Packing List for the New Stage

Greetings new Agriculture stage! I hope you’re enjoying your last month in the States and eating as much fast food as you can (trust me, you’re going to miss it). I know someone else from my Stage already posted a very detailed blog post about packing, but I thought I would put in my two cents as well. If I could repack for my service, here is what I would pack.

Clothes:
Anything that you think is “Peace Corps,” don’t pack, pack what makes you feel comfortable…to an extent.
Stay away from white. It will never be the same color after handwashing.

Rain coat/wind breaker
Sweatshirts – 2
Jip-up jacket – 1
Jeans – 3 (you can buy jeans in country but they will never fit quite right or be the style you want)
Long sleeve shirts – 2
Short sleeve shirts – 4
Tank tops – 2 or 3
Sweatpants – 2 (lounging clothes are my favorite when I want a day of just watching tv or movies)
Underwear – at least 20
Swim suit – 1
Professional outfit for meetings or an event (business pants and nice shirt) – 2
Socks – 10
Nice outfit/dress for Swearing In – 1 or 2

Shoes:
Hiking/running shoes – 1
Close-toed shoes for business occasions – 1
Sandals/Chacos – 1

Necessities:
Shampoo and conditioner – biggest bottle you can find
Toothbrush
Toothpaste – whatever you use, probably 3 tubes
Towel and wash clothes
Any facial washes or products that you use
Waxed floss!!!

For the girls:
Tampons and pantyliners to get you though two months training, after that PC will provide you with everything
Sports bras – at least 2
Regular bras – at least 3
A pack of shavers

Electronics:
Computer
Harddrive (the larger the better, the amount of media in this country is overwhelming)
Kindle (don’t worry about buying books, there is a huge file going around with thousands of unlocked books)
Camera
Unlocked Iphone (clutch for affordable internet plans at site)
Rechargeable batteries and charger (both AA and AAA)
Ipod and speakers
Headlamp – 2 (and make sure it uses AA or AAA batteries. Those flat round ones are really hard to find here and really expensive)
2 GB or up USB flash drive – 2 (for easy transfering and when you want to print photos in country)

Random:
Sleeping bag (the winter here is colddddd)
Fitted bed sheets (double)
Pens (they sort of suck here)
Lined paper or spiral notebooks for notes and such (its only grid paper here)
Gift for homestay family (I would recommend a photo album and you can put photos in it from your homestay)
Drawstring bag for shopping in your market and easily watchable in case of pickpockets – 2 (1 for backup when it breaks)
Crystal lite packets
Nalgene bottle
Photos to hang around your house
Journal to note your adventures
Credit card or debit card (you can keep them in the PC safe in Tana but you might want some American funds for vacations and when you’re in a crunch)

If you have room:
A favorite pillow – the pillows here are not the best
Powdered cheese for mac and cheese (trust me you will thank me at site)
Any food you can fit for when you get to site
A hardcover book or two for when you are stuck on a brousse and don’t want to parade your Kindle or other electronics around
Something from home for your new home
Notecards for language studying

I don’t think I’m forgetting anything but if I do, I’ll update the post. Congrats on being assigned Madagascar trainees! This country is like none other and you will have great memories here.

And don’t forget to join the FB group. Me and other current volunteers will be giving advice and it is a great place for you to meet your stagemates.

See you in 2 months and safe travels!

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