I’ve got my first question to answer (and it’s not what I would have expected):
Q: I am moving to [redacted] in about a month, to work as a coordinator for a large NGO on a refugee project. It’s a one-year contract. This is my first field posting, and I really have no idea what to pack. I have no shipping allowance, just what I can carry in my checked luggage. I know what to do about clothing and toiletries and whatever. My question is – what about books? How many books should I pack? I don’t want run out of stuff to read but I do need some space for clothes.
A: Bring about a week’s worth of books, whatever that is for you. Chose things you can re-read, but you won’t mind giving away. You’re going to a major city. You’ll be able to get internet access, and probably satellite TV. You won’t die of boredom if you run out of books, and sharing and discussing English language books is a great way to make friends with other expats. (And if you want to stay sane in a new culture, you’ll need a couple expat friends.)