May 16, 2008

5/16/08 Kansas City, MO - USA

I'm sure a lot of you are wondering "Just when is Jim leaving for Canada?" Well, I fly to Vancouver on Saturday, June 7th and should arrive just after lunch. I'll be meeting Mike (from Perth, Australia) and his brother George (from Sacramento) at the Pacific Spirit Hostel. And then if all goes well, we should head out first thing Sunday morning to begin our adventure across Canada.

But, then I'm sure a few of your are scratching your heads saying "But what about Mongolia?" Yes, I am also packing for Mongolia too. Kind of stressful if you really want to know. The plan is to finish the bike trip, hopefully reaching Halifax, about August 23rd. After flying back home to KC, I will only have a week before I fly out to Mongolia (via Chicago and Seoul Korea). I am to begin teaching on Monday, September 8th.

So, I really have to have most everything done for both trips before I leave in three weeks. Yikes! So much to do, so many things to buy and order, so many people to say goodbye to, so many favorite restaurants to sample one more time, and so little time. [smile]

I thought I would begin a daily update for you (and me too) of what I'm doing to get ready and what still needs to be done, and maybe just a note about other stuff happening. For example:

Yesterday I got my drivers license renewed. Actually it doesn't expire till February, but since I won't be here, I didn't want it to expire requiring me to retake the driving tests again once I return. The problem is that at the DMV, the computer system won't let you renew too early. After consultation with the head supervisor, the clerk was able to 'trick' the system into letting me renew. But I had to sign a sworn statement saying that I would be out of the country and unable to renew in February.

One of my better drivers license pictures

Other things I've had to do is get more shots. Luckily for me, I had quite a few immunizations 20 years ago when I went to Kenya and those are still good. At the KC Health Dept, I was able to get another typhoid shot and a new tetanus shot called T-Dap which is a once-lifetime shot replacing the 10-year tetanus shots. I'm glad it was only two shots because it cost $120. Ouch, in more ways than one!

The other thing that I've been doing since December, is follow blogs/journals of others either in Mongolia or, more recently, those heading out to the Land of Ghengis Khan like me. I wish I could write half as well as these good folks. Here are a few links in case you would like to judge for yourself.

Advance Humanity by Travis
And So It Begins... by Trinh
Leslie & Nathan in Mongolia
Long Songs by Faye & Ben

Well, that's all for today. Enough I think. [smile]