This is intended as a guide to help you prepare for your visit. The luggage allowance is 23 kilos per person in one large suitcase. We may update this list later.
CLOTHING GUIDE: Dress code is dictated by the host culture, not your own tastes! In many cultures, what you would consider normal hot weather attire would not be worn in public in most places!
· A small selection of casual wear - e.g. long shorts, jeans, modest skirts, t-shirts etc…
· A formal outfit - e.g. smart trousers / long skirt with a change of shirt or blouse and a tie!
· Long sleeved light weight tops / blouses / shirts and long light trousers for protection on very hot days. The best clothes to take are cotton material; synthetic materials can become very sticky.
· Some natural coloured clothes for Safari
· A sarong/ things to cover you in the evenings
· Swimsuits and beachwear
· Sandals or flip-flops, walking boots or shoes suitable for rough terrain
· A light raincoat (it does rain sometimes in Uganda!) and a jumper (it can be cool in the evening)
· Underwear and Nightwear
· A sun hat
· Rucksack/ daypack
· Toothpaste / toothbrush / mouthwash
· Shampoo / conditioner
· Towel/ hand towel
· Soap, antiperspirant, shower gel
· Other personal requirements (think ahead)
HAND LUGGAGE: We recommend a rucksack that can double as your “day bag” for personal possession.
· Passport, Personal money (£50), Reading book,
· Indigestion/ diarrhea/ travel sickness tablets
· Travel sweets, Travel game
· Small note pad and pen (always handy)
· Snacks/ packed lunch for coach journey or money to buy
· Drink for journey, in a re-sealable container
· Hand bag (optional!)
· Several packets of wet wipes (very useful)
· Mosquito repellent (Jungle Formula recommended, available at Boots etc)
· Malaria tablets, Sun protection (high factor 20+), after sun
· Ear plugs (optional)
· Small battery fan, alarm clock and a small torch, good pair of sunglasses
· A good camera and plenty of films (memory sticks if digital) spare batteries / battery charger
· If you wear glasses or contact lenses, take spare ones and cleansing solutions.
· You will not need to take your mobile phone.
· Music Stand (Orchestra only)
Cultural Preparation Guide
This is intended to give you some things to think about to help prepare yourself mentally for a short stay in a very different place over 4000 miles from home!
What exactly is culture?
Some one defined culture as “the way we do things around here”. You might find that African culture is a whole different way of thinking and living, so there is a lot to consider while you are on a trip or visit to Uganda. Do not go with the idea that YOUR culture is superior.
When in Africa you must adjust, attempt to be at home in the culture and not think you will change it all in the few days or weeks you are there, so….. don't be patronizing, treat everyone with respect and be prepared to see some things that are different from home
Food: You might need time to adjust to new and different types of food, but don't be afraid- the nationals eat it and don't die! Watch your facial expressions when presented with some food that you might consider "unusual".
Fresh tropical fruits and vegetables are plentiful throughout the country. A wide range of dishes, both traditional and international, are served in the hotels and restaurants. We will make sure that you have a variety of good food while on your visit with PETS.
Animals: In the third world, people treat animals differently. Sometimes it is lack of knowledge or the ability to care for them as you do in the west. Don't play with dogs-- in most other cultures they are scavenging house guards and not playful pets. If you feel bad about how skinny or sickly the animals look, don't express it-- just think about the poverty of the people!
As a Guest remember your responsibilities
· As a guest in someone's home, how would you behave, react, interact, etc.? What expectations would you have of a guest in your home? What might please and/or irritate you?
· Think of yourself as a person who is there to study and learn. How does a student in school get a good mark? What behaviors contribute to their success?
· Do not make disparaging remarks about food, lodging or customs. Remember that facial expressions as well as other body language speak louder than our words at times. A truly considerate person will be sensitive to the feelings of others at all times. That means you should be very sensitive to the feelings of those in your group, also.
· There will be times when you are uncomfortable, hot, tired, and out of sorts. Remember that everyone else is experiencing the same. If you are used to being pampered or are a notorious complainer, try having an attitude of praise and helpfulness to others instead. You are experiencing these conditions for no more than two weeks but your national friends are there for a lifetime!
· Listen More Than You Speak! Be a learner, rather than a teacher.
· Be careful when taking pictures. Please ask before you take a picture of someone.
· You will be watched closely, since people are often very curious about why you are here.
· You may be called "Big" (fat). Do not get offended; this is considered a compliment in a country where most people do not get enough to eat. On the contrary, it’s very offensive to say to someone, “Oh you are really thin.”
· Try never to express anger toward the local people, even if they express it towards you. A good thing to do if someone gets mad at you or asks you for money is to laugh! If you start laughing, more likely they will start laughing, too.
· Some of the people you meet will enjoy seeing pictures of your family and hometown. Be sure to take a few snapshots and postcards to show them. (Be sensitive of your audience's feelings; your relative affluence may offend some people.)
· When traveling by airplane, be aware of the image you are projecting to those around you. Be sensitive to the nationals from your host country that are on board the flight.
· Visit the dentist before you go: Who needs a lion-size toothache? Bush medicine is one thing, but bush dentistry?
The people you will meet are very friendly and welcoming people but they are extremely sensitive if people take their photograph. We advise that you always ask before you take anyone's picture.
Rise early and stay out into early evening: “Most African countries still run on solar rhythms, so the day begins before dawn, fades in the afternoon, and has a second wind in the evening as things cool off.
Understand and respect cultures: Not all Africans want their pictures taken. For some cultures, it may be against their religion or beliefs so always ask before you shoot.
Be aware of your surroundings:
· Remember that you’re a visitor from one of the world’s wealthiest countries traveling in one of the poorest places on earth.
· Travel as lightly and as modestly as possible, without flashy expensive jewellery, gadgets and lots of luggage and bags.
· Carry only small bags that can be stowed on your lap.
East Africa enjoys ideal weather conditions ranging from the warmth of the lowlands to the coolness of the highlands. Temperatures range between 21C and 31C all the year around.
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