Thursday, February 16, 2012

Two weeks to go...

Overview-My plan for this blog is to include both personal and professional information. From the personal perspective, I plan to chronicle my activities and my feelings. From a professional perspective, I plan to record my teaching experiences.
Preparations & Personal Thoughts--Perhaps foolishly, I added up the total travel time, including layovers, to get to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon): Omaha to San Francisco with short layover in Denver=~5.5 hours; SF to Guam to Manila, Philippines=16.5; Manila to HCM City-2 hr layover + 2.5 hr. flight=4.5 for a grand total of 26.5 hours travel time. WOW. I am a little concerned about 'this old girl' traveling that long. A friend told me that her son (a physician) travels a lot and he suggests using Ambien to be able to sleep on the plane. He says that it does not have the 'hangover' effect of some other sleep aids. I planned to take Benadryl but I think it would be a good idea to check with my Dr. about this idea. He also said that you should only nap for a few hours after you arrive and then get out into the sunshine if possible to help your body clock reset. I will arrive on Saturday morning, March 3rd which happens to be my birthday. I think a good nap will be the best BD gift for this year. :>)
I tried to update my cell phone for international use but found that I will have to change my cell phone plan to Verizon and buy a new phone. I did not want to have to figure out a new phone but guess I have no choice. Plan to do that tomorrow. Also still need to find a calculator for money exchange. Will probably order that online and hope it arrives in of the details that I forgot about. I hope there aren't any others that I have overlooked. Will get my Hep A today or tomorrow at NWU Student Health.
I talked to my credit card representative and have it arranged to be able to use it on the trip. However, there is a 3% International Charge on every transaction + the unknown of the conversion rate on the day that the charge is posted. Seems wise to avoid using the credit card unless necessary. I also talked to United Healthcare to be sure I am covered outside the US. If you need healthcare you pay out of pocket and then submit for reimbursement after back in the US.
Thankfully Dan will be able to drive again in about 1 1/2 weeks--just in time for his chauffeur to leave for VN!
Professional--I will be teaching with Dr. Kay Avant. She taught this course with the last cohort. They had 14 students; we have 37! We have a phone conference scheduled tomorrow morning with Dr. Faye Hummel & Dr. Sara Jarrett, members of the Friendship Bridge Nurses Group Steering Committee. Here is a link to the website:   We made some adjustments to the course based upon the enrollment. Dr. Avant says that grading the papers is very time intensive primarily because of the English language issue. I have been working on my lectures/PP slides with an eye toward simplification and trying to use/add another word to enhance understanding. For example, "Role of the nurse OR What do nurses do? What should nurses do?" In the meantime, I have 22 theory papers to grade for my current nursing theories class.
Misc-Did not receive a repaired camera yet but daughter Rosie found my old camera + she had bought a download connection cord for it so I will not have to buy a new camera for the trip. Will take and post a picture of the packing process soon.

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