Comoros

Packing List

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in-country and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything on the list, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind there is a 100-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in-country.

Baggage & weight limit: The Peace Corps limits the size and weight of baggage and will not pay to transport baggage that exceeds these limits. The allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 100 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds per bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers.

General Clothing

Most of Comoros is hot and humid, so you’ll be most comfortable in loose, lightweight clothing. Cotton and linen are great. Volunteers at higher elevation report occasionally needing a sweatshirt for warmth. 

All Volunteers are expected to dress modestly and respectfully. For men, this means rarely wearing shorts when not exercising or swimming. For women, this means covering everything from the shoulders to below the knee and not wearing form-fitting or sheer clothing. Some women volunteers only wear dresses or skirts. 

During pre-service training and when teaching, volunteers are expected to dress in business casual.

General 

  • 5-8 t-shirts
  • 2-3 lightweight, casual, comfortable pairs of pants/skirts
  • Leggings or sweatpants
  • Lightweight raincoat
  • Baseball cap or straw hat for sun protection
  • Lightweight all weather jacket
  • Perhaps one sweatshirt or sweater
  • Pajamas or comfortable loungewear (For men, shorts are fine)
  • Plenty of underwear, bras (including sports bras), and socks
  • Belt
  • Swimsuit (On public beaches, it is better for women to swim in leggings and a modest tank top or t-shirt)
  • Perhaps a bit of clothing for travel or vacation

For men

  • 5 button down shirts for teaching
  • A tie for special occasions
  • 3 pairs of khakis or lightweight dress pants

For women

  • 3-5 dresses or skirts (past the knee or longer)
  • 2-3 nicer shirts to wear with skirts
  • 2 pairs of leggings or tights (to wear under shorter or sheer clothes for modesty)
  • A lightweight scarf to cover head, shoulders, or hips for modesty

Shoes 

Inexpensive sandals are easily available, however, not always in larger sizes.

  • Sturdy sandals (Tevas, Chacos, Birkenstocks, etc)
  • One pair of comfortable sneakers
  • Professional shoes for teachers (closed toes, comfortable for standing)
  • One pair of dress shoes for special occasions
  • One pair of flip flops

Personal hygiene and toiletry items

  • 3 month supply of any medications, to last through pre-service training; copy of prescriptions
  • If you wear glasses, bring two pairs. (Contacts are not recommended)
  • Enough deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, lotion, etc., to last you through training
  • A couple toothbrushes
  • Face wash and moisturizer (recommended with at least SPF 15)
  • Small amount of makeup, nail polish, or perfume for special occasions
  • Tampons, feminine pads, and/or Diva Cup (Tampons can be very difficult to find)
  • Razor and extra blades
  • Hair cutting scissors for do-it-yourself haircuts
  • Hairbrush, comb, hair elastics/clips
  • Baby powder
  • Hand sanitizer/wipes

Electronics

  • Laptop
  • E-reader (optional, but nice to have)
  • Small headphones
  • Small, rechargeable speaker
  • Portable external hard drive for storing media
  • A couple USB thumb drives for transferring documents
  • A few plug adapters for Comoros
  • Camera with sturdy case, charger, cords, and extra memory cards
  • Small solar charger or power bank
  • Protective or waterproof case for phones and other electronics
  • Unlocked smartphone, if you have one
  • Batteries, sized for your needs

Kitchen

  • Some snacks to help you get through the first few weeks of local food
  • Powdered drink packets
  • Spices
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Quality knife
  • Cutting board
  • Can opener
  • Plastic food-storage containers

Miscellaneous

  • Day pack, purse, or messenger bag
  • Good quality, small packable umbrella
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Hammock, perhaps with attached bug net
  • Your favorite pillow & pillowcase
  • Small, rechargeable fan
  • Sturdy, liter-sized water bottle
  • Leatherman, Swiss Army, or other folding utility knife
  • Quick-dry travel towel
  • Waterproof digital watch
  • Headlamp, small flashlights, and appropriate batteries (or solar powered)
  • High quality locks (key or combination)
  • Dry bag
  • Ziplock bags or waterproof storage
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing kit
  • Ballpoint pens
  • Colored permanent markers
  • Journal, a few notebooks
  • World map
  • Voided check or deposit slip from your US bank account
  • Stationary
  • US stamps for sending letters (and loan deferments, taxes, etc)
  • Address book (with contact info for friends and family)
  • Gifts for your host family (knick knacks for the house, pictures, books, calendars, souvenirs, American candy than can withstand heat and humidity, toys or games)
  • Photos of family and friends (great for sharing with your host family)
  • Photos and wall decorations for your home
  • Hobby materials
  • Musical instruments or sporting goods (limited availability)
  • Art supplies
  • Coloring or puzzle books
  • Games (scrabble, cards, chess, frisbee, jenga, etc)

What Not To Bring

  •  Valuables, such as expensive jewelry or heirloom keepsakes
  •  Extreme technical clothing or safari gear (not necessary!)
  •  Mosquito net or water filter (these will be provided by the Peace Corps)
  •  First aid kit (this will be provided by the Peace Corps)