I had never been out of the United States before, much less to a third world country. I was clueless as to what all I should pack. Thankfully, the organization I traveled with kept our team well informed and sent us as much information as possible. But I was still that paranoid packer who was just SURE I was going to need everything but the kitchen sink to survive (for ten days).
After two trips into two different countries and climates, I discovered what things I absolutely couldn't do without and what could be left at home.
One of my teammates from Tanzania, who became a forever friend, is taking the next step on her missions journey at the end of this month. She will be traveling back to Africa for two months and I couldn't be more proud of her. Her sweet mom told me some of the things she was worrying about the most were the little essentials that can easily be overlooked. So, I put together a small care package for her to alleviate a tiny bit of her stress.
Baby Wipes: An absolute essential. These were more needed in Africa for me, when we were camping in a remote village with only a bucket of cold water for a shower. They work wonderfully for dry, dusty feet after a long day of walking.
Band-Aids: Good to have on hand for nicks and scrapes.
Eye Drops: This was a special item I packed for my friend, because I know she wears contacts, and Africa can be a dusty, windy place. Not an absolute essential, but very nice to have when you need it.
Neosporin: I used this quite often on both trips. This kind is the NEO To Go spray-on Neosporin. I LOVE it. It's tiny and can fit in a pocket, pouch or purse. If you scrape your leg, just squirt the cut a few times and stick a bandaid on. It's perfect.
Hand Sanitizer: Need I say more?
Tide To Go: This is something I packed when I went to Tanzania, but didn't end up using. Because my friend will be in Africa for two months, I knew she would need some.
Let's check out the inside of the box.
Toothbrushes: One of the hardest things to get used to in Africa was brushing your teeth with a bottle of water. Clean water is something we definitely take for granted in the states. I picked up a few cheap packages of toothbrushes, because it's easier to switch every few days than to worry if your one toothbrush is contaminated or not. Not an essential item, but definitely something nice to have!
Bug spray: An absolute essential. I used a rub-on stick on both my trips, but any bug spray will do.
Baby Powder: This is an absolute essential for us girls. Walking all day long, in a skirt, in warm weather...your thighs will thank you for the baby powder. Nuff said! :)
Clorox Wipes: This is a new item I added for my friend. You never know what kind of conditions you will encounter in a third world country. There are often times when clean facilities are nowhere to be found. I know these will come in handy for her.
Finally on to the right side.
Kleenex: Travel size packs are the best!
Lysol To Go: The same as the clorox wipes. I just happened to see this tiny can for 99¢ so I picked it up.
Lip Balm: Whether it's Carmex, Chapstick or EOS, you'll be glad to have some with you. EOS just happens to be my friends' favorite.
Tums: Our bodies aren't used to other cultures and their foods. This is something I wish I would've packed on my first trip, and absolutely needed on my second trip.
Tylenol: Always good to keep with you.
this container. For less than $4 at Walmart, it was perfect. Everything is in one location, and the box is the perfect size to slip into your suitcase.
If you would like to keep up with my friend and her missions journey, you can visit her blog Brandi's Mission.
-Jenn (With 2 N's)
Apostolic Youth Corps
Associates In Missions
AYC Tanzania 2012
AYC DR 2013