As I near the time of my departure, I feel surprisingly calm. I packed everything I wanted into my two suitcases today. The weight limit of 80 pounds for checked bags is generous considering I plan to bring one of these suitcases as a carry-on only.
Realistically, however, anything close to an 80 pound bag is impossible-- I learned this morning while trying to carry a 60 pound suitcase down a flight of stairs. In case I had to check both of my bags, I had planned that the two of them together should weigh less than 80 pounds. When I stepped off the scale with the two bags, subtracting my own weight from the result, I was shocked to learn that I had packed 89 pounds.
I usually travel light. What went wrong this time? Where had I overindulged?
Paper. It was paper. So after I unloaded some of the books, legal pads, and notebooks out of the larger bag, my bags weigh about 75 pounds. Still pretty heavy, but that's what the wheels are for.
In a few hours, I will fly to Philadelphia for staging. In staging, I will meet other volunteers, get some shots, and attend some orientation/training events. The next day, we're on a bus to JFK from which we will fly to Rwanda overnight.