I am one of the lucky development wokers who gets to go to visit our projects in rural Malian villages on a very regular basis. I get to spend 2-3 days a week accompanying our local staff to rural villages. It’s a privilege I don’t take lightly and is really the reason I continue to do what I do.
The villages I most often go to are 3-4 hours south of Bamako. I can jump in the car and go (which is often the way it goes) or I can get ready and bring some things that have come in handy or would be helpful in a pinch. Heres’s a snapshot of what I tend to bring with me on the regular (note every item has been used on a regular basis).
- 2 phones (one for each of the telecom companies because some villages are only serviced by one or the other)
- A USB to help transfer office files
- A headlamp because the power goes out a lot
- A Bluetooth speaker – because what task isn’t made better with music?
- A portable charger and cord – so my phone doesn’t die at a crucial moment leaving me stranded
- A diva cup (reusable feline hygiene product) because my mamma taught me to always be prepared- shameless plug for this product I love it
- Pepper spray – because it makes my family feel better that I have something to protect myself when I am so far away from home ( I have never used this or been in a situation while in the field that would even come close to warranting use)
- Hand sanitizer – because village life can be dirty
- Lip balm
- Bug spray
- Anti-itch cream because I am a mosquitos magnet
- My field book
- My agenda
- 2 pens
- A receipt book for expense
- Rain coat because when it rains it pours
- Water purification tablets for when my two water bottles run out on really hot days
- First aid kit
So for some people going to work means checking for your keys, wallet, phone and lunch. For me the list can be a be longer but luckily it all fits in my trusty backpack.