I decided to re-cap our packing list for those of you who are soon to travel and may want to know if I went overboard or not! lol Everything highlighted in blue are things we didn't use this time around. I did make notes as necessary to explain my thoughts on some of the items......So here goes:
*Clothing for Todd and I for 6-7 days...short sleeve shirts and long sleeve shirts to wear over them, 3-4 pairs of pants/jeans....I also included extras of everything
*2-3 pairs of shoes, flip flops for shower, dress shoes and hiking shoes
*larger size bag/purse--packing it in suitcase--to use while in Ethiopia to carry our "daily" things
This was a good amount of clothes for the amount of days we were there, I would pack this much again.
*Driver's license, flight tickets and itinerary, credit card
*passports....cash...immunization records Didn't need our immunization records but ya never know...
*adaptor to convert Ethiopia's electric to our voltage..need to charge batteries and for hair dryer etc.
*detergent and fabric softner...actually, I cheated and mixed them together!
*clothes line to hang things to dry in our room
*Amharic phrase book/printed out "most used words" translation
*Amharic learning audio on Mp3
*Camera/video camera...chargers and extra batteries...extra camera cards Only used an 8GB camera card and didn't need more...we took about 700-800 pics on that camera and 150 on our smaller camera
*duct tape....cut a small section of paper towel roll and wrapped some DT around it I would still bring this
*ALL KINDS of info printed out....from our agency, travel agency and things we wanted to remember
*list of phone numbers and email addresses
*laptop computer Didn't use, but if we stayed somewhere different we may have used it at the internet cafe
*small notebook...to record thoughts, info, and sizes/observations about other AAI family's children as requested by them...a pen...list of children to take pics of for their soon to be new parents!
*books/magazines to read Kind of like that Disney commercial.....I was too excited to read!! =)
*bubble wrap, in case we buy fragile things to bring back home
*flashlight...incase the power goes out No power outages at Kings while we were there....but it could happen
*extra garbage bags..dirty clothes etc.
*"Flite Mate" ear plugs....helps to reduce air pressure and prevent air travel nausea. These actually work pretty good =)
*two 35 gal. tubs filled with stuff for our agency's care center...clothing, crafts and sports equipment. My hubby says no more tubs! This is because they can easily get caught in customs and get delayed. The only one we brought back with us got delayed in Chicago and the GR airport had to deliver it to our house in the middle of the night......thankfully, it only had our dirty laundry....hope the inspectors had fun inspecting that! lol
*various things to take to the care center when we go every day to do with the kids....nail polish, slime, tattoos, silly bands etc. All were great ideas
*things to do with our little one....special art notebook and paint pens, photo album/video of kids back home She loved to color/draw and loved the photo album...wasn't too interested in the video but she had to watch it on that little video camera screen and you can't really see or hear it very well, especially with all the toddler chaos going on around you!
*allergy meds/asthma meds Needed every day!
*Ginko...helps with altitude and travel Took it every day!
*Pepto Bismol Didn't need but would take again anyway.
*Melatonin...to take the first couple of nights to help us sleep Wonderful!
*Airborne...powder and tablets...to ward off sickness
*Tums Didn't need
*Elderberry Syrup...immunity booster Yep...took it every day!
*Hydrocortisone cream Didn't need
*Benedryl cream Didn't need.
*antibacterial cream Gave to the Mother with the little boy that had a bad sore on his leg
*Bandaids Didn't need but would take again
*"Cell Power"...from the health food store....to help with altitude sickness LOVED this...took it twice every day and actually gave some to a friend that wasn't doing so well and it helped her so I'm sold! =) It was recommended to me by a mountain climber....and they should know! ;)
*Listerine....to swish with a couple times/day and swallow a bit to kill harmful bacteria Used this twice a day and especially after eating if we went back to the room afterwards!
*No-Jet-Lag....Homeopathic med Loved this too! We didn't get jet lag in either direction.....amazing!
*Acidophilus...healthy digestion, protects against germs Yep...twice a day and we started taking it a week before we left to go to Ethiopia.
*Dramamine.....for motion sickness Didn't need.
*T.P....many places in Ethiopia do not have it in their restrooms! Where we went, we didn't need it but I would still bring it especially if we were traveling out of the city.
*travel size kleenex
*tweezers Didn't need.
*barrette/hair ties etc.
*extra toothbrushes...incase we forget to brush with bottled water and we need to throw our TBr away Didn't need, we remembered to brush with only bottled water!
*travel toothbrushes...for airplane, the kind with TPaste already on them These came in very handy but it's not like using your real brush....I might would just carry my own toothbrush in my bag, not use toothpaste but brush really good and then chew a stick of gum.
*disposable face washing cloths
*clorox wipes to wipe EVERYTHING down, airline seats, hotel rooms, hands...
*nail clippers Used these for the girls that were painting their fingernails =)
We didn't get around to getting a prescription for Cipro this time around but we would definitely get one for our next trip! There were too many people getting THAT kind of sickness when we were there, it was scary to NOT have the meds for it! Better to be prepared!
*lots of protein bars
*fruit trail mix
*fruit and nut trail mix
*life savor peppermints
**We didn't pack a lot of snacks because we figured that food would pretty much be available wherever we may be
**We also didn't pack a lot of extra food like instant oatmeal, mac n cheese etc. like a lot of other families do because we are staying at a hotel and we don't feel that we will have a problem getting food to eat....we love Ethiopian food and there are also American type restaurants over there.
If we were going to stay at a guest house where you can prepare some of your own meals/snacks I might have brought the things directly above, but truthfully, Ethiopia has lots of different types of food to eat, not just Ethiopian, and it's pretty cheap to get a great meal. Plus most guest houses will cook you certain meals either for free or for a minimal charge. We had no problem finding something to eat when we were hungry.
Another thought. Two days after we got there, we noticed that others from our agency were getting sick. This was the "knock you off your feet for a day to a day and a half type, stay real close to the bathroom, if you know what I mean" sickness! =( Probably from the water or something they ate. Todd and I didn't get sick but we were very careful not to let any water even near our face in the shower! It's not just your mouth you need to worry about, it's any body opening...like your eyes etc..... Remember, bacteria are VERY small! I believe that between keeping the water away from our face and using the Listerine and other precautions, this helped us to avoid the evil "bathroom" sickness.