Thursday, February 02, 2006

It Not As Simple As You Might think

If you've ever planned and taken a trip to Africa, you can stop reading now, because you can already testify to the truth of this post. If you haven't planned a trip to Africa, allow me to let you in on a little secret: It's complicated.

Today I sent in my visa application for Ghana. Ghana requires FOUR duplicate applications plus about a hundred bucks for a multiple entry visa. The form itself is complicated as well, requiring 2 addresses of contacts in Ghana, proof of return ticket, proof of "sufficient" funds (what does that mean anyway?), and a letter from your employer stating that you will be returning to your job after your trip. Like I was planning on setting up a bootlegging operation in Accra or something.

The Togo application is less complicated, requiring only 3 duplicate applications, but it costs the same, and it looks like a 12 year old laid it out. Come to think of it, it seems just like something that would come out of Africa...

I also went to the doctor today to get my malaria meds. I have to take them everyday beginning 2 days before my trip and continuing 7 days after my trip. They also give you wierd and vivid dreams, and I'm still trying to decide if this is a good thing or not.

A week ago, I finally got my plane ticket, but that was after hours and hours of searching, calling, emailing, and being frustrated. I got a great deal at $1,150, but that is mostly because it is the off-season for flights to Europe.

And then there's the time off from school. What's a good way to ask your principal for 4 days off, days that are bumped up against your school's Spring Break? Answer: There is no good way, you just have to do it. Thank God I work for a bunch of Christians who are behind our plans 100%.

So if you want to plan a trip to Africa, think twice about it, and then call me. I've earned some lumps that can help you out...

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