5425Re: [ujeni] Packing List
- Jan 8, 2009Thanks 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
Date: Saturday, December 27, 2008, 7:27 PMIt 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.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Daniel Dudley " <papadud@...>
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.
From: cowboygreg58 <cowboygreg58@...>
Sent: 12/20/2008 7:29:12 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.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.
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!
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)
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
*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)
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
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
Short supply of razors and shavers
Sweater/sweatshirt 1st two months in training are in cool
Compact sleeping bag and Tent
English dictionary, Thesaurus
US $ cash
Powdered drinks, like Crystal Lite
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
Hair ties/ Headbands
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
Photos and picture frames
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
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
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
Your favorite candy (but you can get lots here, too)
Pet leash, collar and flea/tick prevention
Puzzle/Crossword puzzle books
Crayons, markers, colored paper, colored pencils and cheap paint sets
Votive candles or other religious items
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."
"Ignore other people's suggestions of leaving your laptop behind. You
won't regret bringing it!"
"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."
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