Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Packing List for Adopting in Uganda

Ok, get ready for crazy overkill. But folks, I'm responsible for packing to get five people to Uganda, pick up two more, stay for five weeks in a guest house (please read: not a hotel) and then get seven people home again.
I am assuming that we will each be able to check a 50 lb. bag, so when we begin packing, some of this may, unfortunately have to go to make our 250 lb. limit. We'll just have to see.
So this list is only what's going into our checked baggage. Carry-on lists will come later.
Here goes...

clothes: 7-10 outfits, pjs, undies, socks for each seven family members
The girls and I will all bring our longer skirts. We'll be sure to pack a dressier outfit for everyone for court and church.

shoes: rain boots for each member of the family, including these new beauties for me (my old ones have a leak! It's no fun to step through a puddle in your rain boots only to find that your socks are soaked!)
sandals, closed-toed shoes and flip flops for each member of the family
(I've heard flip flops are a good idea for the shower)

other accessories: 5 or 6 sets of earrings for me, an extra set of earrings for each of the girls,  a couple of necklaces for me (these can double as dressups for the the youngest), 3 or 4 bows for the youngest and a pack of hair bands, sunglasses all around

medical kit (I'll do a separate post on this soon): all the basics, plus tape and bandaging, nausea medicine, anti-itch cream and malarone pills--1/2 for each kid per day and 1 for each adult per day, sunscreen and bug spray, both these travel kinds and a larger bottle

electronics: We'll bring our iPad, our kindle, headphones, our phones and the kids' three little ipod shuffles and the hubby's computer on the plane. In the luggage we'll have:

This little device (2 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches) holds enough power to fully charge a dead iPad or fully charge several iPhones. This will be perfect to keep ready for those times when the power goes out in Uganda and we need to charge our devices.

bathroom items: It's a little bit nuts how much a family of five and then seven is going to need to survive live normally in a foreign country. Here's a list of what I've gathered and will take with us for bathroom stuff:

3in1 shampoo-conditioner-body soap for the boys (the boy uses Suave Men's so that it doesn't smell girly)
Separate shampoo, conditioner and body wash for the girls. (Believe me, you do NOT want to brush their hair after they try to use the 3in1 stuff!)
Separate shampoo, conditioner and body wash for me.
Shampoo-conditioner for the hubby, body wash for the hubby
Shaving gel and razor for the hubby
Shaving gel and razor for me
fingernail clippers, emery boards, tweezers
Castor oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar for my face wash, toner, and moisturizer (guess I should do a post on those odd bathroom items sometime soon too.) FYI I'm planning on putting those in 16 oz. bottles like these:

pantiliners, a few pads and softcups for monthly needs. Softcups are a 12-hour alternative to tampons. They are cheaper, more comfortable and easier to pack. Win!

toothpaste (3 mostly full large tubes in checked baggage, a couple of small tubes in carry-on)
toothbrushes all around 
makeup for me--I bought new everything so that I can pack it ahead of time and continue using my current makeup right up until the morning we leave (base, powder, eye shadow, liner, mascara,) lip gloss and a compact will go in my carry-on
lotion--besides the coconut oil, I bought a medium sized bottle of Eucerin (my favorite) for the checked baggage and a smaller tube for the carry on
my favorite lip balm, Blistex Lip Medex (can also double as a breathing help for stuffy noses)
large bottle of contact solution--small bottle of contact solution and contacts case and glasses for hubby will go in carry-on
several brushes
small international hair dryer
hair gel and curling spray for me---I had considered just going natural and not bringing any hair care products, but we're going to be there for a long time and I think the added weight will be worth feeling put together once in a while.
foaming hand soap
the oldest's face soap and moisturizer
10 wash rags
3 hand towels

toys and games: besides the leftovers from the little bits of fun stuff in the carry-ons (clay, memory card game, wikki stix, magnetic pattern blocks, crayons, colored pencils, etc) here is the list:
Matchbox cars (about 10)
Container of legos
Container of polly pockets
large thin sheets of paper
foam stickers
scissors and glue
painter's tape (the possibilities are nearly endless!)
white paper bags--These can be made into puppets, presents, houses, trees, hats, purses, stuffed animals...
(Shh! Don't tell the kids!) A sweet friend donated several playmobil sets for our travels. My kids have never played with these, but with the way they are obsessing over lego figures right now, I know they're going to love them!
All of these toys will be left either at the orphanage or at the guest house when we come home.

for the orphanage: coloring books and crayons for each of the kids
pillow case dresses (thanks mom!) for each girl
shorts and tees for each boy
toothbrushes for each kid
bars of soap

trash bags
tiny broom and dust pan
hand sanitizer
hand sanitizer wipes

clorox sanitizing spray
{you might be able to tell that friends have warned us that the smell is sometimes disconcerting--not just of the place, but of yourself!}
small gifts for our lawyer, social worker, director of orphanage and wife, nannies, cook and wife, driver, etc.

For snacking items, we are bringing 
individually packed nuts
crunchy granola bars
popcorn, Kellog's fruit snacks
fruit leather
travel packs of peanut butter
All of these snacks (besides the almonds, craisins and popcorn) are packed in 5 weekly bags so that we don't go through our snacks too quickly. Each person in the family can have at least one of each thing per week. 

I know there's more, but this is the list so far and for now. 
Happy packing!

1 comment:

  1. you should be able to each check 2 fifty pound bags. Sounds like good news for you! :) Uganda (especially in Kampala) does have a LOT of first world stuff available. Looking at your list, if you do end up running out of space, the first things I would drop would be boots (rainy season will be wrapping up by the time you get here...it might be a little wet, but not too bad...generally november starts to dry up and december is pretty much completely dry) shampoo and conditioner all around (they have lots of variety here both for kids and adults), toothpaste (again...colgate, aquafresh...it's all here) and snacks. (I'd bring some chocolate stuff for comfort, but they have a lot of snack food available) Kampala has several American-like grocery stores....they even have a store called "Game" that is owned by Walmart! :) And guest houses generally are very very nice...we love them so much more than hotels! I'm sure you will be "very fine" as the Ugandans say! :)