Life does indeed go on, kinda painfully


Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted so here’s a quick update: the rental is all fixed up and restored to its former glory good condition! It took us about two months to get everything fixed once the tenant was well and truly gone (junk hauled away, cleaning, bathrooms redone, general repairs) then we had to list it. It took only two weeks from when we listed it to when we rented it so by early June we had tenants. It was pretty painful, money-wise – it cost us $3,300 alone just to get all of the junk hauled away. But we have good tenants now and a property manager and can now happily say that this horrible chapter of our lives is behind us (on July 1 we got an actual rent check – something we hadn’t seen since last September and which caused me to actually jump up and down in joy)!

That means it’s time to get back to more interesting things like planning trips. While we have a few short trips planned for this summer, we are still prepping for the big trip: Africa in January with Gamewatchers Safaris! We have determined our travel dates and booked our flights (Air France premium economy, baby!). We are flying to Paris, spending two days in Paris sightseeing and catching our breath, then flying from Paris to Nairobi for the safari. Then on the flip side after the safari we are spending a day and night at Hekima Place, an orphanage that my sister has been involved with for years. After that we are heading back to Paris then plan to catch a high speed train to Barcelona and will be spending a week and a bit exploring Spain. Whee!! We’ll be gone almost a whole month and are officially super excited.

vaccination recordThe other part of the trip prep has been 1) finding out what vaccinations we need, 2)remembering what vaccinations we’ve had, and 3) getting whatever is indicated based on 1 & 2. Sad fact: up until the other day neither of us had an actual vaccination card (aka immunization record). I didn’t know there even was such a thing. It would have saved us a lot of bother if we had had this nifty record of what vaccines we’ve received but oh well – we now have them and they’re getting the bejesus stamped out of them. We went to a consult at the Long Beach Health Department to get up to speed and get started with our shots. So far I’ve had: Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, whooping cough), Hepatitis A & B (I thought I had those taken care of back when we went to Ecuador, but in the intervening years the CDC has recommended an additional booster of both) and meningitis. Still to come: yellow fever and (maybe) cholera. I was trying to weasel out of the yellow fever shot as my arm hurt like the dickens after the Hep B shot (and my active imagination had me coming down with neuralgia but I recovered, yay!) but the powers that be all recommend that we get one, so. There’s a glitch though: the US vaccine (YF-Vax) is out of stock. Ruh-roh! But happily there’s a Plan B: you can get Stamaril (a widely used alternative yellow fever vaccine that is actually produced by the same folks who make YF-Vax). Well, you can get Stamaril at a few locations. So this coming Friday we’re going to a travel clinic in Pasadena where they have the vaccine in stock. And I guess we’ll ask about cholera, too (the recommendation is that you need that one if you’re going to be working with refugees and/or around contaminated water sources. We’re not). This is getting expensive: so far it’s cost me $370 – and the yellow fever shot will be an additional $245 (plus the cost of the clinic visit). Ouch – and I’m not talking about my arm!

But we now also have very spiffing yellow vaccination cards with lots of stamps. After all this work I think we need to plan more trips to exotic locales, stat, while our vaccines are still in effect (10 years in most cases)!