safety in nairobi-updated (:

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May 2nd, 2003, 07:07 AM
  #1
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safety in nairobi-updated (:

It is me again. First, thank you Clematis for all your information, especially the website regarding safety in Kenya. Regarding my possible trip to Kenya - I am not a faculty member so my trip is not paid for - they are quoting flights to Nairobi now b/t 1500 and 1900 $ and then $100 a day for food/lodging at the TDC Center (The Taita Discovery Center - an ecotourism/volunteer work residence). They tell me the cost is quite reasonable and it seems be when I research similar things. One day we plan to do a local safari but the rest will be spent in the area with local a local conservationist and the villagers.

An added concern has been what I hear about Nairobi - we will be spending a night there on each leg of the trip. Is it really as bad as websites and my trip leader say it is? How worried do I need to be about all the sickness and disease I read about - MDtraelhealth.com really has me concerned ): I so appreciate everyones concern and help - other than Belize I am rather new to this adventure travel.
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May 2nd, 2003, 08:42 AM
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Dear Herbgardeners,

I can put you in touch with someone who lives there;so instead of becoming overly concerned I would ask this person . You can e-mail me at [email protected]. Please put Kenya on subject line so I don't delete. Thanks
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May 2nd, 2003, 08:44 AM
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You don't need to be concerned about sickness & disease;so many people go there without incident just taking normal precautions. If you go to A Tropical Disease clinic,they have ALL the up-to-date information. That's what everyone does.
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May 2nd, 2003, 09:08 AM
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goodness...i just checked that website...i'd be scared too if i'd never lived in africa.
be cautious but don't worry too much about it.
just do NOT drink water from the tap, wash your fruits well. make sure you bring mosquito repellent and take anti-malaria tablets.
also a must-do, when you wash your clothes, if you have them dry outside. you have got to iron them...flies may lay eggs on them. and you won't notice until they get under your skin. gross, huh? but trust me, it happens.



 
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May 2nd, 2003, 01:56 PM
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Herbgardners if you decide to go, before you rush into a tropical travel clinic, ask precisely what the charges are going to be. I just about fainted today when the bill for 3 shots, 1 oral and malaria pills came to $600+. This was probably the top that it can ever be but nevertheless, Lonely Planet Health guide to Africa (a small paperback which is useful) states that these clinics are the most expensive. You can email me at [email protected] for more info on how to do the research yourself and take it to a doctor.
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May 2nd, 2003, 04:04 PM
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Hello Herbgardens,

As I reiterated before, you can e-mail me. I would definitely consult with a tropical disease centre since this is what they specialize in ; I just had a friend who has come back as well. You can also consult with your doctor.
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May 2nd, 2003, 04:09 PM
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Good advice-caribtraveler
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May 2nd, 2003, 07:28 PM
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caribtraveler - flies under your skin? Who would have thought... Where did you live in Africa?
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May 3rd, 2003, 04:31 AM
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I cannot help but chime in on this conversation ... If you are only spending one night in Nairobi (to and fro)you will be fine. As far as crime, Nairobi is like any big city here in the US. Don't go out at night by yourself, don't wear pretentious jewelry, etc. You will be fine. Nairobi actually has some lovely residential areas and the city itself bustles. As for "diseases," yes, take normal precautions. Anti-malarial med, some shots and you will be fine. As with travel to Mexico, don't drink the water out of the tap. Bottled water is very reasonably priced and you will not have a problem getting it. Some insurance companies will reimburse your innoculation, so make sure you check that out. As for the flies under the skin, its really the larva that gets under the skin and this is not indigenous to Africa. Parasites, etc. can be found in South America, India and lots of places in the world. In fact a friend of mine got a lovely parasite just doing some research work in the Florida Everglades. Just use common sense and you will be fine. No sense ruining what sounds like a one-time life experience because you are concerned about parasites, disease, crime, etc.
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May 3rd, 2003, 04:24 PM
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Clematis...I lived in what used to be called Zaire (now the Congo, like its neighbor).
SusanLynne..yes you're right it's not indigenous to Africa..but herbgardeners has never been to Africa. And I believe she said in a previous post that besides Belize, she's never been out in that type of environment. She asked for advice and we gave it to her. It is a legitimate concern for her and she should know not to let her clothes dry outside without ironing them afterwards. It's really not fun trying to get those nasty things out of your body...we want her to have a good time in Kenya.


 
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May 3rd, 2003, 05:33 PM
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And she will have a good time in Kenya!!Herbgardeners: I did not mean to belittle your concerns, and if I came across that way, I apologize. You have every right to be cautious and you should be, but don't let it become too much of a burden so that it ruins the wonderful experience that you are going to have in Kenya. It is a magical place with wonderful people and you will relish in its physical and cultural beauty.
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May 6th, 2003, 11:37 AM
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Thank you all for your helpful info! After praying about it, I am going to take the financial and health plunge and go for it. I have decided to stay with the faculty members for the entire 3 weeks after finding out the lengthy travel to and fro. We will be in Nairobi at Kenyatta Univ. for a few days on route and then the rest of the time at the Taita Discovery Center in Tsavo (SE Kenya). The rest of the group will be working in local community schools. I am able to assist or come up with my own interest and desires and the Center Director will do his best to oblige. Now I need help with packing!!!! Travel insurance, etc...

$600 for shots, etc.... I was planning on going to our local Health Center and paying less than $100 - am I naive?

I am scared but getting excited
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May 6th, 2003, 03:55 PM
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What a wonderful experience you will have. Please check with your insurance company on whether they will reimburse you for the shots. As for clothing, bring the minimum. A good investment would be several pairs of convertible pants. Also would recommend a hat that protects not just your face, but your neck as well. If you are concerned about getting ill while there, you may want to look into getting a "membership" with the Flying Doctor's. It costs about $50, but they will fly in and fly you out from wherever you are back to Nairobi for medical attention. Tsavo to Nairobi can be a very long ride if you are sick. Anyway, if you don't use the Flying Doctor's services, the money for your membership is used to help people in rural areas with medical care. Enjoy yourself and relish in what will be an awesome experience!
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May 6th, 2003, 08:05 PM
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Herbgardeners, email me at [email protected] and I'll have specific information for you on your trip. Too specific for here. But let me say that you do not have to pay $600 (it actually was closer to $500 because I had a medical travel kit, etc.) for your shots! That was my warning - before anyone goes to a "travel clinic" (when I hear the word "clinic" I usually don't think of the highest prices possible) ask them for the costs of each shot and the office visit. I priced another clinic and it was as bad as mine - $110 for Hep A. But look up your local public health office to find the lowest prices. I believe you are in the US. And then, as Susan said, save your receipt/statement and get reimbursed for the (more reasonable) cost.
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May 7th, 2003, 03:42 AM
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Oh yeah! I am SO HAPPY you decided to stay the entire 3 weeks...I don't know you but I was worried for you already re: that 6-hour bus ride by yourself!! (ask my husband-smile).
You will have a FABULOUS time. Enjoy.
 
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May 7th, 2003, 04:24 AM
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Flies under the skin:

Very true - They are called Putsi flies - I've had them all over my body... apparently from unironed sheets.

They get in clothes hung generally under mango trees and tend to like thick or double layered clothing.

The only way to ensure you don't get attacked by them is to have anything that is hung out to dry ironed, with particular care taken going over the seams.

I appreciate that when you'e travelling its not possible to iron your clothes but try not to hang anything near or under Mango trees.
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May 9th, 2003, 07:52 PM
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A couple of notes (I went to Kenya last Fall):
1. Nairobi is not like any big U.S. city. It is a big city in a third world country. As stated above, be very careful if going out at night and try to stay around populated areas during the day.
2. You are not being naive, just uninformed if you're hoping to get all your shots for less than $100. I went through our local health dept. and the Hep. A shot alone was approximately $90. All-in-all I think my shots and fee for the health clinic was approx. 300$
3. Try buying your ticket using a consolidator. My wife just bought her ticket using the one I used last year and saved nearly $350.
Enjoy!
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