An emergency trip to the dentist yesterday reminded me of the things I am not interested in while traveling to underdeveloped countries. With only one week until I leave for Kenya, I quickly called the dentist for an appointment when I started experiencing nerve pain in a tooth. I thought to myself, “Toothache…Kenya in a week…go to the dentist now!”. Thankfully, my dentist took care of the problem. This got me thinking about things I am not interested in when traveling.
Sure, I am all about adventure and experiencing culture, but I do have my boundaries. Certainly there are some obvious things I am not interested in while traveling, such as plane crashes, terrorist attacks, and snake bites, but I can’t think of any Compassion trip where this became a problem. However…..there are some other events and experiences that could happen or have happened, and I do have some control over.
Topping my list of things that I am not interested in, is a trip to the dentist while in Africa. For some reason, a little corner dentist office in the middle of Nairobi does not sound like a fun place. I think of unconventional methods of dentistry. Just sayin… I am not about to mess with a toothache a week out from a trip.
Second, I am not interested in gastrointestinal disorders while traveling. I am a firm believer in pharmaceutical methods of caring for stomach issues. Cipro is my best friend. Along this course, I am not interested in tempting fate with the best looking raw vegetables no matter how delicious they look. No matter how beautiful the salsa looks, or how fresh the sauce is, if it has not been cooked, I don’t eat it. Semi-raw meat is something I avoid, and most seafood. I vividly remember the look on Pete Wilson’s face while we traveled in India into a rural community, and he was experiencing some serious gastrointestinal issues. Every time I get tempted to eat something questionable while overseas, his pale, sweaty face flashes into my head.
I am not interested in getting lice. Yes, this has happened….to my daughter while traveling in Kenya. It’s taken her a year to let me tell her important story. Unfortunately, my daughter wore her long hair down, letting it whip around, and somewhere along the way, she picked up lice. Four days into our trip she complained of an itchy head. We looked at her hair and we visually could see little bugs crawling around. Thanks to Susan, our awesome staff person in Kenya, we quickly obtained lice treatment and exterminated the little suckers. I believe in ponytails, hats and carrying lice medication.
I am not interested in seeing snakes outside the zoo. No explanation needed.
I am not interested in rashes. If I can’t see the bottom of the pool, I don’t swim in it.
Finally, I am not interested in bug bites. I like bug spray. I like potent bug spray, the kind you can taste in your mouth because of its high quantity of Deet. It reassures me that I will not get bitten.
I like travel, I like adventure, I love visiting kids, hugging and kissing them and holding their hands. I love trying new things, seeing new things, but there are a few things I am not interested in, things I like to avoid, so that I can have a great experience.
What are some things you are not interested in while traveling? Can you add to my list?
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