The Participant Checklist

Before participants can begin their packing, there are other things that need to be cleared off of a checklist to participate in our March 2012 trip to Rwanda and Tanzania.

  • Passport. For all international travel, people need a passport to be able to show in an internationally standardized format where they are from, their contact information, a photo, and their passport number. It is strongly requested for all passports to be valid for at least six months past the dates of the international travel.
  • Tanzania visa. Some countries, such as Tanzania, require a visa, for international travelers. Once the participant has their passport, then it had to be sent off to the Tanzanian embassy in Washington D.C., to receive a tourist visa. To receive the tourist visa, participants had to send off: passport, two passport size photos, $100 visa fee, a visa form (available at the Tanzanian embassy’s website), a self-addressed and postage paid envelope for the return of the passport, and a copy of flight and/or travel itinerary while within the country. Two participants, one who sent hers via FedEx express and another who sent hers within priority mail at the post office, received their passports and visas back within one week of submitting their packet.
  • Vaccination card. Depending on one’s age and personal vaccination history, the number of vaccinations recommended varied. Each participant was required to receive the yellow fever vaccination, which costs about $100, to travel in and out of Rwanda. Additionally, it was highly suggested to have anti-malaria pills and typhoid (either shot or pills). Beyond those three items, some participants also received Hepatitis A/B series, polio, and rabies.

These three items may seem minor or relatively easy to fulfill – but they also have been the most stressful for the trip participants. All take time for processing and money to complete. Our group’s status, with less than 25 days before our departure, is that everyone has their passport, visa packets are in the processing stage, and people are completing their vaccination card requirements (yellow fever vaccination needs to occur 14 days before departure – thus the final date that can be completed is Friday, February, the 17th).

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