Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What do you need, what can you get here, what should you leave at home?

First, it's a good idea to check out the information on the Tab menu to find out general things like weather, money, etc. Then come back to get more specific details here.


In addition to the basic information on the Money tab, it's important for you to know the following:
  • When bringing US dollars, make sure they are as clean and new as possible. Don't bring any bills older than 2004, or you may have problems exchanging them for shillings.
  • ATMs are available in Arua at Stanbic bank and Barclay's bank. Most visas and mastercards work at these banks, and most visitors are able to use their debit cards if either visa or mastercard is on the debit card.


Because of the warm temperatures year-round, it's advisable to bring mostly lightweight clothing. It does get cool in the rainy season, however, so bring a fleece jacket or sweatshirt, too.

Ladies - Generally Ugandans are conservative in dress, and ladies are expected to wear longish skirts with slips (petticoats) underneath. Doorway check...you can tell if you need to wear a slip with your skirt by standing in a doorway with strong sun outside. If your friend can see the outline of your legs silhouetted in your skirt, then you need to wear a slip wtih your skirt.

Many women are opting for trousers these days, especially in the capital city, but Arua is still rural enough that most women wear skirts. At the YWAM base, we prefer our female visitors to wear skirts as much as possible, especially for ministry, but in the evenings is it okay to wear loose trousers (not tight jeans). No shorts for ladies!

There is a swimming pool in Arua, and we recommend ladies wear either one-piece bathing suits, or the type of two-piece suits that are like a halter top and short skirt. Again, the more modest the better. No bikinis, please!

Guys - Ugandan men dress 'smart' as much as possible, wearing collared shirts for ministry and clean t-shirts for less formal times. The more dressed-up you can get, the better. Bring a pair of 'church' shoes if you expect to be preaching or teaching in a formal setting. Wear nice sandal-type shoes for other ministry. Flip flops or Teva-like shoes are okay for casual times. Long shorts are allowed in the evenings or non-ministry times, but nice trousers or clean jeans are necessary for ministry.

Piercings, dread locks, etc. - Generally piercings on guys and dreadlocks are associated with drugs, and not advisable in Ugandan mission groups. If you have piercings, please remove them before coming or be prepared to remove them during the day and put them in only at night. If you have dreadlocks, be prepared to keep them covered. We advise guys not to braid (plait) their hair, and if they have long hair, to seriously consider cutting it short before coming.

Other things to bring:

Torch (flashlight)
Extra batteries
Water bottle
Mosquito repellant (you can NOT buy this in Uganda so bring plenty)
Sunscreen (also NOT available in Uganda)
Hat of some kind
Lightweight towel (shammy)
Basic first aid medicines
Any prescription medicines
Sleeping bag, or sleeping bag sheet

Things you can get here:

Mosquito nets (very cheap and effective...approx. $4 USD)
Batteries (but the good ones are quite expensive)
Feminine hygiene products (pads)