So yeah I missed a day. Sorry. I am doing a two-fer, which might be kind of cheating, but they go together well as they are "groups" of things and not actually ONE thing. (Which is probably ALSO cheating, but oh well... )
#6-- A well-appointed medicine cabinet.
This is definitely a MUST have. Before we moved here we had a BUNCH of stuff donated (THANK YOU FRIENDS AND FAMILY.) When you're getting ready to move to Haiti and people want to know what they can get you-- give them a list of medications. We were told that the first year for a family on the mission field is a pretty "sick" year as it takes a while to get used to all the germs. (And if you're going to Haiti, the sheer INCREASE in opportunity to acquire said-germs.) We came down here with every single over-the-counter medicine you can imagine. We literally went down the aisles at Target and purchased or noted all the medications we needed. And we came down here with about 2- 18 gallon Rubbermaid tubs filled. Some of it is for when we start the orphanage, but we've already used or given to others things I didn't even thing we'd really need-- things like ear wax removal fluid when baby Blayn had an ear ache, epson salts for soaking muscle aches, lots of cough/cold meds, lots of bandaids, lots of Neosporin, LOTS of Cortizone cream, lots of Calamine lotion, LOTS of Afterbite, TONS of Dramamine or Bonine.
Many things will heal on their own, but really, there is no way to get a lot of these things here in Haiti... or at least not a reliable way-- meaning you could find it one day, and then the next day it's not there... and won't be until at least two more military coups ensue. (Just kidding.) We've used ace bandages, sports tape, Visine, cough drops... Seriously, just do yourself a favor and stock up on anything you can ever imagine needing. It honestly has helped me feel a bit more in control of the many, many, many things I cannot control in this country.
Now, for the second part of stocking your medicine cabinet well, you will need a physician's assistance. Not a physician's assistant (though I suppose they can prescribe meds too, so they would do just as well...) I would HIGHLY recommend having a doctor prescribe you the following :
-Chloroquine for malaria
-Cipro for any host of infections
-Ambien (because getting used to sleeping in a new place is hard)
-Pain meds--stronger than what you can get over the counter... because you never know when an emergency will pop up-- be it an abscessed tooth, staph infection, or a broken bone. (All three have happened to HCH people since I have been here.) When such occurs, you may be hours or days away from being able to see a doctor. You need some relief.
I am not claiming you can't get prescription meds here. You can. Often without a prescription. BUT, you don't know how many pharmacies you're going to have to run around to to find what you need. So it's just easier if you have them on hand. (Plus Haitian medicines are not "coated" so you totally taste them going down, which is gross when you're already sick and trying not to barf.)
#5-- A good supply of personal toiletries.
It was really useful to have a supply of my favorite:
-VENUS razors !!! (I love those expensive little guys)
- body/face lotion
-contact lens solution
--GOLD BOND (of course!-- in fact, I thought about making this one it's own MUST HAVE)
We also brought down at least one, maybe two tubs of this stuff. Why? Because we're American. And that's what Americans do-- have a lot of stuff. But it was nice to have the need to shave and have Venus razors. To really stink and have American deodorant. We know eventually we will surrender to the Haitian counterparts of most of these items. (Or not, maybe we will continue to bring them down and have them brought down with visiting teams.) But it's been really nice to just have them at your fingertips. No searching around, no haggling over the price... it's nice.