My Peace Corps-Mali Packing List

After having spent some time here I remembered that I had kept a detailed list of everything I had packed for my trip here. I think one of the hardest things about packing is not knowing what kind of situation you’re going to be walking into. There are some people here who live in literal mud huts in the middle of nowhere without electricity or running water. I had packed thinking that I most likely would be having electricity. Below you’ll find everything I packed more or less. I hope it helps those of you who are getting ready to depart and for the rest of you it gives you an idea of what I have with me. Keep in mind that if you contact most companies they will offer some sort of discount for Peace Corps volunteers. I got my Chacos for half off.

1 internal frame backpack (Osprey backpacks are sweet)
1 rain jacket (Sierra Designs Hurricane)
1 messenger bag
1 pair of Chacos
1 pair of running shoes
2 pairs of jeans
3 pairs of khakis
2 pairs of khaki shorts
2 pairs of gym shorts
2 pairs of swim trunks
2 hats
10 pairs of boxers
10 pairs of socks
5 t-shirts
1 hoodie
2 towels
1 headlamp (Black Diamond)
1 LED flashlight
2 memory sticks
1 iPod nano (iPod nanos are better for Mali because there are no moving parts for the dust to mess with)
1 converter (2 prong European plug)
1 digital camera
10 rechargeable batteries/charger
1 GSM cell phone (you can buy phones in-country or just bring an unlocked GSM phone)
1 pair of speakers (iHome capsule speakers)
10 zip-lock bags
10 mechanical pencils/refills
10 zebra pens
5 composition books
1 swiss army knife
2 decks of playing cards
2 nalgene bottles
2 rolls of duct tape
5 packs of index cards
1 bottle of Shampoo/conditioner
1 Deodorant
10 razor/extra blades
1 body lotion
1 sunscreen
1 multivitamins
1 claritin
4 packs of wet wipes
2 nail clippers
1 heat rash powder
20 Knorr dry sauce mixes
1 gym bag
1 alarm clock
1 blanket
2 pillowcases
1 pair of good scissors
1 map of the US and 1 map of the world
1 french-english dictionary
1 calendar
1 mosquito tent (Tropic Screen II is larger than the REI Bug Hut 2 and I think the zipper is better too)

Stuff I wish I brought with me:
pillow (Malian pillows suck)
Nice pair of headphones (I like listening to music with a lot of bass and these iPod headphones just don’t cut it)


4 thoughts on “My Peace Corps-Mali Packing List

  1. I can kind of relate to you in the way that you want to do a lot of good, change things, have physical results when you finish your two years, but at the same time count the days left until you are back in the comfort of America. I feel that way about my co-op at J&J since I have one semester left at school to return to, although it’s probably not as meaningful as a tour in the Peace Corps.

    I’m sure you’ll do plenty, if anything become an advocate for leaving Africa the way it is.

  2. dave koh. i love your updates. this entry was very interesting.

    you didn’t take any photos?? or.. i guess you have them in digital formats?

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