shoulder to shoulder volunteer orientation
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Post on 22-Nov-2014
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- 2. Travel and Customs
- Be sure to complete all paperwork for Shoulder to Shoulder in advance
- Make sure that passport does not expire within 90 days of return
- Allow enough time for processing a new or updated passport (the post offices can direct you to the nearest office).
- Keep a copy of your passport in each piece of luggage and carryon, and carry it with you at all times.
- Leave a copy of your passport and itinerary with your family.
- 3. Travel and Customs
- All brigades are registered with the State Department by Shoulder to Shoulder before departure.
- For MDs and RNs, carry a copy of your licensing credentials
- Keep important documents with you at all times
- All travelers should have evacuation insurance, which is provided with your brigade fee to Shoulder to Shoulder.
- 4. What to know before you go
- The most common medical problem encountered is travelers diarrhea
- You can avoid this by eating only what the Hombro a Hombro cooks prepare. The food is prepared by cooks who are used to cooking for North American brigades.
- In restaurants, eat only foods that are cooked-avoid fresh fruits and vegetables and drink drinks from a bottle, without ice.
- Avoid eating food from street vendors.
- Bring a prescription of ciprofloxacin with you, to take in case of GI symptoms! Imodium may be helpful as well, but should only be taken along with ciprofloxacin.
- Hepatitis A immunization is recommended.
- Typhoid vaccination is generally not necessary-unless you are an adventurous eater.
- 5. What to know before you go
- In Intibuca (Santa Lucia, Concepcion, Pinares), there is very little malaria. Chloroquine prophylaxis is not necessary.
- There is more malaria along the coast, and in the Bay Islands (Roatan). If travel to these areas is planned, then you should plan to take chloroquine prophylaxis.
- In Intibuca, Dengue Fever does occur, so insect precautions are advisable.
- Bring insect repellent with 5-10% DEET.
- Mosquito tents are available in the clinic for use if you wish.
- 6. What To Bring
- Flashlight or Headlight
- Insect Repellent (DEET)
- Good Book
- Pocket translation guide
- Good walking Shoes
- Flip flops
- Lightweight sweater or jacket
- Raingear (May-December)
- Water Bottle
- Bathing Suit
- Ear plugs
- Toilet paper
- 3-5 days of clothes (laundry service is available)
- Personal medications in marked original bottles
- 7. Recommended Reading
- The End of Poverty (Jeffrey Sachs)
- Mountains beyond Mountains (Tracy Kidder about Paul Farmer)
- Enriques journey (Sonia Nazario)
- I, Rigoberta Menchu
- Not All of Us Are Saints (David Hilfiker, MD)
- Three Cups of Tea (Greg Mortenson)
- 8. Packing and Supplies
- You may choose to purchase plastic bins for packing that may be left in the country.
- Recommended procedure:
- Use the 24 gallon Rubbermaid bins
- Drill a hole in each corner
- Use plastic cable ties to secure the bin at the four corners, tape four more cable ties to a piece of paper inside the bin with a note for TSA to use to reclose as needed
- Be sure to keep the weight below 50 lbs!
- Place a copy of the customs letter in each bin. This letter is on the website.
- 9. Luggage
- When taking luggage through customs , be prepared to open everything. Leave the airline issue tags on your baggage, as customs will check them against your claim stubs.
- If your luggage doesnt arrive, notify your brigade leader immediately.
- After customs, collect your luggage and meet with team.
- Travel may be long, so keep your carryon with you.
- 10. Packing and Supplies
- The Hombro a Hombro Clinic continues to rely on donations brought down by brigades.
- Your donations are of huge benefit to the clinic
- Clinic and project supply needs are listed on the website.
- If you have supplies not listed on the needs list, check with Mo before bringing.
- Of note, medications should not be within 6 months of their expiration.
- Attempt to pack all or almost everything you will need in your carryon, leaving checked baggage primarily for medications and supplies.
- 11. The Santa Lucia Compound
- Clinic building with offices and dental clinic
- Library under construction
- Large building behind Clinic with brigade quarters below and apartments above for long term volunteers and employees.
- There are four dormitories with 8 beds each in the building behind the clinic.
- There are two large bathrooms with showers.
- 12. Water
- The clinic uses a large sand filter to purify the water.
- There is a large water cooler in the comedor that has safe drinking water.
- The water that comes out of taps in the clinic and dormitory is not safe.
- Any drinks (juices, etc) that the cooks put out are safe.
- When out of the clinic, only drink what comes out of a bottle (Coke, bottled water, or from your own canteen)
- 13. Water conservation
- During the entire year, there are water shortage problems.
- This is worse during the dry season-January through May.
- Most people in town only receive water for a few hours every 3 days. They fill up all the containers in the house and use this water until it comes again.
- 14. Water Conservation
- The clinic has a tank system.
- Army showers are VERY important (turn on water to get wet, turn it off, lather up, turn it on again to rinse off).
- Only one shower per day!
- Toilets also use lots of water. Use the rule: If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down.
- 15. Safety Issues
- In general, Honduras is politically stable.
- Around Santa Lucia and in the rural areas, there is very little crime. In San Pedro Sula, El Progreso and Tegucigalpa, there is more crime.
- In the rural areas, always use the buddy system and travel in pairs. Do not walk outside the clinic compound after dark.
- In the cities, travel in groups, and let your brigade leader know where you are going.
- 16. Internet
- The internet in Santa Lucia is vital to the functioning of the staff and Hombro a Hombro operations.
- There is a bandwidth limit, and therefore use is not unlimited like it is here in the US.
- So, it is extremely important to follow the policy, or else the internet is shut down completely for 2-3 days.
- You may bring a laptop as there is wireless access. If you do, please turn off all automatic updates.
- Otherwise, they will let you know which computer can be used.
- 17. Internet
- In general, check just your email quickly. You may wish to set up a gmail
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