Packing begins

It’s approximately 43 days before I leave and I am starting to get nervous about the packing. It would seem that since I’ve done this once before that I would surely be able to rock it the second time. Not so.

Lesotho is in the south, meaning it’s cold, meaning packing is another ball game. I have to have boots, a jacket and gloves. And some of the things I bought for Niger are no good, such as my sleeping back which is a warm weather sleeping bag but it doesn’t matter because I had to leave it behind in some random hotel to make luggage weight. While packing for Niger, the other volunteers said don’t worry about clothes. For Lesotho, they said to bring quality warm stuff from America.

These items are more expensive and bulkier, creating a lighter wallet and heavier baggage.

I am done with work this week and then I am going to dedicate my time to preparing for Lesotho and knocking some items of this shopping list. Last time, I didn’t realize that certain brands offer discounts for volunteers so I plan to fully take advantage of those this time.

Do you have any packing suggestions? I really want an iPad, but I keep reminding myself that is a terrible idea. If you were going to Africa for two years, what would you take with you?

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5 thoughts on “Packing begins

  1. I would take a Heather with me. We can stop by the outlet stores after I pick you up at the airport if you like. Not much for warm weather clothes probably though.

  2. I would suggest getting a Kindle (as Susan suggested). One of my friends here in Namibia has one, and she loves it! But buy books before you come (even the free ones….they up the price if you’re out of the country).

    Then I would also say to bring those hand warmer things. You know the ones that heat up with friction? It gets pretty cold here in Southern Africa!

    There is also a much bigger network of external hard drive swaps here than there was in Niger. Make sure you get a big one! I have a 2TB one and it’s about 3/4 of the way full! And I’ve only been in Namibia for what, 7 months and it’s that full already!

    Finally, fishing line. I know, it’s weird….but I even had it in Niger! You get lots of good uses out of it! Like hanging a mosquito net….or a clothes line inside for your underwear!

    Good luck! 🙂

  3. I think I am giving into the Kindle idea.
    And, Elizabeth, awesome suggestions! Thank you so much. I am excited to be on the same continent as you again!
    And, Amy, I plan to bring a Heather. That is sorta important 🙂

  4. Heather, less than a month!!!!!!

    I am super excited that a DivaCup is on your wish list! I’ve been using for about 6 years now and fully recommend (no need to worry about what to do with the trash!). Also, I didn’t have one of those micro-fiber towels in Fiji, but recently found one and I love it. Recommend.

    I can’t give packing recommendations for cold weather PC sites, but here’s the things I couldn’t live without. Roll of hemp twine (probably a lot of the same uses as fishing line, but biodegradable), markers, plenty of nice soft worn-in bandanas, something to study (when I found myself craving some form of organized learning now and again and was sick of my Fijian dictionary), plenty of Dr. Brommers, tea tree oil (helpful for infections of all kinds and insects hate it!), extra pair of running shoes and extra underwear (it feels SO good to bust those out a year into service), CDs (you know your iPODs gonna break, dude!), a couple carabiners – they seemed to come in handy, any spices that you love and they don’t use in Lesotho, extra hair ties (I’ve never been able to find the nice kind without the metal piece that pulls your hair out outside the US), and good chapstick (though I only used it when I was in the capital and had to be in AC). Aric really liked his rechargeable battey/charger set (he had a battery-powered walkman and this way didn’t have to deal with disposing of batteries).

    Also, this is a long time off and not something you’re thinking about I’m sure, but it was nice to have digital copies of my CV/resume, transcripts, etc. for once the end of service got closer and I was thinking about jobs. I think I actually just made sure I had emailed myself all of that stuff, so I’d have access.

    Last thing – you know there’s all kinds of Pierre-ites that have warm weather sleeping bags and hiking boots and jackets in their houses, but never use them. I wonder if there’s a way to go on a borrowing spree for all that pricey stuff?

    Really, I have full faith in you to make do with whatever you can get in Lesotho. So, don’t get too stressed. And in the cases where there’s no making-do, you always have a wonderful family who will send you the things you don’t have room for 🙂

    Love!
    Rach

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