May 29, 2004: Headlines: COS - Lesotho: Personal Web Page: Fay Farmer on what to take with you to Lesotho

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Lesotho: Peace Corps Lesotho : The Peace Corps in Lesotho: May 29, 2004: Headlines: COS - Lesotho: Personal Web Page: Fay Farmer on what to take with you to Lesotho

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 2:05 pm: Edit Post

Fay Farmer on what to take with you to Lesotho

Fay Farmer on what to take with you to Lesotho

Fay Farmer on what to take with you to Lesotho

What would you recommend taking with you?

This is an excellent question because you'll be sent a list of things to take, courtesy of Peace Corps, but you never know just how accurate it is, or realistic. My "essentials" boiled down to those things that I used the most and would have spent more money one, if I had money to spend.

1) I took a sleeping bag that was very small and lightweight, called a bike bag, it went down to 25 degrees Farenheit. Great for summer travel, but not for winter, keep this in mind. I would have kept it light (less than 2 lbs.), but had it go to a lower. I slept in this bag for 5 months every year, with three blankets on top of me. To say I used it a lot is an understatement.

2) Socks. I just plumb ran out of these or they got so soiled that I could use them anymore.

3) Small radio and rechargable batteries. Sure, other people had fancy shortwave, longwave, aerial projection radios, but a little walkman gave me everything I needed (BBC, VOA) and more. It even got reception up in the mountains. Look for a small, efficient, light weight solar battery charger. Take 8 or so rechargeable batteries. That set up will last more than 2 years.

4) Thermarest or some other brand of sleeping pad. They are expensive, but you'll use the heck out of it over two years. I only had one for the last 6 months of my stay and believe you me, best thing I ever stole from my father.

5) Women should take at least 3 dresses that you can layer with other items of clothing. Keep in mind that this is culturally specific for Lesotho and not everywhere in the world. These dresses should be past the knee, but can bare your shoulders. I took some polyester numbers that lasted me until I left. You will learn to wear things for weeks at a time without noticing unless it is really dirty. No one cares. Three dresses will last forever. If you go to another country not Lesotho, the same applies - you will wear clothing for weeks at a time without noticing, this is a good thing, really.

6) All in all though, my latest recommendation for someone was if you can push it, pull it, tow it, or in some other way, maneuver your bag of stuff, take the weight limit Peace Corps gives you. Undoubtedly, you will have forgotten something and remembered to pack an idiot item. It happens. It's better to err on the side of too much weight, but make sure you can move it on your own.

7) Take some form of back up payment option, i.e. a credit card. You never know when you might need to buy some cool backpack, some new dresses, tour package, or ticket home. It would be best if you could link up a phone card option with it as well.

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.

December 18, 2004: This Week's Top Stories Date: December 18 2004 No: 334 December 18, 2004: This Week's Top Stories
RPCV remembers Deborah Gardner's murder in Tonga 17 Dec
Maoist insurgents in Nepal release Swiss aid worker 17 Dec
RPCV Alison Williams exhibits portraits of Malian people 16 Dec
Former Brazil Medical Director convicted of drug charges 16 Dec
RPCV Joseph Opala researched slave trade in RI 15 Dec
Vasquez sees resurgent interest in PC 14 Dec
Senator who wanted duel with RPCV joins Fox 14 Dec
NPCA planning National Day of Action for PC funding 13 Dec
RPCV "Harry" Chandler votes in Electoral College 13 Dec
Critic says Moyers delivered neo-Marxist propaganda 13 Dec
Micronesia RPCV Walter Cavanagh has 1,496 credit cards 13 Dec
PC "Survivor" Julie Berry headed for California 11 Dec
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