours upon arrival. 

The time difference from Kenya to Minnesota, USA is eight hours, to Los Angeles, ten hours, to Boston, seven hours. 

Thus, we’ll be back on Sunday, in your inbox, or available by our link before midday.  See you then!

P.S.  Tom watched the Viking game this morning at 7:00 am. Now, the commercials are back in with the black screen during the time slot. The last box of the prescriptions did not arrive and we’ll notify the online pharmacy later today. We were able to keep the rental car for the duration. Santina is here as I write this, for the last time. It will be sad to say goodbye to this lovely woman. We agreed upon a generous, well-deserved tip.  Grazie, Santina!