Well, it’s time we updated you on the progress of the planning for our Niger trip.
We’re down to only 4 more needles - one for each of the kids, and a second flu shot for Tommy. Those will be an early Christmas present for them, only 2 days before Christmas.
The kids and Lynette hopped in and out of the photo booth at Wal-Mart this week, so now we have enough passport-sized photos to send off our Niger visa applications. It’s a really easy form (check it out here), but you have to fill it in in triplicate and send along 3 photos (and $83 each). Last year, they had them back to us in 3 days, so we’re hoping they can be quick again.
Just in case we go missing, you can use these photos to identify us to authorities:
I think that if we look this good or alert after flying overnight, living in the Frankfurt airport for 15 hours and then flying overnight again, they might not let us in the country.
We have plane tickets! And a full credit card to go with them. After a month of watching and waiting for fuel surcharges to drop with the price of oil (they haven’t yet), we broke down and paid for our tickets. We leave Jan 25.
For the flying geeks out there (there were some last year – Kelly V!), we fly YQR – YYC – FRA – CMN – NIM, and then NIM – CMN – FRA – YYZ – YQR. For the uninitiated, that’s Regina – Calgary – Frankfurt – Casablanca – Niamey, with Toronto replacing Calgary on the return. A bunch of these are overnight or middle of the night flights, so we should arrive completely messed up when it comes to the clock. Plus, we’ve learned that 2:40 am departures are normal in Africa because that’s when the air is coolest, and apparently cool air provides more lift than hot air.
So if you’re ever on a plane and the pilot offers to take off when it’s +50 degrees Celsius outside, suggest you wait until after dark. Now if only Regina could translate cold temperatures into more daytime flights in the winter.
Thank you to those of you who have made a contribution to SIM in support of our projects. About 20% of the costs are now covered, and we can’t thank you enough for your support. And the Canada Revenue Agency will thank you too – use the receipt you’ll receive in the new year to get 44% back from the government!