As the new staj is preparing to join us in Morocco, I thought a post on things I was glad I brought, wish I’d brought and should have left at home would be timely.
Glad I Brought
*Microfiber towel – they dry quickly so are great for travel for trainings and visiting other volunteers
*Uno and Phase 10 – card games in general are good; they are easy to pack and perfect for long train rides, visits with volunteers and playing with your host family
*shower shoes/flips – necessary for bathing and the hammam
*external hard drive filled with movies – mine is a 4 TB and about half full; it’s also a great back up for all your work
*extra USB – Peace Corps Morocco gives you one with PC resources, but if you are like me you are likely to misplace it (a couple of times)
*Bestek converter – #gamechanger; best purchase ever
*fresh undies in your stored bag during CBT – just trust me on this one
*travel size toilet paper – great for when traveling around the country
*Crest toothpaste – I’ve used Crest my entire life and it’s not readily available
*Kindle – with tons of books downloaded (although I’ve mainly been reading books from the PC Library)
*Qtips – good quality ones are hard to find here
*Carmex – in general chapstick is hard to find, but I’ve been a Carmex fan since high school so I brought a large supply
*Gatorade/Propel packets – necessary for living in southern Morocco (I brought a small quantity and have requested more)
*Sleeping bag – perfect for visiting fellow PCVs and staying warm on cool nights
*Excedrine Migraine pills – I’m prone to migraines and these are the only thing that help. Peace Corps provides us with a medical kit to cover every thing from headaches to bug bites to allergies to dehydration, but I knew I’d need something more intense.
Could Have Left at Home
*multiple bars of Dove soap – for some reason I collected like 20 bars of Dove soap (for two years??) yet Dove is sold in Morocco
*hairspray – when you only wash your hair once (maybe twice) a week and wear it in a ponytail every day, hairspray is completely unnecessary
*extra makeup – I’ve only worn makeup once in the last nine months
*vitamins – the medical office will provide if requested
*shortwave radio – all I can say is ‘what was I thinking?’
*ipad – didn’t use it at all the first six months; have been doing some reading and using a yoga app the last couple but I could definitely live without it
Wish I’d Brought
*slightly small computer – I have a 13 inch MacBook Air and I wish I’d bought the 10 inch
*travel backpack – I thought I’d bought the right size but it’s only good for one night
*index cards – necessary for studying and aren’t available in country
*small notebook for new words – I found one about a month in to CBT but I wish I’d had it earlier)
*scissors – the ones in country are not good quality
*a cooling towel – cause it’s freaking HOT down south and one of these bad boys would be oh so handy
*sweatshirt/sweatpants – thanks to my good friend Teresa for sending me some!
*rain boots – the rainy season hits toward the end of CBT; although I don’t need them now in the south
*ziplock baggies – I’m not sure how these didn’t get packed (thanks to my good friend Amy for sending!)
*washcloth (or two) – cause bathing
*2 pair of shorts – instead of one (no females can’t wear them in public, but you need them in your own home when it’s HOT)
*whiteboard markers – the ones in country are not good quality; thanks to my good friend Shelley for sending these!
Ali, I sure do miss you and am so proud to call you a friend for taking this dedicated journey. I have learned over and over in the last few years how important it is to chase your dreams while you can. You’ll need to have a potluck with all your friends so we can sit around you like kids listening to the library lady telling spectacular stories.
I keep you in my thoughts and prayers, always. I know it’s not possible after an experience like this to return as the same person you were when you left but, I hope you’ll have a big hug for me when you return. Love you BIG!
I miss you too Kimmy!! Thank you for always supporting me. And of course I’ll have gigantic hug for you! I hope I’m an even better person after Peace Corps. Love you bunches!