Three days before our departure for Johannesburg, I am honing my collection of tech gear for three weeks in South Africa and Botswana. By my standards, this is traveling light! Here are the main elements, clockwise from upper left:
1. Moleskin writing notebook, with pocket sidekick from Staples and a uni-ball Signo 207 gel pen.
2. Dell Inspiron Mini 10v netbook.
3. Kindle latest generation 3G in a Cole Haan leather case.
4. iPhone 4
5. Wireless Microsoft mouse for the netbook.
6. Sierra Wireless USBConnect 881 modem, which I hope to equip with a SIM card in South Africa that will provide reasonable, pre-paid internet service.
7. South Africa electrical converter.
8. Edirol CS-15 microphone for interviews.
9. Blue Snowflake mic for voice-overs in GarageBand.
10. Olympus LS-10 recorder.
There are accessories in the suitcase, not to mention a nest of cables. But this is the guts of my gear. I’ll keep my clothes supply modest, so everything will fit in a carryon suitcase and a knapsack. Darlene and her sister Deb, who arrives tonight from Omaha to travel with us, will be toting big bags full of who knows what. We are into the granular details of the trip–making sure we know how to call our friends in Botswana when we arrive at the Jo’burg airport, finalizing my reservation on the Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria, and checking for potential glitches in the blogging connection.
I have just one more podcast to create and upload, Kindle Chronicles 118, and then I’ll have my first big break since I began the show more than two years ago. Three episodes are “in the can,” scheduled for delayed posting each Friday while we’re gone. Although I’ll have plenty of gear to upload audio and video if the opportunity demands, I’m bending toward paper and ink for this sojourn in Africa. I’ve promised Darlene I will not disrupt our travels with obsessive hunting for WiFi connections. If the Internet’s available, okay. If not, okay too.
I’m looking out my window in Cambridge this morning at signs of early fall — a few leaves on the grass in the park but most of them still clinging to the trees. On Thursday next week we will step of the plane from Heathrow into early summer. It will be like hitting the seasonal rewind button. Meanwhile, I’m listening to African Essentials Radio on Pandora, and my current Kindle read is Ways of Dying by Zakes Mda, an award-winning South African writer of my generation.
Back to packing!