Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2009

Official Word

Well, it’s official, I can’t go to Mexico:

It is with regret that the Office of International Programs at West Virginia University has decided to cancel the May 9 trip to Guanajuato, Mexico.
We will be in contact within 24 hrs with further details and with suggestions for alternative programs, both in Business and Economics and in Foreign Languages.
I’m sure most of you are aware of the situation involving the swine flu outbreak in parts of Mexico.  This is the reason for this cancellation.  Our hearts are with our friends in Mexico, and we wish them all the best as they face this difficult time.
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I got an email from someone at la Universidad de Guanajuato.  In between various points I saw this:

6.- En el caso específico de Guanajuato, el Secretario de Salud Pública del Estado, Jorge Armando Aguirre Torres, reitero que Guanajuato esta en alerta preventiva, por lo que consideró innecesario suspender actividades laborales, educativas, eventos públicos o políticos.

6.  As for Guanajuato specifically, the State Secretary of Public Heath, Jorge Armando Auguirre Torres, reiterated that Guanajuato is under preventative alert, for which he considers it unnecessary to suspend labor activities, educational activities, and public or political events. (my translation)

Sounds promising, though I think I’ll look at what our people are saying about it.  And it’s not too late for it to spread there.

More updates below the fold … (more…)

Read Full Post »

Swine Flu in Mexico

So, I just heard about the swine flu outbreak in Mexico (WHO notice here PRI “The World” report here).  Been watching reports on El Universal (sorry, no embeddable or linkable versions that I can see).  More to come later when I have a clearer idea what this means for travel.

UPDATE: So far no travel warnings, but it’s getting worse.  I think I’ll hop to OIP tomorrow and see about my trip.

Read Full Post »

(Note: If you’ve traveled extensively, this post probably contains a lot of info you already know.  If you haven’t traveled much, but plan to in the future, some of it might be useful.)

I got the results from my tuberculosis test today, negative as expected.  The TB test was part of a series of needles I had stuck into me Wednesday to make sure I had all the medical stuff I needed to travel.  The TB itself is mainly for China, since I will have a fairly long stay there — the test is just a baseline, six weeks after I get back I’ll have to take that test again to be sure I haven’t contracted the virus.  In addition to the skin prick for TB, I got three vaccines:

Flu:  Parts of both Mexico and China are in the tropical regions, which have a year-round flu season.  The travel clinic had some left-over flu vaccine, so I decided to take it, but she told me that I should get another shot in China when this year’s vaccine comes out.  This was also the least painful of the vaccines.

Hep-A booster:  Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are required for international travel.  I already had heb B before going to college, and I got the first round of hep A before going to China last year.   Now that I have the booster, I understand I should be covered for life.  I noticed that the hep A vaccine hurt more than the flu shot, I thought it used a higher gauge needle, but the doctor told me that it’s just a heavier shot.

Typhoid:  You can find typhoid in both Mexico and China, but again, this is mainly for China, since it’s an extended stay.  Typhoid is also recommended for “adventurous eaters” (I can be a tad adventurous, but not too crazy), and for rural areas (which I don’t intend to visit all that much, at least for these trips).  There are two ways to get a typhoid vaccine — the shot runs $60 and lasts two years, and the oral vaccine (taken every other day for seven days) costs about $40 and lasts five years, but it has to be refrigerated.  I don’t have a refrigerator in the dorm, and I don’t want to deal with having to remember to fill the prescription while I’m home during the summer, so I just got the shot this time.  This was the worst shot, made my shoulder a bit sore the rest of the day.  Not terribly bad, but when I renew in two years I think I’ll go with the pills.

Well, that’s all for the moment.

Read Full Post »

So, since I’ve been starting to make arrangements, I decided I’d take a few minutes to post about my upcoming trips.  If you come accross this blog and don’t know me personally, I am a Foreign Languages major at West Virginia University, studying Spanish and Chinese Studies.  That might seem a little odd, and the story of how that came about is somewhat interesting,but I’ll leave that for another time — I generally tell people that with English as my first language, this gives me the three most important languages in the world.

Anyway, I started this blog to post about two study abroad trips that I’ll be taking this year.  The first one is to Guanajuato, Mexico (program page here), and it will be leaving May 9, meaning I’m hurrying to prepare for this one while at the same time studying for exams and working on final projects.  WVU has a number of exchange programs with la Universidad de Guanajuato.  This program is in there language school, which I’m told has a full range of courses from basic Spanish 101 up to advanced literature and culture courses.  I’ve already met several people from Guanajuato through exchanges and I’m very much looking forward to going there, partly because of friends there and partly because in three years of studying Spanish in the university (and a couple more back in high school), I have never been to a Spanish-speaking country or even to one of the predominantly Hispanic parts of the United States.  Mexico seems like a good place to start, close to home, I know people there, and it’s the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.

My second trip is to Hangzhou, China (中国杭州).  I’ll be leaving in the fall to study there at Zhejiang University (浙江大学), one of the most prestigious schools in China, for a semester.  A semester study abroad is basically required for the Chinese Studies portion of my major.  I visited Hangzhou last year while studying on Suzhou (which is just to the north).  It’s near Shanghai, and while we didn’t stay long enough to get a good feel for the town, my first impression was that Hangzhou would be a good “home base” for a foreigner living in China for an extended period.  It’s in a fairly rich area, very foreigner friendly with a tourist-oriented atmosphere, but not as big as Shanghai or Beijing.  The size is totally relative, though — to me, as an American coming from a small town, what Chinese think of as a “town” is a big city to me.

Anyway, if I haven’t bored you enough already, come on back and take a look when I have something more to publish.  I’m hoping to do another post before I leave to talk about some of the things I’ve been doing to prepare for my trips.  Until then see you.

Read Full Post »