The last few days have been very productive days for me, which is good since I have only 16 more days until the big adventure.  I was able to mail my visa application to the Tanzanian embassy, which is great.  My only concern is that I need it processed and back to me in about 12 working days (I cut it close to the wire), but I am optimistic it will be ok.  I also shipped my boxes to Mama Grace, so my clothes and basic needs are on there way to Tanzania.  Again, I am also optimistic on this and hope that they make it there ok.  I went to the bank with my dad and had him added to my bank account as a secondary account holder.  I finished my last and final grad school class and cleared out everything at school that was mine.  I made my final payments for my tour through Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.  I booked a hostel to stay at for the first few days in am in Bali, and I started to read a blog about a young man who is walking across America for the year on $3,000 (  Although this blog was not related directly to my trip it did help me to see that although I might not have all the money I was hoping, if he can live in America for a year on $3,000, I can live in 3rd world countries for a year on $5,000.  So now more stress just positive thoughts (:

As things are getting closer and I am also starting to say final good byes to friends and family.  Which makes it seem more real that I will be leaving for 13 months- Yikes!  But it is also super exciting.  I cannot wait for the big adventure.  Anyone in the Chicago land area, I am having a going away party June 24th from 7-10pm at  CubbyBear North in Lincolnshire.   Come out and have a good time if you are in the area.

This week I have also firmed up some plans for my New Zealand trip! My cousin Mae and her husband Mark are in New Zealand and our my first stop.  I am super excited because in talking to them I learned they are planning a 4th of July celebration party the weekend I get there.  It should be alot of fun.  I also talked to them about the idea of renting an RV and driving around the southern island of New Zealand.  It is making me more and more excited.   So as things get closer to my departure I will keep you posted of what is to come.

This week I will be spending with my parents in Wisconsin where I plan to do some whitewater rafting or kayaking.  My goal is to read a book, relax with my parents, have a mini adventure, and practice my speech for the NEA Convention I am speaking at on June 30th.  All in all a good week planned.

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