So, I had big plans to do my first video 10 on Tuesday today. It’s now nearly 8:00 and it’s obvious that it isn’t going to happen. I leave for Haiti this weekend. To say that my “to-do” list is long would be an understatement. I had actually even thought about doing the video tomorrow. But I’m on a real roll here, having not missed a Tuesday since I started this blog series. So, you’ll just have to wait for my first ever video post.
In the spirit of everything Haiti that has been going on around here lately, this weeks 10 is a list of 10 things that I would never go on a mission trip without. If I forget any of these things when I leave this weekend I won’t die. But I’ll be super bummed that I don’t have them.
1. Water bottle. There’s no running out to the nearest convenient store if you forget a little something. And of course, when traveling and working outside a lot you can tend to get a bit dehydrated. I’m hopeful that someone will come out with a powdered packet of Diet Pepsi that I can add to my water bottle someday. Until then, it’ll just be plain old H2O for me.
2. Sunscreen. When I went to Haiti last April I took sunscreen and didn’t use it. Even though everyone had told me that the sun was extra hot there. I was all, “I tan easily. I’m good.” After the first day working in the sun I went home to find that any area that wasn’t covered by clothing was burned. Fried a bit actually. Actually, I did tan in the areas like my arms and legs that were exposed more frequently to the light of day, my ears and neck were really bad. I’d had my hair in a pony tail so they were exposed and man did they hurt. I learned my lesson and wore sunscreen after that.
3. Giraffe pillow. You know those horse shoe shaped travel pillows? I have one. It’s super duper soft and is a giraffe pillow. I love it. When I was little and traveled between my Mom and Dad’s homes in Oklahoma and Colorado I always took my pillow with me. Like, my real bed pillow. I had to have it to sleep. As an adult, if I can get away with doing that I do. But there’s something about an adult woman walking around carrying a pillow that isn’t quite the same as a child doing it. So I downgraded to the giraffe and if I end up in a bed with a cruddy pillow I can usually make giraffe work for me. My friend Shelby has a pillow too. His name is Bucky. I’m betting he’ll be on our trip again.
4. Ear plugs. I used to always make fun of my father-in-law because he snores. Now…I do. Ugh. I hate that, but I do. I don’t think I do it every single night but I know it happens. So as a snoree, you’d think I would be a little more lenient with other snorers. I’m not. If someone falls asleep before me and starts snoring there is NO way I’m getting to sleep. Hence, the ear plugs.
5. Towel. Ok, last year I took one beach towel with me to use after showers. It was suggested that we just take one or two and reuse them which I was ok with. However, as I packed up my bag it was apparent that not everything was going to fit and thinking one would be plenty the other one got left behind. After my first shower in Haiti I hung my towel over a doorknob in our room to dry. After we’d gone to work the next day I came back to find that my towel was gone. The ladies doing our laundry had taken our dirty clothes and I assumed that’s where it had gone. I watched the clothes line every single day and that towel never showed up again. This year, I’m taking two towels.
6. Snacks. Like I said, there is no nearby convenient store to run to. However, my friend Shelby is almost as good as the local Quick Trip. We tried a lot of different foods in Haiti but there were a lot of what I would call “unidentifiables”. If I don’t know what it is, and no one can tell me, I generally am not willing to try it. So we would often have breakfast downstairs and then go to our room for what we called “second breakfast”. Pop Tarts, granola bars, M&M’s, etc. Between the few things I tok as snacks and Shelby’s “store” we were pretty much set. This year will be no different.
7. Medicine. Two days before we leave, we will all start taking a medication called Malarone to prevent malaria while we are there. We also have prescriptions for antibiotics to take in case we get…um…tummy issues. Those two medications are a must to have but I will have some other goodies too. Things like Dramamine because if you are prone to car sickness then there’s pretty much a 100% chance it’ll happen in Haiti. The streets are just a wee bit bumpy. Also, Treximet. Cause I’m sure that getting a migraine while in Haiti and not having medication would render me useless the rest of the trip.
8. Bracelets. Last year before I left I bought some inexpensive bracelets at Wal-Mart. Just the colorful braided embroidery floss kind. I chose 4 different patterns and bought 2 of each of them. I kept one and I gave each of my kids one. When I gave them to the kids I told them that I would be wearing their bracelet while I was gone and when I looked at it I would think of them and pray for them back home in Oklahoma. It gave us both something tangible to remember to pray for each other while we were apart. Totally doing this again.
9. Toilet Paper. Um. There wasn’t a bathroom at the orphanage where we worked every day. Actually, there was but there was no door. None of our group were brave enough to try it. So just in case, it’s always a good idea to have some tp on hand. Just sayin’.
10. Frog. This guy didn’t make it on the last trip. Last time we had a Dora doll. Shelby had brought it along as a donation to the orphanage but it never made it there. She sort of became our little mascot. We took a few pictures of her in different locations. And we hoped that she would make it on our trip each time we went back. Sadly, Dora feel victim to one of Shelby’s pups after we returned back home. I looked for another Dora to replace her but couldn’t find one. So Teagan offered up a froggy Webkinz. Gonna have a lot of shots along the way with Mr. Froggy in them.
So tell me, what items are a must for you when you travel?
Also, remember that “to do” list I mentioned earlier? I’m probably going to regret this but I’m not proof reading this post. I gotta get back to work!