Packing lists by country}} |+|
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|−|This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[Mozambique]] and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. You can get almost everything you need in Mozambique, including clothing, so do not try to bring two years’ worth of everything. | |
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|−|When choosing luggage, remember that you will be hauling it in and out of taxis, trains, and buses and often lugging it around on foot. It should be durable, lightweight, lockable, and easy to carry. Wheels are a plus, especially those that allow you to wheel the luggage over nonpaved surfaces. Nylon is the best material for resisting mold. A backpack without a frame is very practical, and a midsize backpack (2,000 to 3,000 cubic inches) for weekend trips is essential. A regular-size book bag is also a good thing to bring. | |
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|−|===General Clothing === | |
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|−|Most clothes are washed by hand using harsh detergents and rocks for scrubbing. This method and the intense sun wear out clothes quickly, so try to bring lightweight but sturdy clothes. Clothes made of rayon or nylon are good, since they dry quickly and do not need ironing. Although lightweight fabrics are best for the hot climate, it can get cold in the winter (45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit), especially in poorly insulated housing, so you will need some warm clothes too. |+|
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|−|White clothes soil easily, so colored clothing is best for hiding dirt. Dry cleaning is not really an option for Volunteers because of the expense and the limited availability. It is a good idea to bring one outfit for special occasions, such as the swearing- in ceremony, going out in Maputo, or attending a cocktail party at the U. S. ambassador’s residence. |+|
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|−|Unisex Items |+|
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|−|* Lightweight coat or jacket |+|
of the in
|−|* Waterproof rain jacket or poncho |+|
|−|* Swimsuit |+|
|−|* Two pairs of jeans or casual pants – the comfy ones that you wear at home |+|
|−|* Two or three pairs of walking-length shorts |+|
|−|* T-shirts (in neutral colors) |+|
|−|* Sweatpants |+|
|−|* One or two heavy sweatshirts or sweaters |+|
|−|* One or two long-sleeved shirts |+|
|−|* Six to eight pairs of good-quality socks |+|
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|−|For Men |+|
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|−|* Two or three pairs of dress pants |+|
|−|* Three or four button-down shirts, both short- and long-sleeved |+|
|−|* One or two ties |+|
|−|* Six to eight pairs of underwear |+|
|−|* Shorts |+|
|−|* One or two belts |+|
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|−|For Women |+|
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|−|* Three to five knee- length or longer skirts or dresses |+|
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|−|* Three to five button- up or collared dress shirts |+|
|−|* Two nice pairs of pants for work (black or brown is professional; khakis are also good) |+|
|−|* One nice outfit for going out |+|
|−|* Tank tops are fine as long as they are not spaghetti straps |+|
|−|* Five to seven T-shirts |+|
|−|* Ten to 20 pairs of underwear |+|
|−|* Cotton bras and sports bras |+|
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|−|Volunteers walk many miles every week, so shoes wear out quickly. Past Volunteers recommend newer and more expensive footwear because it will last longer. Female Volunteers suggest bringing one pair of fashionable sandals or shoes, as there are chances to dress up a bit and go out in Maputo. People with large feet (especially men or women who wear size 11 or larger) should bring an extra pair or two of shoes, as larger sizes are hard to come by in Mozambique. |+|
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|−|* Closed walking shoes |+|
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|−|* Athletic shoes |+|
|−|* Waterproof, low-top, all-purpose walking / running shoes with good soles |+|
|−|* Sturdy sandals |+|
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|−|Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items |+|
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should bring only enough of your usual toiletry items to get you through your first months in Mozambique. All the basic items one finds in the United States are available at reasonable prices in Mozambique, albeit in a limited selection. However, if you have some space it is a good idea to bring a couple of months’ worth of your favorite toiletries; |+|
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|−|Volunteers especially suggest deodorant (the variety available in Mozambique is limited), good razors (hard to find), and shaving cream (expensive). |+|
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|−|You do not need a two-year supply of aspirin, vitamins, dental floss, and insect repellent because the Peace Corps provides such items after training. But do bring a three-month supply of any prescription drugs you take, to cover what you will need until the Peace Corps medical office can order more for you. |+|
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|−|You can easily buy most kitchen supplies—dishes, pots, glasses, and utensils—in Mozambique. Consider bringing small packages of soft-drink and sauce mixes and some spices. Peace Corps/Mozambique will provide you with a locally appropriate cookbook. |+|
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|−|* Journal and/or sketch books |+|
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|−|* Watch—reliable, durable, preferably with indiglo, but inexpensive |+|
|−|* One medium-size cotton towel |+|
|−|* Makeup (you can get makeup here, but good makeup can be expensive and hard to find) |+|
|−|* Slippers or socks to keep your feet warm in the winter |+|
|−|* Money belt that fits under your clothes |+|
|−|* Visor/hat |+|
|−|* Duct tape (extremely useful and unavailable locally); also rope/string |+|
|−|* Swiss army or Leatherman knife, preferably with bottle and can openers |+|
|−|* Sewing kit with clothing thread and nylon thread for fixing bags and hanging items on walls in your home |+|
|−|* Small, portable tool kit |+|
|−|* Pictures of home, family, friends, or anything “American” |+|
|−|* Sturdy water bottle (e.g., Nalgene; available at any sporting good store) |+|
|−|* Self- adhesive U. S. stamps, including a few one-cent stamps |+|
|−|* Lightweight sleeping bag or fleece blanket |+|
|−|* Flashlight—(e.g., Maglite) or a headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs is useful |+|
|−|* Camera, film or digital (Advantix is not available in Mozambique), and batteries |+|
|−|* Plastic storage bags—a must |+|
|−|* Walkman, Discman, iPod or tape recorder with portable speakers |+|
|−|* Mini voice recorder (help with Portuguese accents, local dialects, and recording beautiful impromptu music sessions) Your favorite music mp3s, tapes or CDs |+|
|−|* Shortwave radio (Some Volunteers recommend Radio Shack’s DX 375, about $80, because it is easy to tune) |+|
|−|* Solar bulbs or/and solar power panels. With a power panel you can charge your cell or any other low-voltage USB-port devices, such as IPod, Kindle, etc. All you need is sun, and that's plentiful. You may want to check the Nokero and Solio products. Peace Corps Volunteers get a 25%-50% discount on Nokero products when they join Market for Change [http://www.marketforchange.com]. |+|
|−|* Games and/or cards (Scrabble, Uno, Phase 10, etc.) |+|
|−|* Funds for travel and vacations (cash and credit cards are more practical than traveler’s checks) |+|
|−|* Compact umbrella |+|
|−|* Compact tent, if you like to camp |+|
|−|* Hobby materials |+|
|−|* Art supplies |+|
|−|* Seeds for vegetable garden |+|
|−|* Favorite books |+|
|−|* Dictionary |+|
|−|* Teaching supplies (e.g., colored chalk, felt-tipped markers, crayons, books for science teachers) |+|
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|−|Volunteers recommend that you not bring a solar shower, sheets, two- year supply of vitamins, pencils, flip-flops, and toothbrushes. Nor should you bring anything you would be heartbroken to lose. The main things to bring are yourself and a sense of service and adventure! |+|
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You will most likely be flying American Airlines or Delta Airlines to Peru. The baggage size and weight limits change from time to time. Currently, passengers are allowed to check two bags with each weighing up to 50 pounds and with certain size restrictions. Passengers are also allowed one carry-on bag, plus a purse, briefcase, or laptop. We strongly advise you to check current limits on the airline’s website once you know the carrier you will be taking to Peru. You will be responsible for any excess-baggage charges.Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/ airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm.
Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters, or motorized vehicles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or other items restricted by the airlines or the Department of Homeland Security. It is best not to pack aerosol containers.
You will be passing through Peruvian customs upon your arrival. While all normal personal items are acceptable, there are limits on the number of certain electronic items that may be brought to the country. For example, a Volunteer may bring in only one laptop.
The current is 220 volts. Electrical appliances that utilize 110 volts require a transformer.
Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. You will be given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which are adequate to cover all your expenses. Similarly during training, you will be provided with a “walk-around” allowance, to cover all expenses. Trainees may, however, wish to bring a small amount of cash, perhaps $50 to $100, with them to Peru for initial or extra expenses. Dollars are easily exchanged into Peruvian currency virtually anywhere in Peru.
From time to time, Volunteers may wish to have additional money for vacation travel or other special occasions. Cash can be obtained from ATM machines throughout Peru and South America. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are widely accepted (note that some Volunteers report that American Express traveler’s checks are more readily accepted than other brands).
You are encouraged to use your vacation time to travel in Peru and other South American countries. Each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may normally not be taken during training, the first three months of service (an important time for developing good relationships with Peruvians in your community), or the last three months of service (when you will be completing your projects). Travel outside Peru may normally not be taken during the first six months of service. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after you have been at your site for six months and as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and should be discussed with your associate Peace Corps director in advance. The Peace Corps cannot provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.
The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. You are encouraged to purchase personal property insurance before you leave the United States. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, the Peace Corps will provide you with insurance application forms, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not take valuable items overseas. Jewelry and expensive watches, radios, cameras, and electronic equipment are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and satisfactory maintenance and repair services may not be available. It is advisable to bring inexpensive items, or to purchase them once in Peru.
No. Volunteers in Peru are prohibited from operating motorized vehicles.
This is not a requirement, but a simple token of friendship is a nice gesture. Knick-nacks for the house are usually appropriate gifts—framed pictures or photos, books, calendars of American scenes, or souvenirs from your area.
Peace Corps trainees are not assigned to their permanent sites until the seventh or eighth week of pre-service training.
This gives Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s skill set prior to assigning sites. You will have the opportunity to provide input on your site preferences, but Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you might like to be. The final decision will be based on the best match between your skills and community needs, and may be in a major city, a mid-sized town, a small town, or a rural village. Even if assigned to a small town or rural village, you will be within three or four hours by bus from a city or large town, and will likely be within an hour by foot or ground transportation from another Volunteer’s site.
The Peace Corps Office of Special Services (OSS) provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers. Before leaving the United States, instruct your family to notify OSS immediately if an emergency arises, such as the serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 202.692.1470. It can also be reached through Peace Corps’ toll-free number at: 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours, and on weekends and holidays, the OSS duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574.
For nonemergency questions, your family can get information from the country desk staff at the Peace Corps. The desk staff can be reached at 202.692.2515, 2516, or 2525. Or they can be reached through the toll-free number: 800.424.8580, extensions 2515, 2516, or 2525.
International phone service to and from Peru is good in major cities. Volunteers have the option of purchasing cell phones which can call to the states, and can also receive phone calls from the states free of charge. Volunteers in smaller communities will typically have access to a community telephone, through which international calls may be made and received. Most Volunteers also have cellular phones. There are reasonably priced local and international calling cards are available in Peru.
While you may or may not have Internet access at your site, there are numerous, affordable Internet locations throughout the country. Most Volunteers bring laptops and find that they come in handy. However, if you bring your laptop, the Peace Corps strongly encourages you to insure it.
We do not recommend that people mail packages, money, airline tickets, or other valuable items to Volunteers. Customs duties may exceed the value of the items sent, and packages often disappear in transit. The modern supermarkets and well-stocked stores in Lima and other cities have anything you will need. Should family or friends need to send you something, we strongly recommend that the package be under half a kilo (1.1 pounds), with a declared value of under $100, and mailed in a padded envelope. Once you are at your site, all mail, including packages, should be sent to your regional mailbox. We strongly discourage people sending you items via courier services (e.g., DHL or FedEx), as both the sender and the receiver must often pay fees. If your friends or family want to send you something for a special occasion, it would be best for them to deposit the money into your account in the U.S. You can then access the funds from an ATM machine and purchase something special in Peru.