Haiti Diaries #2: Packing List

Posted on April 10, 2014


So I’m usually a last minute packer, but I decided to do things a little different this time. Mainly because this is not a vacation where I could easily walk to the gift shop to buy items I forgot. And also because I am really trying to be a more organized person in 2014 (that was #3 of my #500+ new year resolutions…I think I’m doing okay so far :P)

HOM was kind enough to provide us with a sample list, but I did a little tweaking and here’s what I came up with –

  1. Passport (and copies)
  2. Travel insurance papers – I get this on every trip that lasts more than 3 days, unless I am going to my home country
  3. Drivers license – Needed to use my credit card in Haiti
  4. Professional license – Required for all medical personnel
  5. Spending money (in small bills) and one credit card – I’m not a huge fan of pre-paid credit cards so I usually just stick with my American Express card
  6. Bible, journal and 2 pens – For daily devotion purposes, to journal my experiences and because there is a very high chance that we would be going to church there
  7. Hand sanitizer – I never go anywhere without these
  8. 2 Kleenex packs and 2 toilet paper rolls
  9. Padlock
  10. My personal travel sized first aid kit (Tylenol, Imodium, Band-aids, Antiseptic cream, Benadryl and Flonase) – Again, I almost always have all these in my purse anyway…plus my seasonal allergies always choose the perfect time to show up
  11. Travel size toiletries (Lip balm, Toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, sponge, cotton balls, q-tips, face cleansers, shower cap, deodorant)
  12. Waterproof SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen – I’m actually very dark-skinned, but I still need to protect my skin. See my article “Black people need sunscreen too
  13. Flashlight (for after “lights out”) – That “lights out” part made me chuckle…reminded me of boarding school
  14. Refillable water bottle – We have been assured of clean water at our lodge ONLY, so we need to fill up before going anywhere else
  15. Snacks (Peanut butter, granola bars, rice cakes)
  16. Hat/headscarf and Sunglasses – I think you have to cover your hair in Haitian churches, so I’m packing  a headscarf just in case
  17. Insect repellent with deet 30 – I think my blood is laced with some insect addictive substance, because I fight a losing battle with mosquitoes everywhere I go (even with insect-repellents) but I thought I’d take it anyway
  18. Antibacterial wipes – To clean surfaces and tops of cans
  19. Cell phone/charger – I don’t own a good camera so my iPhone will have to do. Unfortunately, I use Sprint and they don’t offer free international phone service yet…so I think I may be data-less and phone-less for a week
  20. Ziplock bags – For my packed lunches, the guesthouse provides breakfast and dinner but we are on our own for lunch.
  21. A book – For my me-time….I have been trying to complete Redeeming Love for the past 4 months but I have been so busy. Hopefully I can actually finish it on this trip.
  22. Earplugs – Apparently it gets a bit noisy with the stray dogs and such, so they HIGHLY recommended that we bring these
  23. Battery operated fan – This was also HIGHLY recommended and I usually need that fan breeze to fall asleep (even during winter time), but I am on the fence with this one  because I have no space in my bag after all the necessities.

Speaking of space, I am attempting to fit all this and my clothes + drugs + knickknacks (see below) into a carry-on bag! Am I delusional? Don’t worry you can tell me, I won’t take it personal. But I really don’t want to pay American Airlines $25 on each leg of my trip for a checked-in bag. My brother suggested I tell them that I am going on a mission trip, and they may waive the fee. (Hey AA, what say ye? Can a lady get a charity waiver or what??)

Anyway, here are the clothing items I will be taking on my trip :

  1. 2 Scrubs sets – For clinic use
  2. 2 tops and 1 t-shirt with sleeves – No sleeveless allowed apparently
  3. 1 knee-length skirt and dress – For church – p.s. I did not realize how many of my skirts/dresses did not hit my knee! I only had one or two that were appropriate lol *tsk tsk*
  4. 1 pair of knee length shorts – For hanging around the guest house
  5. Lightweight sweater and one pashmina shawl – For chilly nights and flights
  6. 1 pair of yoga pants – Not sure if I would have a workout opportunity but I packed it anyway, plus they are good for lounging
  7. Pyjamas and hairnet
  8. Socks and Underwear
  9. Modest bathing suit with cover-up – We have a beach-day scheduled, and I am not sure I have a modest bathing suit. What classifies as ‘modest’ anyway? A one-piece? All mine are two-piece, but they are not itsy-bitsy…so do you all reckon that might be okay? anyway I packed a highly modest cover-up just in case
  10. Flip flops  – For the beach and shower
  11. A pair of sneakers – Will double up for clinic use and workout
  12. Regular flats – For church or lounging

I can feel you snickering at me for try to fit all these into a carry-on, but try I definitely shall. Lastly, my mission trip items that I will be taking with me are:

  1. 6 adult multivitamins (300 count bottles)
  2. 6 chewable children’s multivitamins (300 count bottles)
  3. A big bag of suckers for the kids at the clinic
  4. A book of stickers for the kids at the clinic
  5. 2 large bags of Carnation Powdered milk
  6. Oral syringes for the kids (100)
  7. OTC terbinafine antifungal cream (30 count)
  8. Saline sprays (50 count)

The team I am going with are responsible for bringing the prescription drugs, so I decided to some cover the OTC items. These were the items that were specifically requested (except the suckers and stickers – I just threw them in there for good measure). And all the above are courtesy of my amazing donors and friends (May God bless them all so much). They have been super supportive so far, both financially and emotionally and I more than grateful for them!

Check out my donation page and please feel free to drop a little something if you so wish! Thanks in advance 🙂

So what do you guys think about my packing list? Have I left anything important out? Are some items unnecessary? Don’t forget to follow/subscribe so you don’t miss more of my Haiti Diaries.