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So, You’re Planning a Mission Trip

Things You Don’t Need to Learn From Experience

Early in your planning check area where you are going to find out:

If you need vaccinations or malaria pills
Current political situation
Cultural information

Prescriptions

Have your physician write a letter stating that he/she has prescribed the whatever you take with you, including supplements. Some supplements are not legal without a prescription in other countries. This way you are protected. Include malaria pills.

Get him/her to prescribe an antibiotic to take with you for dysentery.

Include:

Immodium
Laxative
Something to help you sleep
A pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol
Hemorrhoid cream and suppositories
Something for nausea

Advice for staying healthy

Water is your enemy; be sure things are dry.
Wipe utensils and dishes with antibacterial wipes.
Eat only cooked vegetables.
Drink only boiled, filtered or purchased water.
Drink only boiled milk.
Eat only fruit that can be peeled, and be careful that the peeling does not touch any other food. Clean your hands after handling.

Be sure to take:

Toilet Paper 3 or 4 rolls-most places do not use TP, you’ll want some
Double bed sheet
Towel & 2 washcloths
Insect spray
Flashlight
Lights that click on and off and use 3 AAA batteries called Stick and Click.
Small amount of detergent for hand-washing articles
Small clothes line & clothes pins
Handkerchief to carry or use as a washcloth while traveling
Water bottle
Batteries for whatever you take
Adapter for electricity and appropriate plugs
Antibacterial wipes – critical to wipe hands, dishes, flatware, etc.
Extra camera battery
Water heaters for coffee or tea
Cups - use for hot drinks & cold and teeth brushing
Coffee, tea, herb tea

Carrying Money and Passport:

We found using an ATM with the Visa Debit Card to be the best way to get the appropriate currency. 
You can check on availability of ATMs on the internet. 
Make a printed list of the exchange rate if you are not familiar with the currency by going to  www.oanda.com/convert/cheatasheet 

Carry Passport and Money in a bag that goes around your neck and can be put under your clothes.   
Avoid money belts as they are hard to access
Male  a couple of copies of your Passport and Visa and any other important information and put them in different bags

Consider:

Support hose to wear on the plane
Neck pillow if desired
Mosquito netting if not staying in hotels where it is furnished
Blanket or wrap for traveling
Pillow
Wheeled duffle bag from Academy holds lots of stuff
If you are older or can't squat, get a portable folding toilet seat--many countries in Africa and Asia use a hole rather than a toilet you can sit on.

We used a water filter (information shown below) for all water needs and it worked very well--much easier and cheaper than buying water. We had two, collapsible, 2-gallon plastic tanks from Academy that we filled every few days.
 

Katadyn Base Camp Filtered Water Bladder Holds 2.5 Gallons Includes Filter Good for 200 Gallons   www.cheaperthandirt.com/CAMP171-48343-2802.html 

The Base Camp is an excellent, all-around water filter, perfect for multi-person or family adventures. Simply fill with water, hang it up by the belt loop and let gravity do the work. You can easily have safe, potable drinking water with no effort.  Katadyn's AntiClog technology removes bacteria, giardia and cryptosporidium to EPA standards, while the carbon core reduces unpleasant tastes and odors. Holds 2.5 gallons, and the filter lasts for 200 gallons. Complete with three-foot output hose, buckle system for hanging and on/off valve.

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