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Sleep

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Your sleeping environment in the field site will be extremely different to what you are used to. Find out what you will most likely be sleeping in. Be prepared to have very different sleeping hours. You may have difficulty adjusting to new sleeping environments. Give yourself a bit of time to adjust. Some things that might be helpful include ear plugs and an eye mask.

Questions you need to know the answers to:

  • What is the normal sleeping environment?
  • Will I be in a hut? Will I have a hut to myself or will I be expected to share with others?
  • Am I prepared to sleep in that environment?
  • If not, what can I do about it?
  • Will I require special equipment (for example a mosquito net)?

On my first trip, I had brought a mosquito net from Australia. When the locals saw it, they laughed at it saying that it was barely large enough for a child -- they could not believe I had never before slept under a mosquito net. Fortunately, I could borrow a tent during that trip, which was set up inside a hut. On later trips, I always brought a three-man tent for myself, as a tent has several advantages over a mosquito net: it also protected me against rats, dogs, cats, spiders, and so on; it protected me from rain (the roof of the hut was leaking); it gave me some privacy; and I could store stuff inside the tent and lock it with a padlock.

-- Gerd Jendraschek