Packing Take Two

31 Jul

A new group of health volunteers arrives in just two weeks which means that I have been in the Dominican Republic for almost a year. What?

One of the newbies recently reached out to me asking for packing advice, which is completely warranted. In our Peace Corps orientation packet, we receive very vague packing instructions that mostly encourage us to dress in conservative business-casual clothes. So, here is what I think about my packing list from a year ago…

Things I’m glad I brought in country:

  • Hard drive—trust me. You will want all of the movies and TV shows your hard drive will hold!
  • Food staples—spices, coconut oil, hot sauce and almond butter
  • Nice knives
  • Set of double sheets
  • Headlamp
  • Hammock
  • Lots of pictures to hang on my walls
  • Map of the world and the United States
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Canvas reusable bags
  • Also, I’m really glad that I packed all of my stuff in Tupperware and dry bags—great for organizing!

Things I’m glad I’ve accumulated since being in country:

  • Ipad—much easier to travel with than my computer and wifi is (sometimes) easily available
  • Bag for weekend trips that holds a lot but won’t hit everyone on a guagua
  • New portable speakers—my awesome solar powered speaker broke a few months in L
  • Yoga mat
  • Knitting essentials
  • Seeds!
  • GRE study materials
  • French press

Things I could have done without:

  • Sleeping bag/sleeping pad—I only used my sleeping bag for about two months during the winter 

And finally, dos/don’ts for clothes…

  • Do pack cute clothes—the tighter, the brighter, the better.
  • Don’t pack a ton of business casual clothes—jeans = fancy.
  • Do pack a lot of sandals.
  • Don’t pack anything too revealing—Dominican women show it all off but (unfortunately) we have our reputations to uphold.
  • Do pack your favorite bathing suits—you are never more than a couple of hours from a beach!
  • Don’t pack anything you want to bring home after two years—inevitably, all of your clothes will be stained and have holes from barbed wire.

One Response to “Packing Take Two”


  1. All About Dominican Food | ardor and gray - March 3, 2015

    […] your “PCV Packing List” for the DR, you recommended that future PCVs bring basic cooking staples like spices, […]

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