The List

As I fervently try to pack for this two-year adventure, I’ve become obsessed with packing lists. What did other volunteers bring? What did they not bring? What do they wish they’d have brought?

For the sake of everyone else who struggles, and those who are curious what I’ll be living with for the next two years, here’s what I’ve got:

North Face Base Camp Duffel (Large)
Kelty Coyote hiking backpack (4500 cu)
Jansport Backpack

Mountain Hardware Switch 20 sleeping bag

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Frypan–8in
Plastic Spatula
Measuring cups/spoons
Can opener
Kitchen knife
Oven Mitt/Pot holder
Water bottle

-Black Pepper
-Stirfry seasoning
-Teriyaki seasoning
-Brown Mustard
Crystal Light flavor packets
Tuna packets
Nature Valley Granola bars
Godiva Dark Chocolate Squares
Stride Sweetmint gum (12packs)

Useful stuff:
Leatherman  knife
Index cards
Duct tape
Brunton Solo Battery Pack (charger) and batteries
Petzl Tikkina 2 Headlamp
Mini-mag Flashlight and bulbs


Dell Inspiron mini netbook
External hard drive (with movies)
Olympus digital camera
8G iPod Nano/armband
Earbuds (4)
Portable Speakers
Currency Converter (220/110v)

Pest Control:
Cat treats
Fly swatter

Eye drops
Resistance bands
Yoga mat
Enteric-coated peppermint oil

Sea To Summit Tek Towel-Large (quick dry)
Venus razor/refill cartridges
Hair ties
 Face wash wipes (120) /SPF Face lotion
Deodorant (4)
Bath and Body Works body spray
Pumice/foot scrubber
Nail clippers
Q-tips/Cotton balls
Wet wipes

Host family gifts:
Post cards
Fabric wall flags (2)
America Playing Cards
Deflated soccer ball

Playing cards

Skirts (2)
Dress/Skirt convertible
Dress (hand sewn by my very dear friend)
Dress for staging/swearing-in
Fitted shirts (4)
T-shirts (3)
Linen Pants
Dry-wick Pants
Yoga Capris (2)
Long-sleeve zip up (2)
Carhart Zip Hoodie
Underwear (14)
Socks (12)
Bras (2)
Sportsbra (3)

North Face Resolve Waterproof Jacket

Chacos (ZX/2 Vibram Unaweep)
Chacos (Flip Ecotread)
Keen Pyronese waterproof hiking boots
Trail running shoes
Ballet flat dress shoes

Now.. I haven’t tried to actually pack all of this yet. I’ve got an 80-pound limit here. Some of the food may have to wait, and the kitchen stuff may need to be sent separate, but I’m hoping to spare the $45 mailing fee. Wish me luck!

6 responses to “The List

  1. Good luck! So glad your doing this blog

  2. Don’t forget your hat!

    • haha.. thanks! I was hoping I’d get some advice and reminders 🙂 Ironically, I’ve actually learned it is strange for women to wear hats in Ethiopia.

  3. Your workout bands I gave you 🙂

  4. I’m a newly invited, future TEFL Ethiopia volunteer – how did the packing go? Any tips about what you didn’t end up needing or wish you had brought?

    • Congrats! We’re all really excited to meet you. I have to say, I use (and am grateful for) pretty much everything I brought. If possible, I would say pack the Kitchen stuff seperately and have it mailed to you around the end of PST. You’ll appreciate not having to lug the extra weight around. Electronics are the most important things to pack, because they can’t be mailed. I didn’t know much about external harddrives before, but am so happy to have 1.5 terabytes of space. There is a LOT of media floating around, and it’s a great way to fill downtime. A small(ish) backpack is reccommended, because you’ll probably make a lot of short trips around country and you’ll want something easy to travel with. The quick-dry camp towel is amazing here. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, etc. is all available here, so just bring enough to start out with. I probably would have brought more clothes and shoes. Bring stuff you actually like to wear. Good bras aren’t really available, so I ended up having more sent. Also, if you normally wear make-up, I’d say bring it. You’ll want to feel like yourself sometimes.. especially when you’re in Addis. There’s a Facebook group for Peace Corps Ethiopia that was really helpful for me as I prepared. Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions!

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