I’m typing as I cross New Jersey, on my way to Newark Airport. The sun is just now rising, a clear orange ball above the hills and green. Paula and Isabel drove me to the station, with Isabel in her dragon costume, which she slept in. Earlier I responded to the 27 attendees for our upcoming Courseware Workshop in PĂ©tionville on June 23rd. Quite a lot for two days. We’re hoping to double that number.

Yesterday was non-stop trip preparations. It started with me talking out my trip step-by-step with Paula, discussing each detail so I wouldn’t forget anything. So many little things get missed … screwdrivers, sunglasses, etc, etc. Our friend Robin stopped by to hear more of the drama. While telling her about the ICT event, I became convinced that I needed printed invitations to our Courseware Summit to hand out at the ICT event, though it wasn’t likely that the printing company could do them in time.

I called Bethany at AlphaGraphics. She said, “Sure, but only if you get me the files by 1pm.” That gave me an hour an a half. I begin designing the invitations, but remember that I need to get USB flash drives for the mentors. Overnight to Adam? But it’s an extra $4 a stick for that. I’m about to hit send and I think to check the local Best Buy. Sure enough, they have 30 USB sticks. Paula will pick them up on the way back from picking up Isabel at school. She’ll also pick up the printing & dry-cleaning.

Okay, back to the invitation … only 40 minutes left! Tweak, tweak, tweak. The girls come upstairs to look. “Can you translate this to French while I make the footer?” I add some last minute changes while Paula translates. I decide the invitation will be English on one side, French on the back. Yes, perhaps Kreyol would be better, but at this late hour, I’m not willing to trust Google Translate for that.

I send off the files at six past one, then make the latest training workshop schedule and send PDF invitations to many that I know. Then an hour on Skype with Mercy Corps and another half hour with PRODEV to discuss logistics. I have another look at my invitation and “Ee gads” a typo in Haiti Partners website address. Spend another $100? Sure. I call Bethany … “Can you do another?” She says yes.

Then the boxes arrive. The one with the power strips is very heavy. The girls start cutting open mini mice packages while I figure out how to pack it all. My dreams of a duffel bag and one carry-on go out the window pretty quickly. The lesson books were printed 8.5×11, which are considerably heavier than last time. With the power strips, they fit into their own 50 pound suitcase, which will be empty coming back.

I had planned to go to sleep at 8pm. With minutes to spare, I put my bags in the car. As I relax to eat a quick dinner, my exhaustion takes over and I’m asleep within 20 minutes. Quite a day.

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