Posted by Emily Block | 0 comments

More Preparation

I have reached another milestone in the form of getting all of my medical things out of the way. I had my pre-trip physical last week, got my medical release form all filled out, and recived my perscription for my 90 Malarone pills to ward off the evil bugger malaria.

My interpretation of what evil malaria looks like.

 I also got approval to have the yellow fever vaccine even thought it is a live virus. I had the vaccine on Monday and unfortunately was sick within three hours. It appears to only be an immune system reaction with a low fever, chills, body aches, and fatigue. I've spend much of the last few days sleeping and had to miss a concert yesteday and class today. :0( It is all worth it of course, but right now I feel really crummy.

The past few days have also been very productive on the field programs and class schedule front.  I talked to Debbie from the field programs office (seriously one of the nicest people I've ever talked to) and she helped me figure out the accessibility of the field programs I'm interested in.  I was really happy that we shared the philosophy of using creativity to make things work.   She told me many stories of people in wheelchairs who were able to do things normally not thought to be accessible with help and planning.  I really appreciate this because so many people will label a whole trip inaccessible if there are like two stairs.  Since I walk most of the time, that would actually not be a problem for me.  After chatting with her, I decided that pretty much everything I was thinking of signing up for would be doable with the exception of the trip to Cambodia.  I guess the weather at the time of year we would be there is pretty excruciating.  Even with my cooling vest, it probably wouldn't be the best place for me to be.  I am a little disappointed, but also excited for the time it freed up in Vietnam.
The thing that started my SAS binge today (visiting the facebook group, checking the website, blogging, planning field programs, etc...) was a class opening up that I have really wanted to take.  Some amazingly awesome person dropped International Service Learning and posted the opening on the facebook group.  I guess I was lucky enough to be the first person to see the post so I got the spot! This class is in very high demand and I was sure I wouldnt' be able to take it.  Speaking of classes, here are the ones I'm taking:
The professors had to beat out lots of competition to get the position so I hear that the classes are phenomenal   Each class is different in how they are structured, but it is usually similar to any other campus with tests, papers, and presentations.  The exception, of course, is that at least 20% of our grade is based on our participation in field programs.  The faculty will lead these trips (or approve of other trips) so that class material in integrated with our experience.  For most classes, we will be keeping journals and making presentations based on these programs and individual research.  I'm really excited that the trip will be so academic.  I feel like the program is set up for students to learn the most while having great adventures.

Every single day I  have a moment or two where it hits me that this is really happening.  There is all the stress and focus on getting forms filled out and planning every detail (not to mention regular school work and applying to grad school), but then there are these moments when I stop and realize how amazing this is going to be.  I feel so fortunate that I am able to do this from both a financial and health standpoint.  It seems too good to be true, and yet, in two months I will be on the boat!


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