Saturday, March 27, 2010

Worries :-S

3/27/10
Kristen says:

Well, we have been eating a lot of Mexican food this weekend. We ate at El Aguila Real, a restaurant in Des Moines last night, and at Mi Ranchito, owned by the same family in Oskaloosa tonight. Let me say, ¡Muy delicioso! y ¡Qué oportunidad para practicar mi español.

Not that I can get my courage up to say anything more than "Gracias" to the servers yet...I think I'm going to have to get over this Spanish-speaking inferiority complex quickly, or I will be rendered mute in Honduras.

Anyway, one of our servers is a senior at Osky High, and a student of my mom's. She asked him today to remind her where he was from (Nicaragua), and told him that we were moving to Honduras. She asked him he had any tips for us...

I was expecting something like, "Make sure you travel to other places," or, "wear bug spray." What he really said?

"Stay safe."

Ouch.

I go in streaks. Sometimes I am SO excited, but sometimes I am really worried about my safety and health. I called the CDC the other day to get the list of suggested inoculations we should get before going. They are:

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Rabies
Typhus
I also plan to get a tetanus booster, since the last time I had one was in 2004 when I was in London, because I stepped on a piece of glass in Calais, France.

I'm not really squeamish about shots (as long as I don't have to watch), so all this doesn't bother me as much as remembering that I will have to filter ALL the water I drink if I don't want little buggies floating around in my tummy and making me sick. That in itself is a bad enough thought, but then, last week, I read a book about the Hope diamond that said that King Louis XIV, one of the first owners of the diamond, had a TAPEWORM in his stomach...now I am REALLY freaked out about getting something like that, or even worse (is there anything worse than a tapeworm?)

Also, Pip (our dog, who is coming with us) can't drink out of puddles or nibble on all the yummy bits he finds on the ground down there either. We try not to let him do those things up here, but down there--I don't want him to get worms, either!

AND, on top of that, there is malaria in Honduras in all the parts outside of Tegus (because our city is up in the mountains, thank goodness). I've heard of all the adverse effects of malaria medicine, so I don't know if I should take it or not, what kind, etc....

It's maddening, and it's only one of the many questions I have about this adventure.

Am I being silly? Yes. Of course. I tend (family, don't laugh at my weak language here) to be a bit...imaginative...about sickness, especially when it concerns bugs or (worse, if possible) vomit. Ugh. I HATE being sick!

I have a feeling that I am going to have to get used to being outside of my comfort zone while in Honduras, both when dealing with bodily functions as well as the language barrier. And, I'm sure the good will outweigh the bad in Honduras--I just need to learn more about some of the less-scary parts of this epic adventure.

Positively thinking...
KF

4 comments:

  1. Kristen

    Don't get too worried. Most of the water I drink is purified water from big bottles (botellones)that are just a few lempira more expensive than a bottle of water! Almost everyone here in Santa Rosa (except for the poor) drinks this purified water (there are three different companies selling it here).

    I'm up int he mountains too and don't take malaria medicine. But make your own decision. I don't get out of this area much.

    Parasites come - and they go. I think I had them once and used the medicine a doctor gave me which cleared me up in less than a week.

    The one concern here is dengue. But there is nothing you can do about it except try to avoid mosquitoes which is impossible, since they are really fast here.

    Most of all be careful. I even eat lettuce (if I know who prepared it and washed it!)

    Tapeworms I don't know about but I think they might be related to walking around outside barefoot.

    Keep eating beans - but in Teguz the tortillas are paper thin - like Mexican corn tortillas. I much prefer the thick tortillas made here (and in El Salvador), especially the ones int he countryside when they are toasted - put right by the burning wood fire!

    God bless - take care - take courage.

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  2. ¡Muchas gracias! It is so nice to hear from someone actually living in the country...I hope we will be able to meet you soon after we arrive in Honduras. :)

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  3. I wouldn't be worried. I lived in Honduras for almost three years doing mission work, and the only time I ever got anything was when I was in Nicaragua--and really that was the only time I got sick. Malaria is pretty rare in most parts, I never took the medicine. Never got it. I worked in an orphanage and a lot of the children got worms, but they took pills and (excuse the language) pooped them out and were fine. So, I take it you are moving to Honduras soon?

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  4. Kristen, I read in your more recent article the cost you are expecting to pay for vaccinations! Don't do it! Check with your local county health department. They may offer the shots much cheaper than a private clinic. (They did in Texas.) Also, you can get the Hepatitis booster shots here in Honduras for much less than in the US.

    I know a TON of expats in Honduras through my Honduras Living Yahoo group (which you should join for your questions) and I've never heard of a single person getting rabies shots or even that it was ever recommended. That sounds a little off-the-charts to me.

    Some people take the malaria preventative when they first get here, but very few, if any that I know, continue it long term. I think that malaria is much less common in Tegus than on the coast or islands. You'll have to make that decision.

    As John said, mosquitoes which cause dengue and malaria will be your biggest risk. Dengue is more common than malaria and there is no vaccine for it yet. The CDC page give some advice for lessening that risk:

    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/honduras.aspx

    Good luck on your trip!

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