Here we are less than two weeks from our departure date. Time is really getting away from us, and our to-do lists don’t seem like they’re getting any shorter. There are insurance companies to call- travel, health, auto, home-owners, and life. We have also made going to the immunization clinic on the base a frequent afternoon outing, getting vaccinations for hepatitis A & B, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, rabies, measles/mumps/rubella, tetanus, polio, and yellow fever. Many of these immunizations are done in a series of two or three shots that are taken a week to several weeks apart, so it takes a month or more to get all of the required jabs in. We have been pretty thankful though to have had access to this clinic that gives us these little pricks (and they don’t require that we open our pocket books when done). We have heard that if we were to pay for the vaccinations on our own it would set us back $150 to $250 for each prick. That means that if Adam and I were to get the series of rabies done, since it is $250, it would cost us $1500 between the two of us. AND with the rabies inoculation, it doesn’t even “vaccinate you against rabies”, it buys you an extra day to get to the hospital so you can get more shots. AHHHH!!!!!
Malaria medication has been another ordeal. Family Practice on the base does not want to give us more than 90 days of meds for malaria, which we would rather not contract, thank you very much! Since you need to take the meds before and after being in a malaria zone that doesn’t even buy us the three months, we are going to be in and out of these “zones” most of our trip. They say that we can come back and get some more later. What part of out of the country for nine months do they not understand?? So, we have resorted to getting creative with the system, like asking for a different kind of malaria medication whenever we see a doctor. Now we have a whole collection!
As far as the over the counter stuff that we will need as we travel, we have also spent hours shopping. Like dental floss, I never really gave it that much thought before, but when everything needs to be compact and as useful as possible you start to think about these things. We have been looking at dental floss when ever we go somewhere lately, and it seemed like most of them were about 50 yards per container. Today, however, at Walgreens we hit the dental floss jackpot, 200 yards in a small compact case, SCORE!!! Also, we have learned that you can fit almost three tubes of Dramamine into one container. Talk about space efficiency!!
I am sure after October 7th we won’t focus so much about the contents of our luggage, but more on our journey (I hope anyways). For now though, we will continue dreaming about Sudafed, band-aids, toothpaste, and a better, more compact, stronger what-ever-it-is.