How to survive the practicalities…

Today, it has been more than a month since I was told I will travel to Malawi, Africa. I can explicitly remember those few seconds of childish happiness, which were then quickly replaced by giant worries. I thought, “What am I doing? Can I do this?”

First and foremost, I am not a great traveller and I spend all of my holidays travelling across Europe in a car. My longest flight was a business trip from Prague to Budapest or to Milan. At that time, I stepped out the plane absolutely exhausted and said to myself that that the next time I fly I will need to have a drink before the journey :o.

Another big issue for me was getting vaccinated. The last time this happened was when I was 3 years old. I was worried but I thought about what that 3 year old Petra would have told me and imagined it would have been something like, “Don’t worry, you’re going to see Africa in person!” So I put my fears aside and started to look forward.

It was only a bit later, when I talked to Adela, another IWitness traveller, when I realized that everyone has the same fears and it is appears to be a normal and essential part of the trip. So we did all we could do, which was make some jokes, imagine what will happen and think of how we will enjoy our time there. I also started to discover lots of photos and information about Malawi through Google. Also, it was only very recently that I found out my passport was not valid any more but I was able to manage it just in time!

When I obtained my first round of vaccine injections for hepatitis and typhus I was so afraid that I thought that I would collapse directly at the doctor’s office because I absolutely hate injections! But, everything went quiet well. The doctor was a really friendly lady who recommended and gave me an appropriate vaccination plan. It hurt a bit in my shoulders, where the drug was injected, but otherwise I felt just a little bit tired. Two weeks later I got a vaccination for yellow fever and meningitis. Hopefully this prevention will be enough to put my mind at ease and enjoy my stay at Africa!