Packing list for Morocco

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[[Category:Packing lists]]

Revision as of 06:32, 11 March 2009

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Morocco 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 list, so consider those items that make the most sense personally and professionally. One of the most difficult tasks in preparing for Peace Corps service is deciding what to pack and what to leave behind. This generally involves a gradual whittling-down process as more and more items shift from the “Necessities” list to the “If There’s Room” list. Remember that you can get almost everything you need in Morocco and can always have things sent to you later.


General Clothing

Remember that Morocco gets very cold in the winter and layering is important!



Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

All of the following items are available in Morocco, but they are sometimes expensive and may not be of the quality you are used to.


You can easily buy most kitchen supplies—dishes, pots, glasses, and utensils—in Morocco. There are, however, a few items we highly recommend bringing:


Small Business Development Volunteers (SBD):

While SBD sites range from small villages to larger cities, almost all SBD Volunteers have electricity and running water. If you have an iPod or portable CD player, bring it with you. CD players can be purchased here, but the quality is not always good. Electrical appliances can be charged with an adapter, which you can buy in the States or here in larger towns. Most SBD Volunteers bring laptops with them. Laptops are great not only for personal entertainment, but also can save lots of time sitting in the cybercafe. SBD Volunteers often create business cards, brochures, and other promotional materials as part of their jobs, and having your own computer is a great help. Surge protectors can be purchased here.

It may be useful to bring any examples of work you have done, such as cards, brochures, or anything related to small business. When creating these materials for your Moroccan counterparts, it helps to be able to show samples to people. Also, bringing some home decor magazines, craft magazines, etc. can be helpful when dealing with product development.

You may want to bring a few simple office supplies with you, although most can be purchased here. Paper, pens, markers, and even something like a hole-punch can come in very handy.

Don’t stress too much about the business casual clothing suggestion. Although you do want to look presentable, business casual here is not necessarily the same as in the U.S. Khakis, long, loose-fitting skirts, and light blouses and shirts are great for the warmer months. Although women do not wear shorts and rarely wear short-sleeved shirts, don’t leave all of them at home, as you will definitely want to be cool and comfortable around the house in the summer.

Do bring lots of warm clothes, and things that are easily layered. You may find yourself wearing all your sweaters at once during the colder months! Homes are not well insulated, and most often not heated, so the temperature inside is the same as outside (sometimes colder). Clothes do take a beating here, so the more durable the better. Hiking boots or shoes, and Chacos or Tevas in the summer are invaluable.

Bring a few things that will make you feel at home. Pictures, favorite books and/or music, and things like playing cards can be lifesavers. Also, bring a good supply of any toiletries you really need, particularly specialty items. Packages almost always get here, but remember they usually take a month to arrive, which can be a long wait for your favorite toothpaste. Most things can be bought here, but if you have something you can’t live without, bring some with you.

Health Volunteers:

Health sites in Morocco are all over the spectrum, from being on a main road, having hot water, satellite TV, and DSL in the house to being a few hours away from a main city on limited transportation, with no running water or electricity. For the most part, health sites tend to be more rural and in small villages. All but a handful of the sites have electricity. Some sites only have running water for a few hours a day; some have to rely on wells or public fountains.

Many health Volunteers have laptops, DVD players, iPods and speakers, camera equipment, and many other electronic gadgets. These things make life easier and help pass the time, but are not necessary. Some Volunteers buy CD players or speakers here (quality may not be as good) and just bring CDs with them. It is a good idea to bring some simple art supplies, too (construction paper, colored pencils, markers, etc.).

Bring clothing that is comfortable but keeps you covered. Some sites are very conservative; generally T-shirts are ok, but shorts are not. Women in small villages almost always wear long skirts, although this is not a must for female Volunteers. Pants (as long as they are not tight) are fine. It is a good idea to bring one nice outfit for special occasions, like your swearing-in ceremony, or if you just want to get dressed up and head into a city, where people are much less conservative.

The most important thing to remember is not to stress too much about packing. Most Volunteers rush out and buy a lot of new clothes and gadgets to take with them, and it’s not necessary. Pack the basics, and any specialty items you know you’ll want (certain toiletries, a favorite sweater, etc.), and the rest you can almost certainly get here. Best of luck and see you in Morocco!

Youth Development (YD) Volunteers:

First, you will almost certainly have electricity and running water. Most of us are placed in fairly large sites with many amenities including cybercafes, post offices, and shops to buy most everything we might need for our houses and everyday lives. Many YD Volunteers choose to bring a computer with them, as it is helpful for typing monthly reports and lesson plans, and if it has a DVD player, it can provide hours of entertainment during downtime. More and more, YD Volunteers have started to get Internet access in their houses, which can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family back in the States, as well as to work more comfortably and conveniently. If you do decide to get Internet in your house, it will come out of your monthly living allowance and is not covered by Peace Corps, but it is something to consider when deciding whether or not to bring your computer.

In terms of clothing, you can wear jeans (not too tight) to almost any event, including teaching at the dar chebab, but it is nice to have a pair of pants/skirt for dressier occasions. As mentioned earlier, Morocco is deceptively cold in the winter and many evenings, so be sure to bring warm clothes and good layers. You might want to bring some basic supplies for teaching/activities, including art supplies, index cards (invaluable), markers, plays (if you’re interested in doing theatre projects), music, cards, books, and either a CD player or iPod with small speakers (for playing music in class).

The most important thing to remember is not to stress too much about packing. Most Volunteers rush out and buy a lot of new clothes and gadgets to take with them, and it’s not necessary. Pack the basics, and any specialty items you know you’ll want (certain toiletries, a favorite sweater, etc.), and the rest you can almost certainly get here. Best of luck and see you in Morocco!

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