Monthly Archives: August 2010

Time for an update – 13 days to go ….

Ok, after a bit of a blogging/Burkina Faso preparation break while I had the lovely distraction of my parents visiting for 5 weeks, it is now time to return to getting oneself organised for departure. Now there are only 13 more sleeps to go, its starting to feel close …….

I am in absolute awe at the amount of preparation required for this trip, while I have lived in 2 other countries for a year or longer (Japan & Canada) the preparation for these was nothing in comparison to this voyage. I am discovering that going to one of the world’s poorest countries is in a whole new preparation league of its own.

However, on the preparation front, things do finally seem to be getting closer to all being done. All that is left to be done is (well at least all I think that is left to be done, as I am sure other things I have not though of will come to light in the coming days …)

  • Burkina Faso visas to arrive – the embassy website states that this will only take 48 hours to be issued, while I find this hard to believe I do hope they turn up soon.
  • Bank accounts, visa cards & general banking needs for the trip to be organised.
  • Sub-letter to be shown the particularities of the apartment.
  • Apply for an international drivers license – thankfully I can apply online for a New Zealand one.
  • Federal & provincial tax offices to notify.
  • Quebec health care system to notify.
  • Organise travel insurance.
  • Eat lots of spicy Thai, Malaysian & Indian food (I hear there are not too many spices or spicy foods available in Burkina Faso so I will make the most of my last days here) and fresh salads (for health reason I do not think these will make it to my plate very often for the next year either)
  • The odd 5 @ 7 (Happy Hour) or two and final catch up with friends before leaving.
  • And last but not least packing – I started this last weekend actually and have been trying to remove things from the pile each day, however on the odd occasion I seem to add to it as well ….

Things that are finished:

  • Benoit’s car and motorcycle are sold & bicycle lent out for the year.
  • The apartment is sub-let to a lovely German girl, Susanne, who will be working at McGill University for the year.
  • Air tickets purchased.
  • Vaccinations finished along with a reasonably successful trial of malaria medication (the only mild side-effects were a few vivid dreams)
  • Helmet purchased – surprisingly it was not that easy to find a CUSO-VSO regulation helmet (it needs to be white, full faced, valued less that $300 & purchased in Canada) in Montreal at this time of year.
  • Handed in my notice at work, I finish work on Thursday the 12th August.
  • Medical examination completed.
  • Dental examination completed.
  • Police check completed.