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Today Chris, Gavin and I went to get a Typhoid vaccine before we go on our trip. Although I’m a grown woman who has endured the pain of childbirth (well, let’s be honest I got the drugs) I still fear the doctor. In the back of my mind I kept saying, “Do I really need to go and get this shot?” And then I heard myself over and over telling guests we do recommend being up to date on your Typhoid vaccine – so the little voice in the back of my brain said ” You need to follow your own advice – silly!” So off to the doctor we went….

When I stepped inside the Travel Medicine office I was pleasantly surprised. It was as if I had walked into Andrea and Brandon’s home or the Journeys Within office. The room was beautifully decorated, with accents of local art and pictures of families traveling all around the world. On the coffee table in the waiting room was the copy of Conde Nast Traveler which Journeys Within was featured in (like that?!). I was instantly calmed and actually excited to meet the person who would be piercing my skin with a very sharp needle and injecting me with a dead virus (yes, I’m always this dramatic).

The Dr. came out of her office and welcomed us with a hug and excitement to hear more about our upcoming plans to visit Thailand and Angkor Wat – a place she said “she hopes to visit sometime very soon”. Of course I indulged her with our day by day itinerary and went on and on and on and on, but she actually seemed to be very interested (I liked her!). She kindly went into details about how to make our trip more enjoyable and healthy. Some things I had heard before – for example bring mosquito repellent, and some things I hadn’t heard – for example, apply sunscreen first and then apply bug repellent and also to bring diaper rash cream for Gavin (so happy she told me this).

Next came the shots – eek! Being a brave little soldier I went first. I pretended to not be afraid and continued chatting about my trip (as talking is something I can do no matter what the distraction) while she proceeded to stick a giant needle in my arm. I still pretended to be brave as I didn’t think it would be exceptionally helpful if I screamed in pain just before Chris and Gavin received their shots. Next Chris got his shot in his giant manly arms (I have a big crush on my handsome husband). Last it was Gavin’s turn. Dr. Vivian asked me to lean over Gavin and hold him down while she gave him the shot (apparently she has dealt with quite a few wiggling and screaming toddlers…). I leaned over Gavin and prepared to be a sad mommy as my son received a painful shot. Here came the countdown “One, two, three!” and the needle went in. Cue screaming baby. Not exactly. Gavin went on chatting about the book he had read today (in his little toddler language that few people actually understand) and didn’t flinch – not even for a second. “He’s the best toddler I’ve ever met,” said Dr. Vivian. I knew this lady was smart 🙂 – ha ha ha!

So I must admit, after all my fear and build up of anticipation, getting our shots was an almost pleasant experience. Let’s be honest, we all got shots and my arm hurts today – so it wasn’t like going and getting ice cream, but it wasn’t bad either.

ummmm….. ice cream…

Koh Samet Surprise

Samed Trip : 29-30  Mar’08

When I first heard about this trip from my friend Joel…I said NO thanks…because at that time I was at Rawai beach in the south of Thailand on vacation. But when I heard my friend P’Tang (Martin) was coming and all my salsa friends were going too, my decision changed. I think it’s not the place that is important but who we are going with!!

Koh Samed is not too far from Bangkok—just 3 hrs drive.  We took a van from Victory Monument (in front of Pong Lee building) and then took a ferry for about 35 minutes to get to Koh Samed…then we hopped on a small open-air bus just 10 minutes to get to our Bungalow. The room was fine but there was no toilet in the room…but the food was great!!! The services were more than fair for the price we paid, you could not find a place for so inexpensive with such high quality in the world!!!  Actually we did not expect to get such good service.

But I haven’t mentioned the most important thing—the BEACH was more beautiful than I thought…(as you can see the pictures).   We had a great time! It was fun playing volleyball on the beach, but my skin turned dark from the sun 🙁 …we are Thai we love to be white 🙂

I would go there again…

posted by Waew (April 12, 2008)

Finally a trip of my own!

Only one month away and I’m off for my VERY first trip abroad! Mine and Gavin (my son)’s passports came in the mail a few weeks ago, and it really hit me that we are taking a HUGE and exciting adventure. Of course I was bummed because my passport photo had red splotches all over it and it made me look like I had really bad acne or something – but I got over it. I have been doing everything I can to not pack already, but I’ll admit that I have a couple outfits set aside.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to travel, especially with my husband and my son.
We will be traveling to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap, Krabi and Koh Lanta. Each place will deliver a unique experience. I keep trying to tell people which place I am most excited to tour, and I simply can not choose! I am thrilled to finally meet the JW staff in person. After spending a year working with each individual via email we have developed bonds and it will be incredible to give each person a big hug and say hi (I hope they are all prepared for how talkative I really am in person!). I must admit I am especially excited to meet Waew as she and I have become friends. My husband can’t wait for the cooking class in Chiang Mai. He has aspirations of becoming a world-renowned chef and this is right up his alley. I’m sure Gavin’s favorite experience will be seeing Callie and “Pouper” in Cambodia. I doubt he will ever want to leave. “Pouper” is his best friend; it is so cute watching them play together.

I’m also excited to stay at the B & B, I have a vision of how nice it is, but I have a feeling it will exceed my expectations. To be honest, I am nervous about volunteering at the language school and going to the squatters village as I have never experienced poverty on this level. I think it is something that I can not prepare for and must keep my mind open to all the good that JWOC is doing to help and focus on the things I can do and the things that are out of my hands.

Surprisingly, I’m not nervous about the 22 hour flight! We’ll see what I say AFTER our trip. My entire family keeps saying “how are you going to handle being on a plane for that long with a 2 year old?” I always respond “Andrea does it by herself with 2 kids, I can handle it.” I think I am just going to go with the flow as I normally do and we’ll work it out.

Well, back to day dreaming about my upcoming adventure – will chat soon!