Tight Pants: Packing for Peace Corps Jamaica

Packing for Peace Corps is a tough job. How can you possibly decide what you will need for two years and fit it all into two bags, weighing under 80 pounds. We PCVs in Jamaica thought we would share our thoughts on what you can and can't live without. Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not express the views of Peace Corps, the US Government, or any other organizations named in these pages.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Countdown Questions

Here are some answers to the questions posted in a comment:

Do you need adapters for the electric outlets? Or are they like the US outlets?
You don't need adapters for most appliances, but a small surge protector would be a good idea. We use a surge protector with our laptop, but no adapter other than the one that comes with the computer. Electric clocks do not work, so bring a battery-powered one.

Regarding backpacks. Can you elaborate on the satchel instead of backpack? What is a satchel and where can you purchase one?
By satchel, we mean an over the shoulder bag with one strap, such as a messenger bag. Men often carry black ones.

During work hours, what is appropriate to wear? Long sleeve or short sleeve or both?
I would bring mostly short sleeve, because that is what most Volunteers where in school and office settings, but a few long sleeve are handy for important meetings or formal events. Some guys brought suits for these formal events, whereas I just wore a tie and long-sleeved shirt.

Is a money belt recommended?
I used a money pouch for the first couple months until I got comfortable traveling. Now I just disperse money into different pockets and my shoes while traveling. So that is a personal preference.

Should you bring an iron? They are just so heavy.
You don't need to bring an iron. Your host family will have one for you to use during training, and then you can buy one down here. Also, other Volunteers who are completing their service often give their irons away.

Also can you wear guayaberas to work? Do you suggest long sleeves or short?
I wore my guyabera shirt yesterday. They are good office wear for men. Bring a couple because then you do not have to tuck your shirt in and you can be cooler. I have only seen people in Jamaica wearing short sleeve guyabera shirts, which they call "bush jackets" down here.

- Shane


At Wednesday, June 21, 2006 6:36:00 PM, Anonymous Zack Bayne said...

I will start my Peace Corps Jamaica experience on July 8th as a community heatlh/ environmental advisor. Got one question related to packing needs. Do I need bedding of some sort (i.e. sheets, pillows)? They never mentioned that stuff in packing lists, but i figure I'll be sleeping in some sort of bed.
Your input would be invaluable.

Zack Bayne

Zack Bayne


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