Difference between pages "Packing list for Nicaragua" and "Packing list for Tanzania"

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Revised Packing List for Peace Corps Nicaragua
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{{Packing lists by country}}
  
This list has been compiled and revised by Peace Corps Volunteers currently serving in Nicaragua and is based on their experience. Use this information as a guide for packing, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. Obviously, you cannot bring everything mentioned here, so please consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, remember that there are weight limitations depending on the airline and the amount of luggage that Peace Corps will cover (80 lbs). You can buy a lot of what you need in Nicaragua, but some items are either difficult to come across in rural areas and some things are expensive (comparatively to the States and in relation to Volunteer salary).
+
This section has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[Tanzania]] and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight limit on baggage. Luggage should be durable, lockable, and easy to carry. Because you will probably travel a lot by bus, duffel bags or small internal frame backpacks are more practical than suitcases.  
  
FYI: Many great brands offer discounts for Peace Corps Volunteers (Eagle Creek, Timbuk2, ExOfficio, Keen, Chaco, Teva). Make sure to ask if a discount applies when you are buying new items. You may have to provide a copy of your acceptance letter.
+
There are numerous used clothes markets throughout Tanzania where you can purchase inexpensive clothing.  Tailors can also make clothing for you. It is possible in the early weeks of training to buy most clothing you will need or to expand on what you have brought. Think of East Africa as the world’s largest thrift store; the clothing will all be familiar to you. Once at site, you can pick up quality used clothing at markets that are adequate for your service. Clothing found at markets generally range from $1-$5 for an article of clothing.  In addition, clothes in Tanzania are hand washed, hung dry and ironed. Therefore, cotton items generally tend to stretch out over time and some materials are not durable enough to endure hand washing.  
  
===General Clothing Items:===
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===General Clothing ===
  
Keep in mind: Clothing stores are accessible in Nicaragua and many Volunteers buy used U.S. clothing in thrift shops. Personal items, such as underwear, tend to be more difficult to find. Clothes are generally washed with cold water on a concrete washboard and are hung to dry. Cottons and linens are breathable, which is good for the hot weather, but stretch and wear out quickly; also consider bringing some clothes made of fabrics that tend to hold their shape better and last longer (i.e. nylon, spandex, and polyester blends). Some Volunteers found that purchasing a lot of REI-type camping clothing was unnecessary and made them stand out because the local people do not wear similar attire, but that buying a good pair of shoes was well worth the investment.  
+
Tanzanians generally dress more conservatively than Americans do. During pre-service training and in office or school settings, you will be expected to dress professionally. This means closed-toe shoes or sandals, trousers (not jeans), and shirts with collars for men and below-the-knee dresses or skirts for women. Although you can dress more casually while at home, most Tanzanians do not approve of short shorts, tank tops, or dirty or ripped clothing.  
  
• Two pairs dress pants
+
In the following lists, items marked with an asterisk are difficult to find or very expensive to buy in Tanzania or are of poor quality.  
• Two to four pairs of casual pants (including jeans which in Nicaragua can be worn in the professional setting as well)
+
• Two to three dresses and/or skirts for women (cultural norms generally do not stipulate long-length skirts, shorter lengths are permissible)
+
• Two or three long-sleeved shirts or blouses
+
• Several short-sleeved shirts or blouses (polos are recommended by male Volunteers)
+
• Several T-shirts and tank tops for casual wear
+
• Lightweight jacket or cotton sweater for breezy days
+
• Fleece sweatshirt or insulated jacket (for mountainous, cooler areas)
+
• One nice outfit for special occasions, especially the Swearing-In Ceremony (sport coat or dress shirt and tie for men, nice dress or skirt for women)
+
• Rain gear: lightweight raincoat (with hood), poncho, and/or durable umbrella
+
• Swimsuit 
+
• Three to four pairs of shorts/capris
+
• Exercise wear (e.g., sports bras [hard to find locally] and bicycle shorts) as some larger cities have gyms or aerobic classes
+
• Good supply of socks (those with a cotton-polyester blend last longer and dry quicker)
+
• A three to four week supply of underwear (cotton is best)
+
• 3-4 good bras for women Volunteers (items of comparable quality to U.S. brands can be expensive)
+
• Sleepwear
+
• Lightweight robe
+
• Belt
+
• Hat or cap for sun protection
+
  
*Current Volunteers have also suggested making sure to include casual evening clothes as there are opportunities to go out in most cities.
+
* One or two pairs of comfortable jeans or khakis (especially important for environment Volunteers who should bring three)
 +
* Sleepwear
 +
* Two sweaters, fleece tops, or warm jackets and a stocking cap (some places in the southern highlands get cold in June and July)
 +
* Hat and sunglasses
 +
* Swimsuit
 +
* One or two long-sleeved T-shirts
 +
* Windbreaker or rain jacket*
  
===Shoes:===
+
Note: If you have a specific brand you like or a unique piece of clothing or size that is hard to find, bring enough of that item for two years (e.g., size 13 shoes or sports bras are impossible to find).  
• One or two pairs of shoes for professional wear (nicer sandals or comfortable closed-toed shoes that you would be able to walk long distances in if needed)
+
• One pair of tennis or running shoes
+
• One to two pair of sandals for casual wear (includes Chacos, Tevas, Keens, etc.)
+
• Flip-flops or other shoes for the shower (also available locally)
+
+
*Hiking boots are suggested if you are a serious hiker and plan to do some intense excursions, but many Volunteers have found that the extra bulk of boots is a burden and that they are not necessary for most outdoor activities.
+
  
===Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items: ===
+
===For Women ===
  
• Small (travel size) supply of toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap (and dish), sunscreen, etc. to use upon first arrival and to refill for short trips that you might take. You will be able to find these items, even American brand names, readily available and affordable. 
+
* Three to five cotton or polyester dresses or skirts (below the knee or longer); these are required for training 2 Peace coRPS 
• Any makeup that you might want to use (small availability in country and expensive)
+
* Two or three blouses or dressy shirts (no bare shoulders)
• Contact solution (if you choose to wear contact lenses, solution is not provided by Peace Corps and difficult to find)
+
* One extra-nice dress for official functions (e.g., swearing-in ceremony)
• A three- to six month supply of tampons (the local selection is limited and more expensive than in the United States; many female volunteers have tampons sent to them in packages from home; pads are readily available in country) OR as an alternative to tampons, some female Volunteers suggest investing in a Diva Cup or Keeper
+
* Socks* (Tanzanian women generally do not wear pantyhose)  
• Any special products that you use (i.e. special brand of deodorant, hair products, face wash, razor blades etc.)
+
* Two-year supply of underwear* (women must wear bras and slips)  
 +
* One pair of lightweight, quick-drying ankle pants for travel and when riding a bike or exercising
 +
* Five or six short-sleeved T-shirts
  
*The Peace Corps Nicaragua Medical Office provides your medication, but also sunscreen, insect repellent, vitamins, Band-Aids, condoms, and you can replace most of what is provided for you in the medical kit you will receive once in country. Do not over pack on these items. 
+
===For Men ===
 +
* Three-to-five cotton or synthetic, dark-colored dress or casual pants
 +
* Six or seven button-down shirts (mix of short and long sleeved)
 +
* Two-year supply of underwear* and socks*
 +
* Three short-sleeved T-shirts
 +
* Two pairs of lightweight, quick-drying pants for travel, bike riding, and exercise
 +
* One jacket and tie for official functions
 +
* One or two pairs of shorts
  
===Kitchen:===
+
===Shoes ===
  
• Special spices/seasoning that you enjoy using at home and are difficult to find in Nicaragua (taco seasoning, garlic pepper, lemon pepper, and Italian seasoning to name a few)
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* Two pairs of nice but comfortable shoes (to wear with professional clothes)  
• Recipes
+
* Durable walking shoes or hiking boots*
• Mess kit (useful when cooking on your own before buying a whole dishware/cookware set)
+
* Sandals, e.g., Teva* brand or chacos* brand. Strongly recommended (a must for environment Volunteers)  
• Tupperware/Gladware plastic containers
+
* One pair of sneakers or running shoes
• Measuring cups/spoons (difficult to find)
+
* Closed-toe shoes or dressy sandals
  
===Electronics:===
 
  
All electronics are very expensive in Nicaragua. Volunteers suggest bringing these from home. You might want to consider getting personal property insurance if your electronics are especially valuable.
+
Note: hiking boots are only necessary if you’re going to be doing a lot of mountain climbing. Even then, fairly high-quality used boots are available in-country. Your best bet may be to buy a decent pair of tennis shoes which will be more than adequate 99 percent of the time. Also, flip-flops are available in abundance; don’t bring any!
  
• Laptop or netbook (Internet access is available throughout Nicaragua and Volunteers find personal laptops helpful in writing work reports, other work related letters/grants/budget proposals, and for communication purposes)
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===Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items ===
• Portable DVD player
+
• Digital camera
+
• USB, thumb/flash drive
+
• iPod, MP3 player, or small radio
+
• Speakers
+
• Surge protector
+
  
*Most Volunteers purchase inexpensive cell phones after several weeks in country (the system is set up to “pay-as-you-go” and you are able to make calls to the U.S. as well as in country)
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Most toiletries are readily available in Tanzania, but you may not find your favorite brand. You will not find good-quality hairbrushes or toothbrushes, and certain items will be comparatively expensive. Tampons (Tampax) may not be available near your site, and are no longer being provided by the Peace Corps Medical Office. It is recommended that you bring at least a three month supply of tampons, or a diva cup. Some Volunteers have highly recommended the new anti-bacterial lotion that you can just rub on your hands.  
  
===Other Suggestions:===
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===Kitchen ===
• Inexpensive battery-powered watch and/or travel alarm clock
+
• A set of sheets (double-size flat sheets will fit any bed)
+
• Two lightweight bath towels and washcloths (quick-dry towels can be found at most outdoor gear stores and are recommended by many Volunteers)
+
• Swiss Army knife and/or utility tool
+
• Sewing kit
+
• Ziplock bags (for keeping things dry and/or free of dust) 
+
• Bandanas or handkerchiefs
+
• Earplugs (also very difficult to find in country)
+
• Posters for decorating your home (and mounting material i.e. tacks)
+
• 1-2 pairs of sunglasses
+
• Large duffel bag or hiking backpack for traveling
+
• Tote bag or daypack for traveling to school or around town
+
• Gardening gloves and tools 
+
• Sturdy water bottle
+
• Workout materials (such as a jump rope or resistance bands)
+
• Headlamp and/or good flashlight
+
• Extra batteries
+
• Pictures of family and friends to share with members of your community (they also come in handy when you are trying to practice your Spanish and talk about home)
+
• Small amount of school supplies (markers, glue, scissors, stickers, etc.) to use in schools and with youth and community groups
+
• Games (cards, travel board games, an American football, frisbee, etc.)
+
• Resource book (for teachers)
+
  
*The Peace Corps Office has a fully stocked library full of many resource books as well as novels and other reading material. Instead of packing a lot books initially (which can be heavy and bulky), consider bringing one or two and then having more sent to you or using/trading those in the PC Office.
+
Most household items are readily available but may not be of the best quality. If you like to cook, consider bringing some of the following items.
 +
 
 +
* Plastic ziploc storage bags of various sizes (a must to keep out unwanted crawling critters)*
 +
* Multipurpose cookbook* (Fannie Farmer is a favorite of Volunteers
 +
* Good kitchen knife*
 +
* Measuring cups and spoons
 +
* Mexican or your favorite, unique spices* (most other spices are available especially Italian and Indian spices)
 +
* Various powdered mixes (e.g., soft-drink mixes, salad dressings, soups, and sauce packets) 4
 +
 
 +
 
 +
===Entertainment ===
 +
 
 +
Volunteers often have downtime, so bringing some of the items suggested below can make a difference. But remember that most rural areas do not have electricity. Consider bringing a good supply of batteries, including solar-powered batteries or rechargeable batteries and a charger. Please note that in Tanzania the electricity that is used is 210V.
 +
 
 +
* Tape player or Walkman with small speakers and tapes (prerecorded and blank); for those without electricity, a Walkman uses fewer batteries than a large tape player
 +
* Shortwave radio
 +
* Camera and film
 +
* Binoculars
 +
* Musical instruments (plus extra strings, reeds, etc.)
 +
* Sport, hobby, and art equipment and supplies
 +
* Games (e.g., cards, dice, hacky sack, yo-yos, Frisbee, juggling balls, dominoes)
 +
* Camping gear (tent, backpack, sleeping pad, etc.), if you are interested in camping
 +
* Books
 +
 
 +
===Miscellaneous ===
 +
 
 +
* A small current converter (if you bring small appliances like a shaver, etc.)
 +
* One set of sheets with pillowcase
 +
* English dictionary and/or thesaurus
 +
* Multi-purpose knife (e.g., Swiss Army knife, Leatherman or Gerber; a must for environment Volunteers)
 +
* Flashlight/headlamp and batteries (Note that AAA batteries are hard to come by 5
 +
* A small amount of seeds to plant, especially herbs for the garden
 +
* A solar battery charger and rechargeable batteries
 +
*      Solar bulbs or/and solar power panels. With a power panel you can charge your cell or any other low-voltage USB-port devices, such as IPod, Kindle, etc. All you need is sun, and that's plentiful. You may want to check the Nokero and Solio products. Peace Corps Volunteers get a 25%-50% discount on Nokero products when they join [http://www.marketforchange.com Market for Change]
 +
* Combination padlocks of various sizes (good key locks can be found in-country)
 +
* Sewing kit
 +
* Photos of your home and family (your neighbors will love them)
 +
* Sturdy water bottle (e.g., Nalgene)
 +
* Plastic egg carrier
 +
* Money belt (critical for traveling on public transport)
 +
* Travel alarm clock
 +
* Shoe waterproofing kit
 +
* Duct or packing tape
 +
* Day pack
 +
* Journal or diary
 +
* U.S. stamps (to send mail with people returning home)
 +
* Traveler’s checks for vacation travel
 +
* For education Volunteers, a couple of high-quality secondary-level textbooks (Peace Corps/Tanzania has a resource library, and you will get some books in training for basic needs, but we suggest that you leave some items with friends or family to send you after you have moved to your site.
 +
Special Considerations for Environmental Volunteers
 +
 
 +
Women: Cut back on the number of skirts you bring. And remember that loose-fitting skirts are best because you will be jumping gullies and riding bikes in them. Cut back on blouses, too. Substitute one pair of pants with a pair of Capri pants.
 +
 
 +
Men: Cut back on the number of pants. At most, bring three button-down shirts.  
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Tanzania]]

Revision as of 13:10, 8 December 2015

Country Resources

This section has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Tanzania and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight limit on baggage. Luggage should be durable, lockable, and easy to carry. Because you will probably travel a lot by bus, duffel bags or small internal frame backpacks are more practical than suitcases.

There are numerous used clothes markets throughout Tanzania where you can purchase inexpensive clothing. Tailors can also make clothing for you. It is possible in the early weeks of training to buy most clothing you will need or to expand on what you have brought. Think of East Africa as the world’s largest thrift store; the clothing will all be familiar to you. Once at site, you can pick up quality used clothing at markets that are adequate for your service. Clothing found at markets generally range from $1-$5 for an article of clothing. In addition, clothes in Tanzania are hand washed, hung dry and ironed. Therefore, cotton items generally tend to stretch out over time and some materials are not durable enough to endure hand washing.

General Clothing

Tanzanians generally dress more conservatively than Americans do. During pre-service training and in office or school settings, you will be expected to dress professionally. This means closed-toe shoes or sandals, trousers (not jeans), and shirts with collars for men and below-the-knee dresses or skirts for women. Although you can dress more casually while at home, most Tanzanians do not approve of short shorts, tank tops, or dirty or ripped clothing.

In the following lists, items marked with an asterisk are difficult to find or very expensive to buy in Tanzania or are of poor quality.

  • One or two pairs of comfortable jeans or khakis (especially important for environment Volunteers who should bring three)
  • Sleepwear
  • Two sweaters, fleece tops, or warm jackets and a stocking cap (some places in the southern highlands get cold in June and July)
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Swimsuit
  • One or two long-sleeved T-shirts
  • Windbreaker or rain jacket*

Note: If you have a specific brand you like or a unique piece of clothing or size that is hard to find, bring enough of that item for two years (e.g., size 13 shoes or sports bras are impossible to find).

For Women

  • Three to five cotton or polyester dresses or skirts (below the knee or longer); these are required for training 2 Peace coRPS
  • Two or three blouses or dressy shirts (no bare shoulders)
  • One extra-nice dress for official functions (e.g., swearing-in ceremony)
  • Socks* (Tanzanian women generally do not wear pantyhose)
  • Two-year supply of underwear* (women must wear bras and slips)
  • One pair of lightweight, quick-drying ankle pants for travel and when riding a bike or exercising
  • Five or six short-sleeved T-shirts

For Men

  • Three-to-five cotton or synthetic, dark-colored dress or casual pants
  • Six or seven button-down shirts (mix of short and long sleeved)
  • Two-year supply of underwear* and socks*
  • Three short-sleeved T-shirts
  • Two pairs of lightweight, quick-drying pants for travel, bike riding, and exercise
  • One jacket and tie for official functions
  • One or two pairs of shorts

Shoes

  • Two pairs of nice but comfortable shoes (to wear with professional clothes)
  • Durable walking shoes or hiking boots*
  • Sandals, e.g., Teva* brand or chacos* brand. Strongly recommended (a must for environment Volunteers)
  • One pair of sneakers or running shoes
  • Closed-toe shoes or dressy sandals


Note: hiking boots are only necessary if you’re going to be doing a lot of mountain climbing. Even then, fairly high-quality used boots are available in-country. Your best bet may be to buy a decent pair of tennis shoes which will be more than adequate 99 percent of the time. Also, flip-flops are available in abundance; don’t bring any!

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

Most toiletries are readily available in Tanzania, but you may not find your favorite brand. You will not find good-quality hairbrushes or toothbrushes, and certain items will be comparatively expensive. Tampons (Tampax) may not be available near your site, and are no longer being provided by the Peace Corps Medical Office. It is recommended that you bring at least a three month supply of tampons, or a diva cup. Some Volunteers have highly recommended the new anti-bacterial lotion that you can just rub on your hands.

Kitchen

Most household items are readily available but may not be of the best quality. If you like to cook, consider bringing some of the following items.

  • Plastic ziploc storage bags of various sizes (a must to keep out unwanted crawling critters)*
  • Multipurpose cookbook* (Fannie Farmer is a favorite of Volunteers
  • Good kitchen knife*
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mexican or your favorite, unique spices* (most other spices are available especially Italian and Indian spices)
  • Various powdered mixes (e.g., soft-drink mixes, salad dressings, soups, and sauce packets) 4


Entertainment

Volunteers often have downtime, so bringing some of the items suggested below can make a difference. But remember that most rural areas do not have electricity. Consider bringing a good supply of batteries, including solar-powered batteries or rechargeable batteries and a charger. Please note that in Tanzania the electricity that is used is 210V.

  • Tape player or Walkman with small speakers and tapes (prerecorded and blank); for those without electricity, a Walkman uses fewer batteries than a large tape player
  • Shortwave radio
  • Camera and film
  • Binoculars
  • Musical instruments (plus extra strings, reeds, etc.)
  • Sport, hobby, and art equipment and supplies
  • Games (e.g., cards, dice, hacky sack, yo-yos, Frisbee, juggling balls, dominoes)
  • Camping gear (tent, backpack, sleeping pad, etc.), if you are interested in camping
  • Books

Miscellaneous

  • A small current converter (if you bring small appliances like a shaver, etc.)
  • One set of sheets with pillowcase
  • English dictionary and/or thesaurus
  • Multi-purpose knife (e.g., Swiss Army knife, Leatherman or Gerber; a must for environment Volunteers)
  • Flashlight/headlamp and batteries (Note that AAA batteries are hard to come by 5
  • A small amount of seeds to plant, especially herbs for the garden
  • A solar battery charger and rechargeable batteries
  • Solar bulbs or/and solar power panels. With a power panel you can charge your cell or any other low-voltage USB-port devices, such as IPod, Kindle, etc. All you need is sun, and that's plentiful. You may want to check the Nokero and Solio products. Peace Corps Volunteers get a 25%-50% discount on Nokero products when they join Market for Change
  • Combination padlocks of various sizes (good key locks can be found in-country)
  • Sewing kit
  • Photos of your home and family (your neighbors will love them)
  • Sturdy water bottle (e.g., Nalgene)
  • Plastic egg carrier
  • Money belt (critical for traveling on public transport)
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Shoe waterproofing kit
  • Duct or packing tape
  • Day pack
  • Journal or diary
  • U.S. stamps (to send mail with people returning home)
  • Traveler’s checks for vacation travel
  • For education Volunteers, a couple of high-quality secondary-level textbooks (Peace Corps/Tanzania has a resource library, and you will get some books in training for basic needs, but we suggest that you leave some items with friends or family to send you after you have moved to your site.

Special Considerations for Environmental Volunteers

Women: Cut back on the number of skirts you bring. And remember that loose-fitting skirts are best because you will be jumping gullies and riding bikes in them. Cut back on blouses, too. Substitute one pair of pants with a pair of Capri pants.

Men: Cut back on the number of pants. At most, bring three button-down shirts.