I just want to put this out there, I hate living out of a suitcase. Not having everything within easy reach is not my idea of fun. Having to unpack and then repack everything every time you need something is definitely not my idea of convenience. Last year I moved one month before I left for Liberia. I bought a whole new wardrobe and had it mostly packed for months before I left.
Well it goes to reason that most of my new wardrobe will not work for Jamaica. Mainly due to some cultural differences and the fact that I will be working outdoors on farm and environmental projects. Open toed sandals and ankle length dresses are not suitable, for obvious reasons. I have a few skirts and dresses I will take for other occasions, but overall I had to buy a whole new wardrobe. I will have a few dress slacks and jeans along with dresses with leggings, to cover my tattoos. I even had to buy those silly UV protectant arm covers just to make sure my tattoos were not visible. Hopefully when I am not “working” I will be able to go bare armed and bare legged, but I am prepared for the worst in that aspect.
Last time I took a ton of shoes, this time will be no different, but I have found a few pairs of lovely flats that I can roll up and stow away in a very small space. I do have to take along boots this time. Ugh, I hate the idea of wearing boots on a plane, but I am definitely not packing them. This time I also realize I will be living with a host family or families the entire time, so I have no need for my own kitchen stuff. I am still taking a hand coffee grinder and french press, just to be sure I have my coffee!
I know that mailing stuff will be less costly, so I will mail a care package ahead of time. I think a few books and some spices for my coffee are on my priority list. I also had plenty of time to get another external drive and upload all of my movies, just in case I have a movie night with my family. My Liberian family loved this, I imagine Jamaicans are similar in this love of movies. One thing I finally broke down and purchased was a kindle. I hate the idea of an e-book, but not having to mail and pack enough books to keep me entertained is the deciding factor on this unexpected turn of events.