Saturday, September 25, 2010

Minor Epiphanies

Yesterday I flew to Miami, with absolutely no hitches in the whole flying routine. Hooray! Hopefully this is indicative of my future flying trips. Before leaving for the airport, I made an appointment with a travel clinic, who had been recommended by a woman I spoke to on Thursday.

Oh dear, I'm going about this backwards.

On Thursday, I worked out - with the help of my mom - how to send in my prescriptions to the home delivery pharmacy of my insurance company. That may not seem difficult, but when the doctor writes two medications on one prescription and the local pharmacy won't give it back, and then the insurance company refuses to accept a copy... well, I was getting frustrated. Eventually, however, we worked it out and soon the insurance company should start sending my prescription refills directly home. Mom will collect the refills until December or January and then mail them to me, so that I'll be set for the rest of my trip.

It's hard learning to depend on other people for help, when I've felt so completely independent for a long time. However, I'm really glad my family is willing to help me out. They're doing so much to make my trip easier for me!

Later on Thursday, I met with a coworker of my dad's, who is a near-seventy year old breast cancer survivor who, being overweight, lost over one hundred pounds a few years ago. Her inspiration: a National Geographic article about the Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal. Using that article, she called and booked a group trek with a Nepali company.

She's done the hike twice now and is attempting to get in shape for doing it a third time later this year. She's an awesome lady! She agreed to meet with me to give me some information, because both Nepal and a trek are on my list of to-do's for my Big Trip. We spoke for about an hour and covered all sorts of topics; in fact, I took an entire page of notes based on her recommendations, warnings and advice. It really hyped me up for Nepal!

One of the last recommendations she had was to go see a local (in Durham) travel clinic, because they would give me prescriptions for Cipro (a broad spectrum antibiotic to fight off the various bacteria I'm sure to swallow during my trip) as well as a altitude sickness medication (for the Nepal treks and any others that get me above 10,000 feet. So, Friday morning I called up the clinic and made an appointment for next week!

Everything is coming together and I'm pretty psyched!

Late Friday morning, my mom drove me to the airport and off I flew to Miami, via Charlotte, NC. In Charlotte, as the plane was getting loaded up with passengers, I glanced out the window and saw crates and crates of US Postal Mail marked envelopes being loaded onto a conveyor belt that seemed to go to the belly of my plane! I know this sounds pretty dumb, but it hit me then - a minor epiphany - that snail mail moves so (relatively) fast because it can hitch rides on passenger planes.

That's not something I've ever really thought about, or realized, before, but it makes a planeload of sense! All the people flying all over the country every day allows the mail to go everywhere that people are going. Then I recalled that a few months back, the US Postal Service was considering stopping Saturday mail delivery. I don't believe they have, and so I wonder if perhaps part of the fare increases we see on airplanes have something to do with it? Now that I've typed that thought out, it doesn't really make as much sense, though, so I'll have to ponder it a bit more.

As soon as I stepped out of the airport in Miami, my hair seemed to stand up on end in response to the humidity. It's pretty stormy here, alternating dark gray clouds with light gray skies. Friday evening I went with my grandmother (who is the reason I came to Miami) to a dinner with my aunt and cousin. It was so much fun hearing about my cousin's thoughts on her first couple weeks in high school, and as usual my aunt made a wonderful dinner.

Today I woke up to growling thunder and the sound of gushing water, which was really just the rain sleeting off the roof and onto the ground right outside my window. It's a few hours later now and things seem to be clearing up outside.

My second minor epiphany: I'm really going to miss my family when I take off traveling!


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