Rechargeable reading light–this Lumino light is by far the best thing I brought!

Lumino LightUnfortunately I lost the charging cord recently, and it is now too dim to use. I ordered another one and it is coming soon!

In the meantime I found a little lamp here that works well on my bedside table. I have to sort of aim it properly and position my book just right inside the mosquito net, and I can read in bed–one of the joys in life, in my opinion.


Small pen-light torches–brought 12! good job. I always have one clipped to my right front pocket, along with my pen, and I use it multiple times a day–in the clinic, but also in the cookhouse or to see into dark corners or to guide my way when I walk in the dark.

Keen sandals–brought three pairs. Should have brought a few more pairs of SmartWool footie socks–I don’t know what they are really called, but the ones that just fit around the moccasin line of your foot and make plastic sandals more comfortable.

Yubi power adapter and surge protector–mine has two 2 USB ports and a socket for a grounded plug. This is incredibly useful, and I could have used 2 of them here.

Yubi surge protector

Brought my unlocked old i-phone and it works great. I just buy another sim card if I go to another country for more than a day or two.

Goal zero solar charger and storage unit–was a good idea but only worked part of the time, and then I could no longer charge phone from it. Not quite sure what the issue is, but the storage unit is a very good flashlight, so it’s all good.

Goal Zero

Dental floss-should have brought more. Bring one package per month. Toothbrushes are available, but they seem to all be hard, or at best medium. No soft ones. I brought my electric toothbrush but it refuses to charge so I could only use it for a few days. Same thing happened in Sierra Leone, so don’t bother.

DEET- containing insect repellent. One needs plenty, and it is not available here in rural Kenya.

Permethrin impregnated shirts. Next time, bring the pants, too. I spray mine periodically, but having the ones that last for 72 washes would have gotten me through the whole year.

Things I should have brought:

Mobile hotspot with sim card, removable. I was given one after arriving, but it really is a lifesaver here.


A fan–paper or plastic, non electric. I don’t know why, but they are not seen here often. I bought one in Sierra Leone from a woman at the craft market. She wasn’t selling it–it was her own!

More discreet panties–not thongs. Everyone hear wears long knit shorts (omg they look hot, but at least keep your thighs from sticking together) under their skirts, and of course all clothes are used–matumba!

Solar-recharging lights/torches. But you can buy some here. Batteries are a pain in the neck.

Shampoo-hard to get good quality. I’m keeping my hair short so two bottles should be enough.

Prepare computer ahead of time-load software, movies, books or music. You pay by the minute to download anything here, so all those Amazon Prime or Netflix videos are being paid for twice. Mostly I do without, but it was really painful to fly across the continent with nothing to watch, and only one book.

Bring some thumb drives for work.

Computer should have had Bluetooth, and/or better sound. I bought (later) a nice Bluetooth speaker, but my computer doesn’t connect! Oh, well, I use it with my iPad.

Parmesan cheese, bacon bits, decaffeinated tea and coffee–any little things which keep and that you really like. You cannot get good cheese here, though we have finally found real butter. Don’t bother with bringing crackers unless you are okay with eating them all in the first week or two–I really miss them but they get stale so fast, even if the package is unopened.

I’m sure there are many more things I should note down, but maybe there will be a Part 2 to this blog!Lumino Light


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