Going on a project visit 

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).

  1. 2 phones (one for each of the telecom companies because some villages are only serviced by one or the other)
  2. A USB to help transfer office files
  3. A headlamp because the power goes out a lot
  4. A Bluetooth speaker – because what task isn’t made better with music?
  5. A portable charger and cord – so my phone doesn’t die at a crucial moment leaving me stranded
  6. A diva cup (reusable feline hygiene product) because my mamma taught me to always be prepared- shameless plug for this product I love it
  7. 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)
  8. Hand sanitizer – because village life can be dirty
  9. Sunscreen
  10. Lotion
  11. Lip balm
  12. Bug spray
  13. Anti-itch cream because I am a mosquitos magnet
  14. My field book
  15. My agenda
  16. 2 pens
  17. A receipt book for expense
  18. Rain coat because when it rains it pours
  19. Water purification tablets for when my two water bottles run out on really hot days
  20. 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.

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