Hello students and parents,
As our Indonesia course gets closer and closer, we want to pass on some useful information that will help you as you shift into making your health a bigger-than-usual focus in your life. Healthy habits are even more important when we are far from home. Health will be a regular part of our group’s conversation on the trip, and we will go into many details together in Java right after you arrive, but below are some things to know as you make your final preparations.
First off, as you pack, be aware that we have a comprehensive med bag, including: Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin (for pain, fever, inflammation). Pepto-Bismol and Imodium (for gastrointestinal [GI] issues). Nasal decongestant, cold medicine, motion-sickness medicine… And much more! There is no need for you to bring your own stash of the above medicines. If you do decide to, please note that the instructors will hold onto them throughout the duration of the trip.
For any prescription medicines, please remember to bring the prescription AND enough of the medication to last for the entire duration of your time away from home. Also, please try to bring the medication in its original bottle and have the directions, side effects, contraindications, and other relevant information.
Prepare Your Mindset About Health
Prepare Your Body
There are some things you can bring or start taking in advance, as an option. People have used and appreciated the items below in the past. Feel free to bring:
If you are someone who may menstruate on course, ensure that you have enough materials for three months of travel. While you can purchase sanitary pads and tampons in country, they likely differ from those you are used to, so it is best to bring a big supply. In addition, there are options that can reduce and eliminate waste. The Diva Cup and the Mooncup are great options, as are reusable sanitary pads. Past students have found that using Diva and Mooncups are easy to manage abroad, and are a great way to help feel more in control of our personal health and hygiene, and reduce the waste we are leaving behind. A possible downside is that sometimes it may be a little challenging to find clean or boiling water to sanitize the cups. However, there will be certain times, like during rural home-stays, when disposing of menstrual waste can also be challenging and may require carrying used pads or tampons for up to a few weeks, so bringing reusable items may be logistically easier as well.
We hope the tips in this Yak are a great start for you and have you engaged in your own well-being. You can refer to the Course Preparation Manual for more about your health (pp. 18-23, 43-45). Rita has offered her email ([email protected]) for additional questions related to menstrual hygiene if that is more comfortable than emailing questions to the Dragons office or another instructor. And as always, if there are any questions, please feel free to ask here on the Yak board!
Here’s to health,
Your Instructor Team.