Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More Packing Preparations for Ukraine

Since preparing and packing for Ukraine is just about the only thing that I do these days, I've been corresponding with Laura Ruth Ward. Laura Ruth is one of the current PCVs serving in Ukraine and she has been immensely valuable with her advice on what to pack and what not to pack. My packing list is largely based off of hers, which you can check out on her blog here. Her blog is a wealth of information and insights, I definitely recommend reading through it!

Here is a list of things that were on the "maybe" list, that I've decided to bring to Ukraine:

1. Tacky Christmas sweater. I've decided to definitely bring my homemade tacky Christmas sweater, mostly because its awesome and I know I will definitely wear it around the holiday season. I might plan a holiday party for the PCVs in Ukraine if people are interested, which will have to include tacky sweaters and classic christmas song karaoke. And in case you are wondering, I did not make the santa hat headband but it was super cheap at Target.


2. Laptop lock. I bought a laptop lock before my freshman year of college, mostly because I heard stories of laptops getting stolen in the dorms. I stopped using my laptop lock after like the first month of school, and luckily no one ever stole my laptop. Good thing I left the combination on the lock, otherwise re-setting that would have been interesting. Hopefully I will not experience any break-ins while I live by myself in my own flat or dorm. 

3. Ziplock baggies. I read this on one of the recommended packing lists, but I've forgotten what people use them for in Ukraine. But I went ahead and bought some sandwich and gallon sized bags anyways. My mom asked if I wanted to bring Tupperware as well, but I figure that stuff should be cheap so I can just buy it there if I need it. 

4. Swiss Army pocketknife. I don't have one of these yet, but I need to go find one somewhere since I heard they tend to come in handy. I have a little mini keychain pocket knife that I am also going to bring. I haven't had that on my keys since they upped security at airports.

5. Rain boots. I was debating whether or not to bring these since they are heavy and I usually wear my Chaco sandals when it rains, but I'd rather have them just in case it rains a lot in the fall (too cold to get away with the Chacos). And my rain boots are cute, I like them... they go well with my obnoxiously bright green rain jacket, which I've dubbed the "Giant Lime." Here is a photo of me in the Giant Lime and rain boots, from when it miraculously snowed in Atlanta last January.


















6. Speedo swim backpack. I was deciding whether to bring my North Face school backpack, or my swim backpack. My swim backpack is larger than my North Face one, though its less waterproof (the waterproof coating on the North Face backpack has successfully saved my laptop from getting wet on rainy days). I've been advised that teachers do not typically wear backpacks to school, so I am going to bring my swim backpack for weekend trips and a canvas tote bag for school stuff and grocery shopping. 

7. Fleece blanket. Although I'm already bringing a sleeping bag, I'd still like to bring along my fleece blanket if I have space in my suitcases. I brought this little blanket to Singapore and China last summer, and I was really glad that I did because my blanket reminds me of home. And the blanket fit just right on my twin bed. I have no idea what bed sizes are like in Europe, but I think its safe to assume that I will probably have a twin bed (or maybe a full if I'm lucky). Here is a photo of Annie, me, Michelle and JQ while we were working on a group project. I know this picture doesn't show much of my blanket (its cream colored and it has teddy bears on it), but this picture is more exciting than one of just my blanket on the bed.




8. Bathrobe. My bathrobe is light blue and fluffy, I bought it from the sale rack at American Eagle back when I worked there as a sales associate. I really liked having it while I lived in dorms my first two years on college, since I shared a bathroom and the bathrobe came in handy when I had to walk back to my room after taking a shower. So if I still have space in my luggage, I'm going to stuff my bathrobe in there. Maybe I'll look for one of those vacuum-pack ziplock bags to smush it down into.

9. Cuter clothes and shoes. I've been advised that Ukrainians are definitely fashion-conscious and their notion of dressing professionally is a little dressier than ours, so women wear a lot of dresses, skirts, and blouses, rather than business dresses and skirts.Therefore I think I'm going to reduce the number of business casual button up blouses that I'm bringing and replace them with more casual (and comfortable) tops. And since the women love wearing boots, I'm definitely bringing the only pair of black boots that I own. This is me and my friend Hanna wearing our sweaterdresses and boots from last winter. Disclaimer~I don't actually own a sweaterdress, I borrowed one from Hanna :-)


10. Mesh clothes. Anything mesh goes.... just kidding, I didn't have a #10 in my list but wanted to make it an even number so I am writing about mesh clothes. Apparently mesh shirts are in style for men during the summer and women will wear mesh shirts with kinda fancy bras and that's a dressy outfit. I don't currently own any mesh clothes, so I guess I'll just have to pick up a mesh shirt in Ukraine (we will see if they're decently appropriate or just funny to have).

Image courtesy of a Google Image search for "mesh shirts".

3 comments:

Sasha said...

You're coming to mesh capital, buy it here!

Michael Larrick said...

I'm actually half-Ukrainian, but I know nothing about Ukraine, nor do most people. They usually say "that's kind of like Russia, right?"

Boston said...

I'm so excited I discovered your blog!! (Found you on 20sb.) I just got my medical clearance from the Peace Corps and I'm waiting very impatiently for my invitation! It'll be somewhere in Africa... and hopefully very soon! Good luck in Ukraine, I'll be following your stories!

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