Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Other random stuff you should bring

  • Some American cash, but not a lot (PC will not store it for you in their safe, so don’t bring more than you can afford to lose.)
  • A ton of passport photos (bring more than PC requires if you can make them yourself for cheap. They don’t have to be “official” passport ones, just close enough. Carry them with you always, or you’ll end up having to get more even if you have a ton in your luggage. I speak from experience here.)
  • shortwave radio (If you have a solar or windup one, so much the better)
  • MP3 player, fully loaded (lord, did I get sick of my music on that first 10-hour bus trip)
  • Extra headphones; speakers (mine run off the MP3 player, which is then charged by the solio—pretty swell)
  • map of the world and/or USA and/or inflatable globe (I just bought a small US road atlas, too, for dreaming of future road trips)
  • photos (the more the better! Like another PCV, I would recommend arranging them into “share with host family” and “private” albums. Sometimes you just don’t want to explain.)
  • card games. A friend sent us “Quiddler,” sort of a card version of Scrabble that is super fun.
  • Frisbee and other outdoor toys (great way to bond with the kids before you can talk to them)
  • A couple of books, though the offices and province houses have tons of fairly decent books, and your friends will probably send you some. You’ll have limited access during training, but afterwards, no problem. I brought a yoga book and a writing book. The best thing ever, though, was the massive “Encyclopedia of Country Living” that a friend sent—I have referenced it hundreds of times for recipes and farm-related advice. Most of the PC houses have DVDs, too. Yee-haw!
  • Emergency sewing kit (at bare minimum, a needle and thread plus a big handful of safety pins, maybe a couple of extra buttons)
  • Craft supplies and instructions, if you’re the type (baby-weight acrylic yarn is plentiful here in almost every color, plus small knitting needles and crochet hooks—but that’s it.) I have raved about knitting here before. A hobby is a sanity saver.

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