Thursday, January 3, 2013

The REAL Packing List

     Okay here's the deal...I had a few disagreements with the packing list when I went down to the DR.  Unfortunately for me, I was already in the DR when I discovered my disagreements.  Luckily for you, I am sharing them now.  So please, I beg you, at least look at this list when packing, it's pretty easy to follow.
     Each category has a suggested minimum & maximum, then the item to pack, and finally, my explanation of what it is.  Some categories have **: this is something to consider when packing.  It was probably something something that another person asked me to include or an ILAC rule.  Lastly, if the list says 1 and you don't want to bring it, please bring it.  I promise you won't regret being over prepared.  



2/3 - Nice Jeans                 [these are for everyday and going out at night]
1/2 - Nice Pants                 [i.e. Khaki or Black never know when you might need them]
1/3 - Lazy Pants                 [sweats, scrubs, yoga, maternity...pick your poison]
      **Lazy pants are to be worn on lazy days at ILAC and not to service.  If you wear them out into the city, you will get funny looks.  I know from experience...
2/3 - Shorts                       [Workout/Everyday]
     **Shorts can be worn at ILAC for everyday, however they MUST be knee length.  You will be asked to change if they are not long enough.  If you are working out shorts are fine, just be sure to change into other pants after working out.

Capris: Substitute 1 or 2 pair for any of the categories above if you like them.  (I brought 2 pair: nice jean Capris & khaki Capris)


3/4 - Everyday shirts        [not t-shirts, but not dress shirts]
2/3 - T-shirts                   [everyday wearing, working out in t-shirts]
2/3 - Dress shirts              [Polo's, dancing shirts, nice dinner...think of brunch with grandma when packing these] 
1/2 - Long sleeve shirts    [yes, your body will adjust and when its 70 degrees you will want one]
1/2 - Sweatshirts              [see above reasoning ] 
2/3 - Tank tops                [going out, working out, sleeping]
     **Shoulders CANNOT being showing at ILAC, therefore when packing these be sure to pack a sweater/cardigan for over it OR another shirt for under it.  


1 pair - Tennis shoes 
3 pair - Sandals                    [1=showering/water, 1=everyday, 1=nice for going out]
Meet Profe.
     **For everyday sandals consider buying Chacos/Tevas/Keens they have straps and are good for walking
1 pair - Hiking/Work boots    [COMPLETELY OPTIONAL...many people wore tennis shoes for work and hiking] 


1/2 - Pajamas 
1/2 - Swimsuit                  
0/1 - Swimsuit cover         
10/14 - Underwear 
10/14 - Socks
     **Here's the deal, these last two may seem high in comparison to the other packing list BUT immersions last 10 days.  Sometimes you do not have the ability to wash your clothes, you do the math.  If you are going to over pack on something LET IT BE THESE two articles of clothing!

Immersion Clothes: 

2/4 - Work pants         [jeans, sweats, or scrubs..whatever floats your boat when working]
3/7 - T-shirts 
1 pair - Goggles          [you will be asked to wear them at least once]
1 pair - Work gloves    [your hands will thank you, especially if you have to dig holes]
1 - Baseball cap          [it is nice to have when working in the hot sun] 
Sad, work-gloveless hands
 **These clothes will get dirty and stained, do not combine these with your other clothing.


2/3 - Dresses             [dancing, everyday, nice dinners]
1/3 - Skirts               [church, dancing, everyday] 
0/1 pair - Heels         [OPTIONAL, if you like them you will wear them]
?/? - Cardigans         [remember no shoulders at ILAC] 
     **Remember: At least knee length & No shoulders at ILAC

Other Materials:

Bring it or Else! (just kidding, but really do bring it):

1 - Passport                        [it gets you out of the country]
1 - License                         [there will be times you need a picture ID, if not a license another form of ID with a picture on it]
1 - INEXT card                     [It is your insurance, BRING IT!!!!]
1 - Nalgene water bottle      [it gets hot, and drinking water isn't always readily available]
1 - Duffel bag & Backpack    [make sure it's good-sized, this is what you will use to pack for your 10 day immersions] 
1 - Journal                         [there will be times you are asked to journal, and journaling is strongly encouraged each day]
1/3 - Flashlights                  [extras are nice, sometimes people forget/lose them]
1/2 - Credit/Debit card       [for emergencies or in exchange for bring a large amount of cash]
     **Some places won't accept credit cards and many places won't break up the bill and take a credit card for each person...just some food for thought

3+ cans - 30+% DEET insect repellent       [mosquitoes are EVERYWHERE]
4 mo. supply - Prescription medications 
4 mo. supply - Feminine Products           [they are expensive if purchased in the DR]

Things to consider bringing: 

1 - Alarm clock                      [the cooks don't wait for you, if you aren't at breakfast on time you miss it] 
1 - Flash drive 
1 - Thermometer 
1 - Watch 
1 - Camera 
1 - Beach towel                   [everyday towels are provided by ILAC and you can bring these to the beach too] 
1 - Sunblock/Tanning oil      [have your cake and eat it too by bringing SPF 4 & Tanning oil] 
1/2 - headphones                [sometimes they get lost]
1/2 - sunglasses                   [see above reasoning]
?/? - SNACKS                       [Not all American Brands are for sale in the DR, bring what you please to snack on at ILAC] 
     **There is a Colmado (mini store) that sells snacks and pop right next to ILAC so snacks are always available to eat...You won't be able to go to the kitchen for snacks throughout the day at ILAC though

Recommended Items:

1 - Laptop                       [don't forget your charger!]
1/2 pkgs - Batteries         [try and get a flashlight & alarm clock that take the same kind of batteries] 
?/? - Dramamine             [IF YOU GET CAR SICK BRING THIS & LOTS OF IT]

There you have it ladies & gents, my modified/expanded packing list.  Don't worry about bringing stuff back, a lot of students donate some clothes to ILAC so there is room for souvenirs.  I hope you enjoy every opportunity you have in the DR, it goes by so quick.  Don't take a day to be lazy.  Go explore and see what's around you, for your days are limited.  

Dios Bendiga y Disfruta Mucho!

Caryn "car-diggity-the-mac-daddy" Willems