The first item on my "to-do-list" was: GET WELL SOON.
I had poxes on my back, torso, arms and thighs. Gratefully, only few made they way to my face. With New Zealand trip on the horizon, I diligently took the doctor prescription. I also took heed of traditional remedies: drinking coconut water. Another traditional remedies was not to eat oily food and soy sauce to reduce scarring of the poxes. And, the hardest part, not scratching the itchy and burning poxes-covered-skin!
After two weeks of recuperating at home, I was well enough to go to the office. I hadn't fully recovered but I needed to return to work. Work had begun piling up. Still a little weak, the first week back in the office, I stayed indoors and minimized contacts with people. I had to cancel meetings and site visits, which didn't help in clearing my backlogs. Thankfully, at the end of week, to good doctor gave the long awaited all-cleared sign. By then, I only left with three weeks to clean my slate before flying off to the land of Kiwis.
In between work, thanks to the internet, Ma Hen, AD and I managed to coordinate our preparation. Ma Hen: Ground arrangements. AD: food and rations. Me: electronics and gadgets.
"Electronics and gadget? What's that?", you would ask. Among the items in our ground arrangements was a self-drive-road-trip. Even though Ma Hen managed to get directions for our destinations, safe to say, none of us are any good with directions. AD and I, both, have "direction-deficiency-syndrome". Just another way of saying we can't really differentiate the word "left or right". Ma Hen, well, from past experiences, is not the best navigator because she fall asleep in car rides. Normally for navigation, we have another travel companion which have never been mentioned in this entire blog, and shall remain so until required.
Anyway, realizing that we were a little handicapped in the navigational area, we decided to go hi-tech. My Samsung SGH-i780 is GPS enabled. So I was entrusted with the task of making navigation simpler. Thanks to the internet, I managed to get a free copy of New Zealand GPS map. Converting the map using Garmin Mapsource, I was able to load the map in Garmin XT installed in my Samseng (typo is intentional ;) ). For those intending to do this at home, please backup the original mapfile in your mobile phone to avoid future heartache in case things go wrong.
Other than the GPS, I also brought along my laptop. We all were using digital camera. Based on my Italy trip, digital camera tend to make us snapped more photos. Laptop is required just in case we ran out of storage space in our tiny memory cards. Other than laptop, I had chargers - for laptops, handphone, and dSLR. I also had car chargers for the Samseng, and a power inverter, just in case we need power point in the car. Photographics equipement packed in my bag included: 3 lens (the kit, a zoom, a fisheye), dSLR, flashgun, 2 memory cards and a tripod. Suffice to say, we were high-tech ready for the trip.
Then finally, the day came. The night of 1st May 2009, we met at the airport and began our journey to the land of Kiwis!