Preparing for this trip has been exciting and very time consuming. The list of things to do goes on and on, but I think I've made a lot of headway and am beginning to feel like I'm ready. I've had my shots, invested in Immodium and Cipro, gotten my visa, registered with the US State Department and bought some cool travel clothes that are wrinkle resistant, insect proof and very comfortable. I've managed to put together an array of travel accesories that includes an alarm clock that doubles as a nite lite, a leatherman knife (on loan from Max), a snazzy mini flashlite and all sorts of hand sanitizers and medical kit supplies. On the technology front, I'm fully loaded with digital camera batteries, compact flash cards and a flashy orange external hard drive. What's left to do? I have to insure all my stuff and get medivac insurance, as well. I have to firm up the project I'm going to work on (more on that later.) I need to get to the bank and put together a few NEW $50 and $100 bills - something to do with a forgery scam... money exchangers in Uganda actually pay a lower exchange rate for bills minted prior to 2000. Last but not least, I need to clear off my lap top hard drive to make room for all the new pictures I'll be taking!
There are twenty people who have signed up for the workshop, which was declared full a couple of months ago. There was so much interest in this that the Maine Photography Workshop is considering offering another Ugandan journey in the spring. The class roster includes photographers, filmmakers, art teachers, art directors, graphic designers and artists. They come from England, Canada, Germany, Guatemala and the US. Our instructors are Thatcher Cook, a photographer and world relief specialist who hails from Maine - this will be his second season in Uganda - and Bill Megalos, an LA based documentary filmmaker and NGO specialist, who also teaches film at USC.
We'll be based in Kampala. I'll have a cell phone that should come in handy in case of emergencies. I can give the number to those of you who'd like it later on. Of course, I'll be checking my e-mail, so please write.
I will use this blog as a place to record my thoughts as I get ready to leave, but most important as a journal once I'm in Africa. I will try to figure out how to include photos, too.
If any of you have been to Africa - and I know you're out there - please send me any travel tips you might want to share.