One pre-departure tradition we have with overseas teams is the packing party. It's a meeting where the team comes together to pack team gear - meaning any stuff the team needs to execute the program. In addition to this gear, we bring other items requested by our overseas hosts. Specifics usually include stuff that can only be purchased in the United States. This year, the most wanted list includes any kind of candy, salad dressing packets, muffin and brownie mixes, children's medicine and more candy. It's another nuance of serving with well trusted partners - it's no longer just stuff you are giving. Instead, it's providing for some dear friends.
The picture is the pile in our living room, filled with all kinds of stuff, including some of the list above as well as: construction paper, baby dolls, cleaning wipes, pipe cleaners, tie dye stuff, board books, foam art, crayons, markers, tape, toddler toys from fast food kid meals, bubble stuff, dress up clothes, and my personal favorite mission trip supply for this year - toilet paper rolls.
6 days until departure.