February 23rd, 2009
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You have packed your bag, your child’s bag and your carry on bag. There are a few things that you may want to add to your packing. If you have traveled to a developing country before, you probably have an idea of what the bring. If you have not, you’ll just have to trust my advice!

First Aid Kit

You can make your own kit, find great ideas at
Adventure Medical Kits. It is easy to get carried away (take it from the nurse here! I had a LOT of first aid gear!)Here is a very basic list.

Band-Aids of all sizes
Antibiotic ointment
Butterfly bandages

Tweezers and nail clippers
Anti-itch cream
Acetaminophen (for fever)
Ibuprofen (fever, pain and altitude sickness)
Pep-to tablets (take before each meal, to prevent diarrhea)
Antacids (to help the heartburn from eating to much Kitfo!)
Anti-nausea pills (for plane and for altitude sickness)
Chap stick (high altitudes dry you out)
Latex-free gloves
Sun block
Bug repellant
A First Aid card
Multivitamins (keep your immune system in good shape)
Any Prescription medication you have to take.

*Remember to bring child dosages as well. If you are a first time parent, I would call the Doctor who will be seeing your child upon arriving home and get dosages based on weight. Medication bottle do not give dosage quidlines for kids under two.

Leaving the left over medications and supplies with your agency can help them and give you more packing room for Ethiopian handicrafts and such.

Toiletries and Various Sundries

Baby wipes, baby wipes and more baby wipes! You may go days without water for showering!

Diapers/pull ups. You may be told you child is toilet trained, but stress can cause regression and if you start treatment for parasites for them diarrhea often happens. Having extra diapers or pull ups and wipes will be great! If yoru child is under five years of age, I would bring a few pull ups for the plane ride.

Batteries and flash lights (a mag light with a Jack strap is great as it lets you have both hands free. You may go days without electricity!

Bleach wipes. Great for cleaning the miscellaneous toilets and tables. We had a roach problem at our guesthouse and my mother loved having bleach to rub down the counter tops in the morning.

A favorite guidebook or two. We used these ones:
Ethiopia:The Bradt Travel Guide (Paperback) by Philip Briggs
Ethiopian Amharic Phrasebook(Paperback)by Tilahun Kebede and Catherine Snow

Safety and Security

Have the name, phone number and address of clinics in Addis.

Have the name, phone number and address of the US Embassy. You can register your travel details and the embassy will know where you are if an emergency happens.

Invest in Travel Health Insurance. It is cheap and can literally save your life.

Buy a belt or pocket that you can hide under your clothes. You have to carry a lot of cash with you and you will want to have it close to you. Remember there are no ATM’s and only a handful of places take credit cards.

I always carry a small amount of cash and emergency numbers/addresses in my sock in case I’m robbed, I can have taxi money and can tell them where to take me. I have never had to use this in my travels thankfully, but I always feel a bit safer.

Your agency will probably have a lot of information for you. Read everything they give you as they will be your most valuble resource on this journey. Ask former clients about how supportive your agency is while in country. Do they take care of everything or are you basically on your own with some advice here and there? Don’t just take your agencies word, get feedback from people who have traveled recently.

Read here to learn more than you ever wanted to learn about travel!

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