Monday, July 25, 2011

Are you planning a trip to Peru?

No, well if you are apart of ECHO))), Northside Baptist Church, or apart of ONE Student Ministries then I hope you'd consider going. As a church we are putting together our first foreign mission trip to Peru with        .  However, I am actually traveling to Lima to meet Smith, our Compassion child, and I must say I have never been so nervous to meet a nine year old.  If you have never considered sponsor a child I want to take the time out to encourage you to do so today. God tells us to care for the widows, child and orphans. We are to love the least of these. You can pray about it all you want, but you can't run from the fact that God commands it of us, and He's already answered the prayer for you.

I am my husbands guinea pig in this travel because I have to get the information for my trip in September, it is helping him figure out what we need to get roughly 10+ people to go.

So... here we go on some basics about traveling to Peru:

1) US Passport- this roughly $135.00 along with filling out information about yourself and your parents  (weird, right?, but not your spouse)

2) Visa- No visa is required to enter Peru unless you will be there for longer than 130 days.

3) Immunizations & Vaccines- long story short nothing in "required" to enter Peru, only things that are "highly recommend." LONG STORY: If you want indepth information this is the place to go: International Travel Immunizations and call an initial visit is $55.00 which gives you an hour with a nurse to talk about what vaccines to get and an itinerary. They were very helpful answering my questions and giving me honest options (this is speaking for the Sarasota branch). The difference with going to clinic offered here verses say the Health Department is that each clinic has these vaccines available on hand, where the Health Department has to order the vaccines and you have to wait... and wait... They have to order these things in bulk so they have to have enough people NEED them. So, you maybe waiting for a lllooonnnggg time. Now, they did say that it takes 4-6 weeks, but if the demand is not there you may be out of luck.
LONGER STORY: So, going to the clinic specifically for international traveling will save you some time. Now... what do you NEED? Well, lucky for you if you went to public school OR you parents made sure you got your immunizations and vaccines on time then you should be good to go. It is recommended that you have: MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Polio, Tetanus, Hep A, Hep B, and influenza. Those are immunizations you have to have to school and things like that. However, how about actual international travel, well that varies from country to country.
LONGEST STORY: Peru is a country that doesn't "require" anything, but they do have things they suggest for your trip. Yellow Fever (highly recommended, get at least 1 week before travel), this is something that almost every other country deems REQUIRED, but Peru seems to not have an epidemic so it is not required. If you are traveling into elevation higher than 2000 then it is something you SHOULD do! Lima is not a place that it is asked for, but I will be getting it since our trip with the church will be in those elevations. This vaccine is good for 10 years and at the International Travel Clinic cost $138.00. Typhoid Fever and Rabies are recommended, but not as much. These are asked to be done if you plan to be in the forests and staying outdoors for lodging. Typhoid vaccine is $95.00, and Rabies takes 3 injections and cost $299.00 for each injection. The last thing is Malaria, and this is nothing more than your doctor giving you a prescription for it. This is for elevation of 3000 or more. For more information you can go to CDC site.

4) Luggage- I haven't gotten to the packing, yet. Now, if I could recommend a bag it would be Ogio. You can check out their website, but you will get sticker shock, hence me linking up the ebay price, first. Let me just say that when I first saw this bag I knew I needed it for my trip. We had the concert for Manafest and Chris Greenwood uses Ogio for all travel bags. Why do I love this bag? 1) lifetime warranty 2) durable 3) convenient handles to haul off and on the conveyor belt in airports 4) I can pack two adults for one week in this bag including all clothes, shoes, and toiletries. After our trip to NYC, I learned pack in one bag if you can help it!!! Trust me on this one!!! When you visit your cousin in NYC, and you don't take cabs and you walk to where you gotta go (which is over 10m away) don't take two large bags on rollers and two small bags to put on top. Painful! Frustrating! ONE BAG! I love this bag!

5) Clothing- Peru is on the other side of the Equator. What does that mean for those of you that have no idea what that means? The seasons are opposite from ours. Peru's coldest month is August, which would lead to February being the hottest. So, keep that in mind when you pack. If you aren't high in elevation you could probably get by with some jeans and long sleeve shirt, but if you go up in elevation bring your coat! It will be rather chilly during my visit in September, but I could use some cold weather after these 100+ degree weather in FL.

6) Travel- Your flight will be roughly 6 hours, and will be leaving from Miami, FL (if you live here). Whatever meal you are closest to on your flight you will be given on the plane. I get to experience dinner (to Peru) and breakfast (home). The meals are pretty tasty... or they were eight years ago when Reson and I went to Jamaica on our honeymoon and were given lunch.

I think this about covers it. Stay tuned because I will be posting again on an awesome vision that a man has for Chincha, Peru. It is a vision I share, and I really hope that Reson and I can be highly involved in this!

Yes, I'm considering being a resident of Peru... Reson just has to figure out how to make me come home. =D

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