Packing List

At some point in the next month or so, I will try and update this, as well as create a list of the things I would struggle without, for the MAK-18s who will be arriving in September. We, here in Macedonia, have received word that there are already some of you out there. Congratulations! You are in for quite the adventure. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Here is my tentative packing list- based off of what is listed in the Macedonia Welcome Book, what one of the current volunteers posted as suggestions, and of course my own thoughts! I know this will be an ever-changing list.

Top 10 Must Haves
  1. A really warm sleeping bag- I would be a popsicle without it. The volunteers who didn't bring them, wish they had and some who brought them haven't used them, but its been my saving grace. Yes, there may be some PCVs who are COSing who will sell theirs, but if its like this year, its only been 2 or 3. It is great in your house when you don't want to pay for heat, but also when you visit other PCVs and without a doubt will be sleeping on the floor a lot.
  2. Wool Socks- Whether they be SmartWool or something else, I think every MAK-16 wished they had more pairs.
  3. Deodorant- They do have it here, but I have found the quality to be sub par.
  4. Long Underwear- My first winter was an extreme with the Balkan Freeze going on, however, next year could be too! Better to come prepared with long underwear and leggings.
  5. Slippers- You can buy them here, but the quality isn't great. The floors of houses are freezing cold.
  6. External Hard Drive- You know you want to participate in the Macedonian past time of illegally downloading and the PCV past time of getting hooked on TV Shows you never would have watched in the US.
  7. Measuring Cups/Spoons- Before moving to site, Peace Corps gives you a pretty cookbook, however many of the recipes use American measurements, so unless you are a skilled/adventurous cook, its helpful to have the exact measurements at least the first few times.
  8. Favourite American Food Item- For me, it was peanut butter. A lot of food things can be found here, however, often only in the larger cities and its not the same. With peanut butter, you can find it here some places, but the Greeks just dont do peanut butter like Americans. I would also recommend that as hard as it might be, hide it from yourself during PST and save it for when you are alone at site and needing a little taste of home.
  9. My quick dry towels from REI have really come in handy. I didn't originally buy any thinking I could easily find towels over here. Well, you can easily find towels over here, however, having to hand wash my clothes, my towels didn't really ever feel clean. I ordered two and had them mailed over and they have been life savers. While they don't dry quite as well, they are a breeze to hand wash and it is really nice to be able to bring a towel when I travel, even if its just in country to another PCV's house.
  10. A backpacking backpack- Again, I didn't bring one with me, but found early on that it would be nice to have a mid-sized bag for traveling for a few days, whether it be out of country or to the in-country week long trainings or summer camps. I was lucky enough to be able to order one (again great deals on REI) and have a friend's mother bring it over when she came to visit. However, I would save the hassle and come with a nice one already.

Clothing- your clothes will get worn here, especially if you have to hand wash. Bring things that you are ok if they never make their way back to America- you can also pick up free clothes from other PCVs in the Peace Corps Office
3 pairs of Jeans (if you like zippers, glitter, tears, you can find them here)
2 pairs of Long Underwear/Tights/Leggings (I would recommend more- I had another 3-4 pairs mailed, although you can buy them here)
12 pairs of Socks (Socks are dirt cheap here (5 pairs for $2.25, however they aren't great quality. I am sure you can find some nicer quality ones, but warm wool socks are tricky. I came with a couple pairs and had several more mailed over)
2 pairs of Capris
1 Hooded Sweatshirt
2 Sweaters
4 pairs of Dress Pants 
3 pairs of Athletic Shorts 
2 pairs of Bermuda Shorts
2 pairs of Regular Shorts
1 pair Sweatpants
3 Dress Shirts
10 T-Shirts
1 Swimsuit
4 Sun Dresses
2 Knee length Skirts
4 Cardigans (I wear my black one to school at least twice a week during the cold weather)
2 Hats
3 Scarves
2 pairs of Gloves
Winter Coat
Rain Jacket
*Here I bought: 1 black cardigan, 6-7 turtlenecks (women will cover their necks all winter and you will be questioned if you don't) all quite cheap, both in price and quality, but I only need them for two years.

Shoes- Women's Size 10 and higher are tricky to find here. If you have anything larger than a 9, bring a few more pairs.
3 pairs TOMS
Snow Boots (If you have them, they may come in handy)
Slippers (You will want to wear them in your house- but you can also buy cheap ones here)
Tennis Shoes
Casual Shoes
3 pairs of Teva Flip flops

Laptop (Essential in my opinion)
External Hard Drive (Great for backing up your computer, but also for storing your many movies)
Flash Drive (Helpful for printing documents at the print shops)
Air Port Express Router (I still don't have internet so I haven't used it, but other volunteers had to buy a router from their internet companies)
iPod Touch
Digital Camera and Memory Cards
3 pairs Headphones

Household/Personal Items
Macedonia Travel Guide *There are quite a few copies floating around here, so if you want to save money and space, there is a good chance you can pick one up free at the Peace Corps Office
Gerber Multitool
Measuring Spoons
Penzey's Spices
Burt's Bees Chapstick
Mini Sewing Kit
2 Water Bottles
Surge Protector (brought one, but haven't ever used it)

School Supplies (The index cards have come in handy as have stickers and small prizes, but not much else was worth bringing. The clear contact paper has been GREAT for making things at school more permanent)
Markers- widely available here- not Crayola quality, but you can buy them here
Sharpies- have here, not in a rainbow of colours, but black and blue
Index Cards
Glue - have here
Children’s Books
Clear Contact Paper
Monthly Planners
Mechanical Pencils- tons of pencils here, not mechanical, but pencils none the less
Red Ink Pens- we were told they were hard to find here- they aren't. They are everywhere.
Scotch Tape- available here
Embroidery Floss