Paige out West

Yahoo for Portland, Oregon! This blog will be a place for friends and family to check out what I am up to. The address will stay paigedeut even though I may or may not be in Germany. Now it stands for eveyone's favorite book in the Bible...Deuteronomy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Is there a Vaccination for Ottoman Fever?

Happy New Year! The greeting is a little late as the crazy traveling has begun. At this rate it seems that this year is going to be even more nuts than the last. I won’t tell you where I am going just yet. This way you’ll tune into my blog every once in awhile. But, if you want to cheat you can also check out my google calendar.

Let me tell you what’s been going on since the new year. I went to Istanbul! Crazy right? After spending quality time with my family hanging out in Bavaria and then skiing in Austria, I had a couple days in January with Connor. The original plan was to do some more skiing. As luck would have it, the NW of the states has a ton of snow and Europe has very little. Thus, Connor and I came up with a plan B: go to the airport and see if we can find any cheap flights anywhere in the world. Cheap flights we didn’t find, but a not too expensive trip to Istanbul popped up.

Upon arrival we went to a Whirling Dervish performance. They spin and spin without spotting. I expected a bit more dancing than spinning, but this performance was the real deal. Our first full day we did a German language tour of the Bosphorus River. This river connects the Mediterranean with the Black Sea and is the divide between the European and Asian continent. Translation: we paid 50 Euros to take a ferry ride while I “interpreted” Greek mythology from German to English. I think there might have been a couple things lost in translation. Yet, it was worth the money as we got to see some of the look out points over the city and try some local cuisine.

The rest of our two days we saw museums, palaces, mosques, aqueducts, that kind of cultural stuff. We also made a trip to the Grand Bizzare. I followed after my mother and bought a scarf that I of course desperately needed. It was at this point in the trip that the Ottoman fever began to set in. I got a fever and all of that stuff just in time for a plane ride back to Munich and then onto Brussels. Yikes. I just got antibiotics today, so the fever turned sinus infection should be gone here soon. Yahoo for modern medicine!

Speaking of medicine, the reason I went to Brussels was to do a course in Vaccinology. But before starting the class, I had a couple days free so visited a friend from El Salvador who now lives in Belgium. It’s funny where you run into people again. I met Karina through Laurel and Colin in El Salvador three years ago. We met up again to see the Flemish speaking side of Belgium and go out dancing until 6 am along with a couple of Karina’s friends from Central America.

After a crazy weekend, it was on to studying. The Vaccinology course was awesome. It was “sponsored”, ie mostly paid for, by the pharma company GlaxoSmithKline. They wined and dined us. Oh, did I mention that we stayed in a sweet hotel too? It was glorious. There were 42 of us from 25 different countries. We learned about some of the new vaccine developments for HIV, HPV, Malaria, TB, and Rotavirus. If you know at least three of those diseases and you’re not in public health pat yourself on the back.

After a side trip to visit my friend Esther in Frankfurt, I am now in Berlin. This next week and a half I’ll be working on my thesis and hanging out with my buddies. There will also be a guest appearance by everyone’s favorite cyclist…Adrian. He’s in town doing a 6 day track race. Oh, and another appearance by SHAKIRA. I’ll be getting tickets to that concert. Yeah. Hello 2007.

It was a church, then a mosque, and now a museum. Viola!

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Outside the Blue Mosque

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Riding in Style in Europe

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A little flavor of Innsbruck

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New Years at the Hofbrauhaus

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Preview of 2007 Christmas Card Photo

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