samedi 26 avril 2008

Peace Corps Burkina Faso Pack List

This post is intended to help out the group of incerdibly fortunate americans about to depart for BURKINA FASO!!

So, this is what I would pack if I could do it all over again: (sorry - its kinda girl specific)

1 light weight rain coat
1 jeans
2 pants - cropped
2 skirts - below knee because knees are "sexual objects" here
4 short sleeve shirts
2 tank tops
2 long sleeve
2 t-shirts
*note: thats a lot of clothes but really - just because its hot and dusty doesnt mean you wont care what you like. I have specific clothes that i wear to teach in and specific clothes i wear when i am at PC functions in the capitol etc . . .

15 undies - cotton
2 underwire bras
2 comfy bras
2 sports bras
1 pair chacos/keens/sporty sandal
1 running shoes
1 maybe flip flops
1 sleep shorts
1 longer comfy pants/pj pants

soap, shampoo, razor and blades, deoderant, contact lens and accoutrement, make-up (once again, if you cared about what you looked like in america that wont change just because you are in burkina. trust me.) face sunscreen, rubber bands, bobby pins, etc . . . bascially a 3 month supply of stuff you already use in america

travel pillow (not necessary but i LOVE mine)
tent (bughut or travelscreen)
world map
scientific french-english dictionary if you are a science teacher
nalgenes (2)
IF you ae a glasses wearer - bring two pairs of glasses and i also really LOVE my perscription sunglasses
computer and accoutrements and carry case
iPod (any gadgets that help you maintain sanity)
your hobbies (for me thats knitting maybe a guitar etc - dont abandon your hobbies just cause ur in africa)
sewing kit
duct tape
tapes (tape players are everywhere!)
car chargers (i'll explain later)
cell phone - it will probably work in burkina and you just get a SIM card here
bike helmet
mini sewing kit
stuff to remind you of home and family
camera and extra card
memory stick
cash (200 bucks maybe for vacations to Ghana etc . . . PC will give you a living allowance all thru staging etc.)

med sized back pack - like a hikers pack
huge duffle
large satchel/sm back pack - for weekend travel etc.

- if you want to be able to access your bank account get a visa card and there are ATM's in the capitol you can access. You can get by without this, of course, but it might make some things easier.
- this is not a camping trip. so dont pack like you are going camping for two years. You will live here, cook here, you want to be comfortable
- Ok. I tried to pack as little as I could - like 45 lbs i think it was. In hindsight, I would pack much more.
- This is how electricity works here: some people -very few- will have electricity. For everyone else you use solar panels to charge a car battery or Solios. You get a car lighter socket that hooks up to the battery so anything that can charge from a car lighter socket you can charge in your village. Awesome.
- Burkina is very brown so everything you own will be brown eventually, So when packing keep in mind that its best to bring things that you can bleach the crap out of, or that wont turn brown as easily.

Hope all that helps! If you have any questions just send me an e-mail: