Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Not to Bring to Ghana

I put a lot of thought into my packing for this trip. Turns out I may have been a little too prepared, but that's much better than being underprepared.

mosquito net: everywhere we went was either enclosed, or provided with a mosquito net. Even the huts we stayed in had them.
Tang packets: I had so much Fanta and Coke everywhere that water was a relief. I definitely didn't need additional sources of sugar water.
Spam: still disgusting, even in Africa. You can throw a rock in any direction and hit a chop bar. You don't need Spam.
6 changes of underwear: I did all of my laundry in the sink, two or three items at a time every night. There's no need to lug around so much clothing.
iodine pills: You can buy water almost anywhere. For our four-day trip to the bush we packed in enough bagged water for a few days.
Deet wipes: I'm kinda reckless, but I didn't use the deet. It burned my skin and didn't work anyway. It also leaked out and made an ugly brown stain on my bag.
Laundry Detergent sheets: a nifty invention, but didn't work as well as plain old bar soap.
camp towel: you have towels at the hotel, and out in the bush it feels good to be a little damp. Besides, who knows what kind of bacteria grow in that thing.
Step-down: it burned up the second day of the trip. All I needed was the adapter, since my laptop and battery charger handle 220 volts just fine.

I brought way too much clothing. Here is what I actually wore on the trip:

four shirts - I bought two of them on the trip.
jeans - wear in the evening when the mosquitos are out
slacks - for church and meetings at embassy/ngo's, etc.
khaki shorts - one pair is enough. You wear them most days
old black loafers
sandals - didn't need tennis shoes.
3 changes of underwear
2 pair black socks - you could get away with one
1 tie
1 white shirt

1 comment:

  1. Do you have sensative skin like I do? The deet wipes would have burned me too and caused a horrid rash. I have to be careful what I use on my skin. Lotions with no fragrance..Stuff like that. I think it's the norwegian blood in us lol

    Your cuz