Thursday, August 11, 2011

So. Much. Crap.

Have you ever thought about how much stuff you absolutely cannot do without?  Your answer is probably something like, "Oh, not too much. I can pack for a long weekend trip in a carry-on bag." Well whoop-dee-do, so can I. In fact, when I was in college, I could fit everything I needed into a book bag when coming home. But think about it- for a weekend, you can live without your full bottle of shampoo or toothpaste. Wherever you're going will probably provide you with towels and sheets. Laundry can be done once you get back. But the fact is you are, actually, reliant on those things on at least a weekly basis. Also, if you forget your razor, you can live without it for a few days (Dan McScruffy-Pants did it for our whole East Coast trip). If you cut yourself or aren't feeling well, there's a drugstore on every corner.

Now imagine that you're going to a minimally-furnished apartment, for 3 months, in a country where "tampon" is a dirty word and if you get sick in any way, there's no Target or Walgreens or Walmart pharmacy in sight. You have to bring everything with you that you might possibly need. Sure, if I forget something, there are 3 other girls who have been there before that probably have what I need, but I really don't want to be relying on their supplies.

So basically, if you make a list of everything you touch in a 2 week span, that's about everything I need to bring to Egypt, along with dig clothes and supplies. With digging, I'll be going through 2 outfits per day. I'm pretty low-maintenance, but 3 months in a rural area of a 3rd-world country has me really realizing just how much 1st-world crap I've grown absolutely attached to. My list already has over 50 items on it, and that's not counting the fact that I need plural shirts and more than one bottle of "medicine", nor the fact that the other girls haven't looked over my list to tell me what I'm missing. Oh, and one more thing- since I'm flying, I can only have 2 bags at 50lbs each. Thank God for my Kindle so that I don't also have to carry a million books to read during the evenings when we aren't digging and I don't have internet. As much as I hate the bubblegum-colored liquid chalk that somehow got past the FDA, 1 product that covers nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach and diarrhea is looking better and better.

So in the midst of studying for exams, I'm also trying to figure out how in the world I'm going to get everything to Egypt. I'm sure it'll be fine, but seriously, I need a lot of crap. I can't imagine where I'd be if I were a normal girl that needed a blow dryer and make-up. Plus 1 for a quasi-hippy lifestyle, I suppose.