The Packing List #28 – October 9, 2016 – Turkey Time In Canada

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Hello! If you’re Canadian, happy Thanksgiving! If you live anywhere else, it’s Sunday. I’m back on the newsletter beat after a terrific time in Montreal with Adele, who broke our hearts and lifted us up over and over again with her beautiful voice and relentless charm. What did we do to deserve her?

If you are reading from Nova Scotia, Canada, an important reminder: municipal and provincial school board elections are coming up on October 15, 2016. Get out and vote, or do what I did, vote online from your couch in your jammie-jams. Have a great week!

Haiti and Hurricane Matthew

I’m including a block this week to talk about Haiti and its recovery from Hurricane Matthew. I visited Haiti in 2015 – as a tourist – and I fell in love. It is endlessly beautiful, its people friendly and resilient, but Haiti has suffered at the hands of centuries of international interference. Haiti is also known as the “Republic of NGOs,” given the sheer number of them that set up shop after the 2010 earthquake, with some tough lessons learned for foreign organizations. So, here we go again with a barrage of bad news stories about Haiti.

  • The BBC has prepared a good explainer on the extent of damage and why Haiti is particularly vulnerable to catastrophic weather.
  • It’s a positive human response to want to help Haiti recover. Please don’t send items, send money. Haitian-owned businesses in the country are directly harmed when well-intentioned people outside of the the country send goods that could be purchased inside the country. Goods can be purchased there. SEND MONEY.
  • But don’t send it anywhere. Send it to an organization that is established in the country, that has a recovery or medical support mandate. I don’t support religious organizations, but I do support organizations like Partners in Health (PIH Canada), who has been in Haiti for decades and has a positive relationship with the communities where it works.
  • This is the best (and regularly updated) list I’ve seen of organizations that will effectively use your donation.
  • When I was in Haiti, I visited an amazing organization called the Art Creation Foundation for Children in Jacmel. Fortunately, Jacmel was largely spared by the storm, but you should see how ACFFC is caring for its children and their families during the recovery anyway.
  • If you want to talk more about Haiti, read this and come back to me. We’ll talk.

Travel news you can use

Nifty finds



  • Before I left for Montreal, I wrote a new post on the blog about packing for Iceland, it will cover you for late spring, summer, or early fall.
  • No one else packed anything this week, I guess.

Zipping the suitcase

This week’s newsletter was a long one, thanks for sticking with me this far. Next week will be shorter, I promise – time for turkey (in Canada)! Tell me what you think about the newsletter by sending a message directly to Find out more about where I travel on See you next week!

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