So my husband and I and our two little girls are currently living in a tiny village in West Africa. And these five things, small though they are, have made a big difference for us.


1 d-light Solar lights. We love the lantern and the disk lights. These are seriously awesome. We recharge them every day in the sun, and then we have about four to six hours of light from them at night. They are of great quality and last for years.


2. Sawyer water filter. This is a huge convenience. It attaches to any bucket and doesn't use electricity. You can clean it so it will last indefinitely. These filters come in various sizes, some don't and others do filter viruses. This system has been wonderful for us in reducing our digestive troubles.


3. A sleeper tent for my baby. Mine was purchased in Africa but you can find similar ones online. Basically it's a little pop-up net tent that zips up, and can be folded up to the size of a large dinner plate. SO much more convenient than a heavy pack & play! It doubles as a mosquito net, eliminating the need for a loose net which can be pulled into the crib and become a choking hazard. You can use it anywhere - nap outside if it's too hot inside. We travel with limited luggage a good bit and I love being able to put my baby down in a safe place, wherever we are.


4. The Village Medical Manual by Mary Vanderkooi, MD. These books are accompanied by a short course in tropical medicine (MMI) offered by Equip Intl. My husband took the course and we would highly recommend it. But even if you can't, the books are still a must-have. Obviously, we are not doctors. But the reality of life here is that often, medical care is far away or of doubtful quality. These books have literally saved my life. Also, it's wonderful to be able to double-check medicines, dosages, and procedures. Very self-explanatory. Highly recommended.


5. This last one is purely for mommy's comfort. We live in a hot climate and flip flops is where it's at. I used to wear just anything without a problem but pregnancies changed that to where my back and feet will be sore if i don't wear supportive shoes. Before we moved over this time, i was on a mission to find some sandals that would be comfortable, supportive, and also not too expensive and last a long time... (because let's face it, few of us tckmoms have trouble with having more money than we need, aye?) Well, I've found my answer in these Crocs Women's Kadee flipflops. They are super comfortable and I've worn them non-stop for six months and they still look practically new. I much prefer them over something like leather Birkenstocks because the mud, dirt and sweat they have to deal with here can ruin them quickly. I had Birkenstock brand plastic flip flops once but they wore out fast. So, Crocs flipflops is where it's at for me! Watch for sales on the website - I bought mine for just $13.99.

Do you have any items you would recommend for living in the bush?

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