FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
QUESTIONS ABOUT COMMUNICATION
Q- Can I take my cell phone?
A- Yes.......BUT, you are cautioned not to use them for any purpose other than for camera/video capabilities during the day while serving on the teams. If you choose to make a call or send a text before your day begins, or at the end of the day to connect with home or business, please check with your provider before the trip as international rates are extremely expensive. IF you can survive without your phone….leave it at home.
Q- Can I bring a laptop? Will I be able to send email?
A- Yes, but you may not have Internet connection. The added weight of suitable electronics and the risk of theft is very high for laptops, i-pads, tablets, etc. If you choose to bring electronics of this nature you do so at your own risk as Eastside cannot be held responsible. All this makes it not really worth the trouble!
Q- What is the emergency number I should give my family?
A- On the day of departure family members will be given cards with resource numbers, including the team leader’s emergency cell number. Please remind your family that these numbers should only to be used in the event of an emergency and that time differences should be observed whenever possible to keep from waking the team leader in the middle of the night.
QUESTIONS ABOUT HEALTH
Q- What shots must I have before I go?
A- As explained in the section "Documents and Immunizations," Eastside is legally not able to make recommendations concerning immunizations. We can tell you only if there is something required to enter your host country, or to reenter the U.S.
Q- I have a pacemaker or other medical device – what must I do as I go through security?
A- It is always recommended to travel with a doctor’s note describing the device. Let your team leader know and we will alert TSA as to your needs. They may have you go through special handling and we will meet you on the other side.
Q- Should I take antibiotics with me?
A- Anytime you travel you run the risk of getting sick. Since you won't have access to your personal physician and pharmacy... AND you will need to press through to complete our project (can't really take the day off) – so taking an antibiotic with you, just in case, is the prudent thing to do.
Q- What antibiotic should I bring?
A- That is up to you and your physician. Over the years we have had team members dealing with upper respiratory illness and stomach/flu issues. CAUTION: Speak with your physician FIRST and consult with him/her for what’s best for you.
Q- Is the water safe?
A- No. No matter what your destination is, you will drink ONLY the bottled/filtered water provided for you. You should also use this water for brushing your teeth. Sodas you are given, or purchase, are also safe, but you cannot drink them with ice as the ice is made with unfiltered water. You will mostly be drinking water.
Q- What food is safe to eat?
A- Anything served to you on the plane, in the airport, in our host homes, centers, guest houses or restaurants is considered safe. Even with food that is safe, since it's new and possibly different, you may have gastro-intestinal issues. For this reason, our packing list includes medication for constipation, gastric upset and diarrhea.
Q- What if I have medication that must be refrigerated?
A- Notify your team leaders of your needs in advance. We will make the necessary arrangements if possible.
Q- What if I am sick or injured?
A- Team leaders will carry a first aid kit.
Q- What if I wear contacts?
A- We recommend that you wear glasses. But if you choose to wear your contacts then we ask that you clean them WELL and OFTEN. Plan to clean them more than you would at home and take them out whenever you can to avoid getting something behind them or an eye infection.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MONEY
Q- Am I supposed to bring my money in foreign currency?
A- No. Your team leader will instruct you on how your team will handle your currency exchange.
Q- Can I take a credit card?
A- YES. But be advised that there are few places for you to use your credit card. For most souvenir shopping you will need to take cash. The percentage companies charge for international transactions varies. Check with your credit card company for fees...ask them to waive them! Make sure you inform your company of your travel dates and destinations to avoid denials.
Q- What credit cards are accepted?
A- You are safest with a Master Card or Visa as more places will take those than American Express or Discover.
Q- Can I use my ATM card?
A- YES. But be warned. In some cases, there is an excessive convenience fee AND a currency conversion fee. Check with your bank. Some waive the fees and have agreements with in country banks.
Q- How much money should I take?
A- This depends upon how much shopping you want to do. You are responsible for purchasing any food/beverage that you want while in the airports as well as your souvenir money. We recommend +/- $200 per person in cash but $50-$100 will do if you don’t plan to shop much.
Q- Will someone be videotaping our project?
A- YES. We ask that team members not take time away from the project to videotape. We need you focused on your ministry assignment. But the project will be filmed. You may take a small video camera, if you like – but you need to keep it concealed when not being used, and resist the desire to film everything.
Q- Do I have to take a camera?
A- NO. There will be plenty of people taking photographs and we invite everyone to upload their favorite pictures after the trip so that all teams can access them. Is it safe to take a DSLR camera? Yes. But you will want to keep it around your neck at all times.