Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Preparing for Staging!

So of course the ONE day that I don't check my email in the morning is the day that I get my Staging email! I can't believe its really happening! Staging for my group will be in Washington D.C. on September 24th. Staging is essentially where they collect all the volunteers in the same group from all over the country and brief us really fast, then we fly together to Ukraine on September 25th.

Right after I read my Staging email, I tried to call the travel agency to book my flights right away but I totally forgot about the time difference... so the travel agency office is based on the east coast and they were already closed for the day, epic fail for trying to call the east coast from California.

I went shopping and ran errands with my mom earlier this morning, I was going to start getting some stuff from my Packing List like long underwear and waterproof Merrell boots. I didn't realize long underwear was so expensive! I guess its expensive because its a technical fabric and they have to weave extra stuff into the fibers for insulation and wicking away sweat etc (thank you to my polymer, textile and fiber engineering intro class for turning me into a fabric nerd). I read on the little sign by the shelf of long underwear that the current record for wearing that brand of long underwear without changing was 132 consecutive days! That sounds disgusting... the sign also claimed that the fabric doesn't smell either but I somehow highly doubt that those clothes don't smell after 132 days.

I finally got a stainless steel water bottle and I'm super excited about it... its so shiny! Stainless steel is like the "new" thing when it comes to crunchy waterbottles for hiking/camping and stuff since aluminum bottles tend to dent and the unbreakable polycarbonate Nalgene waterbottles are quickly becoming classics. Then I thought maybe I should have gotten the insulated stainless steel bottle, since boiling hot water poured into a stainless steel bottle will still be boiling hot. I might need to get a kozy for this bottle so I don't burn myself when I try to make tea to go!

I bought a nice Columbia Windrunner roller duffel bag for my 2nd bag to bring to Ukraine. I wanted a duffel bag because since they don't have a hard frame, they're lighter than suitcases. But this one still has a boxy shape to it and is really light, so it will work well. The only thing wrong with it is that it is red and black, ewww. I may be out of Tech but I still hate buying things that are UGA colors haha.

I also got this fluffy purple Sierra Designs Diamond Spring 30 degree down sleeping bag. It rolls up pretty small and weighs only 2 lbs, 3 oz. Its very purple but its got a cute flowered pattern on the teal fabric inside. The sales associate was pretty excited about selling us this bag and it might be more than what I need since its for 30 degrees - I don't plan on sleeping outdoors anywhere (I certainly hope its not 30 degrees inside homes in Ukraine!), but I think he just wanted to make his commission on this sale. And the sleeping bag is cozy and fluffy and makes me feel like I'm in a cocoon, hopefully I will get some good use out of it during the Ukrainian winters.

So I've got to call the travel agency again tomorrow to book my flights, since I missed their business hours already today. Maybe I can get them to book me with a connection through Atlanta, that way I could say hi to a few friends during a quick layover :)


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