Friday, April 15, 2011

On our way!

Leaving in... let's see... twenty minutes. I'm not sure what we'll have in the way of internet access, so I don't know if I'll be able to update the blog while we're there. We'll see!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Payment for in-country expenses

We have paid for the international air fare, which was the biggest piece of the cost of this trip. Eden has numbers for us for the domestic flight (Nairobi to Kaimosi and back) and the other domestic expenses. She says:

I've gone through all the numbers again, and I think we can safely charge $560 per person for all the in-country expenses (all accommodation, meals, transport, water, snacks, activities, tips, etc etc). The only thing people would pay for out of pocket would be souvenirs. How does this sound for a price?

You can pay in one of two ways. You can send a check to:
Friends United Meeting
101 Quaker Hill Drive
Richmond IN 47374

Or you can put it on a credit card at

In either case you should put in the memo "Peter Bishop group expenses". I'll make sure the folks at the FUM office know to expect this money, and what to do with it.

This means we don't need to carry a lot of cash, except for emergencies or, as she says, for souvenirs.

We can talk more at tomorrow's informational meeting (Thurs, March 17, 7 P.M., at Allyson's house).

Friday, February 25, 2011

Payment Deadline

Our travel agent says:
Well your trip is getting closer, which means I need to issue your tickets soon. Therefore I will need final payment for the tickets.

So the total is approximately the 1070.00. It may actually be a little bit less when I get the final breakdown of taxes from the airline. I should get that at the beginning of next week. I just wanted to give you all a heads up that I will need full payment by March 11th. So I will let you know exact amount as soon as I get the final contract.

Then remember that after travel is when we will get the 100.00 per person deposit refunded.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Email as a way of staying up-to-date

I haven't copied Eden's most recent email onto the blog because she now has what I think is a complete email list for everyone involved with the trip.

Please check and make sure you got her email dated January 10 with the subject Re: Some finalized travel plans and some questions. If you didn't get it, email me at northampton dot peter at gmail dot com and I will forward it to you and make sure you are added to the list.

Answers to questions: clothing, electricity, and cash

This is from an email from Eden on January 4 to one of our parents in answer to some questions:

Some things that I think may not be adequately addressed in the attached document:

Re treating clothing -- this isn't necessary. The mosquitos that transmit malaria only bite during hours of darkness, so as long as you are indoors and make sure to use your bednet, you're fine. Insects are not a bother during the day. Sunscreen, on the other hand, is very much essential!

Regarding teenage girls and hair care, etc -- well, anything they bring must run on 220v. And there won't necessarily be electricity every day, so they shouldn't count on being able to use it. I would *strongly* recommend that the girls consider this an opportunity for simple living, and try to go without hair and makeup. Kenyans do not wear makeup.

It is very easy and convenient to use your ATM cards in Kenya. However, you should carry some $100 bills for emergencies. And if you want to send pocket money in advance, that's fine. The easiest way to do that is to send a check to my office in Indiana, and they will wire it to me. That way you don't incur any fees.

I will be buying the domestic air tickets and making all your other bookings. We've got plenty of time to sort that out.

We hadn't made a decision yet about how the adults spend their time -- I think this will depend on whether you have preferences for the sorts of things you want to see/do, whether you have skills that could be useful in the hospitals, and whether the kids would feel better having a known adult with them, at least in the beginning. We can play this by ear unless there is something specific you would like us to set up for you. We're very flexible!

Dress pants are acceptable for women as long as they are not tight or revealing. Skirts must cover the knee.

Shoes need to be sturdy for walking on muddy paths and uneven walkways. Closed-toe is important for a hospital setting. You want something that will breathe because of the heat. Keens or Merrills are prefect. Pumps are totally impractical.

Let me know how else I can help. I'm excited about this trip!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Next Meeting

We met tonight in a room packed with at least 20 people. We now have a good, clear sense of who exactly is going on the trip (8 kids definite, with 2 more possible, and 4 adults definite with 1 more possible, for a total party size of 12-15). We have also decided to go with Shelly as our travel agent, feeling like having someone who is local and can actually attend our planning meetings is just too valuable to pass up.

Our next meeting will be a week from tomorrow, Wednesday, December 8, at 6:30 and once again in the same location. (Thanks, Patti, for hosting us!) At that meeting we will make our final decision about the exact dates of travel (April 15-24 vs. April 16-25) and will put down $100 each to hold the seats and lock in the price.

Shelly will be emailing each of us in the mean time with detailed quotes so that we can arrive at the meeting informed and ready to make a choice. Of the three undecideds, two will know for certain by then whether they are coming, and we will have some flexibility with adding or dropping one last seat later on.

Questions that came up: Getting visas here vs. in Nairobi, and the logistics of paying for transportation and food on the ground. I'll post answers as I get them.

I am so incredibly psyched about this!

P.S. The email that I tried and failed to print out tonight, I have cut and pasted into the two previous blog entries: "Safaris are a no-go" and "Center for Disease Control in Kisumu." You should read at least the one about the CDC.

Center for Disease Control in Kisumu

Also from Eden:

Regarding CDC -- this is where Jim works, and my kids have gone there for school field trips several times. The director is one of our best friends. I can ask them about a tour, and I think it will be quite possible. There are over 1000 people working there, in seven different "branches" (research areas). The biggest areas are malaria, HIV/AIDS, and emerging infectious diseases. There is a fascinating mosquito lab which my kids really like visiting. It is certainly the best-equipped research lab in Kenya. If there is interest, let me know and I'll set this up (it would reduce one of our days elsewhere). You would need to specify within their range of work what you want to see or learn about, since it is a huge organization.

I'm looking forward to hearing more after the Tuesday meeting!

I'm hoping that people can either talk to me at school or email me with areas of interest that I can pass on to Eden.