Here are some things I couldn't live without here (or at least wouldn't have wanted to)!
- BAGS of water rather than bottles!
- My flashlight!
- Wet Ones (especially for dirty feet)
- Clearasil pre-moistened "Daily Cleans Acne Fighting Wipes) VERY refreshing and I don't have to worry about whether or not water is available)
- Hydrocortizone cream--has come in very useful for heat rash, infected bites, and other small skin infections
- Local cell phone--if you'll come more than once it's worth the $45 to buy a phone and add minutes inexpensively throughout your stay. Even if you're coming only once I think it would almost be worth it. Just gift it to a Ghanaian friend when you leave!
- My journal!
- baggies--sandwich, quart, and gallon sized (always a million uses)
- immodium and pepto (I take one a day to keep the "D" away but you'll also definitely want this if you DO get sick!)
- handkerchiefs--you can buy them for .30 each here, or bring them from home. You'll notice that many Ghanaians carry a hanky or rag to wipe the sweat away. This is a case where it definitely feels right to "do as the locals do!"
Things I haven't used but thought I would...
- baby carrier (I prefer the traditional carry-the-baby-on-your-back method here)
- books (one would have been enough)
- snacks (if I were staying in a hotel I probably would have used these more, but at Hands of Mercy I was fed so well I never needed my American fall backs!
- Baby food--babies are usually eating full table food by 9 months here (I'm told)
- germ x--my hands were so dirty that the germ x would have caused a goopy mess!
- make-up--it's useless here
- curling iron--I use the curling iron to straighten my hair, which is another useless practice here. It's so humid that my hair kinks and curls and does whatever it wants to no matter what I ask it to do!
Things I wish I would have brought:
- better bug repellant
- a battery operated fan (I know this sounds rediculous but I would have used it in a heartbeat during the nights when there was no electricity or moving air.
- more hankees for sweat (lost both of mine)
- books, bubbles, toys, craft things for the kids
- lap top (if I had one it would have been hice for writing journal entries and notes)