Peace Corps Prep




I didn’t document this while going through the process and I’m going back filling in the pieces via email updates because I know some potential volunteers are interested but please forgive me if things are missing.

Started online Peace Corps Application: July 23, 2010
Online Peace Corps Application Submitted: September 28, 2010
Peace Corps Application Mailed: ???
Peace Corps Application Paperwork Received: October 22, 2010
Recruiter Interview: November 3, 2010
Nomination: November 10, 2010
Peace Corps Medical & Dental Forms Mailed: March 24, 2011
Peace Corps Invitation Mailed: October 25, 2011
Updated Dental Records Mailed: April 13, 2012
Staging: June 4, 2012 (Philly)
Departure: June 5, 2012 (Kenya)
Arrival in Kenya: June 6, 2012

Packing List

In the month before departure the most important question for a Peace Corps Trainee (PCT) is what to pack? I have read a dozen suggested packing lists found on blogs of other volunteers, engaged volunteers currently serving in my country, and of course PC sends a suggested packing list. My conclusion: Packing is for the individual take it all, even this, with a grain of salt. Don’t get me wrong there are some common necessities that you should absolutely bring…the rest is up to you to determine what will make you happy and comfortable.

How I’m getting it there:

*Note: I was warned against bringing roller bags, they seem to not handle the terrain well but this is an oldie and I won’t be heartbroken if it gets banged up.

  • North Face Terra 55 (Youth) (x2) – checked bags
  • North Face Amstrom 30
  • Small Roller Bag *

Peace Corps Requirements:

  • Peace Corps invitation kit and forms received at staging
  • Prescription glasses (x2)
  • 12 passport photos
  • Queen sheet set (x2)


Note: I didn’t bring a 3 month supply or everything  like recommended because I don’t have the space and I was advised that you can get a lot at the walmart like store in Kenya “Nakumatt”.

  • Dental care: toothpaste, toothbrushes (electric and manual), floss picks, Invisalign trays
  • Razors (cheap disposable and my venus with replacements)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wipes
  • Q-tips
  • Conditioner and hair oils
  • Lotion
  • Nail Clipper
  • Nail Polish
  • Make-up basics
  • Small scissors
  • Eye drops
  • Prescription medication
  • Sunblock
  • Bug repellent and bug bite treatment because it’s inevitable that I’ll get bit
  • Travel medical Kit
  • PC gives us a substantial medical kit but I also brought: band-aids, aleve and cough drops.
*Note: I purchased the Clements personal property insurance to cover my most important/valuable electronics $150/annually.
  • Dell laptop
  • Western Digital – My Passport 1TB External USB 3.0/2.0 Portable Hard Drive
  • Sony a33 DSLR camera and a couple lens
  • Sony Cybershot
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • USB Flash Drive 4Gb
  • Flashlight
  • Rechargeable AA batteries
  • Watch
  • X-mini portable speaker
  • Solar calculator
  • Outlet converter
  • Black Diamond Headlight
  • Anti-virus software


  • 4 kitchen knife set
  • 2 nalgene water bottles
  • Spices
  • Ziploc bags
  • Lighter


  • Light-medium jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Keen Newport H2 Sandal (black)
  • Teva Tirra Sandal (black)
  • Merrell Moab waterproof hiking boot
  • Clarks Ina Lovely Sandal (brown)
  • 1 pair of cute black and tan wedges
  • 1 pair of running shoes
  • 3 long skirts
  • 3 long dresses
  • 6 t-shirts
  • 1 button-up shirt (oops meant to buy more)
  • 25-30 pairs of undies
  • 3 sports bras
  • 5 bras
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 3 pairs of lounge pants
  • 5 pairs of leggings
  • 3 pairs of workout shorts
  • PJs
  • 15 pairs of socks (black tube and white ankle)
  • Swimsuit
  • 1 pair of cargo shorts
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 pairs of khakis
  • 3 slips


  • Kelty Cosmic 35 degrees Long (haha…I’m 5’0″ but it was on sale)
  • Thermarest Trail Lite Sleeping Pad
  • Queen sheets (2 sets)
  • Travel blanket
  • Pillow

Misc Items:

  • Duct tape
  • Crafts materials
  • 2 Kenyan books given to me by a friend
  • Power plug converter
  • Money belt
  • Pens/Pencils/Permanent markers
  • Towels
  • TSA approved luggage locks
  • Journal
  • Memorable items from loved ones (cards, books, etc)
  • Host family gifts
  • Small games: uno, dominoes, cards
  • Water pouch that goes in backpack
  • Solar shower
  • Sewing kit
  • Umbrella
  • CPSC approved bicylce helmet
  • Leatherman “wave” multi-tool

Pre-Departure Prediction for the unnecessary items I brought:

  • Money belt
  • Water pouch that goes in backpack


  1. Hey Teneasha, I’m curious to find out if you’re glad you brought your iPad. I have one and am wondering whether I should bring it with me in October. Good luck with training! :o)


    1. Hi Andrea!

      I’ve only been in country for a few days so I haven’t used it yet. PCVs seem to get through a hefty reading list, so I brought it with the main purpose of using it as an e-reader…also because my best friends bought it for me and its like having a piece of them here with me.

      Most volunteers I know are extremely glad they brought an e-reader…so my vote is that you bring it. 🙂


    1. Thanks for checking it out and congrats Kenya is AWESOME. If I were to make some amendments to my packing list: don’t bring a solar shower, bring clothes you like wearing (you’ll go out or on vacay and want to look nice), card games of all kinds are a hit, bring an extra iPod cord and earphones (you will undoubtedly leave them somewhere or break them). there’s no such thing as too much memory on an external hard drive I wish I had at least 2TBs, don’t over pack on toiletries or clothes you can get a bunch of stuff here.

      Can’t wait to meet ya. I hope your group is as awesome as mine.


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