Isn’t Africa Dangerous?

23 Oct

Only 3 days left to apply for the Junior Fellowship program! The application closes at midnight this Friday! Here’s the eighth post of my 1 Image, 3 Sentences countdown series. If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comments below, and I’ll reply a.s.a.p.

Emergency Supplies

A number of people have asked me about the risks of travelling in developing countries, so I just want to make it very clear that I was safe and healthy for 95% of my time in Uganda (and the other 5% was a result of my own stupidity). This is a picture of  some of the things I packed and never needed, including treatments for malaria and chronic diarrhoea, first-aid supplies, laxatives, a clean Canadian syringe, and more treatments for diarrhoea. My secret: taking my anti-malarials and multi-vitamins every day, avoiding sketchy street-food, and following the advice of my host-family and experienced EWB staff.

If you’re interested in the Junior Fellowship program, be sure to check out http://juniorfellow.ewb.ca/

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2 Responses to “Isn’t Africa Dangerous?”

  1. ladybirdathome October 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    In my experience it’s not the street food that is the problem provided you exercise reasonable discretion, it’s the fancy hotels and restaurants you want to watch out for. In my volunteer cohort ALL cases of sickness afflicting my fellow travellers have been contracted at swanky hotels or restaurants of the type frequented by us obrunis.

    Street food is part of the experience and you miss out if you are too scared to eat with the locals. I have freshly prepared street food lunch (from the same vendor) nearly every day and relish it. Steet food has been an essential and enjoyable part of much of my globetrooting. The only serious infectious illness I have ever had (hepatitis A) was contracted in the UK!!

    6 months in and apart from malaria prophylaxis the only thing I have needed is athletes’ foot powder and some eye drops. Let’s hope it stays that way.

    ladybirdabroad

    • juliamilner October 24, 2013 at 2:33 am #

      Ah, yes. Fair comment ladybirdabroad! I should have emphasised sketchy street food, but not all street food. Most of my favourite Ugandan foods were things you could only buy from street sellers, and the local food from small restaurants is not something you want to miss out on! However, I made sure to watch out for vendors who were clearly doing unhygienic things… especially when it came to eggs or chicken, because I’m paranoid about salmonella poisoning.
      My Rule of Thumb: if lots of locals are eating it, go for it! If nobody else is eating it, be cautious.

      I honestly didn’t have that much experience with fancy hotels and restaurants, so I don’t know if your observation holds true in Uganda too, or not.

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