Shampoo/conditioner – I usually use a combo to save water
Wet wipes/Comfort Bath – There is a special kind made for this…see the information below . Let us know if you don’t know what is best.
Towel – For the one or so times you get to wash your hair. Also can act as a pillow.
Wash Rag – For washing up a little bit.
Toilet Paper – If everyone brings one roll we should be good.
Kleenex – the pocket size double as toilet paper if you are somewhere where there isn’t any
Antibacterial gel – the no water kind, we’ll have some in the clinic for during the day, but it’s nice to carry a travel size with you for other times and refill from the clinic (there’s often no water to wash hands after using the restroom)
Razor/shaving cream – if you want to shave while there, don’t use the shower water in case you nick yourself, use the bottled water.
Feminine Hygiene products – bring these even if you don’t think you’ll need them, you can’t run to Wal-mart if you get caught by surprise. You can’t flush anything and there are generally not trash cans in the restrooms, so you may have to wrap them and collect them in a ziplock. At the end of the week we burn the clinic waste or you can dump them in the bathroom at the airport.
Flashlight/Extra batteries – the generator where we stay is generally shut off early
Camera/battery/film – bring more film than you think you’ll need
Bug spray – Some people don’t use any others use a whole bottle.
Medicines – any you might need for personal use, we do have the basics in the clinic but they aren’t always easy to get to
Suitcase locks – I’ve never had anything stolen, but as a precaution generally leave my bag locked when I’m not around during the day
Passport carrier – I generally keep my passport with me during the day, if you keep it in a carrier on you, you may want to put it in a ziplock to keep it from getting sweaty
Copy of passport – it’s a good idea to keep a photocopy of your passport in your luggage just in case.
Driver’s license – not required, but it’s another form of ID if needed.
Checkbook – Needed to pay some of the bills unless you carry all cash.
Credit Card – Good to have just in case.
Water bottle – there will be Culligan water for us to drink in the rectory, but bring a water bottle that can be refilled to carry with you during the day. Having a big opening will help you refill. I typically take 2 in case something happens to it. Typically I just use and old plastic Gatoraid bottle that if it gets lost it is no big deal.
Book – for the airport/airplanes
Jacket – winter trip only
Ear Plugs – Helps for sleeping. I often just use cotton.
Blanket – small 4X5 fleece throws work well, winter trip only
Sheets and Pillow – If you want to make sure you have some you should bring them. The rectory should have them but if you are a person that can’t sleep without them then think about bringing some. The pillows at the rectory are never very good. Your towel can serve as a pillow as well. Air blow up travel pillows work well and take up very little space.
Snacks/Food – They will feed us at the rectory, but it’s a good idea to bring snacks especially if you’re a picky eater. The lunch served at the rectory is always light, typically popcorn, chips, crackers, ect. Most of the time people need to supplement the lunch with some extra from their food supply. If you know you want a larger lunch please plan to bring things that will help you to get a sufficient meal for lunch. Also, on the drive out to Gandou and the drive back in we will probably miss a meal. Those tuna/cracker packets or anything that doesn’t need refrigerated work well. Each person should bring many snacks of various types to help get us through the week. Thinks like jerky, crackers, cookies, fig newtons, fruit chews, candy, tuna, peanut butter, cheese, nuts, dried foods, granola bars, tail mix, pop tarts, bagels, paydays, prunes, pretzels, m&ms (m&m don’t usually melt in Haiti and work well just be careful packing them in case they do melt), gum…ect. It is sometimes good to bring prunes in case the change in your diet backs you up a little. The amount required is usually something like a shoe box full. The amount you use will really depend on how much of the food they feed us that you can eat. Don’t worry about bringing too many snacks. You will be able to find Haitian kids/adults to give it to if you don’t use them.
Wet Wipe and Shower Information
There is a flushable toilet and a shower spigot in the bathroom in the rectory where we will be staying. However, water is not plentiful. They carry it up on donkeys or by hand, then hand carry it to a cistern on top of the bathroom to give us our “running” water. We must be very conservative. We can take showers, but there really isn’t enough water for everyone to shower every day. I typically say, “do what you need to do”. For some this will mean more showers than others. When you do shower be extremely conservative. I try to only wash my hair/ and or shower once or twice during the week, but it is different for each person. On the other days I use wet wipes or the Comfort Baths like they use in the nursing homes. See picture below. These