Tico Tuesday: Travel Health and Basketball
We’ve made some good progress on our preparations, some fun stuff and some must-do stuff.
Last week our family paid a visit to the travel health clinic to get the low-down on how to keep ourselves healthy in Central America. Before that day I had not a hint of anxiety about this trip. Now I may have a little twinge.
The thing is, we have been to our soon-to-be adopted town three times before and I’ve never been worried… so why now?
It may be the length of our stay and thus the increased exposure to health risks that is bothering me… but I’m not sure.
Vaccines can protect us from (as of last Thursday) the following local threats:
- Hep A & B (not Derek for the B); since the boys will be in school with other kids Hep B was recommended
- Typhoid Fever
- Influenza (seasonal) – not that weird new one I read about yesterday
- Tetanus, diptheria, pertussis
- Dengue fever which exists throughout Central America: We need to protect ourselves from mosquitos two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset – DEET 25% for adults and 10% for children. Herbal repellent can work but needs to be reapplied every 20 minutes. We need to wear all unscented products, wear light coloured clothing and long pants/sleeves if possible (last one not likely).
- Foodborne stomach issues: we have a “just in case” prescription for anti-biotics for very bad cases of this. On our past three visits this has been bearable, and much better than any trips to the Dominican Republic or Mexico. We never stayed in a resort and still ate salads and fresh fruit wherever we went.
At the end of the visit, after some tears, maybe a little screaming, some sugar and some interesting discussion about the photos of children around the world on the wall, my children came away knowing how lucky they are to have the protection they do.
The Unicef gift catalogue came last week and now Lil D is interested in purchasing the polio and measles vaccine packs as gifts.
My sweet husband Derek is a HUGE basketball fan. Up until last week, upon waking each morning he would check his iPhone before his feet hit the ground to see if the NBA lockout had ended (and boy is he happy it has!)
Well, Derek has been searching high and low on the Tamarindo websites for basketball and soccer programs for the boys, as well as some men’s basketball for himself. Through much search and much emailing, he has found soccer, and two full covered basketball courts, one with weekly pick-up.
He emailed the guy who organizes the pick-up run asking about the existence of kids’ programs. The funny guy emailed back something to the effect of,
“That’s a great idea Derek! Thanks for volunteering for the new Saturday morning kids’ basketball program.”
First Derek asked me if this was a misunderstanding or if the guy was a joker. I suggested that he was indeed being funny. However, Derek didn’t think it was funny. He thought it was great. He has now recruited that joker to help him get a basketball program for kids going in January…
If you’re you’ve got a basketball fan in your family and are planning a trip to Tamarindo or really anywhere in Guanacaste, let me know and I’ll hook you up with some hoops!
Here’s our to-do list progress for this week:
- Organize home insurance as rental property (still waiting for quote)
- Purge our household contents; feeling the urge to pare down (solid wood crib, well-loved Step 2 playhouse and plastic piknik table are the next items…)
- Pack up house for renters; rubbermaid bins and wardrobe boxes on my shopping list this week
- Make contact list, instruction list for renters
- Pack for our trip – I bought 3 MEC duffle bags (so reasonably-priced!) as lightweight luggage for our clothing
- Get worksheets for Lil D from teacher
- Redirect mail to my parents’ house
- Inform security company of renter
- Modify cable, internet, phone services for renter
For Tamarindo (our Costa Rican town)
- Stock up on Cdn pharmaceuticals including DEET-containing products
- Second visit to travel clinic for last two shots for boys
- Doctor – Lil D annual physical (booked for early Dec)
- Buy new linens for CR
- Rebook renters of our condo in March for another unit in our building; we don’t want to back up and leave for that week.
- Plan trip in March to renew tourist visas – looking like Nicaragua (Panama would require anti-malarials)
So, with all this list-making, you can see that the holidays are not really on my radar. I am outsourcing that to extended family this year. I’m hoping that even the kids’ gift-opening can be done outside our home to minimize clean up. I hope everyone else’s preparations are going well. It’s hard to imagine Christmas and Hannukah are in 4 weeks…