Getting Ready for Summer- my trip to student health
This summer is going to be one of my most exciting ever! I have three finals this week and leave Nashville next Sunday (just SEVEN days from today). Where did the year go?! I will be home for about a week and a half before my first summer adventure begins. On May 11th, I will be traveling to Solola, Guatemala to serve as a program intern with Manna Project International.
Manna Project International is a non-profit that was actually started by a Vanderbilt alumnus. It focuses on providing service to the underserved populations of rural Central and South America. There are three different programs within the organization. The first is college spring break trips. Vanderbilt sent over 400 students on Manna trips to various sites all over Latin America. this year. The other two programs are based at one of Manna’s three permanent sites in either Guatemala, Ecuador or Nicaragua. I will be a program intern for four weeks and I will be working with program directors, who are recent college graduates who are paid by Manna to live and work at these sites for 13-month terms.
Sorry for side-tracking, but here is actually how I am getting ready for summer. The Manna team created a Facebook page for the volunteers to introduce ourselves and ask common questions. It turns out, that through the page, I met another girl from Vanderbilt who will be traveling this summer. That was really exciting for me, because I thought that I would not know anyone. Going to a foreign country with a familiar face will be so much easier.
In addition, I needed to get a Typhoid Fever vaccine before my trip. I had a slight panic attack when I realized that I would not be home in time to get the vaccine and have it take effect. But then, I remembered that I could get vaccinated at Student Health, and that it would be cheaper than getting the vaccine at a travel clinic.
I popped into the Student Health Center on Friday afternoon for my travel consultation. The nurse practitioner was extremely helpful and knowledgable. She pulled up a map of Guatemala and a list of which diseases were prevalent in each region of the country. She recommended that I take the vaccine orally because it was more effective. She even gave me a few prescriptions for antibiotics and other medications that I may need while I am there.
It was a quick and easy and we are so lucky to have such a great resource. My immune system is ready to tackle Guatemala. The rest of my body should catch up!