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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:02 AM   #1
Minuteman
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I'm going to Costa Rica

This September I'm going to be in Costa Rica and I'm going to be helping out a group of doctors there for a few weeks. It costs $1000, and I'm paying my own way, I can hardly wait, it will be the experience of a lifetime. I'm getting my passport and everything now so I'll be ready. I'm not getting paid to do any of this, and I'm going to be eating the same food as the locals, it's not going to be a vacation either, I'm going to be working for a good 12-14 hours a day. Of course, once I come back I'll be sure to share my experience with everyone here. The only other country I've ever been to is Jonathanland, and I reckon this will be a vastly different experience than visiting a first-world city-state. Anyone have any words of advice or words of advice?
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:04 AM   #2
A.F.S. 1984
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dont get killed. the world is a very unforgiving place.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:05 AM   #3
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dont get killed. the world is a very unforgiving place.
Why would I get killed?
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:10 AM   #4
A.F.S. 1984
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Judging by your other thread, I suspect you are kind of wet behind the ears. Nothing bad, we all have to start somewhere. if you have never been outside the us before here are some helpful suggestions.
dont's list-
1. dont drink the water from the faucet.
2. dont go out after dark.
3. dont talk to anyone you dont know
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:13 AM   #5
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I would say that it is always a nice gesture to try to speak the native language to whatever extent you can; failing that, keep a phrasebook or translator handy. Also, as someone who lives in a subtropical clime, be very careful about mosquitoes -nasty disease carrying buggers- and dehydration. I work outdoors, and believe it or not, one of the coolest things you can wear is a white button down shirt, if that is permitted.

And there is my generic advice. Also, AFS 1984 has a good point. Being in an unfamiliar area comes with a degree of risk, especially if it is urban. I don't know much about Costa Rica, but I'd recommend making a mugger's wallet and following usual safe-traveling protocol. That isn't to say it isn't worth the risk- taking the time to make this trip will make a difference in both your life and the lives of the people you help, I am sure.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:15 AM   #6
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Read up on the culture/customs before you go, and go with an open, nonjudgmental mind. There are many things you will see on a medical mission in an impoverished country that will more than break your heart, but the work that is done will do immense good.

Also... they probably already told you, but... just in case they didn't: in most places outside of the North America and Europe, you can't drink the water out of the faucet, not even to brush your teeth. I always put a washcloth over the faucet if I'm traveling somewhere that that's the case, so I don't accidentally forget. And don't eat anything that's been washed in the water and not cooked hot enough to kill the bacteria and parasites (like salad or unpeeled fruit).

That is an awesome opportunity, I look forward to hearing about it!!
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by A.F.S. 1984 View Post
Judging by your other thread, I suspect you are kind of wet behind the ears. Nothing bad, we all have to start somewhere. if you have never been outside the us before here are some helpful suggestions.
dont's list-
1. dont drink the water from the faucet.
2. dont go out after dark.
3. dont talk to anyone you dont know
I'm 18, you must be about 80 if you're talking like that.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:20 AM   #8
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I've been to Costa Rica once, and it's a beautiful country. One thing I can think of that might shock some is that you don't usually flush the toilet paper, but throw it into a trash can. Another thing you need to look out for is pickpocketers. Also, I don't know if you speak any Spanish, but there, they use the "el/ella/Usted" form instead of the "tu" form. Hope that helps a little.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:20 AM   #9
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And there is my generic advice. Also, AFS 1984 has a good point. Being in an unfamiliar area comes with a degree of risk, especially if it is urban. I don't know much about Costa Rica, but I'd recommend making a mugger's wallet and following usual safe-traveling protocol. That isn't to say it isn't worth the risk- taking the time to make this trip will make a difference in both your live and the lives of the people you help, I am sure.
There are a lot of places in the world where white American is assumed to mean loaded with money and stupid. If you stay with people who are familiar with the area and follow their advice, you should be ok. A money belt worn under your clothing is generally a very good idea. In places where people are very poor, they can also be very desperate.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:21 AM   #10
A.F.S. 1984
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I'm 18, you must be about 80 if you're talking like that.
nah... just be careful is the message I want to convey.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:21 AM   #11
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I'm 18, you must be about 80 if you're talking like that.
Spoken like a true eighteen year old.

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If someone asks to stick it in your bum, say no.
Drawberry, how homophobic of you. I'm shocked.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:31 AM   #13
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Drawberry, how homophobic of you. I'm shocked.
BUT KAPPA STEAL SOULS THROUGH THE BUM JOJO!
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:40 AM   #14
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BUT KAPPA STEAL SOULS THROUGH THE BUM JOJO!
What are kappas doing in Costa Rica, silly?
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:42 AM   #15
Minuteman
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Spoken like a true eighteen year old.
Says the guy with an avatar for a children's TV show.
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