Packing list for Togo
From Peace Corps Wiki
|Packing List for Togo|
|These lists has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Togo 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!|
For information see Welcomebooks
There are many very good tailors in Togo, and most Volunteers have clothing made in country. The tailors can copy what you already have or follow a picture or sketch. Material, cloth and tailoring are relatively inexpensive. Remember that anything you bring with you will get worn, dirty, and will not come back the same. If you have a favorite style of shirt, pants, skirt or dress, bring it along as it can be easily copied. There are also used clothing markets (like our thrift stores) where you can find almost anything.
Bring cotton as opposed to synthetics as the latter do not “breathe” in hot weather.
- A large supply of underwear and bras. They wear out quickly and take a beating when they are washed. Cotton is best (Bring at least one dozen pairs of underwear. Also, underwire bras are harder to wash.)
- Cotton dresses and/or skirts, knee length or longer.
- Loose cotton dresses can be cooler than a skirt and blouse. (Try to keep in mind that you may want to ride a bike wearing it!)
- Hair bands and barettes
- Loose fitting cotton tops and t-shirts (nothing too revealing or cropped). Try to stay away from white. It gets dirty fast!
- Tank tops for hot days. (Remember that cultural norms are much more conservative than those in the U.S.. You may only wear tank tops while hanging out in your house)
- One or two pairs of jeans (they are hot, but useful). Khakis and/or cotton pants, capris (ankle length or shorter) are better.
- Cotton socks for jogging or sports (and keeping away mosquitoes). No nylons.
- Shorts (for around the house and sports)and long (knee length) walking shorts. (2 or 3 pairs)
- Cotton bandannas (2 or 3) (Traveling can be dusty).
- A few nice outfits for those two or three special occasions in your village or when visiting regional capitals (nothing heavy, hot, or too revealing).
- Jeans (one or two pairs). They can also be purchased cheaply in Togo at used clothing stores.
- Cotton/khaki pants (two pair). You can have pants made here.
- “Zip-off” pants/shorts. (easy to wash)
- Cotton shirts. You can have shirts made here.
- Cotton underwear, up to two dozen pairs. (Boxers or boxer briefs are recommended because they allow more air circulation, and fungus can be a problem.)
- One tie, nice shirt, and pants. Cotton socks for jogging or sports and for keeping mosquitoes away. (If you’re athletic, bring more.
- Bermuda shorts (two or three pair).
- Baseball cap or bandannas.
Men and Women
- One pair of good sandals like Tevas, Reefs, or Chacos. These are good for mud, water, biking and walking.
- Sneakers/running shoes (especially if you exercise).
- One pair of nice shoes or sandals.
- Windbreaker or rain slicker or umbrella
- Light weight fleece sweatshirt or longsleeve shirt for occasional cool evening.
- Day pack for shopping; larger backpack for traveling.
- Rain poncho, folding umbrella.
- Bathing suit.
- Catalogs or pictures of clothing you may want copied.
General use items
- Luggage that is tough and flexible such as duffel bags and backpacks without frames plus luggage locks. Have something that will carry your belongings for a week-long trip.
- Money belt or pouch that can be concealed under clothing or worn on the waist to carry money and other valuables.
- U.S. toiletry items (including shampoo, hair conditioner, facial creams, and toners) are available here, but they are expensive. It is a good idea to bring at least a three-month supply to get you through training. Women may want to bring some makeup for special occasions.
- Deodorant, especially if you prefer roll-on or stick.
- A reliable watch plus batteries. (Water resistant sports watches with washable bands are best.)
- A reliable alarm clock (battery-operated), or a watch with an alarm.
- Swiss Army knife or equivalent (i.e., Leatherman tool).
- Small sewing kit and safety pins.
- A favorite hat with wide brim for protection from the sun
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Camera (35 mm compacts are best since they are inconspicuous and travel well). Bring a good case for protection from sun and dust.
- Photographic film is expensive, so bring a lot (135/126 print film can be developed here, but not slides; Advantix film is available in Lomé).
- Digital Cameras are also quite handy. Digital photos can be stored on computers available to Volunteers. (Get largest memory card you can)
- Digital “thumb drive”. Very useful for transporting digital files between computers. (Remember to bring the “drivers”, or any necessary software.)
- Flashlight (or two) with extra bulbs (you can also buy flashlights in Togo).
- Batteries. If you plan on bringing rechargeable batteries be sure that your charger will run on 220 volt current, or is multi-voltage. (Solar chargers get mixed reviews from Volunteers)
- U.S. stamps. You can often have letters mailed in the United States by people traveling there from Lomé.
- A small pillow
- Plastic water bottle for traveling. Nalgene preferred
- Pillowcases and one flat bed sheet. Bring at least one set from home as you will need them right away.
- Hammock (optional).
- Compact, quick drying pack towels. You can buy regular towels in the market.
- Good scissors and nail clippers
- Colored markers, crayons, and construction paper. For making visual aids and playing with kids. These items are available in Togo, but expensive.
- Journal. (paperback style journals are avaialble in Togo)
- Writing paper (small supply, just to get started. There is plenty available in Togo).
- Pens. (Bring plenty; the ones here do not last long.)
- Duct tape/packing tape. (highly recommended)
- Pictures of home. Your Togolese friends will be very interested in seeing what your “former life” was like.
- Maps of the United States and the world.
- Mini office supplies (stapler, hole punch, white out, post it notes, sticky tac.
- Reading light (headlamp style lights work very well as reading lights!)
- Calendar/ day planner
- Seeds for personal garden (flowers or vegetables
- remember the climate is tropical!)
- Shortwave radio or satellite receiver. Stations such as BBC, Voice of America, and Radio France International can be received with a moderate quality short wave radio.
- Walkman/cassette tape player/hand-held recorder/i-POD or MP3 player and favorite tapes/CDs plus extra blank tapes and portable speakers.
- Hobby items such as sketch book, sewing/ crochet needles, paints sticky tax for hanging pictures and maps.
- Surge protector/voltage converter for any expensive elecronics such as laptop computer, iPod, or mp3 player.
- Games, such as Scrabble, chess, UNO and Frisbee.
- Ordinary playing cards abound.
- Frisbee, soccer ball, hackey sac, etc.
- Musical instruments—guitar, harmonica (bring extra guitar strings).
- One or two books. There are many books in English in the Peace Corps Office library and the libraries at the regional transit houses. We are, however, short on current bestsellers and books (in English) by African authors.
- Ziploc bags. At least one box of various sizes.
- High quality dish towels (1 or 2, they are available here)All of the items below can be purchased in Lome at relatively competitive (to the U.S.) prices.
- Plastic food storage containers, a good can opener, small teflon pan, and other kitchen tools for baking (spatula, bake pans, measuring cups).
- Your favorite spices or sauce packets. Local markets may have bay leaves, chili peppers, garlic, anise, and peppercorns. Other spices such as curry, oregano, etc., can be bought in Lomé. Seasoning packets for pasta are highly recommended, as are cinnamon and burrito/taco spices.
- Garlic press.
- Powdered drinks such as Kool-Aid or Crystal Lite. (The Med Unit provides Gatorade.) You can find sweetened powdered drink mixes in Togo.
- Contact lens solution; two-year supply
- If you take prescription medicine, bring a three-month supply.
- Eyeglasses (two pairs).
- Sting Eze/Bite Relief. You will want a lot of this.
Words of wisdom from current Volunteers and staff:
All of the items on the packing list are recommended but not required. Almost anything you would truly need is available here in Togo. Everyday items are nearly the same price, or cheaper than the U.S. Electronics or computer related equipment will be 50 percent to 100 percent more expensive here compared to the U.S. You may want to consider bringing some extra cash and lightening your luggage in the process.