Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Blog, Uncategorized | 1 comment

I last wrote about our ten, make it eleven, 50-pound checked bags that we toted across the world to Madagascar from Santa Barbara.  You may be asking yourself, what in the world do you pack that takes up 550 pounds??  Well, I’m glad you asked.

For starters, there’s always the clothes.  Clothes here take a big time beating.  Massive stains, holes from moths, stretching due to line drying and the persistent tint of the red dirt of Madagascar.  So naturally, clothes make the list as do shoes to accommodate our ever-growing kids.

THE LIST, as I call it is an excel spreadsheet and is usually comprised of the “basics”, the “it’d be nice to have”, the “luxury items” and the “I can get this in Madagascar but it costs 10x the price for 1/10th the quality”.


So… here’s just a few things that made it on THE LIST and in our bags this time around.

plastic bowls, plates, and cups

hand mixer (this falls into the 10x the price for 1/10th the quality category)


ziplock bags (quart and gallon freezer bags)

ice cube trays… really you can never have too many ice cube trays!


salt and pepper shakers

favorite spices and salts (mint, basil, cumin, thyme, oregano, garlic salt, lawry’s seasoning salt)

spice jars to be filled with the loose spices that can be purchased here (this was my first ever $1 store purchase… I totally scored!)

oven mitts

kitchen towels

bath towels

dustpan and handbroom… no joke, they are disturbingly bad here!


bed sheets

shampoo and conditioner (total luxury item and I’m so thankful for it!)


games and books for the kids

homeschooling supplies to supplement the kids education

DVD player (again, this falls into the 10x the price for 1/10th of the quality category)


sleeping mats for trips to the bush

voandalanas (literally translated- “fruit of the road”.  In other words, whoever goes on a trip had the blessing to experience something different and so that said-person brings back the fruit for others to be blessed also.  With that explanation given– we brought back lots of voandalanas for our friends, something special for 36 people!

christmas stockings

christmas presents!  Yes, I really do think that far ahead!

all make-up, face and hair product for the next 12 months

medical supplies… fun stuff like speculums and blood glucose monitoring machines

vitamins (365 days worth of vitamins for a family of 5)



boogie boards for the kids!  FUN!

super glue, gorilla glue, wood filler

heirloom fruit, vegetable and herb seeds

some food favorites… toasted slivered almonds, 100% fruit leathers, sundried tomatoes, panko, coffee and tea


In the end we didn’t have enough room for the kitchen sink though we’re hoping to squeeze it in next time…

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this window into the realities of the life to which you have been called.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *