Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thoughts on Safe and Happy Travel

As we wait with expectant hope for our court date before the closure this is the time to prepare for safe and enjoyable travel. This will be the third major trip our family has taken outside the United States where a great deal of precaution and planning must occur if safety and health are to be maintained. Some areas I will focus on to equip us for a successful trip will include proper clothing(minimal amount with maximal usage)and footwear, food and water safety, medications, camera and laptop equipment, and preparations for a long plane flight. Unlike our other two adoptions where all of our kids accompanied us on our trips abroad, this time we will bring only two of our children. Our thirteen year old boy and fourteen year old girl are coming along to welcome our newest family members and help with bonding.
When packing each traveler will only take one carry-on suitcase and a backpack for incidentals. Since this is a quick trip(one week) clothing should be at a minimum so that most of the carry-on can be left available for new clothes for Baby M and Beautiful E as well as gifts for caregivers. I will bring Forever New (a travel laundry soap) for washing clothes in the sink. In case you might wonder if taking only carry-on suitcases will be enough room for all we need in Ethiopia... we accomplished this for both our two week trips to China and carry-on and one backpack. Rolling clothes into "tootsie rolls" and squeezing them into one gallon Ziploc bags works great!
Bringing much of our food along with us rather than eating out saves money and the stomach. Dehydrated camping meals, Lipton's Cup-O-Noodles, Oatmeal packets, power bars, peanut butter, crackers, tuna packets, dried fruit, Chrystal Lite, and other foods of this kind can be life savers. We also have a water filter that is very compact and is Army tested for extra precaution. I brought this to China and even though I boiled all our water in a hot pot I still filtered our water we used for food and tea and not one of us got sick that two weeks. Many others on our trip had trouble. Taking cool showers so your pores are not open to bacteria and not allowing your face to get into the water prevents waterborne illnesses. Of course bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth is a must. If you forget and dip your toothbrush into the sink water boil it or you'll be sorry.

Another area I took extra time planning out was what medications should I bring. I packed a little of everything for our family from Benadryl to Tums to Band aids. For our baby in China I brought a prescription of Antibiotics(which we used). The Scabies medication we brought along not only got rid of our baby's problem, but since I was the only one to bring it I was able to share with the group and about six or seven other children found instant relief. What a blessing good planning can be. Lice medication was brought to both China and Russia and was not necessary to use but I was glad I brought it just in case.
Camera equipment of course with video capability is mandatory. Our laptop can show movies so we will pack a few it a flat storage case. That make the plane ride easier for the kids in case the airline movie is inappropriate. It also give the kids an option in the room since we are not big TV fans.
The last thing we will bring on this trip to Ethiopia is an attitude of gratefulness and humility. Gratefulness to God and to the Ethiopian people that they will allow us to adopt two of their precious children.And a humbleness that comes from knowing that as this country gives up these children we are the ones who receive the unmerited blessings. It is truly God's grace in action.


The Gillman Family said...

What great tips!!! I am taking notes now :) ET will be our first out of country experience so we have a lot to learn. Thanks for sharing - it's great advice.
Kim (YG)

Clayton & Amber said...

I just want you to know that your blog has been such a rich blessing for me! I have followed your family for a long time and I am so thankful to God that He has given to precious children a family such as yours. I am praying for a court miracle!
Amber Jones (YG)

Dietrich & Amy Lusse said...

Opps! I don't know how I missed reading all your latest blog entries!!! This was great! I'm laying here in bed with the laptop (on my "lap" of course) on this fateful Monday that we got Duni's email! :) You have been a tremendous encouragement to me!
With love,