Stock Up For Site List

Once you have finished training and sworn in, Peace Corps will issue you a stipend to go shopping in Vila before shipping off to site. Here's a list of suggestions of things to purchase for site.

Some of these things your house/site may already have, or you can borrow from your host family. You will learn such things when you go on your site visit during training, before you go shopping.
As always, only purchase what you need.

Also, be sure to check out my "Groceries to purchase for site" list!


  • Nails
    • You can always borrow a hammer, but you should supply your own nails.
  • Sandpaper
  • Super glue
  • Emergency candles
  • Large trash can liners
    • Not for trash, but as a tarp, or for sealing off windows in major cyclones.
  • Dustpan and handheld broom
  • Several kinds of calico for basic decoration
  • Magnetic mesh door curtain
    • found at Uncle Bill’s shop.
  • Door mat
  • Black and white thread, and sewing needles, and tape measure
  • Extra clothespins and laundry soap
  • Laundry basin
  • Thermometer
  • AA battery powered string lights
  • 2 small, 6-inch mirrors
    • one for the swim house, one for inside the house
  • Spray bottles
    • for making homemade body spray or cleaning spray or pesticides
  • Seeds: chamomile, lavender, green beans, basil, coriander (aka cilantro), green onions, jalapenos, pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers (aka capsicum), carrots, butternut squash, pretty flowers...
  • Solar light kit with 6 lights, leads and 50W solar panel
  • Slip on athletic sandals
    • They are about $2 here and they’re great for when I just want to slip out to the bathroom or run to a neighbor’s. If you have basic flip flops, forget this.
  • Bislama bible 
  • Packing tape
  • Rubber bands
  • Watercolor paint
  • Envelopes and stamps
  • Plastic beads
  • Glow sticks
    • I am a believer that while no one buys glow sticks, everyone wants them when they are present. Give the people what they want.
  • Facepaint and glitter
    • I set up a booth for Independence Day but this is nice to have for many other occasions.


  • Scrub sponges
  • Aluminum foil
  • Vinyl flooring roll
  • Paper towels
    • I use my dish towels for most things, but it’s nice to just be able to toss away the ick when an egg shatters on your floor.
  • 2 large bowls for washing dishes
  • 2 extra large plastic bowls
    • for misc kitchen needs, like scratching coconuts
  • Frying oil strainer/oil splatter guard
    • I use this mesh circle to drain my freshly-fried food and use it for its actual purpose as a splatter guard.
  • Tea thermos
  • Water pitcher
  • 4 bowls
  • 2 forks, 2 large soup spoons, 2 steak knives, 2 small “tea” spoons
  • 4 glasses
  • 4 mugs
  • 4 plates
  • Rubber spatula
  • 2 wooden spoons
  • Large chopping knife
  • Paring knife
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • 2 large tupperware containers (at least large enough to hold an entire meal)
  • 2 small tupperware containers (for about a half meal)
  • Tongs
  • Slotted spatula
  • Ladle
  • Mortar and pestle
    • for grinding up herbs from my garden, or crushing up crackers to make "bread crumbs"
  • Large frying pan
  • Large cutting board
  • 6 dish towels
  • 2 large cast iron pots with lids (for general cooking), and a cake pan (if you want to bake) that fits in at least one of the pots, with about an inch to spare
  • Tea kettle
  • Small soup pan with lid
  • Gas stove and propane tank
    • some volunteers never cook for themselves, some cook exclusively in bush kitchens...I cook almost all my meals and I don’t want to labor over a fire unless I’m baking. 
  • 2 or 3 large clamp-shut rolling bins for food storage
  • Breakfast crackers in a tub (you’ll want that tub)


  • Large mirror
  • Hangers
  • 2 pillowcases
  • Extra pillow
  • Solar-powered floor fan
    • Our PCVL, Thomas, told us to buy a fan because you’ll never regret it. I bought this fan, and I’ve never once regretted it.
  • Extra blanket
    • Nice for guests or just lounging on my couch/bench thing.


  • Flea shampoo
  • Water/food bowl for pet(s)
  • Flea collar
  • Worms medication


  • 2 microfiber towels
    • I regret buying a terry towel. These are so much better, both because they dry me off better and they dry themselves faster post-laundry.
  • Face washcloth
  • Toilet paper
  • Bar of Castile soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
    • For making homemade body products, but also just infinitely useful.
  • Hair conditioner
  • Toilet seat cover
    • If you don’t want to squat when you have the inevitable case of diarrhea, do yourself a favor and buy this.


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