Lisa here, Public Health 2006-2008. I'm the group before Mark and he
is very right. Bring mac&cheese! And enough for all of us.
Remember life exists after Kitui. We take a lot of short trips (well,
after your first 3 months at site and your APCD lets you out) so make
sure you bring stuff for overnight trips or a weekend in Nairobi. I
have my little toiletry bag packed all the time and I just keep
filling up the little bottles when I get home.
Bring a good sturdy small backpack. I got the Osprey with a day pack.
It has great wheels and trust me, you'll be expected to get yourself
from Nairobi out to your site, with all your stuff, alone. Many in
the same area just hire the whole matatu.
I sent myself stuff (Lancome gift with a purchase) as soon as I got
the Nairobi PC Office address. It will be delivered to Nairobi and
you'll be glad you did.
Don't bring two year supply of soap, we take baths and wash our
clothes here. There are several large Walmart type stores around in
the bigger towns. You can get anything & everything here. If it is a
product specifically for wzungu, expect to pay big bucks. Items like
shampoo or conditioner are very expensive. They are wonderful! The
99 cent Sauve is about $5. Good skin lotion or face cream is worth
the luggage space. Just resort to 2 years of the old hippie type
coconut oil & go back to nature. A bottle of cheap sun screen is $12
and PCV don't get paid much. Medical will become your best friends.
They will give you everything you need. They supply bug repellant and
sun screen, lip balm, Mark is right, your medical kit is incredible.
I had my friend send me Roach Motels, but that was kind of silly. If
you'd seen the things you'd understand.
I packed balloons and fun kid band-aids. Pencils and pens with stars
& stripes. I thought it was silly but my boss proudly carries it in
his front pocket everyday. The little kids are very proud of the
My favorite thing is my Petzl LED headlamp. Google that. It fits in
your pocket and doesn't have those big straps, it's a retractable
string. I brought rechargeable batteries and a small folding solar
panel. As Public Health, most of us are at dispensaries with the
Ministry of Health and have electricity, but you never know until
they actually announce your site, and that's well into Training.
I love my Leatherman. I have used every little tool in it.
I also brought the SteriPen Water purifier. That is an over kill, but
I do use it everyday. Most people just boil their water and let it
cool. As Public Health you will know everything there is to know
about safe drinking water.
Word of caution. There will be people to meet you at the airport. I
expect that even Public Health PCV from the DPS (Diversity Peer
Support) group will be there, if staff let us come. They will help
load your bags up and take you to Afalti, a hotel in Nairobi. One of
the girls in our group was suckered into tipping a thug at the
airport. You are so excited and exhausted from the travel that you
are very vulnerable. Don't give anyone money!
Enjoy your last few days in the states. Oh, I also sent my friends
and family self addressed stamped envelopes to the PC Nairobi office.
When they come out to Kitui getting mail is a real big deal. Just a
See you soon,
PS you will buy a phone here. You can bring one from America if it
works with the service here. The one I borught didn't work. But I
have since found Safaricom hasd a page of Nokia models posted. Google
them then search the site map. You can buy a cheap phone for 3000/=
but lots of people have fancy phones to read email. NOTE: Expect to
have your phone stolen. Mine was taken while sitting in church at a
funeral! Don't bring ANYTHING you can't afford to live without.
--- In email@example.com
> Thanks for the peanut butter tip. If it's that easy to come by, we
> will probably skip it. It doesn't take up a lot of room, but it is
> You can make any tea into boba tea. Bobas are little tapioca balls
> that get soft and squishy when you boil them. They don't really
> taste, but they absorb the flavor of whatever kind of tea you put
> in. Because they are really starchy, it turns a regular cup of tea
> into a meal without a lot of extra work...you just have to make sure
> you don't choke on the little balls when you suck them into your
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, mama_josh <no_reply@>
> > I have no idea what boba tea is (what is it??) but peanut butter
> > available almost everywhere in Kenya. You can get everything
> > local peanut butter (no sugur added, like the kind from Whole
> > to Skippy (for a price).
> > Really you can get nearly anything in Kenya if you're willing to
> > for it.
> > Peggy
> > --- In email@example.com, "Whitney"
> > <DreamlandJunkie@> wrote:
> > >
> > > My husband and I are bringing bobas and boba straws so we can
> > > boba tea while we are there. I guess that's pretty random.
> > > are bringing a jar of peanut butter.
> > >
> > > --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, jldank wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Now that we know we're actually leaving, I'm
> > > > finally getting geared up to start thinking about
> > > > beginning to pack. My question is this: what is the most
> > > > random/bizarre thing you brought (or are bringing) with
> > > > you?<br>So far I've got a tie between a miniature cowboy hat
> > > > a friend brought from Matamoros, and a large
> > > > picture of mozzarella sticks.<br>Odd.<br><br>Jessica
> > > >
> > >