Tomorrow I leave for Rome. One of my friends is driving me to Dulles (2 hour drive) and then I take off from there around 6:30pm. Today, I ran a bunch of errands because the American Academy is very "relaxed" (I use this as a euphemism) with their information and basically informed me TODAY that I need a) a copy of my immunization records b) a trowel (?!?!) and c) sheets. These would normally not be that big of a deal, but since I'm leaving tomorrow, and the immunization records normally take 10 days to order I had to do some sweet-talking at student health. The sheets were no probably obviously, but the trowel...the dig director specified that we needed either a "Marshalltown" or a "WHS" and he also said that the WHS trowels were "infinitely better." Needless to say, these are not trowels that you can just pick up at Lowe's or Home Depot. I did a little Internet searching and found that WHS trowels are only manufactured in London and consequently are really only available at that location--there seem to be only a couple of retailers who will ship them worldwide. After reading about them, I kind of wanted one because they have a really cool engraving of a crown on them and the entire trowel is one piece of solid metal, apparently to maximize force making it easier to dig. But, I didn't want to pay for shipping to Rome. Marshalltown trowels, however, are made in the US so I called a local hardware store and they luckily had one!
I'd like to introduce you to my new trowel: Its a Marshalltown 5inch pointed end trowel. According to my recent Internet research, archaeologists are very attached to their trowels so perhaps I too will develop a close, personal relationship with this tool (which would be very uncharacteristic for me).
In other news, I packed all of my stuff today.I managed to fit all of my stuff in a small rolling suitcase (carry-on size!), a backpack, and a shoulder-purse. Within these bags I've stuffed (literally) four pairs of shoes, four skirts, three dresses, about seven shirts, two pairs of shorts, toiletries, lots of sunscreen, sheets, a towel, four books, 34 pairs of underwear, seven pairs of socks, my trowel, research materials, camera, iPod, dig clothes (two pairs of pants, four old shirts), and several other misc. items. In other words, I have no idea how i got it all in there and it may never happen again.