March 31, 2005: Headlines: COS - Guyana: Packing: Personal Web Site: Packing List for Guyana

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Packing: March 31, 2005: Headlines: COS - Guyana: Packing: Personal Web Site: Packing List for Guyana

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 9:56 pm: Edit Post

Packing List for Guyana

Packing List for Guyana

Packing List for Guyana

Necessities List


* Sturdy backpack for traveling on three-four day trips.

* Pen Drive (also called -thumb drive-) is much better for holding data than floppy disks (floppies get destroyed by the humidity). 64MB is about US.

* Envelopes (the ones that you dont lick, but instead peel off an adhesive and stick). The humidity will destroy the normal ones.

* Favorite brand of shampoo or conditioner. They can be expensive here, and a large one from a warehouse-type store can potentially last you your whole service.

* Cameras

o Regular Film

o A roll goes for about -10.

o Developing costs are comparable to that in the States

o Digital Cameras

o Make sure you bring your USB cord

o CD-ROMs for back ups can be purchased down here

o 4x6 prints cost US{body}.45. Also consider uploading your images to an online developer (e.g. Ofoto, Yahoo! Photos, Shutterfly), having the prints sent to a U.S. address and then shipped back down to you by friends or family.

o Some volunteers even have photo printers

o A few disposable cameras are nice to have for instances when you dont want to bring your digital camera (i.e. to the river, bar, etc.)

o Advantix film can be developed at Acme or Galaxy photo shops in GT.

* Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

* Contact Solution. Very expensive down here recommended to bring from home

* Pocketknife (be sure to declare it within your checked baggage at the airport)

* Head Lamp

* Nalgene Bottle

* Bring a hat/cap for some sort of protection from the intense sun.

o Sunglasses as well, though try to avoid bringing expensive sunglasses unless youre especially good at looking after them.

* Bandanas (to use as sweat rags)

* Long sleeved shirts (sun protection & bug protection) (preferably a breathable material)

* Bring down shoes that you will be comfortable in for two years (if youre hard to size)

* Tevas or Chacos are highly recommended by many volunteers

o Unless you plan on exercising, athletic socks and sneakers are hot and uncomfortable. ( I would have them bring a tennis shoe/trail running shoe)

* Money belt. Very key to avoiding losing all your vacation money as you walk through Georgetown.

* Plastic storage bags (e.g. Ziploc bags). Also bring a few large garbage bags to store things away from bugs & dust.

* If you are a teacher or if you plan on teaching, bring closed toe dress shoes that are comfortable. Some Headmasters (e.g. principals of schools) are real sticklers about this.

* Sheets should be thin and easy to wash and dry


* There are plenty of books around amongst other volunteers and within the PC volunteer lounge (also good to bring a few to add to the mix)

o Though, a dictionary is always useful.

* Laptops: Can bring it, though you run the chance (with the exception of IT volunteers) of being placed in a site without electricity for two years. It is worth noting that about one in every three PCG volunteers brought laptops down [Do you guys agree?]

o I agree, as an IT Volunteer I think a laptop could almost be considered a necessity. I use mine daily, and with the price coming down they are worth it. It has also helped cheer me up since it doubles as an arcade machine and DVD Player. Its hard to say if you will be in a remote site or not so its a bit of a gamble if you are not an IT volunteer.

o I have found that laptops experience a lot of trouble down here. 4 out of 5 laptops on the Coast the past year bit the dust. Some people attributed it to the heat and humidity. I would recommend buying a cheap desktop (0-0 USD) when you get to your site and see your electricity situation.

o Voltage stabilizers are also helpful if you want to prevent damage to your computer due to power instability.

o Guyana does not charge customs on computers. If you find you really need one once you arrive at site, see if you can get one shipped down.

* Dont bring pots/pans, you can purchase them down here (may want to bring a can opener)

* Mattress covers are helpful for keeping the bed bugs away.

* Cell Phone: If you have a GSM or TDMA phone, it will most likely work down here.

* Bring photos from home. Theyre nice to decorate your domicile, and your Guyanese friends will love looking at photos of your friends back in the States.

* Bring CDs, CD player or an iPod (or other MP3 player). Also bring small speakers.

o If tight on money, purchase a CD player that plays mp3s, and then burn all your mp3s to CD-ROMs. Youd be surprised how many songs can fit on one disc.

* Pajama pants are nice to keep the mosquitoes away at night.

* The latest versions of the GRE, GMAT or MCAT study guides. While the Volunteer Lounge has copies, theyre rather outdated.

* Bottle opener, of the key chain variety.

* Map of USA or World can be useful for students, or even self.

* If you have room, a board game is nice to bring. -Scrabble- is popular and readily available amongst several volunteers.

* If youre a guitar player, bring your axe.

* Breathable raincoat (if you can afford it or have it already) I find it too hot and have only used mine once the entire time being here.

* Dress socks thin, light, and can protect your feet from mosquitoes in your home

* Light jacket or long sleeved shirt

* Try grabbing a thin towel, like the ones from hotels. Easier to pack and dries quickly. (some recommend a quick dry camping type towel very nice and easy for travel)

* Health volunteers often benefit from a good medical reference book.

o For nurses specifically, consider bringing down

o Merck Manual

o Current reference book for nurses (or a PDR)

o MCH (Maternal Child Health) book

* If youre a coffee person, bring some of your favorite brand [TO ALL COFFEE DRINKERS: Speak your mind here!!!!]

o There is some decent coffee here, but bringing a pound or two doesnt hurt. Usually when you ask for coffee you get Nes-crappe, but if you go to the store you can get real locally grown stuff that is not bad. It can be boiled and then strained.

o Nes Cafe is nasty, but you can get some really good coffee in Bartica.

* IT volunteers may benefit from small tool kit for computers and such. [IT volunteers, help me out on this one]

o Swiss sells a special pocket knife for IT volunteers which has proved very useful for me

o Yes its very helpful to have depending on your site you may already have tools there, but to have a kit is always nice since you cant really do much to a computer without a screwdriver. I have a small 25 piece set. I would say that is all you really need, but your toolkit should reflect your skills if you can do electronics repair by all means bring the tools to do it, because you will be in high demand.

For the Men

* It is not necessary to purchase and/or bring down a blazer.

* At the most, bring down only two button-down long-sleeve shirts and matching ties.

o As health educators, men wear short-sleeve polo shirts and khakis. Nothing too extravagant or formal (think business casual).

* You dont need a sweatshirt except as a makeshift pillow.

For the Women

* Showing midriff is unacceptable. Bring belts & shirts that are long in the torso.

One pair of long shorts (bring a pair or two of soccer shorts) MOLLY PLEASE CLARIFY

* 2-3 dress slacks

* 2 summer dresses (if you have them)

* One semi-formal dress (for swearing-in ceremony). Dresses can also be made cheaply in country.

* 2-3 knee-length skirts

* 3-4 long skirts (umm...I dont know about this, I would say most of us where knee lengths more than long so up the knee length number and cut the long)

* Casual tops. Tank tops can be worn outside of work. They tend to stretch out quickly with hand washing, though, so its a good idea to bring some boys undershirts or tanks that wont stretch to put underneath clothes.

* You do not need a sweatshirt. (and yeah..this one might not be true..cause if they go to say Morakobai, I know that the boat rides down at night get freezing and my sweatshirts come in handy)

* Light cotton button down shirt is nice

* 1-3 pairs of Pajama pants.

* 1-2 half slips (e.g. one white & one black). These are also available cheaply in Guyana.

* Instead of cotton/spandex shorts, bring down soccer shorts

* If you are accustomed to wearing tight shirts or pants you will most likely be harassed. (plus, everyone harasses you take this out, cause its sorta common sense. And I think the short top comment takes care of indecency)

* Bring some loose fitting shirts you will want the breathability during the dry season. Add something for them to bring casual clothes like jeans, tanks, fun ts for around home and such

* If you wear expensive jewelry, you will make yourself a target for thieves.

SHOES: Eliminate 1-2 pairs of casual sandals. NEEDS CLARIFICATION

* If you use make-up, bring your personal supply down the availability down here is both expensive and of poor quality. Face wash especially your specific brand

* Bring as many tampons as you can squeeze in your bags. These are expensive and hard to find in some places, mainly because most Guyanese women dont use them.

When this story was posted in March 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

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RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

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PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.

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