Before we left people we very curious about how I was packing. More interested in what I was packing than in where we were going or what we were doing. So I published this list. Three months on it is time to revisit.
The single biggest mistake was not bringing a computer. After only three weeks we bought a netbook, a cheap durable laptop that is really only good for web browsing and basic word processing. It is the only reason that we are able to maintain a blog or that I am able to write college recommendations for my former students.
Let’s be honest, the jumprope was a joke. Even if I had the motivation to do a cardiovascular workout in this weather, we never stay in a room big enough to use it. I have used it to stretch a couple of times.
I should have brought one more pair of long pants and one more warm top. Often at night ither the mosquitos are bad enough or it is chilly enought that a long skirt is not sufficient, so I find myself wearing long pants and long sleeves more often than expected.
I am on my third bathing suit and my third pair of sunglasses. Somehow I lose, break, or otherwise render those items useless about once a month. Better the sunglasses than my passport.
My single favorite item is my headlamp. For when the power goes out when you’re trying to do something (which happens considerably often in Africa), when you’re stuck staying in a dorm and you want to read after others have gone to bed, and for generally looking like an overzealous fool. It is fantastic. If you don’t have one do yourself a favor and get one.