Thursday, March 31, 2011

Packing List

In an effort to help the students figure out what to pack, I've complied a packing checklist. If the experienced travelers out there could provide some feedback, I'd be greatly appreciative!

Packing Checklist (adapted from Rick Steves)

Clothing (average/estimated amounts)
1 pair of walking/comfortable shoes
1 pair of “dressy” shoes
1 rainproof jacket
2 pairs of shorts/capris (shorts aren't allowed in major cathedrals, but capris are) – depends on weather
2 pairs of pants (one dressy, one casual; khaki is recommended – when washed, it dries faster than jeans) – though jeans are acceptable in most places we will visit
1 belt 
4 pairs of socks
5 pairs of underwear
1 extra bra
4-6 shirts (long/short-sleeved, various colors)
1-2 light cardigans/light sweaters or jackets for layering
1-2 skirts (wrinkle-resistant)
2 pair of sleepwear/pajamas

Body soap/puff (washcloth); most European hotels do not supply washcloths
Razor (non-electric)/shaving cream or soap
Feminine hygiene products (if applicable)
Nail clippers/file/tweezers
Spare glasses or contact lenses and supplies
Woolite (for hand washing clothes)
Other products you deem “essential”

Money and Security
Moneybelt: Passport, debit card, credit cards, small amount of cash
Security: Bury
 copies of your passport in the bottom of your luggage

Small daypack. This is great for carrying your sweater, camera, and other items.
Camera. A digital camera and a high-capacity memory card mean no more bulky bags of film.
Journal. An empty book to be filled with the experiences of your trip will be your most treasured souvenir.
Hair dryer. People with long or thick hair appreciate a travel hair dryer in the off-season, when hair takes a long time to dry and it's cold outside.
MP3/video player. Some travelers use digital recorders to capture pipe organs, tours, or journal entries. A small, portable radio adds a new dimension to your experience.
Adapters. Europe's electrical outlets are different from ours.
Spot remover. Bring Shout wipes or tide-to-go.
Gifts. Local hosts appreciate small souvenirs from your hometown (gourmet candy or crafts). Local kids love T-shirts and small toys.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My July is Booked!

Although I've been meaning to update with news about my forthcoming trips for some time, there just has not been a free moment of late. A few weeks ago, I received a potentially life-altering phone call on my way home from work. The secretary from the Jewish Labor Committee called to inform me that I have been accepted as a participant for the 2011 Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers' Program. To say that I am thrilled about this experience does not begin to describe my elation!

The HAJRTP trip is an amazing three week experience that begins and ends at the USHMM in Washington, D.C. In the span of time between meetings at the museum, the group will travel to Israel, Germany, and Poland to visit various museums and memorials to the Holocaust. Additionally, a key component of the program is the opportunity to speak with survivors and educators in each of the countries. With the survivor population narrowing each day, those opportunities will be especially precious. The chance to speak with educators about Holocaust education will also be unique and extremely beneficial to my own approach to Central's Holocaust and Human Behavior course. All in all, I'm certain that my month of July will be packed with experiences that will always influence my teaching and will truly never leave me.

This past weekend also marked a personal epiphany about the upcoming Holocaust Overseas Trip with 14 Central students--it's nearly a month away! Since we leave on April 12, real preparations for the trip must begin. I've already begun gearing up for my world travels with a easy-to-pack jacket as well as a USB, pocket sized audio recorder, but I heartily welcome any additional suggestions for "must have" items for my upcoming excursions. Experienced travelers, I'm looking at you...

I will be sure to provide more updates about the Holocaust Overseas Trip as well as HAJRTP in the weeks to come!