Estamos en camino!! We are on our way!!

Oh Em Gee! I know. . .I can’t help but gush right now. It is REALLY happening!

I apologize for the silence leading up to now. You must understand that planning this trip at the same time I am preparing for my PhD candidacy preliminary exam has been torture. But right now, it totally feels worth it!

To update you on happenings and emotions, check out some journal entries from Christina leading to TODAY:

Journal 4 
Last week on Wednesday, I had my doctor’s appointment. I woke up feeling uneasy because I have never had to go to the doctor’s to take a trip. I was told to get anti-malarials and a ‘cipro’ antibiotic (stomach meds), plus a checkup to make sure I’m as healthy as I feel. After dropping my daughter off at school, I head over to the doctors office. I am the first person in there. I do all the normal things — co-payment, tell them what I’m there for, and what I want. They call me up and ask me, “Am I only there to get prescriptions?” and I said, “No, I would like a check-up as well, but I’m mainly here for the prescriptions.” Then they told me that my doctor will not prescribe the anti-malarial meds. Huh?!?! I didn’t understand why. I’m going out of the country and the place that I am traveling to has malaria. . .sooooooo. . . why don’t you want to protect my health?? I asked about the antibiotic and they told me that they didn’t know if he will prescribe that either. What the hell is the point of seeing him if I don’t know for sure that he will prescribe me these NECESSARY meds. I was so upset I canceled the appointment before seeing him AND asked for my $20 co-payment back (the struggle is real!). They gave me the money back, but too bad the story doesn’t end there. They advised me to go to Walgreens because they have “travel clinics” that can give me the prescriptions. So I left and went straight there. The Walgreen’s pharmacist told me that they can’t give me meds without a prescription from my doctor (DUH!). I asked about the “travel clinic” and they said that THEY ARE ONLY ON THE EAST COAST. #I’mDone I was so mad because I was already feeling like I was getting the run around. I called the doctor’s office back and told them what happened. They proceeded to give me a number to the “health department” and said that they will give me the pills. Too bad the “health department”  was more like “health inspections” as I was informed that they only do kitchens inspections. -________- I was so furious. But I couldn’t help but laugh a little at this run around and I not being able to get these meds. I called the doctor’s office back AGAIN pretty much to tell them about their nonsense goose chase they sent me on. The nurse apologized and told me that she would call me back with other numbers that I could call. I just said nevermind. I was so pissed all I could do is work out. That morning was a disaster. And I couldn’t believe the sh!t that I had to go through to TRY and get the prescriptions for my trip. At this point all I can do is pray I don’t get eaten by mosquitos.

Journal 5

D. R. Trip

Woke up this morning and realized I have 4 days until take off. I am so excited, scared, overjoyed, nervous — just a bottle of mixed emotions. There are a few things that I still need to get for my trip that I am taking care of little by little. The one things that scares me the most is leaving my daughter for a week. I have NEVER been away from her for that long and that truly terrifies me. It is going to break my heart to see the look on her face when I leave. Just thinking about it brings tears to me eyes. But, I will be leaving her my laptop so that we can Skype everyday that I am away. Not only is leaving going to be so hard for me, it’s going to especially be hard on her as well because she won’t be able to call me freely. I have never been unreachable. I will only be able to login to skype when I have internet access and most likely I will not have internet when I’m out on adventures. BUT even though we will Skype everyday that still won’t be enough for the both of us. I will miss hugging her, kissing her, laughing with her, playing with her, just everything about her she is my other half, she completes ME. I know my little one will be safe because she has the best grandparents and that gives me a peace of mind. But for my daughter there is nothing like her MOM so I hope my daughter will be fine without me.

Another thought that crossed my mind and tied up my stomach was flying into international zones. What is it gonna feel like??? Is it gonna feel like anything??? I feel like I am flying to Jupiter or something. I am gonna be on a plane FOREVER. I know I have flown across the country before, but I had a stop in between, so I have never flown 4-5 hours straight. What have I got myself into?? But I know it will all be worth it. An adventure for myself is an opportunity I have NEVER had. I know this trip will be life-changing, giving me a new confidence in myself and capabilities. This is something I will be able to pass on to my daughter, which makes me want to do it even more. I am beyond thankful to InsertVerbHere! Wow. . .4 days!!!

©2013 by Ayana Martin

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Tick Tock. . .

We are embarking on the first Insert(VERB)Here organized trip in less than 3 weeks! The official FundRazr has ended and I am ecstatic about the turn out! We raised $571 because of YOU!! This may not have been 100%, but it made a significant dent! YOU raised enough to cover the cost of our lodging and 2 activities for Christina. YOU ROCK!!

Updates on the trip:

  1. All flights have been booked. Adventure begins on Day 1 of the trip. Christina is flying to Puerto Plata on her own and must navigate her way out of the airport. This may sound like a small task, but in Christina’s eyes it’s HUGE. She has to figure out where to get her tourist visa, how to get through customs, and find baggage claim. . .in a foreign language! Considering it’s an airport, there should be some bilingual people around to help her out – she just needs the confidence to ask for help 😉 You’d be surprised how many people are afraid of that simple task!
  2. The apartment is booked! We will be staying at SunCamp DR in the village of Munoz, right outside the city. Here we will spend time with the community members. Our volunteer activities include teaching arts&crafts, science, and playing sports (per our specialties).
  3. Christina has begun to journal about her feelings leading up to the trip! Check out her thoughts:

“It. . .is getting. . .real. I am extremely excited to go and experience this new adventure. However, with that excitement I have fears: boarding my first international flight, expecting the unexpected, the language barrier that I will encounter, and being away from from my daughter and family – OUT OF THE COUNTRY – for this length of time. But I won’t let these fears stop me from experiencing the amazing things that I know are coming.

I was recently updated today with the next thing that I have to do: make a doctor’s appointment and get a few prescriptions. I need to get an anti-malarial and cipro antibiotic. So, today I made that appointment with doctor. However, when I read the email for my next step I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was like, “I have to do WHAT to go out of the country??? NO WAY! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” I couldn’t help thinking, “what am I getting myself into. . .this is crazy.” I have never had to do that the few times I have traveled through the United States. Anti-malarial meds are some serious meds and this scares me to think that I am going to a country where I can get malaria and I have to take preventatives for like 7 or so weeks. I can understand the cipro antibiotic because that is for traveler’s upset stomach. With the food (and standards) being different it makes sense to have the medication on hand. My doctor’s appointment is in 4 days….and just the thought of it makes my stomach turn more and more because that confirms that things are starting to become real.

With that going on in my head, I have also been visually and mentally packing and deciding what clothes, bathing suits, shoes, and jewelry to bring. Not to mention how am I going to do my hair (because I will need to change it up on the regular! #style). I realize I’m going to need to do some shopping for myself…*oh yes*. When I get paid, I hardly ever spend more on myself since I have to take care of my daughter. So it’s nice to be forced to focus on me a little more and what I will need to have for this trip. *Excitement*

I am extremely thankful for InsertVerbHere for making this trip possible. Dominican Republic, in exactly 3 weeks I will boarding my flight and on my way to check you out!”

©2013 by Ayana Martin