February 9, 2005: Headlines: Packing - Africa: The Congo Cookbook: So you have been accepted into the Peace Corps and are planning to live in Africa (or somewhere else far from home) for two years. What to pack?

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Congo - Kinshasa (Zaire): Peace Corps Congo Kinshasa : The Peace Corps in Congo - Kinshasa: February 9, 2005: Headlines: Packing - Africa: The Congo Cookbook: So you have been accepted into the Peace Corps and are planning to live in Africa (or somewhere else far from home) for two years. What to pack?

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.48.182) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 9:43 am: Edit Post

So you have been accepted into the Peace Corps and are planning to live in Africa (or somewhere else far from home) for two years. What to pack?

So you have been accepted into the Peace Corps and are planning to live in Africa (or somewhere else far from home) for two years. What to pack?

So you have been accepted into the Peace Corps and are planning to live in Africa (or somewhere else far from home) for two years. What to pack?

Peace Corps: What to Bring?

So you have been accepted into the Peace Corps and are planning to live in Africa (or somewhere else far from home) for two years. What to pack? What should you bring with you? Besides clothes and shoes? imperial airwaysIt's hard to generalize, as living conditions and the availability of consumer goods vary from one country to another. The Peace Corps office will give you some guidance. Remember, whatever you bring, you will have to carry it, often on public transportation -- so packing as lightly as possible is a good idea. Also keep in mind that theft may be a real possibility, especially for expensive, high-tech electronics.

Of course you should bring some knowledge with you, so find some books about the country in which you will be working: history, literature, art, music, politics. A few books about the Peace Corps experience are: So You Want to Join the Peace Corps: What to Know Before You Go (Dillon Banerjee) ; Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle (Moritz Thomsen) ; The Village of Waiting (George Packer) ; The Last Camel: True Stories About Somalia (Jeanne D'Haem) ; Younger Than That Now: A Peace Corps Volunteer Remembers Morocco (Michael Moran) ; and (an especially good book:) The Ponds of Kalambayi (Mike Tidwell).

Here are a few things you might want to consider bringing (but don't think you need all of them):

* Shortwave radio. Chances are, you'll rely on BBC World Service, Radio France, and Voice of America to keep yourself informed. Some shortwave radios are also clock-radios with wake-up alarms. Digial tuning with memory is a nice feature.

* Swiss army knife. Everyone should have one already. Get a real one. You never know when you might need a knife, screwdriver, corkscrew, scissors, or that little saw blade. The can-opener is also a good feature. Invaluable.

* Multitool . Pliers and lots of other tools all-in-one.

* Flashlight of some sort.

* Solar calculator. Whether figuring students' grades or how many pounds of seeds the village farmers need, a calculator is a handy tool.

* Travel clock. Battery-powered is a good idea. You may not have electricity, or you may not have it all the time.

* A book that you were supposed to read in college, but never really did. For example: this one, or maybe this, or this. (But keep in mind that lots of other Peace Corps volunteers that have gone before you have also taken books, and usually left them there.)

* Money belt and passport holder.

* Tupperware containers and Ziplock bags, or similar. Great for packing things while you are en route. Great for food and other storage once you're there.

* A game or toy. Chess and checkers, a deck of cards, maybe a frisbee.

* Hand-powered can opener.

* Pocket-sized calendar and day-planner.

* Water-proof watch.

* Small paperback dictionary or an English-____ dictionary for whatever language is spoken where you're going..

* Postcards of your hometown and photos of your friends and family (for sharing with your new friends).

* Padlock and a length of chain (like a dog-collar choke chain), for securing whatever needs secured.

* U.S. postage stamps. You cannot use them to mail things home from in-country, but if you meet someone going to the U.S. who is willing to carry mail home for you, it's nice if you can give it to them postage-paid. To be prepared for possible increases in postage rates, bring first-class stamps and also some five- or ten-cent stamps to use along with them if rates go up.

* Portable cassette player or CD player of some sort. (Though you might want to skip this if you have a radio.)

* Shoes : It's a good idea to bring two new pair of your favorite shoes. When you arrive at your post, wear one pair and put one pair away to save for your second year.

* A favorite non-perishable food or drink that can be prepared anywhere. Suggestions: (1) Jello (if you are certain of having a refrigerator). (2) Packs of dried cheese from boxed macaroni-and-cheese dinners, which can be combined with locally available milk (or powdered milk), butter or margarine, and pasta. (3) Popcorn (non-microwavable). (4) Kool-Aid or similar drink mix.





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

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 7 2005 No: 438 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 27,000 index entries in 430 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can use the Main Index to find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today.
Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps Date: February 7 2005 No: 436 Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps
The White House is proposing $345 Million for the Peace Corps for FY06 - a $27.7 Million (8.7%) increase that would allow at least two new posts and maintain the existing number of volunteers at approximately 7,700. Bush's 2002 proposal to double the Peace Corps to 14,000 volunteers appears to have been forgotten. The proposed budget still needs to be approved by Congress.

February 5, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: February 5 2005 No: 420 February 5, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Peace Corps swears in 12 new Country Directors 4 Feb
Kenneth Hawkinson studies oral traditions of Mali 4 Feb
Tony Hall urges politicians to bring religious faith to office 4 Feb
Dodd opposes Gonzales nomination 3 Feb
Dr. Robert Zeigler to head Rice Research Institute 3 Feb
Taylor Hackford going into television with "E-Ring" 2 Feb
President Bush's past promises in State of the Union 1 Feb
Moreigh Wolf says gays cannot volunteer with partners 1 Feb
Coleman to chair Peace Corps Subcommittee 1 Feb
Vasquez assesses need in Southeast Asia 31 Jan
James Bullington says Bush Inaugural speaks to PC 31 Jan
Allen Andersson creates foundation to promote libraries 31 Jan
Joseph Opala to film "Priscilla's Homecoming" 31 Jan
Donna Shalala embarks on aggressive UM expansion 31 Jan
Thomas Dichter says Poor Countries Need Smarter Aid 30 Jan
Alberto Ibargüen to head Knight Foundation 28 Jan
Helen Sheehy organizes "Endangered Peoples" exhibit 28 Jan

RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service Date: January 30 2005 No: 405 RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service
RPCV Groups mobilize to support their Countries of Service. Over 200 RPCVS have already applied to the Crisis Corps to provide Tsunami Recovery aid, RPCVs have written a letter urging President Bush and Congress to aid Democracy in Ukraine, and RPCVs are writing NBC about a recent episode of the "West Wing" and asking them to get their facts right about Turkey.
RPCVs contend for Academy Awards  Date: January 31 2005 No: 416 RPCVs contend for Academy Awards
Bolivia RPCV Taylor Hackford's film "Ray" is up for awards in six categories including best picture, best actor and best director. "Autism Is a World" co-produced by Sierra Leone RPCV Douglas Biklen and nominated for best Documentary Short Subject, seeks to increase awareness of developmental disabilities. Colombian film "El Rey," previously in the running for the foreign-language award, includes the urban legend that PCVs teamed up with El Rey to bring cocaine to U.S. soil.
Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.

Read the stories and leave your comments.






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Story Source: The Congo Cookbook

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