Tag Archives: traveling

In the meantime……….

I have sporadic access to the internet right now so this will be quick. We are having some fabulous adventures and I have lots to share with you. In the meantime, here are a few photos….

International S.O.S……………

Does that sound like I am calling out for help? Really I am not – but here is something you should know if you are an ex-pat living in a third world country or if you plan to visit an impoverished area.

There is an organization called International SOS and if you are ever traveling in a foreign and/or remote area, you will want to remember they exist.

Here is their web address


Who are they, you ask. Well this is what they say about themselves….

With over 20 years of experience, we help organizations ensure the health and security of their travelers and employees around the world. We are the only assistance company with the global presence our clients demand.

Working in some of the most inhospitable places on earth, we offer international standards of medical care where it is not available or where cultural and language barriers exist.

Huh, you say.

What this means is that if you are traveling to a village (or even a large city)  in India (or China or Afghanistan or anywhere) and you get sick and that village/city does not have appropriate facilities and/or doctors to treat you, International SOS will step in to help you. That is very. good. to. know.

Many companies offer their employees memberships to International SOS as part of their compensation plan. But even if you are not a member – remember their name.  It it my understanding that they can still be very helpful.

In Delhi, they are located near the Apollo hospital.

Remember that the availability of effective medical resources is never a given – I had always taken this for granted in the U.S. – but no more.

I went to a presentation at my children’s school and  a representative from International SOS gave a talk on medical expectations in Delhi and India.

Here were some of his cautions….

Blood transfusions should only be accepted as a last resort – only when they are life-saving. Blood is not monitored that well here and some people are paid for their “donations”.

Apollo, Max, and Fortus are the only hospitals he really recommended.

He highly recommended getting rabies vaccines. When we were leaving the U.S. the rabies vaccine was not available as a preventive measure, only as a treatment once someone has been bitten by a rabid animal. But apparently it is available here in India. So we are going to get them here.

He also cautioned to get vaccines and prescriptions from the hospital pharmacies. It seems there is quite the pharmaceutical black market here and much of the medicine can be counterfeit. That makes it not only potentially ineffective, but quite possibly dangerous. And he cautioned us to ask the nurses to open any vaccine viles in front of you so that you know it has not been opened before. Whenever possible, get vaccines while you are on home leave.

Taking an ambulance to the hospital in an emergency might sound like a good idea – but they are not reliable and often do not have the medical equipment that would make it worth waiting for one. The presenter recommended practicing getting to the hospital before an emergency happens so you know what to do. He said it is particularly important to do a dry run at night.

In an emergency, he recommended calling the the hospital and asking how long it would take to get an ambulance to you. He said that they should be able to give you an idea of how long it would be. However, getting yourself there might be the best option and just might save valuable time.

He also said that calling International SOS might be a good idea – they have a staff there who can make multiple calls at once, which can reach out to multiple resources at once. If I remember correctly, they will stay on the phone with you until you have gotten help. Consider calling them from your mobile phone so you can remain on the phone if you change locations.

He highly recommended using bug spray that has a 35% concentration of Deet. It has been hard for me to find bug spray here – which is shocking- but I guess if it was more available, there would not be such a problem with Dengue fever and Malaria – bring a stock pile with you.

Road accidents present the greatest health risk in Delhi. Be very careful crossing the street and when riding on the roads.

He said it is important to get a general practice physician when you arrive. If you are with an embassy or international school, they can probably give you a list of doctors that have been recommended. International SOS also has a list of doctors they recommend.

Anyway, you know what is next – I am not a doctor and I do not play one on the internet. I will however pretend to have lawyer skills. This is information I received in a medical presentation and I am relaying it to the best of my memory – don’t quote me on any of it – do with it what you will. Obviously, you will have to determine for yourself what makes the most sense for you in a given situation.

Now I lay me down to sleep….

Many nights, I will be honest, not every night, but many nights I say a prayer before I go to sleep. It’s always silently and it’s always while I am laying down with my eyes closed. And it usually while I am trying to get warm.

Somewhere along the way, I must have been taught that prayer time was really meant to be a time to be thankful.  I remember when I was younger (even up until high school, and probably even college), I would thank God for all the animals I ever owned. I could still recite you the list. I won’t bore you with it – but I could.

Even the goldfish that I won at the fair – who sadly did not live to see his first birthday – was included in that list for decades. You probably know that game that you play by tossing the ping pong ball into the field of glass bowls – if yours landed in a bowl with a fish – wah lah – you have a new pet. It is the stuff that Dr. Suess books are made of  – one fish, two fish. Anyway, I named mine Fred. And, I thanked God for him for many, many years.

Now, when I pray, I am not so worried about the pets. But I do pray for anyone traveling, anyone alone, anyone scared, anyone ill, and anyone who is not with us anymore. It is a weird combination of things. But it is my little mix of concerns for the world. A reminder to myself that I am not the only one with issues and that, really, my issues ain’t so bad.

This mantra of mine started when my husband started traveling more for work. I am not a big fan of flying (yeah – good thing I am moving to India) but I am even less of a fan of Number One Hubby flying. So when he started flying pretty frequently, I started praying more.

I am not Catholic – so I am not sure why I felt guilty about praying just for him – but it felt selfish. So, I started including anyone who was traveling – not just my hubby. Then my father-in-law got cancer and I started including anyone who was sick, not just my father-in-law. You can see my neurosis at work.

So, this Thanksgiving my night-time prayer will once again include many well wishes for those with concerns in this world and an extra thanks for all of my blessings.

Yesterday, my clever little Bear came home and showed me something he learned at school. He held up a glass with slurpee in it and said, “is this glass half-full or half-empty.” Bear, my dear, it is very much half-full – and it tastes yummy too – see how lucky I am.

I am off to count my blessings and to say a prayer that you have many blessings too. Happy Turkey Day – gobble gobble.