With all of Alanna's educational preamble, I thought I'd shed some light on what I've been doing to prepare for the big trip:
Since maybe the tenth grade I've been using a whiskey tube as a piggy bank, dropping a coin or two in whenever I've had some to spare. It got heavy, and in lieu of lugging it back to Victoria when we moved out, I popped it open:
Just shy of 180 bucks! not shabby.
Protecting Our Belongings
As a Christmas gift I sewed Alanna a fabric laptop case from an old sports coat. If Fagin owned a Dell, he'd be proud. Behold:
Familiarizing With Local Culture
Mainly via this link : Awesome Tapes From Africa, provided by a pal named Cody.
As far as I can tell it's a Brooklyn guy who seeks out cassettes of obscure musicians from all over Africa and makes them available on the interweb. There is a ton of stuff on here, just browsing the covers is worthwhile. I think my favourite of what I've heard is Karamoko Keita. I know everyone says the Blues originated in Africa, but a reminder every once in a while doesn't hurt.
For your dance parties, I preemptively request Ata Kak.
...And we're all ready to go! That's how it's done, folks.