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Full speed ahead     

Posted by Katherine Putnam on November 25th, 2009

“No matter what I try I’m flying full speed ahead…”

Golly Moses! Time flies when you have a departure date of January 5th. The past few weeks have been a flurry of emails, trips to Staples, marathon envelope stuffing sessions and super fun trips to the travel clinic to get my immunizations.

Thus far I think getting immunized has been one of the most stress inducing aspects of preparation. Although I’ve traveled before, it’s all been to countries that didn’t require immunizations: Puerto Rico, Canada, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Italy. I’m trying to keep the information I received from the travel clinic in perspective, but that’s a bit hard to do when you’re bombarded with statistics about yellow fever and malaria and rabies, and given reams of handouts on water purification and what foods to avoid and what to do if you get diarrhea and become severely dehydrated. (Um…ew.) By the end of my visit my head was swimming as the nurse asked which of the dozens of anti-mosquito protection, water purification systems and various other product I would like to buy. I tried to keep it simple: I got the vaccinations I absolutely had to have, bought a few things that my parents and I had already discussed and decided to go home and digest the information I was given rather than letting my rising paranoia rule my wallet.

To sum up my response to that visit: I’ve decided to follow the mantras “everything in moderation” and “common sense and prayer.” I’ll strive to strike a balance between crippling paranoia and a naive sense of invulnerability. I’ll take precautions, but I’ll also bear in mind that others (such as Chris) have lived in Bolivia for months and done so without spending thousands of dollars on anti malarial medications and taking up half their time with precautionary measures.

Health worries aside, I want to thank everyone for the lovely support. Thank you for your questions, prayers and well wishes. Also, hearty thanks to those who have chosen to get involved through financial gifts; there’s a lot of money to raise but it’s seeming more possible every day!

Cheers,

Katherine Elyse


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