Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We're Not in Kansas Anymore!!!

"Not my shampoo!!!" In 2005, I took a trip similar to the one I'm about to go on... At least, that's what it felt like at the time. I spent the spring semester as a HACU intern, and I was placed in Kansas City, Missouri with the USDA. (BTW- check out the website, if you want an awesome paid internship). I was so scared that I packed everything I thought I would need for a 6 month stay- shampoo, soap, towels, vitamins... When my mom and grandma dropped me off at LAX, my bags were way over the weight limit and I had to remove my two bulk sized shampoo bottles. Convinced I would be forced to either wash my hair with dish soap or worse, I pleaded with the desk clerk to no avail. There's no way they sell normal shampoo in Kansas City!!! Boy was I wrong! I had the time of my life and will be forever changed by the months I spent there.

I know that story may make me sound naive but it was the furthest I'd travelled outside of my bubble, and I wanted to be prepared. Now, this is my second trip to Guatemala and I sort of know what to expect, but I'm becoming just a neurotic about my preparations as I was before. Like I mentioned earlier- I'm really not that adventurous and I like my little comfy bubble.

So the program I'm going with gave me a packing list that includes some interesting items: bug repellant, a poncho, towels, a rescue whistle, a desk lamp, a prescription of strong antibiotics, anti-diarrhea medicine, a large container of hand sanitizer... What did I get myself into??? Which of these items is going to save me from another volcanic eruption, tropical storm, or help rescue me from a sinkhole??? 

I've trolled the travel sites and  they all say Antigua, Guatemala is a beautiful and safe place to say. They do mention though, that one must be wary of bed bugs since they are quite common, and bring your own towels to avoid getting body lice. So gross!!! I'm sure I'll be fine. Just in case, Brian encourage me to buy a shank (or utility knife as he likes to call it). I'll probably just cut paper with it, but you never know;)