You may recall that quite a few months ago I responded to a writing prompt from Velvet Ashes. Today, I am responding to another one. The prompt for today is the following: Make a packing list of items that people should bring when moving to your area of the world.
So, since I live and work in the Highlands of Guatemala, I'm tasked with making a packing list, and here it goes.
1. Underwear. Gotta start somewhere. Might as well start with practical stuff. While underwear can be bought here, it's not as good of quality. Neither are...
2. Shoes. You'll want at least one pair of good tennis shoes. The shoes here aren't as good of quality as shoes from the US, and if you wear much larger than a 9.5, you probably won't find anything in your size even if you shop in the men's section. Most of the time you'll wear sandals; make sure it's a comfortable pair, preferably one that straps to your feet.
3. A Heavy Jacket (and a light one). Depending on how high into the Highlands you're going, you'll probably want a heavy jacket, something waterproofish with a warm lining to it.
4. Ziplock baggies. They'll come in useful and they aren't readily available here. Just trust me on this one.
5. Tupperware. These will help to keep bugs out of your food. (Doesn't have to be name brand stuff, but I figure you know what I mean this way.)
6. A Dual-SIM phone. There are three phone companies in Guatemala. They vary from low-service/low-cost to wide-service/high-cost. A Dual-SIM phone will help you get the best of two services. (If you get a Triple-SIM phone, you'll never have to make decisions ever again, but it would be overkill.)
7. Laptop (and relevant electronics). Electronics tend to be better quality in the US and are about the same price.
8. Power Strip. Many places will only have 1 outlet per room. There will be times that you need more.
9. Extension Cord. Sometimes that one outlet won't be where you need it to be.
10. Pressure Cooker. Not easy to find and important for high-altitude cooking.
11. Three-hole Punch. They sell 3-ring binders here, but I haven't found any 3-hole punches. Useful for organizing.
Obviously this list will vary depending on the needs of the missionary. There are other things that a person may not be able to get here, but it depends on the individual. If you are planning a long-term commitment to Guatemala, feel free to ask about any specific items you may feel necessary for your personal life or your mission work.