Saturday, December 31, 2011

Things to pack when traveling to Mali

I am a fastidious packer.  In fact, my husband makes relentless fun of me when we are getting ready to travel.  He is a 'throw a few pairs of shorts in a backpack'' kind of guy, while I am of the school that makes multiple lists, organizes with a staging area for weeks before the big trip and spends countless hours thinking about what I am likely to need.

Having said that, the following is a snapshot of what my suitcases are going to contain for a 17 day trip to Mali, West Africa.

  • Bug repellent.  I use 3M Ultrathon, a long acting, highly effective repellent reccomended by the travel clinic.  I bring one tube per week and bring it in my carry on bag so it won't get lost in transit.  
  • Sunscreen.  I am a ginger.  Need I say more?
  • Hat.  Ditto.
  • Travel plug adapters.  Turns out most modern electronic gear does not need an actual converter, but does need an adapter to plug in to Mali outlets, which are 220v European style.
  • Clothes, of course.
  • Electronics.  An embarrassing array, really:
    • Ipad
    • Still camera
    • Video camera
    • Good quality digital recorder.  (I am going to Mali, after all, home of the best musicians in the world.)
    • Bluetooth speakers (See above) 
    • NIMH battery chargers
    • Kindle
    • plugs, outlets, av cables, aux cables, etc. for all of the above
  • A small throw for chilly nights
  • A well-stocked medical kit which includes:
    • Antibacterial cream
    • bandaids
    • gauze pads
    • Zpac antibiotics
    • Malarone anti-malarial meds
    • Cipro - for diarrhea
    • Ambien- for sleeping on the plane and jet lag
    • homeopathic jet lag medicine
    • Airborne
    • Emergen-C
    • tweezers
    • small scissors
    • Benadryl
  • A tripod
  • A sketchpad and some pencils
  • Deck of cards
  • My pillow
  • Ear plugs
  • Chap stick
  • 2 pairs of sandals- one dressy and one casual
  • flip flops for the bathroom
  • And speaking of bathrooms- wetwipes and mini kleenex packs for the public bathrooms in Mali.  
I also pack my positive attitude and prayer.  Travel is an adventure that is so much better when you are in a good place spiritually and emotionally.

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