Several things had to get done or addressed before I could even go to Brazil. That list consisted of
- hair situation and the electricity/adaptor needs
- clothes and shoes
- getting donations ready
Once I could get that list completed I would be able to pack. To begin with a few days before the trip I called Emily and asked her about the electricity situation. Would there be a way for me to use my curling iron? I was fearful of having a bad hair day. My picture on this site is the REAL me. I use the curling iron daily. Emily said that using it might be iffy as the electricity might not be on all the time, there was only one plug and I would not have time to do all that. Most people just wore a hat or pulled hair back in a pony tail! CAN WE SAY FEAR AND TREPIDATION! (LOL) I would not be able to use my curling iron. I mentioned this to one of my friends and they said,”curling iron! You are going to the amazon!No-one is worrying about hair and makeup in the Amazon.” Well..no one but me! And Virginia!
I had to think of a plan “B” quick! What to do. I decided to get braids. I have never had braids before in my life. It was an ordeal and I was telling my cabin mates that I can’t wait to get home to get rid of them! They were what was needed for the trip. I did not have to worry about hair. Just the makeup! So this is me with my new look for the mission trip.
In regards to the clothes and shoes I was good with the shoes. I had a pair of waterproof Timberland hiking boots that I bought about 2 years ago that I knew I was taking for daily use. Have to be able to stomp those big bugs with something! In addition I found a pair of Keen sandals back in April …you know those trekking aquatic hiking sandals. They are really for river rafting and canoing . They were quite comfortable and I even showered with them on the first day. They were not the most attractive shoes in the world, but they were suited for the place I was going…the Amazon! These are my lovely keen sandals. I highly recommend them as they are very versatile and very comfortable with the hard plastic to protect the toes. You know you want some!
I had also bought a pair of those Merrell outdoor trekking/hiking shoes at the same time, but they were not as supportive as I would have liked, compared to my regular tennis shoes or my hiking books, so I opted to leave them at home. I had worn them the week before the trip to break them in so I could not take them back to the store. I will use them as they are comfortable.
In regards to clothes I did not have a lot of casual clothes to wear at all. I have just clothes for work so I really had to buy quite a few things to take with me. I started buying back in April a few things at a time from my favorite stores, Ross, T.J.Maxx and Marshalls . I found some great things on sale. I was done with all my actual clothes shopping by June. I had seen some shorts at Dick’s Sporting goods that I really wanted. They were made of the special fabric that wicked moisture away and had some SPF built in. I went there over and over hoping that they would go on sale. They NEVER did so I ended up getting them at full price. I bought 2 pairs a week before the trip. With that purchase there was nothing more that I needed. I was ready to just pack it all in the suitcase.
Donations for the Women and Children
The day before the trip I went to the dollar store and went shopping! I had decided that I would put together some women hygiene kits with everything they needed for bathing. For the kids one of the things on the list was candy and gum for treat bags, so I got some of that as well. The womens kits included 2 bars of soap, toothpaste, tooth brush, dental floss, a hair comb, a shower puff for bathing, 3 hair scrunches, shampoo, kleenex, 2 emory boards and body lotion. We were told to bring an extra suitcase full of just donations for the villagers of the Amazon. So that is what I did, I had the kits for the women, lots of candy and gum treat bags for the children and womens clothing.
The night before the trip my mother and I put together the kits and I finally packed it all up and went to bed! I would have to leave in the morning to drive seven hours to Florida to connect with the group going from the Presbyterian Church of Orlando.