I got a list of things that would be good to bring to the field today. I thought I would share it with you all here.
. IPOD or Mp3 device and speakers.
. A Kitchen Aide mixer or Bosch Kitchen machine - I know this is a big
power user - but everyone has one and says that it is a MASSIVE time saver.
. Swim wear - many people go to the beach and to the local restaurant/hotel pool. The sun is extreme here so it would be good to have rash guard/swim shirts for the family (or at least the kids) and good sunscreen.
. Material - cotton or other material to make curtains. A plain cotton material for backing the curtains with so they don't deteriorate from the sun. Possibly some sturdy material to make cushion covers or floor pillow covers. There is material available here, but mostly rayon and polyester.
. Ladies clothes - skirts, capris, longer shorts, lots of tank tops
and a few t-shirts (many women don't wear t-shirts in the sepik because it
is so hot. You will want a few "warmer" items for trips to the highlands) .
Undergarments wear out in the hot sun so bring plenty.
. Mens clothes - shorts, tank tops and t-shirts. A few pairs of "warmer" clothes for the highlands. A couple dressier shirts for speaking in mission church services or going out to eat at a nicer restaurant.
. Kids clothes - dresses, skirts, capris, shorts, tanks, t-shirts (maybe a few warmer items for trips to the highlands to see a doctor or dentist etc.)
. Swim wear - ladies need to wear shorts over their swimsuits in this culture. Many ladies wear board shorts or other swim trunk type shorts. if you have little ones, you will want to bring arm band/floaties for swimming as those aren't usually available here.
. Toys - although there are toys available here, most are not good quality and fall apart quickly. You may want to bring a small stash to give to your kids for Christmas or birthdays.
. Kitchen-You can buy some items in town, but I think most people bring their own dishware and pots and pans. The quality is not what we are used to in our home countries and many items rust, crack or break fairly easily. A good can opener is a must as they rust out quickly. I would advice a Swing Away brand simple hand operated can opener. I would also recommend bringing two. Also, a good rolling pin.
. Nets- If you plan to live in a bush location as opposed to Wewak, you will want mosquito nets (which can be made or bought)-preferably a net that keeps out mosquitos and gnats. Also - good fly swatters!
. Spices - spices are available in town here but some are hit and miss. I would recommend you at least bring over the italian herbs. Bring Cream of Tartar and Mapeline (sometimes no syrup is available in country) Spices do go moldy quickly so don't bring too many over.
. Ziplock bags - you can get medium and small Ziploc bags in Wewak. They are not as sturdy as what you might find in your home country and don't last through many washings. I would recommend bringing over some large and extra large Ziplocs. Also, the newer really big Ziploc bags work nicely for keeping towels and clothes smelling mold free as you store them from time to time - just an idea.
. Toiletries - you can get toothpaste (Colgate) and toothbrushes in town here. There are soaps and shampoos available as well. If you need a specific kind of shampoo, you probably ought to bring your own, but if not,the ones available here are descent. But you won't find good quality deodorant, hairspray, gel
. Shoes - Flip flops, flip flops, flip flops, and a nice strap sandal (Teva, Solomon, Keen) for walking through swamps and across rivers. Tennis Shoes may be nice, depending on where you are located. There are really no decent shoes available here.
. Hats - hats are a very good thing to bring as they are so needed. Wide brimmed hats, especially for the fairer skinned would be a good idea. You can buy some hats in town, but they are mostly baseball type hats.
. throw pillows or the material to make some here.
. British Berkfield water filter
. French Press, you can also buy them here. But you mostly find glass and they will break easily. Starbucks has nice metal ones that I would recommend and they don't take power, and I would also bring the grinder. I use mine a lot for coffee from the highlands or from stuff from the states.
. Canisters - Tupperwear to put sugar and flour in. Definitely bring all that you have, you can always use it for other things if needed
. Cookbooks - Wycliff has a great one and then my own personal one with misc. recipes in it. Everything is homemade - so a variety of books is helpful
. Candles in a jar are nice because they don't melt all over your stuff.
. Bring some decorations for the holidays. It makes you feel good to pull out your stuff, and it makes it more homey.
. Pelican Brief Cases for laptops.
. A duvet cover with nothing in it works good for a bedspread.
. AA & AAA batteries (available here but they don't last long)Rechargables are great but make sure the charger will work with 50Hz.
. sheets/ pillows
. waterbed bladders if you are going tribal
. family photos that are already laminated (office max does a great job!)
. kitchen utensils.wooden spoons, spatulas, all your measuring spoons and cups
. There is a store in town the sells very affordable and plates, bowls, mugs. It's heavy earthenware but it's pretty.
. cookie sheets
. Some nice pizza pans, muffin tins,
. casserole dishes
. Diaper wipes and baby cereal
. Good diapers are nice to have over here
. Medicine that they would use all the time back home - ie. baby Tylenol, benedryl
. picture frames to make your house feel more like home
. Stain remover for clothes - like Shout or Spray n Wash
. Tools esp. Cordless drill and basic hand tools
. A set of bed sheets per family member is nice to have
. Vacuum cleaner (live and die by it in the bush. mine's just a shopvac and I LOVE IT)
. Step stool, or build one when you get here.
. hair color
. snorkel equipment
. Vitamins...you could get them in town but very expensive
. plenty of hair things (rubberbands, clips, etc
. Thank you cards and stationary to write notes to others on base or in the bush
. CD's and DVD's that you enjoy
Is anyone overwhelmed? Is anyone actually reading the whole list? I am not overwhelmed, actually. I am already overwhelmed with preparations for a new baby that is coming in 5 weeks! So, who wants to be overwhelmed for me about this list? Anyone? Anyone? Why do I only hear crickets?????
P.S. I will be commenting on a few of these things specifically tomorrow. :)