Welcome to Ryley Writes, a collection of thoughts, stories, and work from deep in the heart of Texas.

High-Five Friday: Wheels Up

Fear tricks us into living a boring life. — Donald Miller

What I'm working on:

The Comforter's Center, a pregnancy help center Kingsland partners with in Uganda needs all their marketing and promotional materials (print and digital alike) redesigned; so with the missions publication done and all other Christmas tasks taken care of, I'm heading that project up. Fellow intern Naomi Rosato and I are boarding a plane today for a quick trip to Kampala so I can meet with the staff, get a feel for their work and culture, pinpoint a printer and all subsequent details (file types, sizes, etc.), and discuss plans/design mock-ups with them. I'm pumped, and hoping to take lots of photos to share here later on. This will be my first time in Africa, and I can't wait to get a taste of it for myself.

Since it's such a quick trip, I'm just carrying on one backpack. I posted a packing breakdown on my Instagram story for fun, because I'm a nerd and like seeing how other people pack their stuff, and I was surprised how many subsequent messages I got. Figured after the response that I'd also post it here!

The letters are a bit hard to decipher (sorry), but here's what all I packed:

A. Point-and-shoot camera (our department's DSLR needed some work done, so this'll do for the week) with case and battery charger
B. External battery/charger
C. Kindle
D. iPad
E. Eagle Creek compression packing cube with my clothes for the week
F. Solid toiletries
G. Diabetes supplies (I'm type 1 diabetic, so this is an annoying, space-consuming nonnegotiable.)
H. Mini Blender Bottle stuffed with Athletic Greens and some powdered pepto, just in case
I. Liquid (or liquidish, as TSA seems to really blur the lines between liquid and solid these days) toiletries
J. Jewelry
K. VERY IMPORTANT RED FOLDER with basically everything Naomi and I need to get from point A to point B (money, documents, passport, etc.)
L. Journal
M. Wallet
N. Blood sugar kit
O. Charger
P. Earbuds, lip balm
Q. Pocket notebook and pens

Once I had it all gathered, I packed electronics first — Kindle and iPad in the back laptop sleeve, so they'd lay flat against my back, and all the rest stuffed into an easier-to-access internal pocket.

Then came the clothes cube. FYI, I resisted buying Eagle Creek packing cubes for a long time, and they're blowing my mind with how much they compressed all my clothes. Don't be like me. Be smarter than me. Buy the cubes.

Toiletries and jewelry in high-class plastic baggies after that, then diabeetus supplies. I stuck my stuffed lil shaker bottle (that's the correct term for it, yes?) on top.

(Athletic Greens, by the way, are a powdered vitamin/superfood supplement that I take most mornings, but especially like to have on hand when I'm not confident I'll be able to get my hands on as many veggies as I'd like. The blender bottle is necessary to drink it—I've tried just mixing it with a spoon, and I would recommend you do not — and can also serve as a water bottle throughout the trip. Is this kind of high-maintenance? Yes. I THINK I DESERVE ONE HIGH-MAINTENANCE ITEM IN THIS GETUP.)

I put my wallet and blood sugar kit in the lower, larger front pocket so I wouldn't have to dig for them. Same for all the littles I keep in the top front pocket — notebook, pens, earbuds, lip balm, etc.

The leftover side pockets are for snacks, a pair of socks (apparently lots of people swear by compression socks on planes and I figured since I'm about to be on one for a while I could test the theory) and a lacrosse ball. I also clipped a super cool neck pillow onto the outside of my pack, because my dad swears by it when he flies to Israel and I'm more concerned with sleeping than looking fly on a billion-hour plane ride.

There you have it — my packing setup for a week in Uganda! I'll let you know if I get there and realize the reason I could fit everything in one backpack is because I forgot something vital. Always a possibility.

Randoms for your weekend:


The Stack: Fall '16