This is it. It's official. I have the ticket in my grubby little paws. I am going to Kenya.
Now all I have to do is decide what to take and how to pack it. I am not going to make the same mistake as on previous trips. I always take too many clothes. I am not alone there, am I? We all do it. But I know that it will always be warm - especially by my standards (i.e. better than 18°C), so I don't need any warm clothing, other than the fleece I will be wearing to get there.
So, how many shirts? Three? Four? Five? One on me, one in the wash, one drying - three. Simples.
Trousers? Two, plus jeans and shorts.
And a hat. I don't have natural head protection (any more)!
Hey, this is easy! Well, that bit was. But now it gets more complicated. The technology.
I have available 1 digital camera, one analogue camcorder, two Canon EOS bodies (film) (but only one lens), and a Pentax ME Super with 80-200mm. This last would be acceptable if I were going game hunting, which I am not - well, probably not.
So, digital camera and camcorder, spare batteries and chargers (and tapes for the camcorder). I will forget the film cameras. But I'll take my lightweight tripod.
Laptop. Of course I will have to take the laptop. How else will I blog and Twitter when I am out there? Then, card readers and USB cables, etc.
Toys, clothes and books - not for me, for the kids at Kisii. I have been given a load of both. These need sorting out and only the things I know will be used - and things that are not too heavy.
The other mistake I made was taking a large suitcase that was very unwieldy. I need one that is more square, preferably on wheels. £14.99 at the local InStore.
I will take my small back pack as hand luggage. It is big enough for my laptop and digital camera, and my fleece once I get to Nairobi, as well as duty-free and other bits and bobs needed for the journey.
Sorted, isn't it?
The one thing I am really not looking forward to is the shuttle from Nairobi to Kisii. I have now done two return trips, so I know what to expect, six hours of sitting cramped in a 12-seater minibus travelling down barely made up roads. In fact after Narok, the road is atrocious. We stop in Narok for a nature break and a cuppa and that is the only (scheduled) stop, unless we go off the road, or crash.
I had always taken the back seats. I don't know why, but thinking about it, these seats are over the rear axle, so every bump is transmitted through the seat and up my spine.
This time, I am going to get a seat between the axles. I am sure the comfort difference will be marginal, but believe me, any improvement will be most welcome.
Once in Kisii, transport will be on foot or by matatu. There are no tuk-tuks as the roads are too steep - unless we can beg or borrow a car - or even hire one for the days we want to go further than the town centre, or carry loads to the shamba.
So, that's sorted. Simples!