Haiti – Websites for Traveling Prepared

Written by Joey Daoud

On March 4, 2009

Since I found out I’m going to Haiti this Saturday about a week ago, I’ve had to fast track learning everything I need to know for traveling to a third world country.

Here are some resources I found ranging from travel sites to recommended vaccines to common phrases.

US Department of State

The US Department of State has an international travel section with information on every country, as well as travel advisories. There’s also a section to register your trip.

I have no idea what the internet situation will be where I’m staying, so it would be nice if they had an SMS alert option. But this is still a good place to start and get a basic rundown of what you need to do when traveling.

CDC Traveler’s Health / MD Travel Health

Since I’m not going with a group, I had to find out what vaccines I needed myself. These two sites had a great rundown on what diseases I might encounter and what I should be vaccinated against, as well as health precautions while I’m there (don’t drink the water).

Getting Vaccinated

This was actually pretty tricky and really depends on each county. The best thing to do would be to ask your doctor where you can get vaccinated. I don’t have a primary care doctor, but I had heard the Department of Health in my county administered travel vaccines for free. However, when I called them they said that was one of the first things to get cut this year.

I eventually found a travel clinic that had everything in stock. I already had about half the vaccines needed due to all the college requirements, so I only needed Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Insurance usually doesn’t cover this, so they don’t bother checking, so I had to pay in full ($266) and try to get reimbursed later. They also gave me a prescription for anti-malaria drugs.

Country Background

When I found out I was going to Haiti the first thing I did was turn to Wikipedia. The great thing about country profiles is you can get a good gist of everything quickly and then have the option to read further into the more detailed articles about the country.

I’ve also been reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder and watched The Agronomist, both good primers to the history of Haiti. Look for recommended books and movies in articles or blog posts.

Language

I’ve traveled to other countries before and always managed to get by with English, but I always wished I knew at least a little bit of the native language to make things easier and not be the lame American.

So this time I’m trying to learn as many Creole phrases as I can in a week. Since Creole is not the most popular of languages, there aren’t that many resources for it.

I’m a big fan of Pimsleur, so I got the basic Creole course which I’ll listen to on my 7 hour drive to the airport. If you happen to be interested in Creole specific sites with phrases, the best ones I found is this PDF from Hands on Disaster Response and Traveling Haiti.

I’ve converted the phrases to flash cards to memorize. I’ve also researched phrases specific to what I’m doing and most likely need, such as, “Can I take your picture?”

Remember to follow me as I go around Haiti.

You May Also Like…

Gadgets and Distractions – NY Times Article

Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price I was reading the New York Times on my iPad at breakfast this morning when I saw the above photo and died laughing. The article is really interesting and talks about our addiction to gadgets causing problems with our...

Get You 2.0 – The Life Hacking Documentary – For Free

As you've have seen on the site or Twitter, for the past year I've been working on a documentary on high school combat robots called Bots High. The national championship is approaching, where the teams I've been following will battle it out to see if their robot is...

1 Comment

  1. http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/473845/Smokers-Cant-Say-No-To-Electric-Cigarettes"

    I gave up cigs a week ago and it is really beginning to make me feel crappy today. My companion keeps saying I will not be able to complete it but I am so serious on this I will. recently I began having aches in my abdomen and I really am craving a smoke. I cannot give into the craving given that I’m stopping smoking for my little one. I am fortunate to have the e-cigs. It has been incredibly helpful to me.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Adventures in Haiti — Coffee and Celluloid - [...] written about some of the preparations I went through over at the documentary blog, including helpful travel websites and…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Video Lightbox Plugin