What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Productively unfulfilled

So the last couple days don't seem to have been that productive on the surface, but in fact they really were.  I guess I'm still working on the organizational facets of this preparation process.  The tricky part for me is... all this preparation!!!  I'd much rather just pack up and go.  If I had one week to get ready I'd get just enough stuff done to get there and be able to eat and sleep.  Yet undoubtedly, I'd be just as successful as if I'd done all this planning!!!
"True wisdom is different from much learning; 
Much learning means little wisdom."  - Lao Zi
Even so, though mentally it is more annoying, I am getting a lot done.  I spent some good organization time, and have some good lists as well as a better organized networking list.  Right now I have lists of NGO's working in Sierra Leone, US organizations that support Sierra Leone, possible sponsors, and one for other related websites.  It is a tedious task to get these lists to the point were they are easily usable for marketing purposes.  Meredyth (still looking for an advisory title for her;) is helping me do some organizing and collating.  Many thanks..

I also called quite a few places today, mostly to no avail or just for advice.  The Giants didn't return a message, Vibram either - pattern.  I called wintersilks about silk shirts and their moisture management capabilities (which are supposed to be good, but then told not as good as coolmax).  I was thinking I'd be ordering a shirt to test out, but was left only with hesitation and the idea that I would just go try out the long-sleeve long underwear one I have now.  I tried to get my backpack, but it is sold out of my size at L.L. Bean (had a sale), and backordered at REI till August 27th.  I now have some dilemmas with this.  REI gives great service.  If I buy anything there they give a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  I'm not satisfied, they take it back.  Good stuff.  But the pack costs $239, I can get it elsewhere for $50 less.  Ouch, and that's fine to stomach if its just one bag, but what about everything as it adds up?  Tough call...

I also looked hard at the sleeping scenario.  I will be in a hammock but still need covers of some sort, though the highest ratings sleeping bags go is 40F (4C).  I went through a bunch and found one I like - the Big Agnes Pitch Pine SL +40.  Its not completely mummy shaped so a little more room, and its really light - 1 pound (.45kg).  It is down and nylon so good on my synthetic issues.  But the one thing this company apparently does is not put any down in the bottom.  They figure it doesn't insulate you when its squished.  Not sure I'm buying that, especially as in a hammock you certainly want to have something else under you.  A pad or something to keep temperatures regulated and mosquitos at bay.  There are solutions, and they are not bad one's.  But the gist of it all...  EXPENSIVE.  This sleeping bag is $279 before you even get a pad.  I was originally told $150 at most.  But I guess if you want light, down, and packable... you pay more.  Marmot had another one that didn't look bad either for $199 - the Arete +40.  I might have to make sacrafices there, but you only buy one of these things for years...  :-/  this one is good, but its mummy style, and for some reason when it is about 60F (15C) I don't feel like I need the whole 'mummy' scenario.

Anyway, today was more about questions than answers I guess.  I looked into free business cards (vista), but didn't like much (I'm simple and they didn't have easy and simple), plus I was thinking about phone numbers both here and in Sierra Leone.  The other thing I got close to doing was to get a skype number here.  I went through their website to see about getting a phone number to get calls from.  I was going to sign up for a plan, but the unlimited too the world doesn't include mobile phones - most of what people are working with in  Sierra Leone.  So why pay for a plan to be able to call phones here?  The phone number I do need though, but I will wait till tomorrow and call and ask about both "skype to go" and "skype in."  I want to get the best solution, easier to call and ask.

The one crowning jewel of the day though was the NEW DONATIONS link on the website!!!  Now, despite this sounding shameless, I - being poor in all terms monetarily related - was hoping someone might test it out for me to see if it works??  ;)  One penny!!  Do I hear one penny!?!  Lol. 

Anyway, in all seriousness, it was a productive day, but one that didn't see much come to completion.  Tomorrow hopefully will be that day!!  Enjoy your day...      

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