Packing list for South Africa

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(Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items)
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* Two pairs of contact lenses or prescription eyeglasses (sunglasses are a must, so bring an extra pair; the Peace Corps will not replace prescription sunglasses)   
* Two pairs of contact lenses or prescription eyeglasses (sunglasses are a must, so bring an extra pair; the Peace Corps will not replace prescription sunglasses)   
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* Prescription drugs (bring a three-month supply to last until the Peace Corps can reorder them) Kitchen
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* Prescription drugs (bring a three-month supply to last until the Peace Corps can reorder them)  
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You can easily purchase any needed supplies (dishes, pots, glasses, utensils), so do not use your 80 pounds on these items. However, you might want to bring your favorite cookbook.  
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*      Kitchen: You can easily purchase any needed supplies (dishes, pots, glasses, utensils), so do not use your 80 pounds on these items. However, you might want to bring your favorite cookbook.
===Miscellaneous ===
===Miscellaneous ===

Revision as of 18:11, 21 February 2009

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in South Africa 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 80pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in South Africa.

Luggage should be durable, lightweight, lockable, and easy to carry. Wheels are a plus, especially those suitable for wheeling luggage over nonpaved surfaces. Backpacks without frames are very practical. A midsize backpack for weekend and weeklong trips is essential. Also, a regular-size book bag is a good thing to bring. When choosing luggage, remember that you will be hauling it in and out of taxis and buses, and often lugging it around on foot.

The three key qualities for clothing in rural South Africa are that it have dark colors, have many pockets, and be washable. You will wash clothes by hand in cold water, in a basin or bucket, and hang them out to dry on a line or the nearest fence. You will iron your clothes using a standard electric iron or one that you heat up on your stove. You will need to dress conservatively. It does get cold here, so bring warm some clothes. Note that you will have limited storage space in your house, so try to bring clothing that can serve several purposes and still look presentable after several wearings.


Contents

General Clothing

For Men

Men dress neatly and professionally in all workplaces, which means dress slacks or nice khakis, dress shirts, and dress shoes/loafers. Schoolteachers in particular are expected to wear ties while on duty. Jeans are not allowed to be worn at work.

For Women

Women dress in a stylish and professional manner in workplaces, which means dresses, skirts and blouses, and dress shoes (flat or low-heeled, with good support and rubber soles) or sandals. Short shorts, miniskirts, and tops that show a lot of skin (e.g., halter tops with spaghetti straps) are inappropriate for women in village settings.

Shoes

People who wear large sizes (12-plus for men, 10-plus for women), wide sizes, or corrective shoes should consider bringing an extra pair or two of shoes, as such shoes are difficult to find here.

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

All the little things you need to keep your life running smoothly are available locally at prices comparable to those in the United States, so do not burden yourself with them. But bring enough toiletries to get you through training, as you will be in a rural setting where supplies may be limited.

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