If you’re heading off to volunteer overseas and getting ready to have a transforming experience then check out this short list of 10 things me and my team would suggest remembering (aside from the obvious items).
1. A decent water bottle, as big as possible. When we first arrived in-country our nearest supply of drinking water was 20 minutes away so those who lost their water bottles at the airport really struggled. You are likely to be out and about a lot and can’t guarantee access to water so a big bottle is a must!
2. A pack of cards, a football and some team games.
3. Bring sweets/teabags/foodstuff you’ll really miss. When you need it you’ll be so grateful you brought them.
4. Trainers and clothes to exercise in. If you’re a bit sporty then you might miss exercise more than you think.
5. Music and headphones. These are absolutely essential.
6. Face wipes. We’re currently experiencing water shortages; you won’t always be able to wash when you like so face wipes will soon become a trusty friend.
7. Travel speakers. You can get these for about £15 and are extremely useful, particularly for living and chilling with teammates, and for playing worship music in devotion times etc.
8. Don’t bring too much stuff. I’ve been here for two weeks and still haven’t had to wash any clothes! I wish I hadn’t brought so much stuff, particularly as transporting my many bags around and sharing a bedroom with an in-country volunteer can be a bit embarrassing.
9. A notebook and a journal so that you enough space to write down and record your experiences, significant moments and general thoughts.
10. And finally, bring an open mind and a sense of humour.