Packing List

Packing List for Ethiopia Trip 2018


  • Passport
  • A crisp $50 bill – this is for your visa that you will purchase upon arrival at the airport
  • Cash – In addition to the $50 for your visa, bring $100-200 in USD. Exchange $100 at the airport, and that will probably be more than enough.  You will have the opportunity to exchange more later in the week at a bank if needed.

Medicines and Toiletries

  • Pepto Bismol tablets – take a couple of these just prior to all meals. We’ve found this to be a great way to prevent sickness.
  • Airborne or vitamin C tablets – take these routinely while you are on the trip. They will help fend off any colds of illness that you may be more susceptible to when you are tired.
  • Imodium/anti-diarrhea medicine; it’s not a bad idea to bring antibiotics for traveler’s diarrhea if your doctor is willing to give you a prescription.
  • Tylenol/ibuprofen
  • Melatonin or other sleep aid – great for getting rid of jet lag
  • Ear plugs – street noise is usually not an issue, but you may want to be sure everything is blocked out.
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Antibacterial gel – use lots of this throughout the day when interacting with the kids
  • Travel pack of wet wipes – great for washing your hands on the go
  • Travel pack of tissues to use as toilet paper – we will have TP provided at the guest house, but don’t expect it anywhere else.
  • Soap and shampoo – towels are provided but soap may or may not be. Shampoo is not provided.


  • Universal power adapter – look for one with a surge protector (you should be able to find this at Target, etc.)
  • Please don’t plan to use a hair dryer or other high voltage items. You may blow a circuit!
  • Flashlight – in case we lose power for a little while at the guest house
  • Snacks – definitely bring a supply of snacks. You may want to take a break from the local food or have an upset tummy at some point.  We like to bring Clif bars/granola bars, trail mix, raisins and dried fruit, etc.
  • A hand towel and extra bath towel. You will probably have one towel provided for the whole week, and it’s nice to have an extra.
  • Phone/iPad – you will have access to fairly reliable wifi at the guest house. FaceTime, Skype, or WhatsApp are good options for texting and calling home using the internet.
  • If you get the yellow fever vaccine, place your vaccination card inside your passport. However, this is NOT required to enter the country.


  • The weather should be beautiful! In November you can expect a daytime high of about 70 and low of about 50.  You will want a jacket for the evenings and mornings.  During the day, we’ll be moving around a lot and the space where we’ll be working may get stuff.  Layers are good.
  • The culture is very modest, and we should dress accordingly.
    • Jeans are just fine (and the ladies do wear skinny jeans), but definitely don’t wear leggings as pants.  J
    • Capri pants are great, as well.
    • Skirts should be mid-calf or longer. Long-maxi dresses or skirts that drag the ground may not be the best option because the ground will be so dirty.
    • Ladies should plan to wear a dress or skirt to church on Sunday.
    • Modest short-sleeved or ¾ sleeve tops layered with a jacket or sweater in the mornings are your best shirt options.
    • Do NOT bring your favorite shoes. The streets of Merkato are filthy.  I recommend closed toe shoes that are good for walking and that you that wouldn’t mind throwing away when you get home.  They will be covered with things you don’t want at your house.
    • I prefer to leave my diamond engagement ring at home and wear only a wedding band while there. Keep any jewelry simple and not showy.
    • There is a laundry service at the guest house. It’s very reasonably priced and turnaround time is usually 24 hours.

General Advice

  • Drink lots of water. The altitude of Addis Ababa is almost 8000 feet.  You will definitely feel the effects of altitude sickness (lightheadedness, nausea, etc.) if you don’t.
  • Bottled water will be provided by Children’s HopeChest throughout the week. It will be available on the bus and at the guest house.
  • The rooms at the guest house are reasonably secure. We’ve never had anything stolen out of the rooms.  But use the same precautions that you would use staying at a US hotel.  Leave any priceless possessions at home.
  • Bring a backpack or some sort of bag that you can use for your daypack. You’ll want to carry water, snacks, tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer, etc. in it for each day’s activities.
  • Always keep your passport and cash on your at all times. Do not leave it in your daypack and put it down somewhere.