I have officially finished student teaching and the spring semester of my last year in graduate school.  (YAY!).  BUT. I still have two classes to take this summer.  Otherwise, I think I would be traveling the world with Kerri :).  My classes end on July 29th and I will spend the month of August tying up loose ends and visiting with friends and family before heading to Tanzania to meet Kerri in September.  I cannot believe it's nearly June and the trip I've been dreaming about for the last year is almost here!

Turns out, I need to get there first.  I am still in need of an airline ticket, which might sound last minute, but I need to wait until fares are published for the summer of 2012 before purchasing.  If I bought my ticket now and planned to change my date of return when I arrived in Tanzania, I would have to pay a fee to the airline, which I am trying to avoid.  Saving to live for a whole year without working is hard enough,  I don't want to give any more of my money to the airline.  Unless of course, that money is going towards a flight to Zanzibar, or somewhere else beautiful and beach-y.

After I purchase my ticket, I will send my passport off to the Tanzanian embassy in New York to receive a travel visa.  The passport will be accompanied by a letter from Mama Grace, EdPowerment's in-country director, that vouches for us for the year.  We have never had trouble getting visas before, so we're hoping this time is no different.

Outside of the official preparation for actually traveling to, and gaining admittance into Tanzania, I still have a lot on my to-do list.  As graduate school slows down and I have time to actually think about leaving the country for a year, I realize I have a lot to do!  Not only do I need to pack enough clothes to get me through a boiling hot "winter", the monsoons of the rainy season, and a temperate "summer", but I also need to move out of my apartment, store and organize my belongings (in my parent's basement...thank you mom and dad), and say goodbye to family and friends.  I still have a few months to accomplish everything, but I feel like I should get on it. 

Regardless of the work that will go into preparing for this trip, I am ecstatic that it is happening.  I am so glad that Kerri and I are fortunate enough to have the time and resources to dedicate a year of our lives to build up a program that is so important to the both of us.  It's going to be an amazing journey.  

Check back for more updates as I get on leavingtheunitedstatesfortanzaniaforayear.

I am currently in the middle of finishing student teaching and wrapping up my masters program.  I will not set out on my adventure until September, but stay posted I will be updating my blog a few months before I set off.