Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, September 29

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


[We got this rushed message from Jes late Tuesday night; by the time you read this, she'll have landed in Ghana. --Editors]

Because I said I'd have one more article for GB before I left for Ghana, and because I'm so effective at procrastinating, and because everybody loves lists: I present everything I am taking with me when I leave for Ghana. Tomorrow. Believe it or not, I should be able to carry this all with me on the plane. The large trunk of medical supplies, however, I will have to check through.


And to answer the question I've been asked at least a hundred times this last week: yes, I am excited. (!)

  • 12 pens
  • a blank book I bound myself
  • The Satanic Verses (Rushdie)
  • Moby Dick (Melville)
  • The Autobiography of Red (Carson)
  • the flip flops I bought in Darwin
  • 2 scarves for covering my head
  • 4 long skirts (to be left behind)
  • 5 t-shirts (to be left behind)
  • a really ugly floral patterned set of twin sheets (to be left behind)
  • backup sunglasses (because no way am I bringing my best pair)
  • yellow Immunization card (cannot enter Ghana without it)
  • Plane tickets
  • eyepatch for sleeping on the plane
  • Malaria pills (Malarone)
  • Cipro (for possible dysentery)
  • Sodium Naproxin
  • Flexeral
  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen
  • Tylenol PM
  • Claritin
  • 15 Luna bars (Nutz over chocolate and S'mores)
  • 2 tubes of #30 sunblock because I am astoundingly pale
  • nice sandals
  • 400 + 20 dollars (in hundred dollar bills, because they get the best�exchange rate, and credit card machines and ATMs are nonexistent where�I'll be. 20 bucks should cover living expenses for two weeks, the rest is for souvenirs/emergency funds)


  • a CD of Photoshop (ton install on a machine over there, so I can work�on pictures at night, since we can't go out after dark because that's when the Malaria mosquitos hunt)
  • coils of cat45 cable
  • crimper
  • Windows 2k Pro
  • earplugs
  • kleenex
  • Canon ZR MC 70 dvcam
  • 9 dv tapes
  • Canon Powershot G2
  • extra battery packs
  • one 128 and two 256 compact flash cards
  • Lomo Kompakt Automat
  • some Olympus 35mm automatic camera I bought in Sydney
  • 12 rolls of 100 speed film
  • passport with Ghana visa
  • nice long dress
  • tank top and shorts to sleep in
  • 7 pair of underwear
  • 7 pair of socks
  • swimsuit
  • wide brimmed soft hat
  • Nalgene water bottle
  • mini Maglite (purple)
  • clip-on lapel mic
  • leggings (to wear beneath long skirts to prevent mosquito bites)
  • visor
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • soap (Dr. Bronner's peppermint)
  • face stuff
  • tampons
  • band aids
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush
  • chapstick (Burt's Bees)
  • floss
  • lotion
  • face lotion with sunblock
  • towel
  • agave washcloth


  • tripod
  • discman
  • CDs
  • rechargeable batteries
  • headphones (earmuffs)
  • mosquito netting
  • mosquito repellant
  • laundry detergent
  • titanium spork
  • blowup neck pillow
  • poncho
  • money belt
  • fanny pack (yes, I own one, it was may grandma's; no it's not hot pink)
  • vitamins
  • Wellness pills
  • chargers for cameras
  • New Balance trainers


About the Author(s)

Jes Davis won't be posting to for the next three weeks.

GB store

Recently on Detour

A Tragic Day in Chicago
While most people see the weekend after Thanksgiving as a time to begin preparations for the December holiday season, this time of year is a painful reminder to some as the anniversary of one of Chicago's deadliest fires. Ninety-two students...

The Social Life of Our Urban Spaces
"Placemaking" comes to Chicago

Don't '&' Me, OK?
The ampersand gets Wenner thinking about the distinction between race and ethnicity.

Photo Essay: Transitions
Rearview contributers interpret the theme "Transitions."

People from the Rearview Archive
Gapers Block digs into the Rearview archive in search of portraits.

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15