Prior to our upcoming trip to Peru in six weeks, my wife and I visited the doctors to get some shots for yellow fever, typhoid and swine flu. Well, I thought I'd be ok after these but had an attack of shivering and chills the same night, followed by fever and a serious dose of the sweats. I took the following day off work to recover and am more or less fully recovered apart from a stiff shoulder where I got the swine flu shot. I guess i was lucky. I've heard of others who've been really sick for days after getting the vaccination.
Other preparations have included learning Spanish, or at least trying to. We borrowed and bought textbooks in order to learn the basics and I also bought a CD series which I transferred to my mp3 player so I can listen travelling to and from work. I can pick up vocabulary readily but the grammar is more difficult. Weirdly enough, although spanish is not terribly different from french, a language I learned in school for several years and did quite well at, finnish grammar keeps sneaking in and hijacking my thought processes. So, I keep thinking of what I want to say first in english, before it passes through some sort of weird finnish filter, then comes out as poor spanish. And it takes a long time! I hope that I meet some patient people when we go there! Nevertheless, i like spanish a lot, the rolled r's, it's overall cadence and musicality. Que bonita!
One really fun thing about this trip is buying the gear for being in the rainforest. Waterproof bags, head lamps, anti fungal and insect powders (still to get) and a hundred other things I've not even thought of yet. And it's so easy to get caught up in the details of gear...how many lumens does your headlight have? how quick drying are your trousers? does the anti-insect powder work against chiggers as well?
I'm thinking about bringing some sort of telescopic fishing rod and the associated gear as it's always been my drean to fish in the Amazon also. I probably won't have a clue as to what species I might catch (without having to ask first) but this just adds to the overall appeal.
I guess this explains in part why I have sort of placed the sword stuff on the back burner since the end of last year. This trip and work occupy my mind to the point where there isn't a lot of room for much else.