Top ten best items we bought in Peace Corps Namibia

In previous posts, we highlighted the top items Josh and Lisa brought to Peace Corps Namibia. Namibia is developing rapidly, especially in the capital of Windhoek, and most anything can be purchased there including laptops, high end kitchen items and flat screen televisions. However, with a much smaller consumer market, non-consumable goods tend to be more expensive and sometimes even double the price. Our monthly salary of about US$185 does not allow for many extravagances since we are expected to live at the level of the people we serve. 

Josh with gear

Josh demonstrating the best purchases we have made in Namibia!

Here is a list of the top items we bought in Namibia that have improved our service:

  • Kettle to boil water – We probably use this more than any other item.
  • Fan – During the very hot summer nights, this makes sleeping a little easier. Also great to keep mosquitoes at bay.
  • Decent plastic cutting board – Paired with the knife we brought, this has made for much faster meal preparations.
  • Ray-Ben sunglasses – Only N$40 (or US$4) and has lasted me for nearly two years.
  • French press – Sold as a coffee plunger here. A fresh cup of strong coffee is a nice treat to get you going in the morning.
  • Nonstick pan – After wasting a half inch of hash browns that fused onto our original metal frying pan, we opted to buy a decent nonstick pan. This is used everyday at least once and is great for heating up leftovers since we are “not having a microwave.”
  • Shitenge shirt – A stylish birthday gift that Josh bought for himself. (Lisa has had some shitenges made into skirts.)
  • Handmade crafts as gifts for family and friends – We already took some of these back to the U.S. last May, but it is nice to support local crafters and these make truly unique gifts. Many of these crafts are made by the famous Kavango woodcarvers of our region.
  • Braai grill – This great innovation just requires one flip!
  • Plastic buckets – During our road trip around the U.S. before we left for Namibia, we met up with a RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) in Portland, Oregon. He had a great observation about his service in Malawi, “I don’t know where Africa would be without plastic buckets.” We use large plastic basins for washing clothes, backpacks, ourselves, and a puppy.

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