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If I wasn't busy enough yet

  1. Apr 13, 2009 #1

    Moonbear

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    I swear, I'm trying to get back here to post more again, but it just ain't happening! :frown:

    I think I've already mentioned I'm buying a new house, and closing on that is coming up very soon (too soon...I swore it seemed a long way off when I made the offer, and now I'm still scrambling to get everything ready on time). Then I need to paint a bunch of rooms and pull up ugly carpet (the sellers have very tacky taste) before I really move in. Still need to try to find movers...to move me in May...in a college town. :rolleyes: And need to schedule that around a trip I'm making to the more rural parts of the state with other faculty to tour factories and farms and learn about the needs of the people in rural areas so our educational and outreach programs can better target those needs.

    This week was supposed to be my week off while the med students are on spring break, but somehow, my week has gotten completely filled up with meetings (you'd think everyone else had the week off too, to hold meetings :grumpy:) and heading off to another university to tour their facilities at the end of the week.

    Starting back to getting research done as classes come to an end, and busy getting that up and running again.

    And, found out today that the grant I'm a co-PI on just got funded...this is the one for me to travel to Mozambique this summer, and I think I arrive for the rainy season :rolleyes:. It's one of those mixed blessing sort of things...great to get the grant, and cool to travel to Mozambique and do something really needed there, but I think I would have preferred if the funding got delayed until winter. If I catch malaria, I'll have plenty of time home sick to tell you all about it. :uhh:
     
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  3. Apr 13, 2009 #2

    JasonRox

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    Awesome! I remember talking about moving last year with you.

    I bet moving into a house is probably a lot of work.

    Be sure to show off some pictures by then end of the month if you have the time.
     
  4. Apr 13, 2009 #3

    Moonbear

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    Lots of people want to see pictures of my house, so I will eventually post some. I need to take pictures first.

    Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE moving? I've decided, this is it, I'm not moving again. If anyone decides I need to move again, they are going to have to do it all for me, from the house hunting, to buying, to dealing with all the utilities, to arranging movers, and packing and unpacking, etc. The only part of moving I'll ever do again is getting in my car and driving to a new house. :approve:
     
  5. Apr 13, 2009 #4
    When you find someone to do that for you Moonbear, let me know, and I'll borrow them too.

    Congrats to you on stuff! Lots of stuff. It's all good stuff, so that's great! Lots of exclamation marks from me.
     
  6. Apr 13, 2009 #5

    berkeman

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    We all hate moving, but moving can be a good thing, like it is in your case! We mostly hate real busy times at work and with outside volunteer work (Mozambique!), but it's important.

    Hang in there, keep doing great stuff, and post when you can! Good to hear from you MB.
     
  7. Apr 13, 2009 #6

    russ_watters

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    Hey, congrats, Moonbear!
     
  8. Apr 13, 2009 #7
    Gin and tonic my dear. Great news about the grant funding though.
     
  9. Apr 13, 2009 #8

    Moonbear

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    If I find someone to do all that for me, I'm not letting them out of my sight long enough to share. :biggrin:

    Hmm...I like Franz's idea...gin and tonics. Drat, the liquor cabinet is already packed. What was I thinking? That should have been the last thing packed up, not the first. I should have known I'd need alcohol before the move was done! :rofl:

    Edit: Oh, yeah, and the grant would be better if it was for more than 6 months. This one is just the "planning" grant, which provides enough funding to go talk to people and find out what the needs are, then we write the next bigger grant and hope to get funding to actually implement it all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  10. Apr 14, 2009 #9
    You do have a full plate! It all sounds wonderful, except the malaria part. Congrats on the new digs!
     
  11. Apr 14, 2009 #10

    Moonbear

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    Well, I don't have to stick with malaria. I can take my pick, really. There's HIV, TB, and measles to choose from if malaria doesn't suit me. This is why they need a better med school...they have some pretty terrible health problems in that country, and the surrounding countries, that they need to deal with, and have hardly any physicians to treat them all.

    On the plus side, the clinic that's part of the med school does have one US trained physician on staff at all times as part of the conditions of the funding agency that helped them build the clinic. And, my contact there speaks excellent English. It was pretty scary thinking about what happens in the case of a medical emergency when traveling to a country where you know the physicians aren't well trained since that's the reason you're going there, to help improve their training.

    Though, I probably should start trying to learn some Portuguese quickly, before I travel there. I guess that means hanging out in the morgue a lot...our embalmer knows Portuguese, so I think I'll have to practice speaking with him.
     
  12. Apr 14, 2009 #11

    JasonRox

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    It sounds awesome to be heading there.

    How many weeks will you be there?
     
  13. Apr 14, 2009 #12

    G01

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    I feel for you, MB. I have to move in a couple months and am not looking forward to it. Look on the bright side though, at least you don't have to move into a Boston apartment whose rent is probably >= your stipend.:rolleyes:
     
  14. Apr 14, 2009 #13

    turbo

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    On the up-side, Moonie, time always seems to fly when you're that busy, and when the next breathing space shows up, you'll go "whew!" and reflect on what you got done. Good luck!!
     
  15. Apr 14, 2009 #14
    Hi Moonbear...Before I start, are you a medical doctor?

    If so, there's definitely nothing I can tell you about the diseases in Mozambique, but if not then I suggest you receive proper vaccinations for hepatitis as well as for yellow fever and meningitis. I also suggest you get the vaccinations about two weeks prior to leaving the US as they can make you pretty sick.

    The rainy season is over as we're slowly approaching winter down here. However, a good malaria tablet is "Melanil" (I don't know if you will have the same names in the US) it doesn't make one as nauseous as some of the others. Over here they are known as the expensive choice, but they're worth it. You could also find out if the place you're staying has proper mosquito netting and if not, it really will be worth your while taking one along (especially if you're not going to be in the cities the whole time, when you're in the bush, there are often other nasties besides mossies wanting to share your bed at night). Having said that, I know people who've been in and out of malaria territory for over twenty years (spending the larger part of the year there) never took a tablet and only got malaria twice, so don't stress too much :wink:

    Oh, quite a few of the locals speak English (obviously with varying proficiency) so I think your greatest challenge will be their accents.

    Finally, depending on where you end up in Mozambique, you can always be air-lifted to South Africa in case of medical emergencies. While we're on the topic of medical emergencies, if you're going to visit the rural areas, never drive anywhere without a guide as there are still areas littered with mines (they have had massive clearing programs over the last 10/15 years so the chances of you ending up in such an area is near nil, but forewarned etc etc).

    Enjoy it though! There's very good, very cheap seafood to be had! :smile:
     
  16. Apr 14, 2009 #15
    Is there very good, very cheap food poisoning to also be had? (Just kidding... it was too tempting to resist!)

    Gin and tonic? Before I was married (and pregnant) I treated alcohol as the sure fix to keep any bad germs at bay! Excellent plan!

    With regards to the new house... I actually like moving... it's a good time to clean out unnecessary junk that tends to pile up. And it's hopefully proven a buyer's market for you! drink to that! (Mild drinking might also help with the moving. Bribing friends with heavy post-moving drinking can be even more useful :smile: I'd chop in for this if it weren't for the little one in utero!)
     
  17. Apr 14, 2009 #16

    Moonbear

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    No I'm not a medical doctor, I just teach med students. We do have physicians affiliated with the med school who I will talk to about the vaccinations since this is work-related (hopefully I can get them paid for by the university, or at least very discounted). I'll ask about all those, because I will be at the med school in Beira, so have a good chance of being exposed to almost anything as people come there for the clinic. I'm going to start more than two weeks before leaving...I am waiting until I'm done with house closing, but then will start getting vaccinated so I'm not waiting until the last minute or not fully protected when I'm ready to leave.

    Do you live in or near Mozambique? Or South Africa? What is the winter climate there? I will be meeting with my collaborator from Mozambique the end of this week and will have a long car trip with him to ask all these types of questions too, but if you can answer some of them, it'll leave us some time to discuss the work we're doing while traveling together.

    Yes, I was already cautioned that mosquito netting and long sleeves is the main way to avoid malaria. My colleague tells me that people who live there also develop resistance to malaria, because they are actually exposed to it often.

    That's good. I can cope with accents if they can speak English. I was under the impression that not many spoke English, since one of the problems mentioned to me was poorly translated texts from English to Portuguese.

    I don't expect to be traveling to rural areas, and certainly not without a guide. As far as I know, the work I'll be doing will all be in the city of Beira. I'm only going to be there for two weeks. One of the other people on the project will be going out for a month and traveling to more cities during that time to visit various clinics to survey physicians on their needs. My role there is mostly to get the project started, see what facilities they have to work with and what materials they currently use for their lessons. A second person goes out to do the surveys. Our contact from Mozambique will also travel here during that time and we'll continue what we've already started of him touring facilities here to figure out what we can adapt to work there. Then the third person on the project goes out at the end to wrap things up. In between the trips, we'll be working via email on a new curriculum. Then we write the big grant to start teaching the curriculum. That will be the really neat part, to actually start teaching the courses there and training their faculty.

    Sounds good!

    I'm nervous about parts of the trip, but mostly, I'm excited and looking forward to it. It'll certainly be different, but that's the point.
     
  18. Apr 14, 2009 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    Congrats Moonbear! It sounds like it should be quite an exciting summer.

    We will expect a full report, of course. Extra credit will be issued for every word learned in Portuguese, Swahili, Makhuwa, Sena, Ndau, and Shangaan. :biggrin:
     
  19. Apr 15, 2009 #18
    I live in South Africa, in Johannesburg. Winters here by us are considered "very cold" when you have -5C :biggrin: Further up North towards Mozambique there are practically no winters, you should have a good time climate-wise.

    You shouldn't expect any intense philosophical discussions! :biggrin: Actually, come to think of it, you're probably right, as my knowledge of the locals are centred on those in the tourist industry (and of course they'll have greater exposure to foreigners and English than others)...Should've thought of that before :redface:
     
  20. Apr 15, 2009 #19

    Moonbear

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    Si! (Okay, I cheated...that one's the same in Portuguese and Spanish.) I think I'll check out the language section of the bookstore this weekend. I'm looking at Amazon and not finding much that comes with good reviews and is European Portuguese, not Brazilian Portuguese. I think I'll stick with just trying to learn one language per trip, though, thanks. :tongue:

    Phyzmatix, thanks. If the winters in Johannesburg get that cold, I think I'll stop thinking about spending a few days there while traveling (I would have to fly through Johannesburg I think, so considered tacking a couple extra days to the trip to visit there before flying back to the US...I'll remember to bring a few warm clothes in case I get stuck there with missed flights or some such).
     
  21. Apr 16, 2009 #20

    Lisa!

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    Woot! Nice to see you here, Moonie!:smile:
     
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