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It's all Tsu's fault!

  1. Jun 29, 2009 #1

    Moonbear

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    :biggrin:

    I finally caved in and ordered a Kindle for myself. I can't wait! She gave it such good reviews when she was recovering from her broken hip (I REALLY hope it wasn't the drugs talking), that I've been seriously considering it ever since. I kept hoping prices would go down, but now I think every time there's a risk of that happening, they're going to introduce a newer model with more features to keep the price up. With my upcoming trip to Mozambique (less than a month away), and thinking about packing light, and finding out it's not safe to go out at night there, and the few TV stations I might get are all going to be in Portuguese (I've only gotten as far as learning bom dia and boa tarde), I'm going to need reading material. I also want to pack light, and don't know how reliable power will be (or, rather, I'm aware it can be very unreliable), so, it sounds like if I load up a bunch of books on it before I leave, and then turn off the wireless on it while traveling, the battery should last the duration of my trip. Carrying one Kindle sounds way better than a pile of books when I don't know how much I'll really be able to read while there, and am not sure how far I'll be lugging luggage (I'm not expecting smooth sidewalks conducive to dragging a roll-along, so am going to do most of my packing in a carry-on size backpack, and then just keep the roll along light for checking with the odds and ends I can't carry on so I can still carry it by the handles if I must). The most extensive thing I plan to pack is a well-stocked first aid kit. In addition to my own intuition, one of the physicians who has been there before also cautioned me NOT to go to the hospital there if I get sick.

    Okay, only the Kindle is Tsu's fault...the rest of this is all my own doing and an excuse to blab about my upcoming trip...because I'm excited and nervous at the same time. Part of the trip is going to be spent at rural clinics, a 4 hour drive out of the city (and I'm not expecting it to be on actual roads...I don't usually get carsick, but I'm taking dramamine along anyway...I expect a bumpy ride).

    I got all my shots on Friday, so I'm vaccinated against most things one can get vaccinated against (only skipped the rabies shot...if I was going to visit farms there, I would have gotten that too...and yellow fever, which seems to be the only nasty disease you can't catch in Mozambique). The nurse in the international health office asked me if I had any questions about any of the vaccinations (the routine, required question for vaccinations), and I said, "Only one...what am I getting myself into?" :rofl: Fortunately, no side effects of any of the vaccinations...not even a sore arm, which I was really expecting considering how many shots I was getting in the same day. They didn't have any vaccines against annoying students though, so I'm still going to have to deal with them when I return. :tongue:

    It's a little disturbing to really start thinking about the fact you're traveling to a place where not only are there no good hospitals, but not even access to common medications to hold you over until you can get to a hospital...I was given a prescription for Cipro to fill here and take with me and a big sheet of instructions about how much to take and for how long based on the symptoms for the different illnesses it'll treat. There's not even much assurance of anyone there using (or even having) sterile gloves or instruments, so I'll be taking along some sterile surgical gloves and a suture kit (especially for the day we travel out into the really rural areas). I'll have two US trained physicians with me, and possibly one trained in Italy, so there should be the knowledge base for treating any serious injuries, but I'm going to be sure we have the supplies for it too, especially since I have easy access to the supplies. I'm hoping nothing will require more than a cleaning and a band-aid, but since medical treatment for serious injuries will require an airlift out of the country (we've been told South African hospitals are good if we can't wait to get all the way back to the US, but even that will be a long way from where we are staying), I want to have everything needed to get someone that far.

    I did get the good malaria pills, though. They're more expensive than the others, but they kill the parasites earlier in their life cycle than the others, and don't have the side effect of weird dreams that the others have (I already have weird dreams, so really don't need anything else that makes them weirder!)
     
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  3. Jun 29, 2009 #2

    turbo

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    Congrats on the trip. I wish you good luck, good health, and NO parasites.
     
  4. Jun 29, 2009 #3
    A professor friend of mine has a Kindle, it's pretty cool, I think you'll like it.
     
  5. Jun 29, 2009 #4
    I hope the Kindle works out for you. Did you get the DX version or just the regular kindle 2? I've been salivating over ereaders for a while...but my primary intention is for the offline viewing and markup of scientific publications, which means that I need to be able to view unadultered PDF's. The kindle screen is too small for viewing of full page papers, lacks Wacom pen support, and cannot view PDF files. It seems that the only way to view PDF's on these things currently is by converting the PDF into an eBook format using some nasty infectious third party software, and even then the PDF is pretty much butchered into a txt file that's lacking any semblance of formatting or layout...so I've taken a pass. However I think the future is bright.
     
  6. Jun 29, 2009 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I can tell you that a year later, Tsu still uses her Kindle every day and she still loves it. She finally bought a new battery but hasn't had to replace the old one yet. I think she had to do a hard reset using the little button on the back a couple of times, but it came right back up with no problems.
     
  7. Jun 29, 2009 #6

    Moonbear

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    That's good to know. I think I'm going to enjoy using it, since my biggest issue when traveling is HOW MANY books to bring. It's no better to run out of reading material when I have loads more time than anticipated to read than it is to lug along extra books and never have a chance to read them. And then I end up losing the bookmark, or falling asleep reading and lose the page I'm on. So, I think the Kindle is going to really work for me. Ever since Tsu told me how much she loved hers, I've wanted to get one, but really kept hoping for the price to come down. Since I've seen no sign of the price budging and I really could most benefit from it now, I decided the time is right.

    Besides, I'm finally thinking of buying real bookshelves rather than those cheap particle board things with cardboard backs, and looking at the prices of those has given me second thoughts about how many more books I want to accumulate!

    Junglebeast, I just got the regular one, not the DX version. I mostly want it for pleasure reading. For technical reading, or textbooks, I still prefer paper...I don't use those one page at a time, so really still need paper for those, so the smaller screen is just fine. I have a lot of years before I'm going to need the larger print versions of books yet...so far, I've managed to not even need glasses yet.

    And, turbo, thanks for the parasite-free wishes! I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Definitely no swimming in fresh water there! That's one of those places with schistosomiasis, which I've only read about in veterinary textbooks and would prefer not to contract it. Wikipedia has an adequate description of it to get the gist of what it does.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schistosomiasis

    Next time they de-worm the cattle here, I might have to get a dose for myself too! :yuck:

    Edit: I don't leave until July 25, so I have a little more time to do things like practice brushing my teeth with just a cup of water since you can't use the tap water without risking getting dysentery. Have to be careful when showering not to get any water in your mouth too. I might just have to live with somewhat greasy hair for a week or so and stick to quick showers. Nobody will know if I'm having a bad hair day as long as I wear a big floppy hat to protect me from the sun (yes, I've also stocked up on sunblock...though I'm more tan than usual this summer after spending a few weekends working in the yard without any shade).

    It's winter there and well enough south of the equator that I expect there to be fairly long nights. The climate sounds pretty similar to Florida in winter, but no rain.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
  8. Jun 29, 2009 #7

    Tsu

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    Be sure to check the Kindle map to see if Mozambique is covered by their satellite. Or else really load it up big-time before you get on the plane. :biggrin:

    How long are you going to be there? (or did you say that already and I missed it - sometimes I have delusions of being a speed-reader. :rofl:)
     
  9. Jun 29, 2009 #8

    Moonbear

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    I doubt that Mozambique is going to be on their coverage map...that would be a pleasant surprise if it is. I do plan to load it up before I leave. If I don't read everything there, or on the flights (there are a lot of them), then I'll have plenty of reading for when I'm back, and at least won't regret lugging a pile of books with me. It'll be really useful for when I visit my boyfriend in NY too, since I never take the right number of books. Granted, it's easy to buy more books while there, but then I still have to carry them home.

    I don't remember if I said how long I'll be there. About 10 days.

    Of course, I need to be careful to stow it where it won't get stolen...perhaps tucked in the neck pouch if it fits. I'll bring along a lock for my laptop to chain it to the desk in the hotel so it can't be easily stolen, but I don't know about the Kindle. I'd like to think things will be safe in the hotel, but I'm honestly not sure how safe any place is. The vast majority of people will likely be hospitable and honest, but I don't know how much of a problem the rest are other than the warnings not to walk around at night. Being blonde-haired and fair-skinned, I'm obviously going to stick out like a sore thumb as a tourist/visitor. Though, I think they are accustomed to seeing a lot of Europeans around the hospital and university.
     
  10. Jun 29, 2009 #9

    Tsu

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    Oh yeah.

    And - go ahead - BLAME IT ON ME!! THAT'S OK. I DON'T MIND BEING THE FALL GUY. I'M ALWAYS THE FALL GUY!! I GET BLAMED FOR EVERYTHING. DOESN'T MATTER IF I DID IT OR NOT. IT'S THE STORY OF MY LIFE!!!!! :rofl:

    (sorry. some days i just feel like venting and i have absolutely nothing to vent about so this time i just 'hollered' at you instead of at ivan. :biggrin: i just know you're going to love your Kindle as much as i love mine. i want a postcard from Mozambique. are you going to loll about on their beautiful beaches?)
     
  11. Jun 29, 2009 #10

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: I'll wait for Ivan to thank me for being the object of your hollering today. :biggrin:

    You'll have to give me your address if you want a postcard though (but don't be surprised if it has a postmark from a US post office and doesn't arrive until December...I'm very bad about mailing postcards while still away).

    I WISH I was going to loll about on beaches. I thought I posted about it before, but I might not have, or maybe you were off lolling about on beaches when I did. :biggrin: I'm going to help identify the problems with their anatomy curriculum at their med school. The med school is only 5 years old, and in standardized tests that are the same as in other countries using the same curriculum, they only perform about 40-50% the knowledge of students in other countries. They have some other unique challenges there, such as the med students are pretty much the only "doctors" in the local hospital or rural clinics. The doctor from Italy said they are already performing surgery in their last two years of med school (yes, this is why I have insurance to get airlifted out in case of medical emergency), and are scarily lacking in anatomy knowledge! If we want to build up their healthcare, we need to get their med schools up to snuff, and in a way that meets the needs of their country, which are very different than other countries.

    So, we're going there to find out what they currently have in their curriculum, the resources available, who is teaching them (if anyone), what their knowledge level is, what the gaps in the curriculum are, what the gaps in student knowledge are, what topics are most critical for them to be able to land on their feet running straight out of med school, etc. This is the planning trip. Assess the needs and plan the solutions. After this, we submit another grant application to get funds to implement the solutions (we already are discussing how to get an anatomy lab built...they have none there).

    The biggest obstacle is that they have no proper residencies after med school. Because of the physician shortage there, they get sent straight from med school out to rural clinics to practice without supervision. The top 5 students from each graduating class are supposed to be retained as new faculty for the med school, but that seems to be a promise their government is backing out on. Even so, if their education starts out inadequate, even the top few students aren't going to be very good at teaching the next generation of students, so we need to intervene at some point to boost their training.

    The other obstacle is that this is in Beira, not the capital Maputo. Apparently, the government keeps all the best of everything in Maputo, where they are, and deprives places like Beira to keep another civil war suppressed. Though, there isn't a single hospital in the country where the leaders of that country will go...they all go to other countries when they are sick and need hospital care.

    Aside from the time in Beira, we'll be visiting the rural clinics as well. This is to get a better idea of the health issues most commonly seen so even if we can't set up a curriculum that teaches everything they need, we can get the most essential things included for the most common health problems encountered (before seeing anything there, my initial impression is that aside from infectious diseases, it's going to be a lot of OB/GYN problems, which is why they were happy to get me involved in this project with my background in reproduction, and after that, basic wound care type things).
     
  12. Jun 29, 2009 #11
    The Kindle is the perfect thing for this trip of yours, Moonbear. And I doubt you'll have coverage there -- we don't have coverage in Canada yet -- so loading up before you go is a great idea. Besides the books won't go bad. And yes, I have the exact same problem when I travel. I never know which books to bring, and I bring a lot, and my bags weigh a ton. And then I have a couple in my purse for the plane, and I always wind up buying yet another while waiting in the airport for my plane to leave. Then I find I don't have anything with me that I feel like reading. That's my motivation to purchase a Kindle as soon as we get download access here.

    Also, yes about buying real bookcases, huh? I just bought four of them for my new place because I decided this is the place for nice things. I'm so glad I found an incredible sale on them, because the price choked me otherwise.
     
  13. Jun 29, 2009 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    I keep looking for the mute button, but she doesn't seem to have one. :uhh:
     
  14. Jun 29, 2009 #13

    DaveC426913

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    Wanna bet? Try forgetting her birthday.
     
  15. Jun 29, 2009 #14

    Moonbear

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    Well, we all know how uncivilized Canada is compared with Mozambique. :uhh: :biggrin: I'm surprised you don't have coverage there yet.

    Yep, that's exactly how my book packing for trips go, including always seeming to need to get one more book at the airport, out of desperation, and it's never a very good book either.

    I can't figure out WHY bookcases are so expensive! They are fairly simple furniture as furniture goes, but awfully pricey! I'm still trying to decide if I have the ambition to build my own.


    :rofl: Nah, Tsu would never give Ivan the silent treatment...he would enjoy it too much. :devil: Besides, the rest of the sisters would make up for it if she ever did.
     
  16. Jun 29, 2009 #15
    There are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naegleria_fowleri" [Broken] for not swimming in fresh water than schistosomiasis.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  17. Jun 29, 2009 #16
    Def.: Kindle. A arm sized cuddly toy. Kindles make soft cooing noises when gently embraced. They have been found indispensible to those recovering in hospital and in many of life's situations. Those who acquire this unique companion have recommended it to friends everywhere. Kindle Ltd. relies solely upon word of mouth by happy Kindle's caretakers to see that these unique creatures grace the loving arms of potential Kindle lovers across the globe.
     
  18. Jun 29, 2009 #17

    lisab

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    Aaaahhh...are they born pregnant, too?
     
  19. Jun 30, 2009 #18
    Brain-eating amoeba? You're a mean person, NeoDevin. :wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  20. Jun 30, 2009 #19
    Odd, huh? Tsu had me all wound up too to buy one and not being able to download books stopped me cold. Imagine that. :grumpy:


    I've never been able to understand the cost of them either. But weirdly enough, real ones actually make a difference. If you build some, I absolutely must see!
     
  21. Jun 30, 2009 #20
    Even with proper treatment, the survival rate is less than 1%.
     
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