This week we had our final class, I went to the travel clinic, and I finished my volunteer hours. It was a pretty productive week and things seem to finally be coming together, I just need to hand in a couple of things on Monday and then I should be done the course!
So for our final class we did what we do best, which is eat. We had lunch and we had guests come wish us “bon voyage”; however it didn’t feel like the end. This process has been going on for so long now that I’m still in “I’ll be going eventually” mode. I don’t think this will set in until I start packing. I love to pack and packing is when you have to picture exactly what you’ll be doing because you need to pack accordingly for those activities. I also just like organizing, so I can’t wait for the challenge of packing my travel backpack that I got for Christmas so that everything is as accessible as it needs to be and I fit everything I need in it. Just talking about packing is getting me excited for Argentina right now! I’m such a nerd. I think another reason as to why it hasn’t set in yet is because I don’t yet have a departure date. I think once the ticket is booked and I can mark on my calendar an actual date then I’ll start getting nervous and excited.
Also, this week I went to the travel clinic. It was the best visit to the clinic ever because I didn’t have to get ANY needles! Absolutely none at all! The one that nurse said I would need to get had the option of being taken orally, so of course I opted for that. I just can’t forget to take the four pills next week. I also learned some things to look out for. Such as, avoid rabid animals (and just all animals in general), don’t get bitten by bugs (I should take bug repellant with 20-30 percent DEET), look out for traffic, make sure I only consume safe food and water, and how to combat traveler’s diarrhea (take prescription drugs). It was a very informative session and I brushed up on my negotiating skills. One may wonder how you improve your negotiating skills at a clinic so I will tell you. When the nurse suggested things that needed needles but weren’t necessary for the area I was going I told her I would stay away from all areas that carried the disease as long as I didn’t have to get the needle. Or if there were shots that she recommended just in general I told her I would get them when I came back or if I was ever traveling anywhere in the future that required them. I just really wanted to avoid needles. So it was a successful trip to the clinic, I even got some swag (free stuff) like booklets and papers on things to look out for in Argentina and just traveling in general.
While at the travel clinic the nurse gave me tips for what to eat and drink. Unfortunately raw food is a no go, this means no sushi. I wasn’t expecting sushi in Quilino per se, but in the larger cities such as Cordóba and Buenos Aires there is international cuisine. Some other things to keep in mind is when eating fruit and vegetables they either have to be cooked (so that all of the germs are gone) or have a skin that can be peeled off. This is unfortunate for me because I love fruits and vegetables and there are a lot of vegetables that can’t be peeled and taste delicious raw. Also, if it isn’t obviously safe to drink the water it is always best to opt for alcohol! Well the nurse mentioned juice and pop too, but she also suggested beer and wine.
On Wednesday I finished my volunteer hours. It was most definitely a sigh of relief to get those done. I also just really like St. John’s kitchen so it was a good Wednesday. Now that the pressure is off to get 20 hours though, I am still planning on going there for a couple of hours here and there when procrastinating for exams. At dinner on Wednesday I was talking to a couple of friends about my work at the soup kitchen and I think one of them are interested in going sometime so I might bring a friend next time I volunteer. It felt a bit like in the movie “Pay it Forward”.
So that’s it. I think this is our last mandatory blog until departure time – so adios amigos! I will gladly be gone from the blogosphere for awhile.