First, let me apologize if you are checking the blog expecting information from India at this time... my trip has been delayed a couple months and I won't be leaving Texas until January 6th. It's a long story and getting all of the details ironed out has taken more emotional energy than I would have liked and also delayed my posting to the blog as I was waiting until everything was settled. I'm not certain that it truly is settled now, but at least I am moving forward.
Basically my preparations are well underway. I have visited with a nurse at Passport Health who provided me with very helpful health and travel information for my trip - and who gave me several shots in preparation. I had no idea such a company existed but am grateful for the ease with which they provided such useful assistance. I will be visiting there again this week for my second Hepatitis B shot but otherwise have all the inoculations and prescriptions for such wonderful things as malaria. I also purchased a fun water purifier while there that makes me feel prepared for anything. I have seen my physician, had blood tests, a mammogram, and received a clean bill of health. I saw my ophthalmologist and have a new contact prescription. I will be seeing my dentist this week for a cleaning and checkup (and hopefully won't need anything more!). I've purchased a mosquito net and an incredibly caustic chemical to soak it in - but am feeling less than enthusiastic about the treatment after reading all of the hideous chemicals it contains. I want the mosquitoes to leave me alone, particularly since half of the diseases mentioned as risks in the area I'll be going seem to be borne by the little bloodsuckers, but don't really want to transport biohazardous materials in my suitcase.
After all of the hoopla related to the ticket delay, I finally have a flight on Lufthansa going through Frankfurt. The initial itineraries investigated took me through Doha, Qatar, which sounded more exotic. Frankfurt in January sounds like an option which could run into risky weather, but one takes what one can get with a free ticket. I have applied for my visa and have not yet received it, which seems to worry some but I still have two months before departure so believe all will be well.
One advantage to the delay is that I will be working an additional two weeks into November that couldn't have happened had everything proceeded as originally scheduled. It took longer to process the hire of my replacement and this gives me a chance to train her - and makes me feel better about leaving the faculty and facilities I have cared so much for over the past decade. Another positive result of not leaving until January is that I will be able to spend the Christmas holiday with my family.
So please bear with me and check back on the progress of the exciting trip closer to January.