My last post about the progress of my India preparations was written amidst my coffee hiatus. I will try to bring you up to speed from there.
I am glad to report that my kidneys are being damaged by coffee again on a daily basis. After a week of 3 urinalyses, the doctor felt certain that I was fine and signed off on my physical. I am scarred by the experience, but steadily recovering.
Last month I visited the local health clinic to mooch off the government and get as many of these shots for free as possible. I scored. After only thirty minutes, I walked out having had 4 shots (Tetanus, Meningitis, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B) and with very little pain.
Last week I visited the Baylor Travel Medicine clinic in Houston (not free!) where the Travel Nurse was quite effective in convincing my mom that I would catch Malaria. No, she wasn't that bad, but it doesn't take much to worry dear mom. I left that lovely office (it was quite nice) with only two puncture wounds (Polio, and Hepatitis A/B combined for comfort).
I am now through being poked by needles. I expected the count to be much higher, but counting the aforementioned shots, TB skin test, and blood work, I was only damaged eight times. It would have been more had I not elected to not get the Rabies pre-exposure series or the Japanese Encephalitis shot and not chosen to take Typhoid orally. The point is: other than a dentist appointment, I'm done with all things medical regarding India.
The other aspects of preparation have been quite humbling. After feeling pretty confident about where some funds were going to come from last month, I was quite shocked to see it didn't come so easily. After a fair amount of panic, I found that everything worked out and came from unexpected places. I think to fully appreciate people's generosity, I had to be beaten down a bit and learn a little patience.
The other disaster was the visa. Quite the piece of work that visa. After getting my passport rushed back in May, I was feeling productive and decided to go ahead and apply for my one year visa. Mistake. You see, my visa came back with "Date of Expiry: 18-JUN-2009" written so gently upon it. Like a thief in the night. It appear the year I'm allowed doesn't begin upon arrival. Oh, no; the expiration is one year from the date the visa is processed. Seeing as I am not planning on leaving India until ??-AUG-2009, we had a problem. The only solution, pay even more money to replace it with a 5 year visa. So, now I have my visa ready to go and I can even visit India again before 02-JUL-2013 if I see fit. It all worked out, just not as I intended. Such a tricky one, that God.
So, where are we now? Well, it seems I've gotten all my paperwork in to the PC(USA) and just need to focus on reading and packing for the next 6 weeks. I'd like to point out that it hasn't really hit me yet that I'll be moving to the other side of the world in the time that it takes elementary students to get their next report cards.
However, I am leaving tomorrow for what I'm calling the Farewell Tour. I'll be visiting various friends and mentors in Dallas, Winnsboro, Junction, and Kerrville over the next couple weeks. Should be fun!