I was super over eager and read every packing list I could get my hands on. Some of which had super helpful information. The hardest part for me was imagining packing for 2 years; I really appreciated someone saying to pack for the 3 month training period instead. I have only been here for a month and have primarily been in Region 2, so I am sure I will update this list as I go along.
Things I am SUPER glad I brought
A Pillow – when I saw this recommendation I was really tempted to skip it- takes up so much room in a suitcase – but the majority of the pillows I have found here are not like the ones at home. It is so comforting to have something familiar when you sleep.
A Quilt/Blanket – it’s warm here so you wouldn’t expect to need this but when it rains at night the temperature drops and all of a sudden it is super comforting; just throw it in a space bag and call it a day
Giant water bottle – we drink a lot of water here – it’s hot, humid, etc and you need to stay hydrated – but when you are on the go water is not always available – so it’s really nice to be able to fill up at home and be good for the day
Short capped sleeved dresses/shirts – most professional places require sleeves and we are in a tropical country – so I love the pieces I brought here that I don’t have to wear anything over
Pop up mosquito net – the Peace Corps supply us with one we can hang – but it’s nice to have the pop up for traveling (or if you just aren’t handy like yours truly and don’t have someone to help you who is)
Tupperware – a lot of time flour, sugar, etc is stored in bags — which it seems impossible to keep ants out of so I am so happy to have these — also I usually pack a lunch, so doubly helpful
Giant, quick dry towel – unless you are able to hang your normal towel immediately in the hot sun – I don’t know how anyone’s normal towels ever get dry (before getting musty)
Extra chargers/headphones – just not as readily available and cheap here
Unlocked cell phone (or if not unlocked TMOBILE) – TMobile has great reception with their partner digicel, and unlimited data and texts is nice
Sports bras — people visit a lot so you always want something even in the house
Stuff to color – relaxation on the go
Shorts to wear under dresses, the wind is no joke, there are a lot of stairs
Meds- some things they just refer to the medication by a different name, but a lot of things they don’t have readily available, so if you have a cold med (or any other ailment) that works especially well for you bring it
Things I didn’t need
3 months supply of toiletries – they have everything here – the super good smelling ones are just a little more expensive
Painting stuff – I haven’t had the time or space to do it — definitely could have waited til I came home or someone comes to visit
Electronics — I loaded up and it might be nice down the road but a phone, laptop, and their chargers probably would have been enough – I brought a tablet and solar powered charger and I am not sure what else because I wasn’t sure how much electricity I might have
Things I wish I brought
Vegetable steamer – almost all vegetables are stewed here and when I am cooking for myself I would like to be able to steam them
Crockpot – I had no idea how much I used it until I was here
Lifestraw — who doesn’t love a portable water filter when you are in a country that you can’t drink the water?
Foldable hamper – what to do with your dirty clothes while you wait to wash them?
Keep in mind when you pack you will be most likely handwashing clothes – so bring things that are durable and dry fast – that covers your shoulders and up to your knees – and are lightweight/breathable – cotton is your friend
Remember people live here – so they’ll most likely have a Guyanese version of whatever you need
All that being said be careful of the weight and size of your suitcases – this was the first trip I had my carry on measured (by American Airlines) and weighed (by Caribbean Airlines) … several people got popped with heavy fines for a miniscule weight overage
Side note – I packed planning to rewear bottoms with different tops- DON’T – between the heat (extremely rare air conditioning) and the amount of places you’ll get dirty, there is no rewearing without washing