Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paper Weight

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.

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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.

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