Plans finally in the works

So, we had a lot of delays with securing travel dates. A lot. We were given dates weeks ago, but were told while they would not likely change, they were not official. Thanks, that’s helpful. So we waited and waited. Nothing. Then we gave ourselves a deadline, which was last Wednesday. If we heard of no changes by Wednesday, we would just book the trip.

Tuesday night, I get an email from D. There’s been some restructuring in his office, he would be reporting to someone new. And working with new people. Which meant his dates could possibly change, and he wouldn’t know for a few days. Stalled again. We discussed asking for a delay, as reservation possibilities were getting tight. But in the end we stuck to our guns. Sunday night, we got our confirmation. And then the real planning began.

I have booked our tickets – most of them anyway – and am finalizing safari and hotel bookings. So exciting. Also in contact with a few volunteer organizations. The ones I most want to work with are fully booked, or in some cases shut down during my available dates. But there are still a few interesting options out there, and I will have some tough decisions to make in the coming days.

I am pleased to at least be getting very positive feedback from the aid organizations. Two have been replying with other options, or wondering if my dates are set in stone, as they would “love to work with me.” I don’t have any overseas experience, but at least I can apply with a decent resume: co-op & non-profit experience, community education experience, and completing a Masters in Adult Ed and Community Development. I certainly hoped this would make a difference, but was worried the lack of experience would hurt.

On the frugal side: I managed to save $600 on my return flight to Dubai, and about $100 on our flights to the Seychelles. Which is good because I discovered my original budget included only one flight to the Seychelles, not two. So my bargain hunting has saved me from my poor planning. Sigh.

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