Monday, September 29, 2008

Three Weeks away

I am in the final stages of planning. Hoping the Visas arrive this week. I cannot buy plane tickets until we are assured that Rebeka will be able to travel with us.

It is now up to Tanzania to grant her an entry visa. Spent last evening looking for tickets we can afford. It is amazing the wide span of pricing. I found tickets, round trip, that range from $1790.00 to over $3000.00. Why the vast discrepancies? I also found a place that arranges for Missionary flights. I should hear back from them tomorrow. I am sometimes reluctant to make too many connections via Internet though. Who, exactly, am I dealing with? This is not my money, it has all been donated by other people, and I have to be very careful how it is spent. God forbid I make a connection with some unscrupulous person. I have never heard of the agency that offers the tickets for $1790.00 so I checked them with the Better Business Bureau. They seem to have a clean record with them.

Speaking of money, I have another dilemma. I have been buying Travelers Cheques. I went in on Thursday to purchase some more and the bank discouraged me from buying them. Seems some overseas locations will not honor them. Stan and I do not use credit at all so a credit card is really not an option. I do not want to carry $5,000.00 in cash so I feel kind of bewildered as to what the solution would be. I plan to call the embassy tomorrow to see what they recommend.
It is Monday, I started this on Sunday. I called the Tanzanian Embassy and they told me my package was being sent today. Could or would not tell me if all three of us were granted visas. Also asked them about the money issue. Their solution was for me to carry cash!!! I told them that I did not want to insult them or their country but there was no way I was going to walk around with huge sums of money on my person.
My husbands solution is for me to sew two pairs of panties together at the legs and part of the waist and put the money between them. I may have to do that if I cannot find a better solution. Could be pretty uncomfortable to sit on.
I will have a money belt to wear under my clothing, but people are wise to those. If someone was intent on robbing me they would ask for that.
My girlfriend who travels extensively told me to go buy baggy shirts so that the money belt will not show under my clothing. She one time carried $150,000 in cash strapped to her body for the company her husband worked for. She took it to Egypt. She also said she was scared to death.
Oh so many decisions and so little time.

11 comments:

Tulsi said...

When my daughter had to travel with cash, I told her to put it in her socks and undies. No other person wants to rifle through that. Also, when my other daughter went to Washington DC this summer, we got her a debit card. It was linked to her checking account so it wasn't credit, but it was accepted just like a visa card would have been. Another person couldn't use it because they didn't know the pin, and when the store ran it as credit we have SEE ID on the back instead of a signature so they have to check the face and name to make sure they are the same. That could be an option.

Gramma 2 Many said...

That is an option I have considered. My contact in Tanzania told me that she is not sure if debit cards will work over there. I just know that this is all God's plan and it will work and I need to quit stressing. I tend to do that.

Karin @ 6ByHisDesign said...

3 weeks. Wow.

Praying for Rebeka's visa...

Karen said...

How long ar you going to be in Tanzania, Can you open a bank account there?

Sewing the two pairs of panties together seems to be quite a sensible idea as well. You could put a sort of pocket in the front and distribute the cash evenly. Wearing loose shirt over a money bely is also another good idea, though I would only keep enough money for that days needs in there, the rest could go in your panties.

You could also sew two pairs of Stan's undies together, as a man is not often seen as an easy target. Not as easy as a woman, anyway.

Julie said...

Living overseas, encourage people to use their atm card to get money... and/or credit card. If you don't have a credit card, is there anyone else that would have one going on the trip?

Ren said...

Oh, goodness. I would be out of my mind with worry about carrying that kind of money on my person (I know that doesn't help much). I think the underpants idea is fantastic.

Tell your new climber Happy Birthday from me!

Ronnica said...

When traveling overseas, credit is the best option. Credit cards are both widely accepted and provide fraud-protection. Traveler's checks aren't widely usable in non-touristy areas. I wouldn't recommend debit either as a form of payment, as that doesn't provide proper fraud-protection. However, if you were to use your debit card in ATMs, that'd work, assuming they have ATMs accessable. When travelling overseas I've done credit or cash. I was SO nervous when we I travelled with over $1000 in cash! If it's stolen, it's stolen. I had a little bit everywhere though: some in my camera bag, some in my pocket, some with my passport, some in various parts of my suitcase (not when it was checked in to the airline, but afterwards).

Gina said...

Or you could roll it up, put it in a condom, and insert it...
Nevermind, I like Dad's idea better.

Gramma 2 Many said...

GINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tulsi said...

Gina's is definitely a new twist to the thinking, isn't it. My mom lives in Switzerland and when we went the Debit card worked fine. They ran it as credit every time. And checked ID. A couple of places had us show our passports. Some places took traveler's checks, but didn't really like them. Tanzania is a whole different ball game I would think. I think the undies thing for the guy is great. Maybe disburse it between you?

Gramma 2 Many said...

OK, girls, I am heading into my sewing room to sew my panties together. Want a visual when I have finished? Who knows, maybe I can patend them and call them Travel Panties. Now none of you steal my idea, you hear?:}

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