Sunday, May 4, 2008

Passports, Shots, Cars....Oh My!

Lots of things going on....the count down will begin shortly. I have to make my final travel arrangements very soon. Things are starting to get serious....I'M MOVING TO AFRICA!!

Last week, I received my Diplomatic Passport. That's really a big event. The cover is black and for some reason that change of color really puts things into perspective. I'm going to be a diplomat. No, I won't be an Ambassador, but in my own way, I will be promoting and representing the policies and practices of the United States. When I got the new passport, the thing I thought of is....If terrorists take over the plane, I will hide my black passport and hand them my tourist passport. No sense in letting them know I am an official U.S. government employee. Hey, I've seen the movies.

After the thrill of the Dip Passport (that's what State Department employees call it), I got to visit the travel clinic and, you guessed it....find out what immunizations I need for Africa. Basically, it would be a shorter list if I told you what I don't need! So far I got: polio booster, tetanus booster, Hep A (first of 3), and yellow fever. For those of you wanna be physicians, you might be interested to know that yellow fever is a live vaccine. They have to mix it up and administer it within the hour or else it won't work. We can only go Fridays at 1:30 to get this shot. Well, I had to leave class to get the shot and you would have thought I threatened national security for all the trouble I got into for missing class. So not only do both my arms hurt, but the teacher yelled at me! (You all know what a trouble maker I am.....) So after all that trauma, I called a quick wine/cheese party after class at my house. I'm like McGuiver in the kitchen when it comes to parties. I just started opening cabinets, cutting veggies, pouring chips, opening wine, and viola it's party time! I think my classmates also needed an excuse to unwind.

* * * * *CAR UPDATE* * * * * * *

I finally bought a car yesterday. Well, I don't actually have the car yet, but it's coming. I bought a 1996 Toyota 4x4, 170,000 miles, sunroof, cd, radio, ipod adaptor, 4 fairly new tires, and a high performance engine and exhaust system. It's red with cloth interior. It will do nicely for Africa and I only paid $4,000. It's sort of like my Avalon, only all terrain. I will try and attach a picture. I found the PERFECT car and was just about to make an offer when the owner told me it had sold for CASH about an hour after I drove it. Bummer. I was sad for a while, but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

Here's a quick list of the aftermarket modifications:- After market radio, with upgraded speakers all around and amplifier under driver seat.- Installed TRD (Toyota Racing Development) exhaust system- K&N air intake- Throttle body spacer (similar to )- Heavy duty shocks- New front rotors- Custom wheels (chrome and heavier duty than original wheels)- Switched to Mobil 1 Synthetic 10W-30 motor oil around 120k miles ago (btw, it is not recommended going back to regular/non-synthetic can damage the engine)

That's about all for now. I should be leaving for Africa the end of May. Will send exact details when I make them.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world,
Becky Boo

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