I think that’s what I say every time I have to pack for something. As much as I hate it, I’m the type of person who ends up bringing three bags with me when I go home to my parents house for the weekend. This trip seems to be no exception. I’ve also never prepared medically for any trip before now. I actually went to the travel clinic at OSU and got updates on my tetanus and Hep A vaccines as well as a typhoid vaccine, a traveler’s diarrhea pack with antibiotics and Imodium, altitude sickness pills, and malaria pills. A little overwhelming. And maybe a little overkill since I will be working in hospitals the whole time? Oh well, as a microbiologist I never turn down an opportunity for a vaccination. haha. I’m also bringing a two month supply of probiotics with me to fend off stomach problems (see, I do love my bacteria) because I’ve heard too many war stories of people who returned from the program talking about how sick everyone was all the time. Between the altitude (Quito is at 9,000 ft) and the sometimes sketchy food handling, it seems a lot of people either had traveler’s diarrhea, colds, headaches, or general fatigue. And after my own unfortunate encounter with a stomach bug in Thailand not too long ago, I’ll do whatever I can to avoid having that again. Yes, overkill, I know.
Added to my list I also have various medical supplies to gift to the understocked clinics (gauze, alcohol wipes, gloves, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff…) as well as my own personal supplies (scrubs, lab coat, extra gloves because I will want to change mine more often than they change theirs so I’m told, surgical masks, lots of Purrell…). Then I have host family gifts for various families, and since I know food is the universal way into people’s hearts I’m bringing “Oregon” foods such as Oregon wine, smoked salmon, Tilamook cheddar cheese, chocolates, jams, and hazelnuts. Mmm my stomach just growled. Hopefully all that makes it to
Ecuador before I eat it myself. I don’t know where I’m going to fit my clothes but I’ll probably fight that battle a few hours before my plane leaves just to make things exciting. Nothing like a last minute rush.
Gathering my supplies