Difference between pages "South Africa" and "Packing list for Niger"

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{{CountryboxAlternative
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{{Packing lists by country}}
|Countryname= South Africa
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|CountryCode = sf
+
|status = [[ACTIVE]]
+
|Flag= Flag_of_South_Africa.svg
+
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/zawb674.pdf
+
|Region= [[Africa]]
+
|CountryDirector= [[McGrath Thomas]]
+
|Sectors= [[Education]]<br> ([[APCD]]: [[Morgan Mthembu]] , [[Lydia Webber]])<br> [[NGO development|NGO Development]] and [[Health|HIV/AIDS]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Hendrik Matseke]], [[Kori Lelaka]])
+
|ProgramDates= [[1997]] - [[Present]]
+
|CurrentlyServing= 171
+
|TotalVolunteers= 703
+
|Languages= [[Afrikaans]], [[English]], [[Zulu]], [[Xhosa]], [[Swazi]], [[Ndebele]], [[Southern Sotho]], [[Northern Sotho]], [[Tsonga]], [[Tswana]], [[Venda]]
+
|Map= Sf-map.gif
+
|stagingdate= Jan 24 2010
+
|stagingcity= Washington, DC
+
}}
+
  
Since the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa has made progress in the educational,
+
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[Niger]] 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. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Niger.  
health, and governmental systems. However, gaps in the opportunities remain for the
+
historically disadvantaged population. The official unemployment rate is 31%. Sources
+
estimate that over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. Poverty and the lack of education are particularly high in the rural areas of South Africa where the
+
government of South Africa is working to transform the educational system.
+
  
The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in South Africa in February 1997.
+
Many Volunteers end up wishing they had not brought so many clothes and toiletries and had concentrated instead on more personal items like music and , photos. However, we recommend that you avoid bringing anything you would be heartbroken to lose. Since there is a variety of jobs, each with different clothing requirements, you should consider your particular job in deciding what to bring. Health and education Volunteers have a greater need for professional-looking clothing than Volunteers who spend most of the time in the field, but all Volunteers should be neat and presentable.  Despite your worst fears, there is a cool season in Niger, when night temperatures become quite tolerable. Make sure your clothes are comfortable and durable, because they will take a beating during hand laundering. Keep in mind that it is relatively cheap and easy to have local tailors make great-looking traditional clothes (or copies of what you bring with you).  
Currently, PC/South Africa has two projects: education and NGO capacity building.
+
  
South African Peace Corps Volunteers maintain an in-country wiki found [http://pc-sa.wikispaces.com/ Here]
+
===General Clothing ===
  
==Peace Corps History==
+
* Ten or so pairs of cotton underwear (boxer shorts, bras, etc.)
 +
* Three to five cotton T-shirts or tank tops (white not recommended)
 +
* Three or four dress shirts
 +
* One or two pairs of shorts for sports (but note that shorts are not normally worn by men or women in public)
 +
* Two or three pairs of lightweight, loose-fitting cotton pants (tailors can duplicate them), the darker the better
 +
* Two or three skirts for women (short skirts are inappropriate, and pockets are handy), below knee-length
 +
* One sweater/sweatshirt (fleece)
 +
* Three or five pairs of cotton socks (not white due to dust)
 +
* One or two dressy outfits for official functions, e.g., good-looking dress or pants and a collared shirt (tie optional); do not bring anything that needs dry cleaning
 +
* Belts (for when your clothes no longer fit you as you’ll probably lose weight)
 +
* One or two brimmed hats or baseball caps
 +
* One pair of jeans
 +
* Swimsuit (sometimes a pool may be available)
  
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in South Africa]]''
+
===Shoes ===
  
The Peace Corps arrived in South Africa at a historic and critical juncture in the country’s history. At a White House ceremony in October 1994, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela met to seal a bond of friendship and a promise to work together to transform South Africa from a divided nation to one united by its commitment to build a democratic, nonracially based society. The Peace Corps was a small but important part of that agreement. The first group of 35 Volunteers arrived in January 1997 to work in the education sector. Since that time, more than 200 Volunteers have served or are serving in South Africa. In 2001, Peace Corps/South Africa responded to the government’s request to join in a partnership against HIV/AIDS. In addition to serving as resources for primary school educators, Volunteers now assist local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in building their capacity to meet the demands of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Currently, about 85 Volunteers work in education and with NGOs.
+
* One pair of sturdy sandals (e.g., Tevas, Birkenstocks, Chacos)  
 
+
* One pair of tennis shoes
 
+
* One pair of dress shoes for official functions (e.g., loafers or boat shoes for men and nice sandals for women)  
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
+
 
+
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in South Africa]]''
+
 
+
All Volunteers live with a host family at a site located anywhere from one hour to nine hours from Pretoria, the capital. Proximity to another Volunteer varies from site to site.
+
 
+
Your host agency will provide safe and adequate housing—in accordance with the Peace Corps’ site selection criteria—that is likely to consist of a private room inside a family’s house or a room in an outside building within a family compound. Housing varies from mud houses with either thatch or tin roofs to brick homes with tin roofs. You need to be very flexible in your housing expectations because there is no guarantee that you will have running water or electricity. If you do not, you will collect your water from a well or borehole and spend your evenings reading by candlelight or lantern.
+
 
+
The sponsoring agency or host family will provide you with basic items (i.e., a bed, mattress, desk/table, straight chair, and cupboard for hanging clothing or storage). Each Volunteer will receive an allowance in local currency to purchase needed settling-in items, as well as a water filter provided by the Peace Corps.
+
 
+
 
+
==Training==
+
 
+
''Main article: [[Training in South Africa]]''
+
 
   
 
   
Training is an essential and ongoing part of your Peace Corps service. Pre-service training will give you enough skills and information to begin your adjustment to and service in South Africa. It is the first “reality test” of your life as a Volunteer, which will help you make an informed commitment when you swear in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
 
  
The 8- to 10-week pre-service training in South Africa is community based, meaning that the bulk of the training takes place in a community similar to where you will be placed as a Volunteer. The training staff will design a learning environment with experiences and meetings designed to allow you to develop the knowledge and skills needed for your work as a Volunteer. There will be sessions on language, community integration, cross-cultural communication, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills appropriate to your assignment. Throughout your training, you will live with a South African family and work in villages and schools.
+
Note: Sand, dust, rain, mud, and mildew are prevalent in Niger, so you may want to waterproof or otherwise protect much of your clothing and footwear.  
 
+
At the onset of training, the training staff will outline the training goals and assessment criteria that each trainee has to reach before becoming a Volunteer. Evaluation of your performance during training will be based on a continual dialogue between you and the training staff. The training manager, along with other training staff, will work with you to achieve the training goals by providing you feedback throughout trainin
+
 
+
 
+
==Health Care and Safety==
+
 
+
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in South Africa]]''
+
 
+
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in South Africa maintains a clinic with a full-time medical officer, who takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in South Africa at local, American-standard hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to an American-standard medical facility in the region or to the United States.
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
+
 
+
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in South Africa]]''
+
 
+
In South Africa, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.
+
 
+
Outside of South Africa’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is viewed as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of South Africa are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present.
+
 
+
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
+
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
+
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
+
 
+
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
+
 
+
While Gays and Lesbians do exist and are out in the more urban and metropolitan areas of South Africa, there is still a very high level of intolerance towards same-sex relationships among many South Africans. You may have to remain closeted or be very discreet about your sexual preference and lifestyle, especially at your site and in your village. Many black South Africans see homosexuality as evil and an abomination and are very vocal about this. Exercise restraint and caution should you choose to be open as a Gay or Lesbian PCV.
+
 
+
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
+
 
+
South Africans come from a wide variety of faiths, with the largest religious group being Christians (70%) followed by Atheists, Hindus, Jews, and traditional beliefs. It is quite common for schools and other organizations (NGOs, clinics, government bodies) to have public Christian prayer. Reading from the Bible during gatherings is not unheard of. Volunteers who are not religious should note this, but be up front with your co-workers and host family if you are uncomfortable. You will usually not be pressured to go if you explain respectfully about your religious preferences.
+
 
+
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
+
 
+
==Frequently Asked Questions==
+
 
+
{{Volunteersurvey2008
+
|H1r=  35
+
|H1s=  72.5
+
|H2r=  33
+
|H2s=  84.3
+
|H3r=  51
+
|H3s=  81
+
|H4r=  19
+
|H4s=  108
+
|H5r=  51
+
|H5s=  46.8
+
|H6r=  57
+
|H6s=  70.6
+
}}
+
 
+
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in South Africa]]''
+
 
+
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to South Africa?
+
* What is the electric current in South Africa?
+
* How much money should I bring?
+
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
+
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
+
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
+
* What should I bring as gifts for South African friends and my host family?
+
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
+
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
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* Can I call home from South Africa?
+
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
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* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
+
 
+
South African Peace Corps Volunteers maintain an in-country wiki found [http://pc-sa.wikispaces.com/ Here]
+
 
+
==Packing List==
+
 
+
''Main article: [[Packing list for South Africa]]''
+
+
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in South Africa 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. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in South Africa.
+
  
Luggage should be durable, lightweight, lockable, and easy to carry. Wheels are a plus, especially those suitable for wheeling luggage over nonpaved surfaces. Backpacks without frames are very practical. A midsize backpack for weekend and weeklong trips is essential. Also, a regular-size book bag is a good thing to bring. When choosing luggage, remember that you will be hauling it in and out of taxis and buses, and often lugging it around on foot.
+
===Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items ===
  
* General Clothing
+
* Thin, lightweight towel
* For Men
+
* Nail clippers and nail file
* For Women
+
* Good pair of scissors (for hair cutting and other things)
* Shoes
+
* Two pairs of prescription glasses, if you wear them, and maybe one tinted pair.
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
+
* Three-month supply of any prescription medication you take (including birth control pills)
* Miscellaneous
+
* Facial astringent/Face wipes (only if you prefer a specific brand)
 +
* Special soaps and hair conditioners
 +
* Two-month supply of shampoo for training
 +
* Earplugs
 +
* Toothpaste (only if you want your favorite brand, as it can be purchased in Niger)
 +
* Two pairs of dark sunglasses (locally available sunglasses may not have UV protection) with a sturdy case
 +
* Razor and blades (if you are partial to a certain type—you can purchase Bic razors locally)
  
 +
===Kitchen ===
  
==Peace Corps News==
+
* Swiss army knife or Leatherman with can opener, bottle opener, blade, corkscrew
 +
* Sturdy water bottles (e.g., Nalgene) or canteens; two-quart size is ideal (small-mouth bottle easier to drink out of while traveling)
 +
* Spices for cooking (e.g., cinnamon, oregano, basil, curry powder); most can be purchased in Niger 89
 +
* Dry sauce mixes and instant drink mixes (a nice treat)
 +
* Small and large plastic food storage bags
 +
* Hard candies (note that chocolate melts, except for peanut M&M’s)
 +
* Plastic containers (to protect a camera, tapes, and food)
 +
* Dried fruit/granola/energy bars
 +
* Jerky and/or tuna in a pouch
 +
* Pudding
 +
* Instant coffee
  
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
+
Note that Peace Corps/Niger has a cookbook specific to cooking in Niger. Also almost any food you want can be sent from home.
  
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22south+africa%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
+
===Miscellaneous ===
  
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/sf/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
+
* Sleeping bag (very light, highly compactable one is best)
 +
* Pillow (optional)
 +
* Combination lock (key locks available locally)
 +
* Sturdy but inexpensive waterproof watch
 +
* A sturdy day pack or fanny pack
 +
* Batteries for anything electronic that you bring
 +
* Solar battery recharger (note that it is usually easier to just buy new batteries and battery rechargers can get burnt out from the heat)
 +
* Alarm clock
 +
* Backpack—internal frame, well constructed (not too large)
 +
* U.S. and world maps
 +
* Paperbacks (there are many at the Peace Corps office, but recent releases make good additions)
 +
* Games (e.g., deck of cards, chess, checkers, Othello, Frisbee, backgammon); many are available in the transit houses
 +
* Photos of family, friends, and scenery (a great way to get to know people)
 +
* Musical instruments
 +
* Materials for hobbies and crafts (you will have more free time and fewer distractions)
 +
* Calendars, holiday cards, thank-you notes, stationery, address book, good writing pens
 +
* U.S. driver’s license (for travel outside Niger)
 +
* Credit cards
 +
* Padded envelopes for sending items home (like film)
 +
* Twelve to 15 ID photos (for visas and other forms; photo-booth quality is OK, though this can be done in Niger )
 +
* Duct tape
 +
* Cassette recorder,Walkman, iPod, or MP3 player
 +
* Your favorite music and blank cassettes (CDs will get scratched)
 +
* Shortwave radio (for BBC and Voice of America news broadcasts; inexpensive ones can be purchased in Niamey)
 +
* Flashlight or headlamp and spare bulbs (also available in Niger)
 +
* Self-adhesive U.S. stamps for mailing letters with people traveling to the United States
 +
* Camera with a dustproof case (smaller is better as it is more inconspicuous), including digital equipment to download to a computer
 +
* USB sticks
 +
* Your favorite movie on DVD or VHS (You will have access to a TV sometimes) 91
  
==Country Fund==
+
===Don’t Bring ===
  
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=674-CFD South Africa Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in South Africa. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
+
* Heavy coats
 +
* Too many clothes
 +
* Clothing that is torn, disheveled-looking, or has offensive wording
 +
* Camouflage or military clothing
 +
* Lots of cash
 +
* Two-year supply of toiletries (basic products are available in Niger)
 +
* Pots, pans, and kitchen utensils
 +
* Anything cumbersome or unusual that could attract customs’ attention
 +
* Over-the-counter medication (common OTC medication is provided by Peace Corps)
 +
* Insect repellant (provided by Peace Corps/Niger)
 +
* Sun block (provided by Peace Corps)
 +
* Boots
 +
* Rain gear
 +
* Tampons
 +
* Cellphones
  
==See Also==
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 
* [[Volunteers who served in South Africa]]
 
* [[South_Africa sites|Sites where volunteers have served in South Africa]]
 
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 
* [[List of resources for South Africa]]
 
* [http://pc-sa.wikispaces.com/ PCSA Wiki]
 
  
[[Category:South Africa]] [[Category:Africa]]
+
[[Category:Niger]]
[[Category:Country]]
+

Latest revision as of 07:57, 21 May 2014


Packing List for [[{{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]]

Packing Lists by Country

These lists has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[{{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]] 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!
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]]
[[Image:Flag_of_{{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}}{{#if:{{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}}|_{{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}}|}}{{#if:{{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}|_{{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}|}}.svg|50px|none]]

See also:
Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

[[Category:{{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Niger| |5}}]]

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Niger 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. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Niger.

Many Volunteers end up wishing they had not brought so many clothes and toiletries and had concentrated instead on more personal items like music and , photos. However, we recommend that you avoid bringing anything you would be heartbroken to lose. Since there is a variety of jobs, each with different clothing requirements, you should consider your particular job in deciding what to bring. Health and education Volunteers have a greater need for professional-looking clothing than Volunteers who spend most of the time in the field, but all Volunteers should be neat and presentable. Despite your worst fears, there is a cool season in Niger, when night temperatures become quite tolerable. Make sure your clothes are comfortable and durable, because they will take a beating during hand laundering. Keep in mind that it is relatively cheap and easy to have local tailors make great-looking traditional clothes (or copies of what you bring with you).

General Clothing[edit]

  • Ten or so pairs of cotton underwear (boxer shorts, bras, etc.)
  • Three to five cotton T-shirts or tank tops (white not recommended)
  • Three or four dress shirts
  • One or two pairs of shorts for sports (but note that shorts are not normally worn by men or women in public)
  • Two or three pairs of lightweight, loose-fitting cotton pants (tailors can duplicate them), the darker the better
  • Two or three skirts for women (short skirts are inappropriate, and pockets are handy), below knee-length
  • One sweater/sweatshirt (fleece)
  • Three or five pairs of cotton socks (not white due to dust)
  • One or two dressy outfits for official functions, e.g., good-looking dress or pants and a collared shirt (tie optional); do not bring anything that needs dry cleaning
  • Belts (for when your clothes no longer fit you as you’ll probably lose weight)
  • One or two brimmed hats or baseball caps
  • One pair of jeans
  • Swimsuit (sometimes a pool may be available)

Shoes[edit]

  • One pair of sturdy sandals (e.g., Tevas, Birkenstocks, Chacos)
  • One pair of tennis shoes
  • One pair of dress shoes for official functions (e.g., loafers or boat shoes for men and nice sandals for women)


Note: Sand, dust, rain, mud, and mildew are prevalent in Niger, so you may want to waterproof or otherwise protect much of your clothing and footwear.

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items[edit]

  • Thin, lightweight towel
  • Nail clippers and nail file
  • Good pair of scissors (for hair cutting and other things)
  • Two pairs of prescription glasses, if you wear them, and maybe one tinted pair.
  • Three-month supply of any prescription medication you take (including birth control pills)
  • Facial astringent/Face wipes (only if you prefer a specific brand)
  • Special soaps and hair conditioners
  • Two-month supply of shampoo for training
  • Earplugs
  • Toothpaste (only if you want your favorite brand, as it can be purchased in Niger)
  • Two pairs of dark sunglasses (locally available sunglasses may not have UV protection) with a sturdy case
  • Razor and blades (if you are partial to a certain type—you can purchase Bic razors locally)

Kitchen[edit]

  • Swiss army knife or Leatherman with can opener, bottle opener, blade, corkscrew
  • Sturdy water bottles (e.g., Nalgene) or canteens; two-quart size is ideal (small-mouth bottle easier to drink out of while traveling)
  • Spices for cooking (e.g., cinnamon, oregano, basil, curry powder); most can be purchased in Niger 89
  • Dry sauce mixes and instant drink mixes (a nice treat)
  • Small and large plastic food storage bags
  • Hard candies (note that chocolate melts, except for peanut M&M’s)
  • Plastic containers (to protect a camera, tapes, and food)
  • Dried fruit/granola/energy bars
  • Jerky and/or tuna in a pouch
  • Pudding
  • Instant coffee

Note that Peace Corps/Niger has a cookbook specific to cooking in Niger. Also almost any food you want can be sent from home.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • Sleeping bag (very light, highly compactable one is best)
  • Pillow (optional)
  • Combination lock (key locks available locally)
  • Sturdy but inexpensive waterproof watch
  • A sturdy day pack or fanny pack
  • Batteries for anything electronic that you bring
  • Solar battery recharger (note that it is usually easier to just buy new batteries and battery rechargers can get burnt out from the heat)
  • Alarm clock
  • Backpack—internal frame, well constructed (not too large)
  • U.S. and world maps
  • Paperbacks (there are many at the Peace Corps office, but recent releases make good additions)
  • Games (e.g., deck of cards, chess, checkers, Othello, Frisbee, backgammon); many are available in the transit houses
  • Photos of family, friends, and scenery (a great way to get to know people)
  • Musical instruments
  • Materials for hobbies and crafts (you will have more free time and fewer distractions)
  • Calendars, holiday cards, thank-you notes, stationery, address book, good writing pens
  • U.S. driver’s license (for travel outside Niger)
  • Credit cards
  • Padded envelopes for sending items home (like film)
  • Twelve to 15 ID photos (for visas and other forms; photo-booth quality is OK, though this can be done in Niger )
  • Duct tape
  • Cassette recorder,Walkman, iPod, or MP3 player
  • Your favorite music and blank cassettes (CDs will get scratched)
  • Shortwave radio (for BBC and Voice of America news broadcasts; inexpensive ones can be purchased in Niamey)
  • Flashlight or headlamp and spare bulbs (also available in Niger)
  • Self-adhesive U.S. stamps for mailing letters with people traveling to the United States
  • Camera with a dustproof case (smaller is better as it is more inconspicuous), including digital equipment to download to a computer
  • USB sticks
  • Your favorite movie on DVD or VHS (You will have access to a TV sometimes) 91

Don’t Bring[edit]

  • Heavy coats
  • Too many clothes
  • Clothing that is torn, disheveled-looking, or has offensive wording
  • Camouflage or military clothing
  • Lots of cash
  • Two-year supply of toiletries (basic products are available in Niger)
  • Pots, pans, and kitchen utensils
  • Anything cumbersome or unusual that could attract customs’ attention
  • Over-the-counter medication (common OTC medication is provided by Peace Corps)
  • Insect repellant (provided by Peace Corps/Niger)
  • Sun block (provided by Peace Corps)
  • Boots
  • Rain gear
  • Tampons
  • Cellphones