I will be departing the United States for Tanzania, Africa. I am actually quite excited about the return. I'm looking forward to returning to the field, seeing how things may have changed, remained the same, everything. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again, catching up, hearing stories. I am also excited about getting back to work.

I feel productive in the field. True, a lot of data may not be harvested from old-fashioned field ecology work, but it yields the most gratifying sense of ache and tired I know of in science. And I mean physical aches, bumps, brusises, and close-calls. Okay, I really have romanticized the experience, but I love it. Every spitting-cussing-dodging minute of it.

I have been making lists - of things to do before I leave, things I need to do in order to leave and things I need to buy or aquire.

And I have been packing bags.

It's something. But I learned some lessons last year and I am applying them this year. For example, I booked my originating flight out on a big jet so that I can take all of my excess over-sized bags with me. Before the airline would only allow me a maximum of 4 checked bags. I had 10 with me - which is the absolute limit. But if any of your jets are smaller planes - which the one I took out of Oklahoma City was, then 4 is the limit. Big jets that fly across nations or oceans are bigger and can handle more. That alone makes a difference. I need to carry more traps and my gear. So, I'm busy at it.

In the meantime, I hope you revisit my posts from last year: #DisptachesDNLee 2012 (I'll be using the hashtag again this year, so you can follow along as I pack and prepare.)

Wordless Wednesday: Tanzania Horizons

Wordless Wednesday: #DispatchesDNLee Field Research in Tanzania

#DispatchesDNLee: Trapping in Tanzania

#DispatchesDNLee: Retrieving and Restraining Rats

#DispatchesDNLee: 4 Weeks in Tanzania and checking in

Plus, check out my posts at Outdoor Afro where I share my personal experiences visiting Africa and enjoying all of its natural outdoor beauty.

#DispatchesDNLee: An Outdoor Afro Adventure to Africa

#DispatchesDNLee: Iringa Tanzania Offers Culture, Wildlife, and Outdoor Adventure

I'm looking forward to see Dar Es Salaam again.