We at YWAM Newcastle have been spending a lot of time in Papua New Guinea recently, and now with the arrival of our medical vessel, the s/v Ruach, that is only going to increase.
Creative Communications team member, Kali, asked our staff their top three ‘must-have’ items to take to PNG and here are some of their answers.
1 – Good shoes
Wether you’re spending your time on a medical vessel or in the rural villages, good footwear is a must. Don’t be afraid to spend the extra $$’s for quality as you’ll probably be walking a lot! If they’re waterproof that’s even better. If not, it’s worth making the space for some rain boots or other waterproof shoes.
2 – Treated Mosquito nets
Not only will you be less likely to get sick from a mosquito bite, you’ll sleep far better if you’re not laying awake ready to slap each pesky insect that comes near. DTS Staff, Peter, recommends going all out and getting the treated nets with the wire frame. Additionally, take some good quality mozzie repellent to keep the critters at bay during the day.
3 – Wet Wipes
These are a life saver if showers are not readily available, and depending on where you go there may be no showers at all! Wet wipes are also great for washing hands before meals – who knows what you may have touched with them!
YWAM Ships Newcastle staff, Vika, also recommended taking a Lush product called ‘Fun’. This is a dry soap which can be used for showering, washing clothes, etc.
4 – Rain Jacket
This is especially a must during the rainy season – it’s miserable being wet and cold!
5 – Sarongs
For you ladies, you can use them as a beach towel, to wear, to wrap up dirty laundry, to make a side for your bed if you’re needing introvert time, etc…
6 – Flowy shirts and pants
Flowy clothes make you feel more comfortable while tackling the PNG heat. You’re going to sweat, so you may as well sweat comfortably by allowing your body to breathe under loose-fitted, and light weight, clothes.
Good suggestion is buying these clothes from opp shops! After running around in the dirt for a while, you may never want to wear your PNG clothes again. So, get something that you’d be okay with throwing out when coming back home.
7 – Sunscreen, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera
If you’re going to be out in the sun all day, of course you should come in clutch with some sunscreen. But in case you missed a spot, coconut oil or aloe vera will help with minimizing the stinging of a sun burn and is very helpful in keeping your skin moisturized. It also comes in handy when dealing with heat rashes!
8 – Mosquito Repellent
Mosquito nets are great for when you’re setting up camp, but mosquito repellent is good with on-the-go purposes! Be sure to bring a little bit extra, because with all the sweating you will likely be doing, it will wear off quickly. But, be careful with overuse. You want to keep mosquitoes away. Not people.
9 – Sturdy Water Bottle (best with built-in filter)
Always – ALWAYS bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. Keep yourself hydrated at all times because you will lose a lot of water from walking around and being in the heat. The humidity is strong enough to make you sweat heaps just by sitting down and reading a book!
If your water bottle has a built-in filter, that’s even better. It will cost a little extra moo-la, but it’s wonderful for when you may need to use it on possibly-questionable water. Use discernment.
10 – A Good Book
There can be a lot of downtime during your trip and no phone service, WiFi, or television. It’s not as terrifying as it sounds! Just bring a good book with you – maybe a few.