Packing list for Benin

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These lists have been compiled by Volunteers serving in
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[http://www.media-soft.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=546448&replies=1 buying property in usa]
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[[Benin]] and are based on their experiences. Use it as an
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informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that
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experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You can
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always have things sent to you later. You obviously cannot
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bring everything we mention, so consider those items that
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make the most sense to you personally and professionally.
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As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an
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80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you
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can get almost everything you need in Benin. Clothing can
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very easily be tailor-made from local fabrics. Second-hand
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clothing is also very popular across Benin and is available in
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many markets. It is not necessary to bring a large amount of
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clothing. Nice-quality shoes and sandals can also be made in country.
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Luggage should be durable, lightweight, and easy to carry as you will be responsible for transporting it in-country.
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Duffel bags and backpacks without frames work well. A good
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backpack is priceless because you will likely travel in-country
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regularly. Almost all the basic items you need can be found
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here; however, they may not be good quality or they may be
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expensive. So, if you are particular about something, bring
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lots!
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==Necessities==
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* Two sturdy water bottles (e.g., Nalgene) or camelback
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* Nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries (the longest lasting)
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* Battery charger—solar powered or plug in
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* Two pair prescription eyeglasses, consider prescription sunglasses as well
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* Flashlight or headlamp with batteries and replacement bulb
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* Two bathing suits (no bikinis for women)
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* Sunglasses
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* English dictionary (TEFL)
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* Comfortable shoes  (toe and ankle strap sandals like Tevas, Chacos are popular with volunteers)
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* One pair of dress shoes
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* Good pair of tennis shoes
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* Business casual clothing in breathable fabrics (two outfits minimum for TEFL Volunteers) - no need to bring a suit or sport coat.
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* Plenty and durable cotton T-shirts (many Volunteers prefer darker colors)
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* Pants (of lightweight material)
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* Blouses/button-down shirts
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* Linen/cotton clothing (you can find linen and cotton here and get clothing made; dresses/skirts must be at least knee-length)
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* Hats/scarf/bandannas
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* Good sturdy bras (bring lots because hand washing wears them out)
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* Good underwear (bring a two-year supply; hand washing wears them out)
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* Sweater, sweatshirt, or long-sleeve shirt (one, two at most)
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* Workout clothes (if you work out). For women, shorts to the knee are a must, modest tank tops ok.
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* Pictures from home
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* USB flash drive (Peace Corps provides each volunteer with a 128 MB key but larger sizes are useful for backing things up)
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* Digital camera
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* Short-wave radio or World Space Radio
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* Duct tape, duct tape and more duct tape
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* Medium book bag (for three- to four-day trips)
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* Hairbrush or comb
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* Three-month supply of prescription drugs
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* Portable alarm clock
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* Leatherman or Swiss army knife (remember to pack in your suitcase as checked luggage)
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* Towel
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==Specifically for Women==
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* Your shoulders and knees need to be covered, so pack accordingly.
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* In the south and in some northern cities things are more liberal, so you can bring tank tops (not spaghetti straps).
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* Linen pants are great!
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==Not necessary but useful for some Volunteers==
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* Margarita machine
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* Wall calendar
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* Adaptor (if bringing electrical appliances)
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* MP3 player
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* Plastic storage bags (e.g., Ziploc)
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* Yoga mat or Therm-a-Rest (for when you or a friend needs to sleep on the floor)
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* Money belt
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* Beauty products/ pampering things for de-stressing (if you use them)
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* Money (in large denominations, $50, $100, traveler’s checks, euros)
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* Your favorite pillow (ones here are not the greatest) or travel pillow
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* Spices/spice packets
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* Catalogue of clothing (to show to tailor to get copies made)
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* Good pens (if they are important to you)
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* Good flashlight
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TEFL-Specific Suggestions
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* Art supplies (markers, crayons, paints, construction paper, rubber cement, etc.)
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* Children’s books
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* World map/map of Africa (can get free from AAA if member)
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* Books on CD (there are computers at work stations and in some schools; they are smaller than books, easy to pack, and can be useful (e.g., encyclopedias, journals, etc.)
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* Stickers (can be easily sent here, too)
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==Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items==
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Almost every type of toiletry is available here, but some
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are quite expensive (such as deodorant, facial creams, and toners). If you prefer a certain
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brand name, stock up, but otherwise bring a three-month
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supply for the duration of training.
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* Hand wipes
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* Medical supplies if special medicine is taken or a preference on certain brands
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* Towel
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* Aloe-Vera
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* Tampons (small OB ones pack well or bring a diva cup because here they are expensive)
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* Good hair conditioner
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* Hair ties
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* Nail clippers, nail file
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* Contact lenses and enough solution for two years (Peace Corps does not recommend wearing contacts due to dusty conditions and does not provide solution)
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* Deodorant (note that deodorant salt crystals work well and could last your whole service; they’re small, too!)
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* Basic make-up
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* Facial soap
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==Kitchen==
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* Basic cookbook and favorite recipes
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* Packaged mixes (sauces, salad dressings, soups, Kool-Aid, etc.)
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* Most spices are available, but are expensive, so stock up if you like to cook (e.g., cinnamon, Italian spices, allspice, chili powder, curry)
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* Freeze-dried foods
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* Low-cal sweetener
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* Boxed macaroni and cheese
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* French press (if you like coffee)
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* Good-quality can opener
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* Good-quality potato peeler
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* Good-quality garlic press
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* Measuring cups and spoons
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* Good-quality knife
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* Pepper grinder
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* Any other small kitchen supplies that you like to use
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[[Category:Benin]]
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Latest revision as of 15:50, 19 April 2013

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