Difference between pages "Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Madagascar" and "Packing list for Paraguay"

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{{Living_conditions_and_volunteer_lifestyles_by_country}}
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{{Packing lists by country}}
  
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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Paraguay and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything on the list, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Paraguay.
  
===Communications===
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The standard for work attire in Paraguay is neat and professional, but not fancy. This "business casual" applies during pre-service training, as well as Volunteer service. Volunteers working in different professional capacities will need different sets of clothing, although, in general, Volunteers should be prepared to have a couple of good business casual-type outfits. For example, community economic development Volunteers and Volunteers working within the school system will need more clothes for an office setting than a Volunteer placed in a rural setting. Think in terms of comfort, versatility, and, most important, durability. Since there are extremes in weather, separates that coordinate well and that can be layered on or off as needed are useful. Remember that it gets really hot in the summer and, although it does not freeze in the winter, homes in Paraguay are not insulated and are drafty—imagine going camping in 40 F weather. It is a very good idea to bring a mummy-type sleeping bag for the cold (comes with a stuff sack, is lightweight, and easy to pack). Thick-soled shoes are best purchased in the United States because of price and quality, and men‘s sizes over 10 1/2 and women‘s sizes over 9 are difficult to find in Paraguay.
  
===Mail===
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It is also important to consider the color of your clothing. Volunteers generally recommend darker colors because they are less likely to show dirt. However, Volunteers working in beekeeping will need light-colored work clothes, and education Volunteers working with teachers should bring navy blue pants or skirts and white shirts or blouses. Red and royal blue are the colors of the main political parties. Wearing these colors inside a municipality may have political implications. Business casual is recommended for community economic development and education and youth development Volunteers. For both men and women, simple, non-flashy clothing will open more doors and minds. Everything on the general clothing list applies to both women and men. Also, Paraguayans wear typical embroidered clothing called ''ao’poi'' for formal occasions, as well as business casual, which is very popular with Volunteers in Paraguay. Most Volunteers buy at least one ''ao’poi'' item of clothing during training.
  
Few countries in the world offer the level of mail service considered normal in the United States. If you expect U.S.  standards of mail service, you will be in for some frustration.  Mail takes a minimum of two to three weeks to arrive in Madagascar. Some mail may simply not arrive (fortunately this is not a frequent occurrence, but it does happen). Advise your family and friends to number their letters and to include “Airmail” and “Par Avion” on their envelopes. Packages take six to nine weeks by airmail and about six months by surface mail. If someone is sending you a package, it is a good idea to keep it small and to use a padded envelope; that way it will be treated as a letter.  
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Do not pack anything precious or expensive that you could not reasonably part from.  
  
Despite these delays, we encourage you to write to your family regularly and to number your letters. Family and friends typically become worried when they do not hear from you, so it is a good idea to advise them that mail service is sporadic and that they should not worry if they do not receive your letters regularly.xxxxxxxxx
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===General Clothing ===
  
Volunteers in Madagascar may receive packages but are responsible for all duty fees, which may be imposed on food and cosmetics and are based on the items’ value. Also be aware that packages containing valuable items may occasionally get lost or held up.
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* Two to four pairs of durable, dark-colored pants or jeans
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* Long underwear for the winter (a necessity)
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* Six or more T-shirts
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* One or two long-sleeved shirts or flannel shirts for layering with sweaters and sweatshirts
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* Two winter sweaters/sweatshirts/fleece shirts
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* One medium jacket (fleece generally works great, but other lined, windbreaker jackets will work as well)
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* Hooded raincoat
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* Two or three pairs of shorts to wear around the house or for sleeping or exercising, etc. (shorts are not to be worn during training events or in the Peace Corps office)
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* Six to eight pairs of socks—include cotton and wool (at least one pair of Smart Wool socks is recommended)
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* Your favorite hat for sun protection (baseball hats work well, but wide-brimmed are best to keep the sun off your neck)
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* Warm hat and gloves and scarves for winter—a necessity!
  
Your address during training will be:
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===For Women ===
  
"Your Name", PCT Peace Corps
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* Ten to 15 pairs of cotton underpants and five to 10 bras (including sports bras)
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* Four or five nice shirts (this may include blouses, some sleeveless, nice long-sleeve or short-sleeve)
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* Three or four lightweight, loose-fitting, knee-length skirts or lightweight pants (you should have at least one for nice occasions)
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* 1-2 lightweight sun dresses
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* Something nice for swearing in and special occasions (this can include nice pants, a skirt and blouse or dress)
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* Three or four thick-strapped tank tops (tank tops should not be worn for training or professional activities)
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* Swimsuit (you will wear them at Volunteers events; Paraguayan women usually wear shorts and T-shirts to swim)
  
Corps de la Paix
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===For Men ===
  
B.P. 12091
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* Dress shirt and tie for swearing in and other special occasions
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* Cotton underwear (boxers are difficult to find in Paraguay)
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* Three or four short-sleeved, button-down shirts with collars for work settings (they are cooler in the summer than T-shirts or polo shirts)
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* Three pairs of khaki-style pants
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* Two pairs of durable, dark-colored pants or jeans
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* Three to four short-sleeved, button-down shirts—if Volunteers don‘t have these, ao’poi shirts are a great substitution!
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* Swim trunks
  
Poste Zoom Ankorondrano
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===Shoes ===
  
101 Antananarivo
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* For women, one pair of flat shoes (in a basic color like black and with thick soles)
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* At least one pair of sandals for summer (sandals are not normally worn by men at work)
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* One pair of tennis shoes or all-terrain shoes, preferably in a dark color to hide the red dirt (good ones are expensive locally)
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* Flip-flops (available locally)
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* One pair of durable hiking or other boots (preferably waterproof) (optional)
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* For men, one pair of informal, closed-toe dress shoes
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For men, the largest shoes most stores in Paraguay reliably carry are size 11.
  
Madagascar
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===Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items ===
  
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* Contact lens solutions (available in Paraguay but very expensive)
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* Makeup (if you are picky about brands)
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* Good supply of tampons (only applicator-free tampons, pads, and panty liners are available locally)
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* Sunscreen (only if you have a favorite brand; the Peace Corps provides some)
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* Three-month supply of any prescription drugs you use (to last you until the Peace Corps orders refills)
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* Two pairs of eyeglasses, if you wear them
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* Two or three bandannas or handkerchiefs (available locally)
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* Shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash (one-month supply, three- to four-month supply if you are brand picky); while many brands are available locally, bring enough for pre-service training (three months) as time and money will be limited to allow for you to buy replacements
  
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===Gear ===
  
Once you have become a Volunteer, you will receive your mail directly at your assigned site.
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* Travel bag or small daypack
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* Large backpack for longer trips (one with an internal frame is recommended)
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* Flashlight or headlamp, LED for longer battery life
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* Sunglasses with UV protection
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* Set of sheets to fit a double-sized bed (can also be purchased locally)
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* Washcloths and bath towels, preferably lightweight (extra-large quick dry recommended) Ponytail holders (available locally but of very poor quality)
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* Warm sleeping bag—considered essential by Volunteers, especially in winter
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* Portable CD player or MP3 and traveling speakers, (inexpensive, good-quality radios and tape players can be purchased locally)
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* 220-volt adapter, preferably with a surge protector (small ones cost about $20 in Paraguay)
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* Camera and replacement batteries (an expensive camera is not recommended without insurance)
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* Portable games such as cards, Uno, checkers, chess, etc.
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* Tent (optional)
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* Travel alarm clock
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* Multi-purpose tool/pocket knife
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* Water bottle
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* Photos of your family, friends, and home (a good conversation starter)
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* Duct tape (considered a must by many)
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* Frisbee, baseball glove, and other recreational or sports equipment
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* Prepaid phone card for calling home
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* Permanent markers (available locally, but expensive and of poor quality)
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* Camping sleeping pad (great for visitors) or yoga mat (some Volunteers swear by these)
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* Rechargeable batteries (regular batteries are available in Paraguay)
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* USB flash drive (necessary for transferring files)
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* Small, basic cookbook and/or favorite recipes
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* Dietary supplements you take other than multivitamins
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* Sealable baggies (they are essential for keeping out bugs, ants, etc.)
  
===Telephones===
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===Sector-specific packing list===
  
You will not have routine access to a telephone during training, although the training site does have telephones for emergency use. While international phone service is available in major cities, it is very expensive. Calling cards (such as those available from MCI, Sprint, and AT&T) do not work in Madagascar. So while calling the United States is possible, it can be a frustrating experience, and if you are calling from outside a major city, it will take longer to get a line. Writing letters is the best method of regular communication with family and friends.
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====Community Economic Development====
  
Few Volunteers have phones in their houses although many are now buying personal cellphones so family and friends can call them. But, many of the Volunteer sites do not have cellphone service so these can only be used when the Volunteers go to a larger town.
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* Computer (if brought, also bring an external hard drive)
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* Nicer clothes for meetings
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* Nice but comfortable shoes for meetings
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* Old clothes for working outdoors
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* Small calendar to stay organized
  
===Computer, Internet, and E-mail Access===
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====Rural Health & Sanitation====
  
Few Volunteer homes have electricity, so bringing a personal computer to Madagascar is not recommended. Computers are available for use by Volunteers at the Peace Corps office. Although some of the major cities have Internet cafes, it is best to assume that, at best, you will have only limited access to the Internet and e-mail.
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* Please bring enough professional clothing (business casual) for pre-service training (six days a week), in-service trainings (3-4 days at a time) and one to two days a week in the school or health post.
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* 1 pair of shoes you can work in, such as Chacos, good tennis shoes, or work boots
  
The staff at your post in Madagascar would like to request that you set up a unique email address to use during your Peace Corps service. You can leave this address with all friends and family before you leave. And having the email address that we request will greatly facilitate communication with you once you are at your site.
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====Agriculture====
  
Please set up an email account at yahoo.com that looks like this: pcvfirstnamelastinitialmg@yahoo.com. So, for example, if your name in Samson Thomas, your e-mail address would be: pcvsamsontmg@yahoo.com. We appreciate your assistance in helping us communicate with you!
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* 1 pair of pants you don‘t mind ruining
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* 1 long-sleeved white button-up collared shirt (for beekeeping activities, doesn‘t have to be nice)
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* 1 pair very light-colored pants (for beekeeping activities, don‘t have to be nice)
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* 1 pair of work/gardening gloves
  
===Housing and Site Location===
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====Environmental Education and Conservations====
  
Volunteers are posted throughout the country. Housing conditions here vary from mud houses with thatched roofs to modern cement houses with running water and electricity.  Your project, the area of the country, and the availability of housing all have a role in the type of home you will have.  Many Volunteers have only a pit toilet and a thatched shed for taking bucket showers. Environmental Volunteers tend to live in more remote areas (near the national parks and protected areas), while education and health Volunteers generally live in areas of greater population density.
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* Professional clothes for training, working in the schools, and working at the Peace Corps office (lightweight dark pants with a light-colored top will generally work)
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* Pair of clothes that you don‘t mind getting dirty for working in gardens or on tree planting projects
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* Garden or other work gloves
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* Markers, paints, stickers, and other art supplies to use with the kids at the schools or camps
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* Calendar or planner to keep yourself organized (can be purchased locally)
  
During training, you will live with and have most of your meals with a hjhjhjhjhjhjhjfor this period. Trainees generally stay in a village with three or four other trainees and one or two staff members. Volunteers often form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.
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====Education and Youth Development====
  
===Living Allowance and Money Management===
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* Games (playing card games, puzzles, board games) in Spanish
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* Kids‘ books/chapter books in Spanish
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* Materials–markers, crayons, coloring books
  
As a Volunteer, you will receive a modest living allowance that will allow you to live on a par with your colleagues and co-workers. The amount of the allowance is based on regular surveys of Volunteers and the cost of living in Madagascar.  The living allowance is usually deposited quarterly, in local currency, in Volunteers’ bank accounts, so an ability to manage funds wisely is important. The allowance is currently equivalent to approximately $128 per month. In addition, you receive a monthly travel allowance.
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[[Category:Paraguay]]
 
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You will also receive a leave allowance of $24 per month, which is standard across all Peace Corps countries and paid in local currency along with your living allowance.
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Volunteers suggest you bring cash and credit cards for vacation travel. The amount depends on the amount of traveling you plan to do while serving in Madagascar. Some local banks offer ATM cards, but only for local accounts. Only a few Malagasy establishments accept credit cards, so they are mostly useful for travel to other countries.
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The local currency is the Malagasy ariary (MGA). The current exchange rate is approximately 2,150 ariary to the dollar.
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===Food and Diet===
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The staple food in Madagascar is rice, which is eaten with vegetables, beans, or meat. Many fruits and vegetables grow in Madagascar, and with a little creativity one can enjoy a varied diet. Most Volunteers prepare their own food. Some, after becoming more familiar with their site, hire someone to help with household work, including cooking. Meat and dairy products are available in the larger towns, but they can be expensive.
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If you are a vegetarian, you will be able to eat well in Madagascar after you learn about local foods and their preparation. Some Malagasy are not familiar with vegetarianism and will not be prepared to serve a vegetarian meal if you are a guest in their home. However, a sensitive explanation of your preferences will be accepted. Most vegetarian Volunteers have no difficulty after an initial adjustment period.
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===Transportation===
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Volunteers’ primary mode of transport is public buses and taxi brousses (small vans usually loaded with people and goods). Buses and minibuses travel among towns on irregular schedules (i.e., when full), so travel in Madagascar is never a timed affair.
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Many Volunteers use mountain bikes. If you plan to ride a bicycle, wearing a helmet is required, and we ask that you bring one with you from the United States. If you do not have one when you come, Peace Corps will provide you a helmet, but it will likely be one that was used by former Volunteers. The Peace Corps issues men’s bikes to Volunteers, which can be difficult for a woman in a skirt to ride. Many female Volunteers wear shorts under their skirts to solve this problem. Volunteers are not allowed to drive or operate motor vehicles or motorcycles (two- or three-wheeled) in Madagascar.
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===Geography and Climate===
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Madagascar is south of the equator, so its seasons will be the opposite of what you are accustomed to. At the winter solstice, for example, when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, the weather is warm. Conversely, at the time of the summer solstice in June, the weather is cool.
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Madagascar has a tropical climate with rainy and dry seasons.  During the rainy season (November to March), southwest tradewinds drop their moisture on the eastern mountain slopes and blow hot and dry in the west. North and northwest monsoon air currents bring heavy rains in summer, decreasing as one moves southward, so that, for example, the rainfall in Fort Dauphin is half that in Tamatave. During February and March, eastern Madagascar can be hit by cyclones, which may impact other areas, particularly in the north. The dry season runs from April to October.
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Seasonal changes in temperature in Madagascar are also influenced by altitude and latitude. From December to April, the coastal regions are very hot and dry in the west but very hot and wet in the east. Average midday temperatures in the dry season are 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30°C) on the coast.
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From December to April (summer), the central plateau is warm, with periods of rain. In June, July, and August (winter), the central plateau gets very chilly, while the west coast is warm and dry and the east coast is warm with occasional showers.
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===Social Activities===
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There are several radio stations in Madagascar, some of which play popular music. Many Volunteers bring shortwave radios so they can listen to international broadcasts (BBC, Voice of America, Radio Nederlands, etc.). Madagascar has no cinemas.
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The most common form of entertainment is socializing with friends and neighbors. Music is very important to the Malagasy, and singing together can be a lot of fun. While Volunteers are encouraged to remain at their sites to develop relationships with people in their community, the Peace Corps recognizes that occasional trips to the capital or to visit friends are also a necessity. Vacation time is allotted for non-work-related and approved absences from one’s site.
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===Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior===
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One of the challenges all Peace Corps Volunteers have is attempting to fit into the local culture and act like a professional while at the same time maintaining one’s own cultural identity. It is not an easy thing to resolve, and we can only provide you with guidelines. You will be working as a representative of a government ministry and will be expected to dress and behave accordingly, whether you are in training, traveling, or on the job. While some of your counterparts may dress in seemingly worn or shabby clothes, this is undoubtedly due to economics rather than choice. The likelihood is that they are wearing their best. A foreigner who wears ragged, unmended clothing, however, is likely to be considered an affront.
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Malagasy regard one’s dress as an expression of one’s respect for others. Neatness of appearance is valued more than being stylish. Unfortunately, just one inappropriately dressed Volunteer could cause a Malagasy host agency to form a negative opinion about the Peace Corps and share it with other officials at national and regional meetings. Volunteers are therefore expected to dress appropriately to avoid jeopardizing the credibility of the entire program.
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Following are Peace Corps/Madagascar’s guidelines for Volunteers’ dress. (They have been formalized in response to advice from people in Madagascar and other countries where the Peace Corps works and are meant to inform, not to offend.)
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* Women’s dresses and skirts should fall to or below the knees.
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* Men and women should wear shorts only at home, when exercising, or when doing work for which Malagasy counterparts are also wearing shorts. If shorts are worn in public, they should be of walking length for both men and women.
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* Hair should be clean and combed. Men’s hair should not be longer than shirt-collar length, and beards should be neatly trimmed.
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* Men should not wear a hat indoors.
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* Flip-flops should not be worn as professional footwear.
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* Female Volunteers should wear appropriate undergarments, including bras and slips.
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* Excessive body piercing or tattoos should not be visible.
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===Personal Safety===
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More detailed information about the Peace Corps’ approach to safety is contained in the Health Care and Safety chapter, but it is an important issue and cannot be overemphasized. As stated in the Volunteer Handbook, becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer entails certain safety risks. Living and traveling in an unfamiliar environment (oftentimes alone), having a limited understanding of local language and culture, and being perceived as well-off are some of the factors that can put a Volunteer at risk. Many Volunteers experience varying degrees of unwanted attention and harassment. Petty thefts and burglaries are not uncommon, and incidents of physical and sexual assault do occur, although most Madagascar Volunteers complete their two years of service without personal security incidents. The Peace Corps has established procedures and policies designed to help you reduce your risks and enhance your safety and security. These procedures and policies, in addition to safety training, will be provided once you arrive in Madagascar. At the same time, you are expected to take responsibility for your safety and well-being.
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===Rewards and Frustrations===
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Although the potential for job satisfaction is very high, like all Volunteers, you will encounter numerous frustrations.
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Perceptions of time are very different from those in America.  The lack of basic infrastructure can become tiring. Host agencies do not always provide expected support in a timely manner. The Malagasy generally perceive Americans as very rich. Adapting to a new culture as a Peace Corps Volunteer is often described as an intense series of emotional peaks and valleys.
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As a Volunteer, you will be given a great deal of responsibility and independence in your work—perhaps more than in any other job you will ever have. Often you will need to motivate yourself and others with little guidance. You might work for months with little visible impact and without receiving feedback on your work. Development is a slow process. You must possess the self-confidence, patience, and vision to continue working toward long-term goals without seeing immediate results.
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The AIDS pandemic strikes across all social strata in many Peace Corps countries. The loss of teachers has crippled education systems, while illness and disability drains family income and forces governments and donors to redirect limited resources from other priorities. The fear and uncertainty AIDS causes has led to increased domestic violence and stigmatizing of people living with HIV/AIDS, isolating them from friends and family and cutting them off from economic opportunities.
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As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will confront these issues on a very personal level. It is important to be aware of the high emotional toll that disease, death, and violence can have on Volunteers. As you strive to integrate into your community, you will develop relationships with local people who might die during your service. Because of the AIDS pandemic, some Volunteers will be regularly meeting with HIV positive people and working with training staff, office staff and host family members living with AIDS. Volunteers need to prepare themselves to embrace these relationships in a sensitive and positive manner. Likewise, malaria and malnutrition, motor vehicle accidents and other unintentional injuries, domestic violence and corporal punishment are problems a Volunteer may confront. You will need to anticipate these situations and utilize supportive resources available throughout your training and service to maintain your own emotional strength, so that you can continue to be of service to your community.
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To overcome these difficulties, you will need maturity, flexibility, open-mindedness, and resourcefulness. Judging by the experience of former Volunteers, the peaks are well worth the difficult times, and most Volunteers leave Madagascar feeling they have gained much more than they sacrificed during their service. If you are able to make the commitment to integrate into your community and work hard, your service could be a truly life-altering experience.
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[[Category:Madagascar]]
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Revision as of 18:23, 5 September 2014


Packing List for [[{{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]]

Packing Lists by Country

These lists has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[{{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]] based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list!
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]]
[[Image:Flag_of_{{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}}{{#if:{{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}}|_{{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}}|}}{{#if:{{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}|_{{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}|}}.svg|50px|none]]

See also:
Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

[[Category:{{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |4}} {{#explode:Packing list for Paraguay| |5}}]]

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Paraguay and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything on the list, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Paraguay.

The standard for work attire in Paraguay is neat and professional, but not fancy. This "business casual" applies during pre-service training, as well as Volunteer service. Volunteers working in different professional capacities will need different sets of clothing, although, in general, Volunteers should be prepared to have a couple of good business casual-type outfits. For example, community economic development Volunteers and Volunteers working within the school system will need more clothes for an office setting than a Volunteer placed in a rural setting. Think in terms of comfort, versatility, and, most important, durability. Since there are extremes in weather, separates that coordinate well and that can be layered on or off as needed are useful. Remember that it gets really hot in the summer and, although it does not freeze in the winter, homes in Paraguay are not insulated and are drafty—imagine going camping in 40 F weather. It is a very good idea to bring a mummy-type sleeping bag for the cold (comes with a stuff sack, is lightweight, and easy to pack). Thick-soled shoes are best purchased in the United States because of price and quality, and men‘s sizes over 10 1/2 and women‘s sizes over 9 are difficult to find in Paraguay.

It is also important to consider the color of your clothing. Volunteers generally recommend darker colors because they are less likely to show dirt. However, Volunteers working in beekeeping will need light-colored work clothes, and education Volunteers working with teachers should bring navy blue pants or skirts and white shirts or blouses. Red and royal blue are the colors of the main political parties. Wearing these colors inside a municipality may have political implications. Business casual is recommended for community economic development and education and youth development Volunteers. For both men and women, simple, non-flashy clothing will open more doors and minds. Everything on the general clothing list applies to both women and men. Also, Paraguayans wear typical embroidered clothing called ao’poi for formal occasions, as well as business casual, which is very popular with Volunteers in Paraguay. Most Volunteers buy at least one ao’poi item of clothing during training.

Do not pack anything precious or expensive that you could not reasonably part from.

General Clothing

  • Two to four pairs of durable, dark-colored pants or jeans
  • Long underwear for the winter (a necessity)
  • Six or more T-shirts
  • One or two long-sleeved shirts or flannel shirts for layering with sweaters and sweatshirts
  • Two winter sweaters/sweatshirts/fleece shirts
  • One medium jacket (fleece generally works great, but other lined, windbreaker jackets will work as well)
  • Hooded raincoat
  • Two or three pairs of shorts to wear around the house or for sleeping or exercising, etc. (shorts are not to be worn during training events or in the Peace Corps office)
  • Six to eight pairs of socks—include cotton and wool (at least one pair of Smart Wool socks is recommended)
  • Your favorite hat for sun protection (baseball hats work well, but wide-brimmed are best to keep the sun off your neck)
  • Warm hat and gloves and scarves for winter—a necessity!

For Women

  • Ten to 15 pairs of cotton underpants and five to 10 bras (including sports bras)
  • Four or five nice shirts (this may include blouses, some sleeveless, nice long-sleeve or short-sleeve)
  • Three or four lightweight, loose-fitting, knee-length skirts or lightweight pants (you should have at least one for nice occasions)
  • 1-2 lightweight sun dresses
  • Something nice for swearing in and special occasions (this can include nice pants, a skirt and blouse or dress)
  • Three or four thick-strapped tank tops (tank tops should not be worn for training or professional activities)
  • Swimsuit (you will wear them at Volunteers events; Paraguayan women usually wear shorts and T-shirts to swim)

For Men

  • Dress shirt and tie for swearing in and other special occasions
  • Cotton underwear (boxers are difficult to find in Paraguay)
  • Three or four short-sleeved, button-down shirts with collars for work settings (they are cooler in the summer than T-shirts or polo shirts)
  • Three pairs of khaki-style pants
  • Two pairs of durable, dark-colored pants or jeans
  • Three to four short-sleeved, button-down shirts—if Volunteers don‘t have these, ao’poi shirts are a great substitution!
  • Swim trunks

Shoes

  • For women, one pair of flat shoes (in a basic color like black and with thick soles)
  • At least one pair of sandals for summer (sandals are not normally worn by men at work)
  • One pair of tennis shoes or all-terrain shoes, preferably in a dark color to hide the red dirt (good ones are expensive locally)
  • Flip-flops (available locally)
  • One pair of durable hiking or other boots (preferably waterproof) (optional)
  • For men, one pair of informal, closed-toe dress shoes

For men, the largest shoes most stores in Paraguay reliably carry are size 11.

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

  • Contact lens solutions (available in Paraguay but very expensive)
  • Makeup (if you are picky about brands)
  • Good supply of tampons (only applicator-free tampons, pads, and panty liners are available locally)
  • Sunscreen (only if you have a favorite brand; the Peace Corps provides some)
  • Three-month supply of any prescription drugs you use (to last you until the Peace Corps orders refills)
  • Two pairs of eyeglasses, if you wear them
  • Two or three bandannas or handkerchiefs (available locally)
  • Shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash (one-month supply, three- to four-month supply if you are brand picky); while many brands are available locally, bring enough for pre-service training (three months) as time and money will be limited to allow for you to buy replacements

Gear

  • Travel bag or small daypack
  • Large backpack for longer trips (one with an internal frame is recommended)
  • Flashlight or headlamp, LED for longer battery life
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Set of sheets to fit a double-sized bed (can also be purchased locally)
  • Washcloths and bath towels, preferably lightweight (extra-large quick dry recommended) Ponytail holders (available locally but of very poor quality)
  • Warm sleeping bag—considered essential by Volunteers, especially in winter
  • Portable CD player or MP3 and traveling speakers, (inexpensive, good-quality radios and tape players can be purchased locally)
  • 220-volt adapter, preferably with a surge protector (small ones cost about $20 in Paraguay)
  • Camera and replacement batteries (an expensive camera is not recommended without insurance)
  • Portable games such as cards, Uno, checkers, chess, etc.
  • Tent (optional)
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Multi-purpose tool/pocket knife
  • Water bottle
  • Photos of your family, friends, and home (a good conversation starter)
  • Duct tape (considered a must by many)
  • Frisbee, baseball glove, and other recreational or sports equipment
  • Prepaid phone card for calling home
  • Permanent markers (available locally, but expensive and of poor quality)
  • Camping sleeping pad (great for visitors) or yoga mat (some Volunteers swear by these)
  • Rechargeable batteries (regular batteries are available in Paraguay)
  • USB flash drive (necessary for transferring files)
  • Small, basic cookbook and/or favorite recipes
  • Dietary supplements you take other than multivitamins
  • Sealable baggies (they are essential for keeping out bugs, ants, etc.)

Sector-specific packing list

Community Economic Development

  • Computer (if brought, also bring an external hard drive)
  • Nicer clothes for meetings
  • Nice but comfortable shoes for meetings
  • Old clothes for working outdoors
  • Small calendar to stay organized

Rural Health & Sanitation

  • Please bring enough professional clothing (business casual) for pre-service training (six days a week), in-service trainings (3-4 days at a time) and one to two days a week in the school or health post.
  • 1 pair of shoes you can work in, such as Chacos, good tennis shoes, or work boots

Agriculture

  • 1 pair of pants you don‘t mind ruining
  • 1 long-sleeved white button-up collared shirt (for beekeeping activities, doesn‘t have to be nice)
  • 1 pair very light-colored pants (for beekeeping activities, don‘t have to be nice)
  • 1 pair of work/gardening gloves

Environmental Education and Conservations

  • Professional clothes for training, working in the schools, and working at the Peace Corps office (lightweight dark pants with a light-colored top will generally work)
  • Pair of clothes that you don‘t mind getting dirty for working in gardens or on tree planting projects
  • Garden or other work gloves
  • Markers, paints, stickers, and other art supplies to use with the kids at the schools or camps
  • Calendar or planner to keep yourself organized (can be purchased locally)

Education and Youth Development

  • Games (playing card games, puzzles, board games) in Spanish
  • Kids‘ books/chapter books in Spanish
  • Materials–markers, crayons, coloring books