Travel & Ministry Clothing

Travel Clothing | Ministry Clothing | Leisure Clothing | Laundry
Women's Attire | Travel Tips | Uganda Mission Home

General Comments
In addition to the clothes you travel in, you should also take four to six changes (mix and match), plus leisure wear, sleep wear, and shower clothes.

In most guest houses, showers are not located in each room but at the end of a hallway or even in separate facility. Men on our teams have found it useful to have a pair of "shower shorts" with a couple of large pockets in which to carry soap, razor, mirror, shave cream, toilet paper, etc., when going from their room to the shower. Ladies accomplish the same purpose with a robe and some have even sew an extra pocket or two on the inside. A pair of "flip flops" to wear to the shower is a must.

Once a team arrives in Uganda, it is my strong recommendation that our ladies respect Ugandan customs and culture. Generally, ladies in Uganda who wear pants, split skirts, or shorts, are considered to be loose. You will see other ladies in Uganda as tourist wearing pants and shorts, but they are looked on with some disdain and certainly would find their attire an impediment to Christian ministry. A photo of the ladies in my 1999 team gives you some idea of acceptable ladies wear for ministry.

Travel Clothing
The first rule of travel clothing is comfort. By this I mean loose fitting clothes (elastic waist bands, open collars, etc), that are made of cotton. I recommend shoes (flats for ladies) that are easy to slip on and off. In flight I slip off my shoes and put the small socks the airline provides over my own socks and find this quite comfortable. It is also smart to have a light jacket/sweater which can be used as need You should also pay attention to the weather along the way. One January I left Florida en route to Uganda only to find myself in a London layover with snow on the ground while dressed for the tropics.

Safety note: Most safety experts suggest both men and women travel in pants and long sleeve shirts made of cotton which give the best protection in an aircraft emergency. Synthetic fabrics have been know to melt in fires causing greater damage to human skin. Ladies nylon stockings and synthetic underwear should also be avoided in air travel.

Ministry Clothing
As has been previously stated, ladies should wear long dresses when out in public and doing ministry. In some venues men can simply wear a dress shirt and tie. In others, especially Church of Uganda venues, wearing a coat also is considered proper. I was once preaching in an area where it was very hot and my coat did not help, but I endured until the Bishop took off his coat. I then asked if he would object if I took mine off too and he said it was fine. In some regard, it is the old "When in Rome do as the Romans do." In 2002 I spent a week with a group of young Presbyterian men in concentrated training and did not even wear a tie. On another occasion, I wore a coat and tying while my Ugandan interpreter wore a Mickey Mouse t-shirt. I just always prefer to err on the side of caution and not offend but be well received for ministry.

Leisure Clothing
Not withstanding the discussions elsewhere on this page concerning customs and culture in Uganda, leisure clothing is up to the individual. Blue jeans, running shoes, even shorts are worn by team members within the guest house and when visiting some tourist location.

On my first trip I took laundry soap and a clothes line. The first issue is getting water to wash and rinse with. I then found out it was very easy to find someone in every venue who would jump at the opportunity to do laundry for a few Uganda Shillings (which they truly need). Not only did they do a better job in washing and rinsing (they knew were to get plenty of water), they also ironed my clothes (with a charcoal iron).

Travel Tips | Uganda Mission Home