Off to Afghanistan!
The visas have been acquired: Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and even the much coveted Iranian visa. It was touch and go there for a while: we had to shell out over 3,000 euros to an Iranian fixer just to score the visa, which just got us the document today. And I leave Sunday.
Equipment has been purchased: sleep sacks, backpacks, water purification tablets, Starbucks individual instant coffees, antibiotics, antidiarrhea medications. Satellite equipment has been rented. Solar panels and batteries and video cameras--all the stuff you need to document such a trip and transmit the results.
Tickets have been purchased: New York to Mumbai, Mumbai to Dubai, Dubai to Dushanbe.
Total cost so far: $35,000 plus.
And now I'm leaving Sunday.
I'll start filing the cartoon blogs around August 10, and will enter Afghanistan from Tajikistan, toward Taloqan (which may or not be controlled by the Taliban when we arrive) on August 13. If you contributed, you'll get the blog via Stephanie McMillan, who is my stateside liaison for distribution.
That's the plan, anyway. I'm going with Matt Bors and Steven Cloud, fellow cartoonists and bon vivants.
Oh, and the beard. The beard is looking good, I think, but judge for yourself.