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Lessons Learned

Only a bit more than a week to go!!!  I’ve been running a whole gamut of emotions these past few weeks – I’ve been so excited I could barely contain myself. I’ve felt stressed. I’ve been honestly panicked.  But what’s been my biggest lesson is that I just can’t do it all myself. I’ve had – and still am having – to learn to let go of some things. Learning that I can’t control everything.

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Adventures in Fabrication

So last night I was working on my shoulder rig – making the design too fancy as usual. I wanted to make it have a section I could swap out to put the camera closer or further away from my face. I decided to use small thumb screws to lock the sections together. So I was drilling them with my drill press, but reached a place on it where I just couldn’t use the press, so I went to drill it “by hand”. On the second hole, the drill broke through and went into my hand! Ouch!

I immediately went in a washed it out with cold water, then rubbing alcohol, and then betadine, and the wound only looked about 1/16″-1/8″ deep. But when I went back out and looked at the drill bit, there was tissue on the bit around 1/4″ – 3/8″ away from the tip. So I sat down, had Father’s Day dinner with my wife and kids, and then drove myself to the emergency room. The doctor wanted to do an X-ray to make sure I didn’t hit the bone, which, it turns out, I didn’t. But she also said I was very lucky – I missed one of my tendons by the barest fraction of an inch on one side, and missed a rather large vein on the other side by a little less! So there was a lot of grace in this… I should have full use of my hand within the next couple of days (I’m typing with it right now), and as long as there is no infection, this will end up being a very minor deal.

The funniest thing about the whole process is that I have ended up in the ER every 5 years in the summer/fall… And this is 5 years since the last one! The funniest part though was the inevitable question, “When did you have you last Tetanus shot?” To which I answered, “Last Wednesday!” I got this crazy look, and I could see that the nurse was thinking that this was my second ER visit in a week! I let the silence play out for a second – just for the drama, and then told her I was heading out of the country.

All in all, it was a very eventful Father’s Day. I’m not ready to share pics of the finished video rig yet, but here’s a couple from “the incident.”

Never thought I'd be here on Father's Day...

Never thought I’d be here on Father’s Day…

Big bandage for a little hole

Big bandage for a little hole!

Last summer I dropped one of my favorite old lenses: My trust 50mm f1.8 EF lens. Now, it was a cheap lens when I bought it (sub-$100!), and I bought it as a senior in high school. So I’ve gotten my money’s worth. But I certainly didn’t want to buy a new one, since I’m doing this trip on the cheap. Or, at least, trying not to spend more money than absolutely necessary. So, after several months on my desk in a couple of pieces, I decided to fix it! In actuality, it wasn’t too bad! Took me a while to understand a couple of tricks about how to get the lens elements out of the casing, but with a little help from the Internet, it’s working like new! Now on to my old 20-35mm lens… Maybe I can fix that one too! (I’ll update you this weekend if I get it back together again – it’s in progress)

In Pieces... Back Together!

Go Fund Me Site

Time is running short! In just a bit more than a month, I’ll be boarding a plane for Africa! It’s incredibly exciting, but also a little daunting. I’m finalizing all my preparations, including get stuck multiple times by all sorts of needles in an attempt to get all my vaccinations finished. I’m gathering equipment and trying to figure out what bags I need to take. And I’m also doing the finances and trying to figure out if I really have enough money to go. Some things have changed recently (gotten mroe expensive), and the problem is that I don’t.

The two organizations that I’m going with don’t have the money to pay me to go, or to take care of my travel expenses. But I consider it a great blessing and opportunity to help!  And both mission organizations are full of people who are volunteering their time to make sure that they succeed in Africa.  So I’m humbled that they would want me to help them in this area.

I have had a lot of people supporting me these past few months. A lot of my family members have donated money for this trip. The problem is that I still have some more to go. There are pieces of equipment that I’ve needed to buy that have set me back. Immunizations that are very expensive and not covered by insurance. All those things are adding up, and I’m a bit short. So I’ve started a GoFundMe site, where I can hopefully make up the difference.  It’s the 11th hour, but I’ve got to have faith that it will all work out.

So please consider giving a gift. A small amount, added up with many others, can make a huge difference. If several people give $20, or even $50, I’ll be able to make my goal and go on this trip and do my best to help these organizations make a difference in Africa.