Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Guatemala Checklist

Or Things I've already done to get ready and still need to do and am so excited about it all I can hardly contain myself so I'd better make a list before I forget!

Already Done
Airplane ticket. Check. Purchased back in February and modified two weeks ago when I realized that United Airlines really wasn't kidding when they said they expected me to take a little commuter plane from Santa Ana to LAX then get on the real plane to fly from LAX to La Aurora International Airport. Why, oh why, United Airlines, would I want to drive 40 miles out of my way to get on a wee plane to fly to the airport that I asked for when trying to book online?

Shoes. Check. One pair of hiking boots, an inexpensive pair of tennis shoes and some flip flops.

Backpack Check. Purchased last week at the local Army/Navy surplus store for only $40. Internal frame, lots of space, already filled with stuff I plan on taking that I don't wear in normal life.

Clothes. Check. Four pair of cargo pants and one pair of speciality hiking pants that are supposed to wick moisture away. Wick wick wick wick. Yes, I bought new clothes for the trip because I wanted things that are lightweight that I don't care about getting dirty, etc., since I anticpate some rolling around in dirt whilst digging. Yes, it's making Linda and Cim crazy that I haven't been buying "girly" clothes. Linda said to me the other day, "I'll be glad when the Guatemala years are over so you can buy girly things again."

Portable Shower. Check. This is encouraged for each person because apparently the showers won't be available in the afternoons when we get back from work. Fill the 5 gallon shower thingy up with water before leaving in the morning, let the sun do its thing, then have a nice warm shower in the afternoon.

Lightweight towel. Check. This looks like one of the towels divers use in competition when they just get out of the pool. I hope it's enough. Maybe I should bring something else too? I'll have to ponder that.

Sunscreen. Check. For face and body.

Base tan. Check. Well, almost check. As much of a base tan as a whitey like me can be expected to have. I've actually been going to a tanning booth for a couple of months. (Don't hurt me, Qwendy!) Apparently, "base tan" for me means "more freckles."

Sleeping bag. Check. Not because I'll need it to keep warm, but because they recommend it for padding. Sounds like a camp cot situation. My back will be so pleased. I just need to remember to get it out of the garage. The sleeping bag, not my back.

Pillow. Check. It's one of those small, squooshy ones.

Cameras. Check. One digital, one 35mm, one video.

Camera bag for all three cameras. Check.

Hotel reservations. Check. For the extra two days I'm staying to do some sightseeing on my own.

Water carrier. Check. I got one of those camel back thingies that holds 1.5 liters. Should be enough to get me through a work day. I hope.

Bag to carry things that's not a backpack. Check. I didn't want a backpack because that just makes me hot and sweaty on my back, plus I've already got the whole camelback thing. I wanted a shoulder bag that would hold my things for a day out in the field and not be too bulky. I just love the local Army/Navy surplus store!

Sundry items. Check. Including anti-bacterial wipes, first aid kit, extra aspirin, spray-on bandages, blister prevention stuff, baby powder, travel size shampoo et al bottles, etc. Need to make sure the first aid kit has everything in it I need. (See below).

Laundry soap. Check. Got three mini boxes last night out of the vending machine at my local landermat.

Immunizations. Check. I've already gotten shots for Hepatitis A, polio, and typhoid. I just got a tetanus shot last year, so that's up to date.

Things I Still Need to Get/Remember to Bring

Small pillowcase for small squooshy pillow.

Toilet paper. While I have toilet paper, I just need to remember to bring a few rolls.

Mint Chocolate Pria bars. I imagine these will come in handy.

Local Currency. I have a call into the local Thomas Cook store now to see if they need to order me some Guatemalan money, I think it's called quetzals, or if they have some on hand.

Cell phone -- will it work internationally, or do I leave it at home? I imagine it'll be the latter option.

Palm Pilot. Much lighter than a laptop, yet will enable me to keep good notes of my trip. I have one of those cool foldable keyboards for it. I already have one, I just need to remember to pack it.

Palm Pilot charger.

Film. Just in case a video camera and digital camera aren't enough, I'm bringing my 35mm camera also.

Mailing labels. To send postcards to people while I'm there without needing to rely on memorizing addresses or carrying an address book with me. Of course I'll have my Palm with me, but labels will be easier.

A book to read on the airplane. Don't know yet which one, but it must be a paperback and long so as to keep me occupied.

Need to make hotel reservations for the day I get in. My flight arrives at 4:00 in the morning or something nasty like that, and our group isn't meeting until 2:00 in the afternoon, and I don't want to just hang out at the airport that whole time.

Electricity conversion thingy. Need to find out what type to get. Which leads to....

Decide if I should bring a curling iron and blow dryer or not. My hair is straight and flat without them, which may be just fine. But will I be able to live with myself??? That's the burning question. Yes, I'm that vain.

I need to read the books on Maya civilizations that are on the recommended reading list that I bought months ago but haven't really cracked open yet because I prefer fiction to non-fiction.

Malaria prophylatic. Get your mind out of the gutter. That's what they call it in the medical field. It means "protection against," in case you were wondering. And I need to start taking it two weeks before I leave (today!) and once each week while I'm down there, and after I get back.

Immodium A-D. Must. Get. This.

Pack bathing suit and shorts.

Socks. Of the wicking variety. Wick wick wick wick.

Waterproof my hiking boots.

Pack triangular bandages.

Pack butterfly bandages. Cim says I need these because I'm a cutter. Not an intentional cutter, just an accidental, klutzy person when wielding a knife or any other sharp instruments.

Pen and paper.

Man oh man. Maybe I'm not as together as I thought I was. I've got some shopping to do!

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