Anyone have experience w/ international trips offered by the school?

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 1:19am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Our Middle School is 6-8th grades. Foreign language is a requirement, and 3 languages are offered (Spanish, German, French). Mariah takes Spanish. In 8th grade, each foreign language teacher offers a trip that is scheduled over spring break. Last year's trip also included 1 or 2 additional school days because they got a better price leaving on an earlier day.

The trip would be next spring (a year from now). Parent chaperones are invited and my husband is available to accompany Mariah.

I recently received this e-mail from dd's spanish teacher:

[i]Dear Mrs. W,

I know that you requested the dates for next year's Costa Rica trip, so I wanted to contact you regarding the tour. Having completed the tour recently, I wanted to share some information with you.

You should know that we will be traveling to very remote regions. On this year's trip, we traveled on narrow, one or two lane roads in the mountains in sparsely populated areas. At one point, our bus broke down and we waited about two hours for a replacement.

As regards to food, we stopped at roadside markets and consumed food that was not prepackaged with ingredient labels. We were not the only occupants on the bus. People purchased a variety of foods, including nuts. Meals at hotels were buffet style. We ate as a group- no one ordered individually. Some of the foods and drinks were completely new to me. When I asked what certain foods/drinks were, the answers were Spanish words foreign to me. I had NO control over or particular knowledge about certain foods and drinks.

Finally, the tour included a great deal of walking. In one instance, we walked down more than 500 steps to a waterfall. The walk down was challenging, not to mention to walk back UP. We hiked almost every day and we kayaked one afternoon for a couple of hours. If Mariah were to have an asthma attack we are no where near medical facilities.

In conclusion, the area is very remote, the food is an

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 1:44am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
Mariah is somewhat interested in the trip. What would you do?[/b]
Keeping it plain and simple -- absolutely would NOT let my child go. Far too risky as to foods, in combo with remoteness & low-level med care available. I would prefer my child "miss out" on this trip as a youngster with the hopes that he/she survive to adulthood so he/she could take many trips all over the world.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 1:48am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Would you ask the school to change the tour so it was not "remote"?

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 1:50am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 1:54am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 1:55am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I would not do it. It sounds way too risky. Even with your dh there, it sounds like there would be situations where she would be forced to eat foods without ingredient labels. Also, labeling laws vary from country to country. In some countries they do not have to list an ingredient if it is less than a certain percentage of the item. Add to that the questionable medical care, and I just don`t see how it is possible to make it safe for her.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 1:58am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

I understand, but haven't abandoned the idea completely.
Here is how I responded:
[i]Hi ,
Wow. That sounds like a magnificent trip.
We have already approached our allergist about the tour. His adult daughter is highly allergic to nuts, lives in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish. We have spoken to Dr. about the possibility of her translating medical and dietary information to Spansih, with his supervision and assistance. I had thought that with Dr. and his daughter's help, along with Mariah having her dad (a physician) attending with her, would make this excursion possible.
I appreciate you thinking about us, and giving the examples so that I can understand the nature of the trip. I'll talk this over with , but I'm inclined to think this trip is not possible.
I'll get back to you again soon.
Thank you very much,
Gail W[/i]
I also sent an e-mail to the principal asking if the other 2 languages also offered trips, and if they were less remote.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 2:03am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 2:04am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Gail I tried to write something reassuring and I tried to link it to my son's semester in Scotland but I can't do it comfortably.
Plus it sounds like the school is already leery and that might make it even harder for Mariah to stay safe.
College Junior year most students travel abroad for a semester. My son did fine, by then Mariah will also do fine.
When my son's middle school proposed a trip to Europe I was the only one of TWO Parents who said "No way." I was not popular but there was no way my son was going at that age.
Good luck. I'm sure Mariah will understand. Show her my son's pictures from Scotland, she'll get her chance. I can send you a whole bunch of them.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 2:12am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

The wording from the spanish teacher comes across as "we'd prefer Mariah not attend"....and I say that because it seems she made a point in every scenerio that it is unsafe(either location, food, language barrier, even the stairs). She was being honest, which is great, but I just got the feeling she pointed out every negativity she could. JMO
If my son were her age and asked, I'd say "heck no" so fast. The only way I would even consider it, is if I was a chaperone. But then the remote loactions, would have a greater impact on my decision of *either of us going*. What ever happened to the trips to Washington DC?? Wow, Costa Rica!!!???
If it were me, I'd say no.
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited April 18, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 2:38am
JaneyL's picture
Joined: 06/11/1999 - 09:00

It's just so hard for these kids every step of the way.
My son was nominated to travel with the People to People Student Ambassador Program this summer. He turns 14 and will be entering the 8th grade. The group was traveling to England, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands for 20 days.
I didn't even call to check into it--I just don't think he's old enough to handle this kind of trip yet. Maybe in a few years-but it was really sad to let this opportunity slip by. It meant alot to him that someone thought of him and nominated him for the program.
Just when you think you have a handle on this allergy and the emotional toll it takes on your child--another obstacle comes up. Since the trip is done by the school shouldn't they try to find a trip that would be in your "safety zone". What would they do if there was a physically handicapped child--just not include them also?? The school needs to a least try to find a solution for your child.


Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

Click on one of the categories below to see all topics and discussions.

Latest Discussions

Latest Post by Italia38 Wed, 01/15/2020 - 11:03am
Comments: 10
Latest Post by Italia38 Wed, 01/15/2020 - 10:52am
Comments: 2
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 01/14/2020 - 1:03pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by penelope Sun, 12/29/2019 - 6:21pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by sunshinestate Sun, 12/29/2019 - 6:00pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by Italia38 Sun, 12/29/2019 - 5:44pm
Comments: 5
Latest Post by justme Tue, 12/17/2019 - 3:41pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by justme Tue, 12/17/2019 - 2:39pm
Comments: 45

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

What can you eat if you can't eat peanut butter? Fortunately for people with a peanut allergy, there...

If you’ve recently discovered a peanut allergy in your family, you may be wondering what on earth you are going to replace those peanut butter and...

If you find frequent allergy-related food recalls upsetting you are not alone, but a new federal rule may help reduce the cross-contamination...

Recent UK studies revealing the benefit of giving peanut protein to infants at risk for peanut allergy have left some mothers feeling guilty. The...

Peanuts are classified as legumes, as are chickpeas. Does this mean a child with a peanut allergy needs to avoid eating chickpeas? As with many...

Parents of kids with peanut allergy and adults with a peanut allergy may worry about allergen exposure from surfaces not cleaned after peanut...

A 504 plan* documents food allergy accommodations agreed to by parents and their child’s school. Plans are typically created during a 504 meeting...

It may seem a contradiction when doctors claim reactions owed to airborne peanut protein are rare, yet you read multiple online stories of kids...

Nearly 25 percent of children with a peanut allergy will outgrow it. However, there is a small risk...

If you or your child has a peanut allergy, that unmistakable smell of peanuts wafting through the air...

If you have a peanut allergy, you are probably accustomed to reading labels and scanning for warnings...

Tree nuts and peanuts are distinctly different. An allergy to one does not guarantee an allergy to the other. Peanuts are considered legumes and...

Only those who have peanut allergies really seem to realize how many things can and often do have...

Childhood allergies can affect sleep, eating habits, concentration level, and mood. Children with allergies can exhibit behaviors that reveal...

Health Canada’s new food labeling regulations, which came into force August of this year, have made it easier for people with food allergies to...

A school prank could have gone terribly wrong had the girl being pranked not been diligent about her allergies. The Washington state teenager is...

Although allergies affect many people worldwide, there are currently no universal allergy symbols. It is estimated that about 25 percent of...

George Washington Carver found more than 300 uses for peanuts and peanut oil. That’s more than 300 ways people with an allergy to peanuts can be...

In the United States, millions of people suffer from acid reflux, a painful condition in the throat and esophagus that results when stomach acid...

Peanuts cause more severe food allergic reactions than other foods, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs. Although there is only a...