Posted by: Lydia | February 10, 2010

¿una falta de preparación?

Insect shield pants? Check. Ankle gaiters? Check. Incredible dorky yet utterly indispensable sun hat? Check. Knowing that I am really, truly, ready to go?…… uhhh… probably won’t be able to check that one until the end of my 27 months.

Matthew and I have massive fetishes for outdooring equipment, and our assignment as environmental development volunteers has given us just the excuse we need to indulge our unquenchable thirst for sweet, sweet gear. Fortunately due to the fact that we recently got married and have very generous friends and that many amazing companies give hefty discounts to Peace Corps volunteers, this hasn’t been too expensive, however I am already envisioning being roundly mocked by the locals when we show up in the field with all our shiny, clean and way-too-new stuff.

Is there such a thing as being so over-prepared that it detracts from your ability to assimilate? According to a RCPV of both Nepal and the DR named Andrew, there certainly is, however he notes that in the DR people take great pains to dress well and appearances are very important (as opposed to in Nepal where you are considered quite wealthy if you own a pair of cheap kicks). Still, I don’t know how we are going to explain all our obviously fresh out o’ the box stuff (hopefully saying “wedding present” will suffice). First world problems, indeed.

Anyways, I am sure there is a balance between looking like a millionaire and finding yourself up a creek without that $150 carbon fiber paddle you just KNOW you should have bought, and hopefully I will find it sooner rather than later. Maybe I will even learn to let go of some of the gear I know I always travel with as a kind of safety blanket (what, you DON’T carry swedish fire steel with you? are you crazy!?!) and get a little closer to the mythical american Andrew wrote of that traversed Nepal with only a toothbrush….. but you’ll have my leatherman when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!



  1. You could always say it was “given” to you as a send off! 🙂

  2. get a pail of dirt and bury all the shiny stuff in it for 24 hours. That should do it!

  3. rub some dirt on all the shiny stuff!
    that should do the trick.

  4. You underestimate the sorting power of entropy my friend. I’m sure within a month the unnecessary gear will far apart and the vital stuff will have that nice, authentic patina all white people crave.

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