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5425Re: [ujeni] Packing List

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  • Greg Clements
    Jan 8, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Thanks for the reply.  I am sure you felt unsure about what to expect and what to bring.  I lived in Indonesia for a while so I am not new to impoverished nations, but still this is not Indonesia.  Anyhow, thanks for the heads up.  I have been assigned to forestry/ parks expasion.  Do you know any details about this? 
      Thanks again for the heads up,
      Greg Clements

      --- On Sat, 12/27/08, Don Weber <dweber@...> wrote:

      From: Don Weber <dweber@...>
      Subject: Re: [ujeni] Packing List
      To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Saturday, December 27, 2008, 7:27 PM

      It sure is a different list than it could be 14 years ago.  Some nice
      additions.  Besides the electronics... the unbreakable French press!  Good

      Here are just my thoughts...

      We could always buy a great umbrella there...big and red, yellow,blue,
      green.  We brought one home with us.  Even the big ones don't work when the
      "real" rainy season hits.  Small ones are only good for the July/Aug drizzly
      season.  During the REAL rainy season you just learn to live with being wet
      and laugh with all the Malawians who are walking along with you and wet,
      too.  That is a great equalizing experience, great fun.  Consider a good
      poncho instead of rain jacket.

      Fitted sheets?  If I were short on room and long on pounds, I'd leave them
      behind.  Non-fitted sheets don't stay as well; but heck, you're not going
      into the Peace Corps to experience total comfort.  I'd forget the table
      cloth.  There are wonderful 2 meter pieces of the greatest fabrics that can
      be used for a limitless number of things and definitely as a table cloth.

      I'd say take the tent!  A light cheap one that you can leave behind for the
      next volunteers.  We had to write home to have one sent to us after deciding
      not to take one.  If you ever sleep out without it, the bugs get you.  We
      took sleeping bags and Therma-rest pads.  Even if you never sleep out, you
      will for sure sleep on volunteer friends' floors.  Cement is harder than the
      ground.  The pads are great.

      Oh how I wished digital cameras existed.  Film was hard!  Don't even
      consider it when digital is an option.  Make sure you have lots of memory
      card space!  Several smaller spaced cards would be good so you can send them
      home for prints to be made to share with coworkers, friends, neighbors and
      the kids who all love to have pictures of themselves.  That is unless
      printing pictures is easier there now.  Maybe you'll be able to make CDs of
      pictures... probably can at the Peace Corps office...and send them home for
      prints to be made.  Gee, things have changed!

      Along with hobbies and cards...other games that you can play with friends
      you make there and neighbor kids are good.  UNO and Yahtzee were popular.
      They are great ways to pass the time and enjoy the company of others.
      Everyone, young and old, seemed to like Jinga but it's heavy.  You might
      have someone mail it to you, though I know postage has gotten really high.
      Jigsaw puzzles.  Have them out and started, everyone who comes in can't
      resist trying to find and fit a few pieces.

      If you are an avid reader, I'd take more than one or 2 books.  You may not
      always be able to get to the Peace Corps office often enough to exchange
      them, depending on where your site is.  Books are hard to buy in Malawi.
      Have friends and family who know your taste in books be prepared to send
      them regularly.  You could even buy a supply ahead and have them sent at

      You won't take everything you need and you won't need everything you take
      but it doesn't matter.  It all works out.  Hope you have as wonderful an
      experience and have the chance to make as many Malawian and Peace Corps
      friends as we did.  It's a truly a warm and welcoming place.

      Cathy Weber.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Daniel Dudley " <papadud@...>
      To: <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2008 2:59 PM
      Subject: RE: [ujeni] Packing List

      it is a pretty good list. how sweet it would have been to have ipods I the
      early 90's!! a laptop will b pretty much useless if u r at a site without
      electricity. if u plan to travel and camp then a tent is nice, but not that
      necessary. I always crashed on a friends floor and was fine with that. get a
      solar electronic charger for ipods and cell phones etc. my wife gets gsm
      "unlocked" cell phones used from ebay. have fun, malawi is a great place.  I
      will likely b bringing a group of students there in June for the third time.

      dan dudley

      -----Original Message-----
      From: cowboygreg58 <cowboygreg58@...>
      Sent: 12/20/2008 7:29:12 AM
      To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [ujeni] Packing List

      Seasoned Malawi PCV's

      Below is a recommended list of items to take with me to Malawi.
      Please recommend what might need to be added or not. Also, is a tent
      crucial to take (just trying to budget necessities and all)?

      Thanks for the info.


      Greg Clements

      PS Do you know about the world traveler website www.couchsurfing.com ?
      Check my profile here -


      Greetings, Future Malawi PCV!

      We've collected short bits from several current (as of November, 2008)
      PCVs to help you get a sense of what Malawi is like, what some of the
      high and low points are, and a sense of who your fellow PCVs will be.
      We hope that you enjoy them, and you should feel free to contact the
      people in the next few weeks if you have questions.

      As for packing  well, look over the list below that was put together
      by PCVs. They have a good sense of what you'll need right away or in
      the long-term in your work and life here.

      We look forward to seeing you soon!

      Brian Connors
      APCD Environment

      Lughano Munthali
      Program Assistant, Environment

      Items You Should not Leave At home!!
      Clothes you don't mind getting destroyed or leaving here (some PCVs
      suggest a smaller size than you have now…)
      `Going out' clothes  (one only)
      `Business-casual' clothes  skirts, khakis, button-down shirts.
      Jeans! (a pair or two, depending on how much you love wearing them now)
      Flash drive!!
      Camera (digital is easiest, real film can be developed in major towns
      but is very expensive)
      iPod, mp3 player, or CD player (no need for tape players in this day
      and age)
      *Please note that erratic energy, heat, humidity, sand and dust will
      do a number on all electronic devices (computers, iPods and cameras).
      Medium-size thirsty towels (large ones are difficult to wash)
      Kitchen knife
      Pair of plastic flip-flops for showering the first few days
      Good pair of sandals, for example, durable Chacos
      3 month supply of any medicine you will need
      2 pairs of eyeglasses (if you need them)
      Sunglasses and good hat
      Fitted twin sheets
      Sturdy walking or hiking shoes
      Small umbrella
      Duct tape
      Leatherman tool or Swiss Army Knife
      Headlamp (very popular among PCVs!) and/or wind-up flash light
      Rechargeable or solar batteries and charger (bring AAAs is you have a
      Converter and adaptors (220V here. Small multi converters/adapters
      work well.)
      Short supply of razors and shavers
      Ankle socks
      Sweater/sweatshirt  1st two months in training are in cool
      climate/rainy area
      Compact sleeping bag and Tent
      Hiking backpack
      Zip-lock bags
      Rain jacket
      English dictionary, Thesaurus
      US $ cash
      Powdered drinks, like Crystal Lite

      Female Volunteers
      If you wear make-up, bring some!
      If you wear jewelry, bring some!
      A pair of nice dress shoes
      Two-piece bathing suits are ok at the lake
      Sleeveless shirts
      Hair ties/ Headbands
      Light-weight skirts

      Male Volunteers
      Collared shirt or three for official meetings
      Nice dress pants/Khakis

      Presents for Host Country friends and family (can be dollar store bought)
      Pictures of your city/hometown/postcards
      Soccer balls  deflated, they don't take up much space
      Crayons, markers, paint sets and coloring books
      Matchbox cars
      Photos and picture frames
      Table cloth
      Watch - think inexpensive
      Jewelry- same as watch

      Special Interest Items*
      *i.e. things we love in-country, items only some volunteers adore but
      others don't care about, and care package suggestions
      Laptop computer  you can keep it in one of the regional houses or in
      Lilongwe if you worry about it
      Extra flash drive
      Colored maps of the world and Africa for your house, blow-up globe
      Travel version of Bug repellent  we are issued spray stuff
      Cutting board
      Parmesan Cheese (Kraft), Mac and Cheese packets (have them flat packs
      mailed by friends/family!)
      Cliff Bars/Granola bars/Luna Bars
      Pants with zip-off bottoms
      Non-stick fry pan
      Yoga materials
      Rubber Spatula
      Seeds (herbs especially) - don't list this on packages mailed, since
      you're not supposed to mail them
      Calendar showing scenes of the US
      Pictures of friends and family
      Favorite recipes
      Chocolate chips
      Your favorite candy (but you can get lots here, too)
      Sewing kit
      Pet leash, collar and flea/tick prevention
      Hobby Items
      Puzzle/Crossword puzzle books
      Crayons, markers, colored paper, colored pencils and cheap paint sets
      Children's books
      Votive candles or other religious items
      Playing cards
      Christmas ornaments- have sent!
      Favorite coffee, unbreakable French Press, Specialty Teas
      GRE prep materials
      Nice soap and facial cleansers; Oil of Olay daily facials  (no
      water needed to wash your face: good for training when you don't feel
      like fetching water or talking to host family, also travel in dry
      regions); scrubbing face wash
      Your favorite books (1 or 2) especially non-fiction if you're a
      non-fiction reader. Books you won't mind sharing or re-reading. The
      PC/Malawi office library has a nice collection also.

      What Volunteers say in November 2008:
      "Other than those things on the list, I would definitely emphasize
      bringing a laptop and extra flash drive. It has been helpful numerous
      times for work. I don't know how I'd get as much accomplished as I
      have. And perhaps under-emphasize clothes. I was under the impression
      that you can't get clothes in Malawi. If I had known how easy it was
      to buy apparel, I would have brought more camping gear and less clothes."
      - Ross

      "Ignore other people's suggestions of leaving your laptop behind. You
      won't regret bringing it!"
      - Keah

      "Bringing a hobby is a good idea too. Ethan brought some wood carving
      tools. Lots of people bring musical instruments. I wish I would have
      brought a couple tools for building instruments."
      - Matt


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