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.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Some Questions...

1. What type and brand of sleeping pad would you recommend? $100 seems to be a standard price for Therm-a-Rest. That is a lot of money, so is it worth it?

The brand of sleeping pad isn't too important but it is a very useful item to have. We got the store brand ones from REI and they were cheaper than Therm-a-Rest ones but work just as well. The self inflating types are more comfortable than just the foam pads. Also the smaller the pad the easier it will be to carry on buses which means you will be more inclined to use it.

2. What type and brand of a solar shower would you recommend?

We have a 5 gallon one from Wal-Mart and it holds enough water for both of us to shower and has lasted 2 years with moderate use. For a single volunteer you might want a smaller one because it will be easier to fill and hang. I don't really think brand matters too much as long as it looks sturdy.

3. How formal is "business casual"? Is a nice skirt and top okay, or should it be business suits?

Lots of Jamaican women wear suits to work so you wouldn't look out of place wearing one, but most volunteers don't and wear a blouse (button-down shirt) and skirt or slacks. It is pretty easy to have a suit made in Jamaica once you are here if that is what your agency requires.

4. What kind of work shoes do you recommend that will look nice enough but be comfortable? Must they really be closed toe?

The shoes don't have to be closed toe, but they shouldn't be flip flops or Teva/Chaco type sandals. I have found a few pairs from Naturalizer that have worked well.

- Kaelyn


At Wednesday, June 27, 2007 5:39:00 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Thank you so much for your advice. One more question... Do you recommend bringing your own mosquito net?

At Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:16:00 AM, Blogger Shane and Kaelyn said...

Peace Corps will supply you with a mosquito net so no need to bring your own.


At Thursday, June 28, 2007 11:28:00 PM, Blogger Keith McDorman said...

what are your thoughts about facial hair? i'm used to not really paying much attention to it, should i expect that to change? do you find yourself shaving often or would growing a beard be a possibility?

At Thursday, June 28, 2007 11:29:00 PM, Blogger Keith McDorman said...

how often would you say i would have to shave as a male volunteer? is it an option to grow a beard? or should i be prepared to be shaving more often than i am now (which is not very often)?

At Friday, June 29, 2007 11:46:00 AM, Blogger Shane and Kaelyn said...

Lots of male PCVs in Jamaica grow beards. People will already think you are strange so if you grow a beard they will just think that is a normal American thing to do.



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