Wednesday, June 23, 2010

T minus 8 weeks

Still working on logistics for the trip.

Today I called the Pinellas County Health Dept to inquire about the vaccines for our trip. According to the CDC website, in addition to being current on routine vaccines (MMR, DPT, polio), one should get Hep A, Hep B, and Typhoid. Rabies is recommended for those who will be spending a lot of time outside in rural areas. I think we are going to skip the rabies vaccine. Apparently, one starts with the Hepatitis shots 6 months in advance of a trip. Luckily, they have a Hep A and B combo shot series (3 shots!) that is done over 21 days for people who need to be immunized quickly. A 4th shot is required as a booster a year after the 3rd shot. I definitely need the Tetanus shot (because I don't remember having one in the last 10 years). The person at the Health Dept suggested a polio booster, but said if I had the MMR as a child (which I am sure I did) then I may not need a booster for that. I will check in with my doctor. I don't want to take extra shots (especially since I am at 5 shots needed as it is), but I do want to be protected.

Peggy is up to date on all her vaccines. She just needs to come with me one time to get the Typhoid shot.

Since I need to go there at least 3 times, I am thinking about getting the shots on Fridays, so I have the weekends to recover.

I have never been to the Pinellas County Health Dept, but I am guessing that it must be interesting in the foreign travel vaccine area, meeting people who are travelling to all sorts of exotic places.

The more I learn about the political history of Moldova, the more I realized that I should follow the advice, and try to learn at least some conversational Russian as well. I was hoping I could get by with learning one new language this summer, but, two would be better. Today I checked out 2 Russian language programs on cassette (I need to dig out my cassette player!) from our campus library, and I have one on ILL from USF Tampa that is the Pimsleur method I am currently using for Romanian. I am finding the Pimsleur method to be quite effective (despite the fact that the only beverages I know how to order are beer and wine).

Will try to post entries more regularly. La revedere for now.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Buna ziua!

I redeemed a gift card to purchase books to prepare for my trip. It was like Christmas when the box arrived, complete with several Romanian language CDs, travel guides for Eastern Europe, and comparative judicial process texts. (This was in addition to the books/CDs/DVDs/cassettes I borrowed from the Pinellas County Library System (thanks Gulf Beaches ILL!)

The shipment included (but was not limited to)

Romanian Dictionary and Phrasesbook
Eastern Europe Phrasebook
The Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and the Politics of Culture
Lonely Planet's Eastern Europe
Rick Steves' Eastern Europe
Teach Yourself Romanian (CD/book)
Pimsleur's Conversational Romanian (CDs)
Mark Tushnet's Weak Courts, Strong Rights: Judicial Review and Social Welfare Rights in Comparative Constitutional Law

In future posts, I will share interesting tidbits from these materials.

There is a dearth of travel information out there about Moldova, but I must say that I do appreciate the Lonely Planet's section on Moldova.

For each country, the guide has a bullet point for "Famous for." According to LP, Moldova is famous for

folk art
breakaway regions

I am making progress with the (1st set of) Romanian CDs. I will be starting Lesson 7 tomorrow. (I still find it somewhat amusing/troubling that often these lessons tend to instruct using a man propositioning a woman. E.g., today I learned how to invite someone to diner over at my place. This is my first time trying to learn a foreign language via audio program, so I don't know if this is typical - or if it is unique to Romanian. I have 3 more sets of Romanian CDs/cassettes, so I can compare soon enough)

La revedere