Daniel has started a new blog, Brummie At Sea, which will - we hope - give an up-to-date account of what he's doing. When he's able to get Internet access in Africa, he'll post himself. Other times he may send mobile phone text messages to Tim, and one of us will upload them.
It's amazing what we've managed to do in just over two weeks! Today Dan had his anti-typhoid vaccination at the hospital. A couple of weeks ago they said he didn't need it, but today he managed to persuade them. Typhoid vaccinations can only be given at a designated typhoid centre, and the hospital is the only one in Larnaka, as far as we can work out. Anyway, they did it, so that was good.
Yesterday he had the two which the hospital couldn't manage: heptatitis A and meningitis. His drama teacher's sister is a doctor, so she arranged that. She told him he would not need a polio booster since he was fully vaccinated against the disease as a child. Today the hospital agreed with that.
This morning he started on the anti-malarial tablets, and also on some garlic tablets, which may or may not keep mosquitoes away, but should be good for his general health anyway. I bought him a supply of multi-vitamins for vegetarians, and Vitamin C a few days ago, plus traveller's shampoo, tea-tree oil, lavender oil, and some tea-tree antiseptic cream in case of cuts and scratches. Of course there's a doctor on board the Doulos, who will have general first-aid supplies, but we prefer the natural approach where possible.
Today we bought a new backpack as his old one was falling to pieces. And changed some Cyprus pounds to American dollars, at the bank, since dollars are the easiest currency to change in African countries. They're also used as currency on the ship. He'll need to pay for his Tanzanian visa, and also one for Mozambique, and may need extra money for books, souvenirs, cold drinks when off the ship, and so on. It's better to take too much than too little.
Tonight he'll start packing when he gets back from drama (last workshop until the Autumn). Yesterday I realised how very disorganised we are, in the scheme of things. We had some friends to lunch who are going away to the UK for a month, also leaving tomorrow, albeit earlier than Dan. This was Wednesday... and when one of our friends saw Dan, she asked if he had finished his packing yet!! He admitted that he hadn't started...
Then when we'd had coffee and chatted awhile, they said they needed to go to finish a few last-minute bits of packing. Wow. To us, last-minute packing is what you do half an hour before going to the airport, not two days before! I am full of admiration.
So Dan leaves tomorrow evening. He'll have a night in Dubai, supposedly at a hotel, but he's realised that it's actually quite a short time. Technically it's a nine-hour stopover, but as he'll have to check in for the second flight a couple of hours early, it's only seven. And given that it can take an hour to get out of an airport (and he may need a short-stay visa, though they're free and pretty automatic) that cuts it down to six... which isn't really enough time for sleeping. So now he thinks he might just take a book and read overnight, then try to sleep a bit on the flight to Tanzania which should take seven hours.