I might be going overseas for three months. I'm waiting for confirmation. I hope it happens but it's out of my control. The departure date though, if confirmed, is January 1 which doesn't give me much time to prepare. It's not the packing that I'm concerned with. It's making sure that everything at home is in working order, that our pet supplies are sufficient and that we have enough medicine for them, that our computers and my MacBook Pro are running well, that I have all the computer programs that I might need while away, that my camera and lenses are in great condition, that the rest of our family know how to do the things that I'm normally responsible for like changing the water filter, that… You get the idea.
One of the things that I had to do in preparation for this trip was get inoculations. Surprisingly, the Hong Kong government has a great service for people planning to travel. The Travel Health Service keeps current information about diseases in various parts of the world, and can supply travelers with the medicine and inoculations they might need for that particular trip. You need to make an appointment, but it's quick and easy. My appointment was yesterday and when I arrived at the Kowloon office, I was surprised to find it very quiet. Apparently, most people either don't know about the service or they balk at the basic consultation fee of HK$310.
The doctor asked me about where I was going, explained the diseases currently in effect for that region and then prescribed the medicine for me. All up, I received tablets for one disease and inoculations for three others; I have two sore shoulders today! They also gave me a booklet with a record of the inoculations I received. The total cost was just HK$780; very reasonable.
Let's see if any of you can guess where I might be going. The tablets were for Malaria. The inoculations were for Tetanus, Typhoid Fever and Hepatitis A. Two other diseases that might exist in my target region but for which no inoculations exist are Cholera and Dengue Fever.
I'll reveal the secret destination if and when it's confirmed ;-)