Saturday, October 25, 2008

Clothing advice for the new folks

  • T-shirts that remind you of home. You can easily all the thrift-store-rejects you could ever want at the markets, for cheap, maybe even one from your high school or your hometown 5K!
  • Tank tops (not allowed during Pre-Service Training, but once you move to your site, villagers are not offended by skin above the waist)
  • Jacket or sweatshirt (yes, it gets cold! Also useful as a pillow for camping)
  • Skirts and trousers (Zambians reserve the word “pants” for underwear): capris would be nice. I wish I had brought my stretchy gauchos. Choose things that are comfortable for biking and presentable enough for meetings. Length for skirts must be past the knee or folks will think you're a hooley. And pockets are a must. I have worn my Macabi skirt for entire weeks. It is convertible for biking and has pockets you could use instead of suitcases. Zip-off pants: honestly, must you? Shorts are rare here, especially on women, though I rock knee-length ones in the village and don’t get stared at more than usual.
  • PJ pants (I got them copied by local tailors in crazy Zambian fabric: fun!)
  • Shorts for yoga or running, if necessary
  • Rain jacket
  • Sun hat (I brought a foldable one from the outdoors store and have worn it nearly every day), baseball cap
  • Sport sandals, tennis shoes or trail shoes. You can buy flip-flops aka “tropicals” here for a buck or two, but other shoes are expensive or plastic crap. For me, it’s Tevas every day.
  • Socks (Trevor swears by brown, which doesn’t show dirt)
  • A ton of underwear. Handwashing plus the equitorial sun destroys fabric fast; also, you need to rest clothes three days after washing to avoid botflies, so bring at least a 10-day supply.
  • Bandanas, the all-purpose accessory

No comments: