In Romania, it is now:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shoes and Tattoos

This shouldn't be so hard, but the packing process with a thousand decisions based on the official 5-page Peace Corps packing list (which reads like the inventory of an Army Ranger's survival kit: Swiss army knife, twine, duct tape, long underwear, etc.) is really getting to me. Plus, we are now in touch with volunteers already on assignment in Romania, and their views on what we need seem amazingly different. Women's dress seems particularly all-over-the-place and must depend greatly on the exact location of our post (which we won't know until the end of the 11-week training). Some advocate sundresses and shorts for summer, some say we shouldn't show much skin (and definitely NOT tattoos--of which I have a small, tasteful one on my shoulder blade) and that shorts are what hookers wear, some say "business casual" for the classroom, some say jeans, some say skirts,... you get the picture. They nearly all say to pack boxes of winter things to be shipped later, but wouldn't it be better to take SOME winter things with me to allay the cost of all that shipping? And though the PC will pay for 2 50-lb. suitcases, do I really want to haul that around to planes and trains? And as to shoes--what to take (to be able to walk distances comfortably and still look professional)and what to have sent and what to pack away for 2 years? And that's the other thing--clearing out space in our closets and drawers at our house for my son and daughter-in-law to stash their stuff when they come (from Macedonia) to live with my husband and his sister in June. And don't get me started on toiletries, supplements, and accessories! OK, I've vented and must get back to the packing. If there's a saint for packing, please say a prayer.


  1. Hey, Mom!
    Here's my packing prayer (i.e., unsolicited advice). ;)

    Go light on the clothes. Along with underwear and socks (and twine!), take two pairs of jeans, plain T-shirts (muted colors, 2 short and 2 long-sleeved), a dark windbreaker, a dark-ish sweater/pullover that is "nice" but not decorated, and comfortable black walking shoes (sneakers). Nothing in bright colors, and little to no jewelry or other accessories of any kind. That should land you in the average "look" and last you plenty long enough to buy the rest of your wardrobe locally. No sense lugging a bunch of stuff over there that marks you as a foreigner at twenty paces!

  2. Sounds like Adam gave you the best advice of all.

  3. I feel your pain Clela!! I just finished packing (attempt 1) and now I'm questioning everything and wondering if I bought the right things...ugh. Good luck, sending packing prayers your way! :)