We leave for Haiti in 4 days!
My mind is swirling with thoughts of anticipation and excitement! Our team has been preparing for Haiti the last 5 months, growing together in our understanding of poverty, the community we’ll be working in, and each other. If I were to narrow down all those swirling thoughts, my hope is this trip will be highly impactful for those we are serving and equally transformative within ourselves. Taking the right essentials should help us keep focused on our work, by staying healthy and safe!
So, what are we taking to Haiti?
A Life Straw in case we need water during an unplanned emergency. We’re traveling to Haiti in the middle of hurricane season and Haiti is located in the center of hurricane weather patterns. Hopefully we won’t need it, but we’ll have it just in case!
A small fan for the evenings in case there isn’t air conditioning. Located in the Caribbean, Haiti is extremely hot and humid in the summer. Although we’re told there will likely be air, I can’t reasonably expect such comforts, knowing just down the road there are people without even a bed or roof over their head. I’ll be more than fine with this handy fan. Plus, it’s a bonus, because it’s flat for easy packing and offers battery or AC adapter power!
A Nimbus bug net to shield from mosquitos at night. I’m uncertain whether it’s needed in the house we’ll be staying. But I already had it from a previous beach conservation trip in Costa Rica and I thought it may come in handy, especially if we don’t have AC to keep the bugs out!
Steri Pen and Nalgene Water Bottle: This device uses UV light to kill small bacteria in water. Just dip and swirl it in a clear water bottle for 30 seconds and you’ll have safe water to drink! I used this every day in Costa Rica and it works!
Health medications: The travel clinic recommended we take a kit including an antibiotic to kill bacteria and oral rehydration salts in case bacteria finds its way to us. DiaResQ is also recommended by travel health clinics as a drug-free, natural option to fight diarrhea. We’re taking an assortment of other over the counter medications in a first aid kit too, including Travelan to prevent sickness before it starts. I find Travelan to be particularly interesting - check it out!
Light and power: We’re taking small flashlights, a power strip with USB adapters and a solar powered power supply for phones. In case electricity isn’t accessible, this handy gadget allows for the user to power their phones through solar energy. Props to my hubby for finding this one!
We’re taking sunscreen and bug spray with at least 40% deet. We hope to prevent mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue Fever and Malaria. We’ll also be taking a Malaria prescription before and after the trip. Call me crazy, but I also sprayed some of our clothes with permethrin repellent spray. If you haven’t used it before, it works great!
We plan to wear a travel money belt each day to carry our passport and money. It has RFID blocking material too! Side note: This belt was recommended by Brian Webb, an expert in international travel safety and security, crisis management and survival training. Brian delivered a security training at our Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, GA and I was amazed at what we learned. It helped me realize how naive I was about protecting myself while traveling. I’d highly recommend his information to anyone who travels and thus want to share it with you! Check out Brian’s website to learn more about safety information and trainings for travel related to leisure, corporate, government, or missions. I wrote a story about his tips too: "Safety & Security Tips for Mission Travel".
We’re also taking work gloves, food for lunches and snacks, electrolyte powders, hand wipes, antibacterial soap, and quick dry towels.
Lastly, and most importantly, we’re taking a Bible and journal to help us share the Word and reflect on our experience. (I’m taking family/friends photos to show the kids we meet too!) This little journal will be chock full of stories to share with you when we return!
These are just a few tools that could be helpful in the instance you have mission travel in your future! Of course, there are many more normal items we’ll be taking (like clothes!). By the way, you won’t see me looking like a fashionista on this trip. Some of those we are helping may only have one outfit or less, so it’s my goal to minimize my clothes to a functional few pieces. You’ll see me in hiking boots and shorts most of the week!
Next stop, Haiti!
I can’t wait to share our experiences with you when we return!