Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mission preparations: Safety

As you might guess about me, I am pretty conscious of safety and taking precautions wherever I am. As I get older and more aware of my mortality, so increases my sense of danger and therefore safety!

However, I think it goes without saying that there are some places that are more dangerous than others, and it is definitely prudent to stay informed about conditions in the country and town you are visiting, regardless of whether you are an adventure-seeker or a worrywart. 

We're traveling to Honduras, a country well known for violence and gang attacks. Since we're traveling with a large organization to a place that is well established for escorting and looking after volunteers, we feel relatively safe. Still, we take no chances - we will remain cautious and sensible, and have prayed continually for God's protection.

A few months ago, we signed up for Google alerts for news of the country. We have also thoroughly read the WGM guidelines, as well as those at the US and UK embassy websites. Advice covers avoiding crime, not traveling on public transport (re-purposed US school buses), where to safely exchange money and so on.
Another example would be protecting passports. These are not something to leave around in a developing country! US passports sell for a lot of money on the black market so utmost precautions should be taken with those.

Documents - This may seem obvious, but it's important to take back up copies of these.

Travel Itinerary
Vaccination details
Travel insurance information plus quick contact card for wallet
  - (WGM provides travel insurance)
Contact details of guest house
Contact details of WGM
Contact details of US embassy/ UK embassy in Honduras

Copies of these documents are also filed with the organization, our church and with a friend. Hey, I said I was safety conscious right?  If something happens, the more people who have our info the better! :)

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