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Latin America Abeja Dispatch


Travelling can be pretty stressful sometimes, and travelers are always around new germs, new climates, and new diseases. Often the people who live in that area are protected from the diseases that we trekkers have to be very careful about. This is because they've spent their whole lives around these germs.

We got all the shots before we left, so I feel like the bionic woman now. Still, it's rare to travel for a while without getting pretty sick at least once. Usually it's some diarrhea and/or a flu-like illness, which doesn't do any permanent damage, although, is mighty unpleasant while it lasts.

If you take an adventure to a far off country these tips may help keep you feeling healthy.

Every day I try to avoid sickness and there are a few simple, cheap, and natural tips I've learned along the way. For example, I eat LOTS of raw garlic. It doesn't make me smell too good, but it sure is good for you. Fortunately, the entire trek team smells this way (we're training Kevin), so no one is offended. Here in Central America, I've learned 4 or 5 papaya seeds a day will help fight off dangerous critters. Also, squeezing lime or lemon on any uncooked food helps kill whatever germs might be on them. Eating yogurt and grapefruit seeds helps the stomach digest strange food.

Herbs and fruits are cheap and easy to find here in Central America, and are a great reason to go to the local mercado (market). Simple things, like washing your hands OFTEN, drinking lots of clean water, and making sure to get enough sleep can help you from getting sick. Also, watch what the local people do. If they're not swimming in the river, there's probably a good reason.

I do my best to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Not by just spraying on bug spray, but wearing light colored clothes, trying not to be outside at sunrise and sunset in mosquito areas, and not wearing perfumes or using sweet smelling soaps or shampoos.

If you're really going travelling, read up on the areas where you're going to be, and check with a doctor or friends who have been there. Whatever you do, don't let all the hype scare you away from going out there and enjoying the world. Eat the food, hike the jungles, and meet the people. You only live once, you know, so make it good!


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