Difference between pages "FAQs about Peace Corps in Tanzania" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Lesotho"

From Peace Corps Wiki
(Difference between pages)
Jump to: navigation, search
 
 
Line 1: Line 1:
<div style="float: right; font-size:90%; background-color: white; min-width:20%;" margin: 0 0 1em 1em">
+
{{FAQs by country}}
{| cellpadding="1" cellspacing="5" style="border: 1px solid #9866FF; background-color: #f3f3ff" width="300"
+
You will receive reporting instructions from the Office of Staging approximately two weeks before your staging. In the meantime, here are some answers to questions frequently asked by new trainees.
| align="center" | '''<big>Country Resources</big>'''
+
|-
+
| width="50%" |
+
*[[Packing lists by country]]
+
*[[Training by country]] 
+
*[[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles by country]]
+
*[[Health care and safety by country]]
+
*[[Diversity and cross-cultural issues by country]]
+
*[[FAQs by country]]
+
*[[History of the Peace Corps by country]] 
+
|}
+
</div>
+
  
===How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Tanzania? ===
+
I have just been accepted for an assignment in Lesotho; is there anything I should be doing to get ready?  
  
Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limitsThe Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.  
+
Submit an updated copy of your résumé to the country desk (send e-mail to lesotho@peacecorps.gov) along with your personal statement as requested in the invitation kitComplete and submit your passport application to SATO Travel. Be sure you have completed all of your medical and dental requirements. You must be medically cleared before you arrive at the staging! If you are not sure of your clearance status, contact the Office of Medical Services.  
  
Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.  
+
We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the resources suggested in this Welcome Book. You will receive several weeks of intensive instruction in-country, but the more familiar you are with Lesotho before arriving there, the less difficulty you will have adjusting to the new culture.  
  
===What is the electric current in Tanzania? ===
+
===How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Lesotho? ===
 +
Refer to your welcome packet before you go.
  
It is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Approximately half the Volunteers in Tanzania have electricity at work or at home. But the supply is not always steady, especially in the dry season. Batteries are available, but “D” cells are more easily found than “C” cells. Some Volunteers use solar battery chargers for radios and small appliances.  
+
Lesotho is designated a winter country... and it does get cold. So it gets Peace Corps winter country allowance for bags.
  
===How much money should I bring? ===
+
Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limits.
  
Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. But Volunteers often bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries.
+
The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 50 pounds for any one bag.  
  
Note that credit cards cannot be used outside the largest cities and traveler’s checks can be cashed only in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.  
+
Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave receivers are permitted, and are a good source of news), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.
  
===When can I take vacation and have people visit me? ===
+
===What is the electric current in Lesotho? ===
  
Each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, the last three months of service, or, for teachers, the school term, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after your first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged, and any stay over 30 days requires permission from the country director. The Peace Corps cannot provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.  
+
Electrical appliances run on 240 volts. Your laptop should be able to handle it. Check the adapter. There is a distinct possibility that you will not have electricity at your site, we recommend that you wait to purchase any electrical appliances you may need until you have seen your particular living situation. That being said, nearly all recent groups have brought laptops and found ways to charge them. Most shops, or at least shops in district capital cities, will have ways to charge your laptop and cell phone. For the most rural volunteers - the longer the battery life the better.
  
===Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ===
+
===How much money should I bring? ===
  
The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase personal property insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we strongly encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas.  Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.  
+
Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.  
  
===Do I need an international driver’s license? ===
+
===When can I take vacation?===
  
Volunteers in Tanzania do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus, minibus, or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to bicycles and walking.
+
Each Volunteer begins accruing two vacation days per month of service after being sworn in. During your nine-week training period, the first three months of service, and the last three months of service, you are not eligible to take vacation.  
  
===What should I bring as gifts for Tanzania friends and my host family? ===
+
These first months in your site are important for establishing good relations with the community and host agency. For this reason, you are encouraged to remain at your site. Volunteers often state an interest in traveling and learning about other cultures as one of the reasons for joining the Peace Corps.  Therefore, the Peace Corps encourages Volunteers to use their vacation time to travel around Lesotho and other countries in the region, rather than vacationing in the United States.
  
This is not a requirement; a token of friendship is sufficient.  Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.
+
===Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ===
  
===Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be? ===
+
The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase personal property insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.
  
Peace Corps trainees in Tanzania are assigned to individual sites after they have completed approximately two-thirds of pre-service training. This gives Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with their ministry counterparts. You will have the opportunity to express your site preferences, including geographical location, distance from other Volunteers, and living conditions. However, keep in mind that many factors influence the site selection process and that the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural villages and are usually within two or three hours from another Volunteer.  Some sites require a multiday journey from Dar es Salaam.
+
===Do I need an international driver’s license? ===
 
+
===How can my family contact me in an emergency? ===
+
 
+
The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580.
+
  
===Can I call home from Tanzania? ===
+
Volunteers in Lesotho do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and crowded minibuses to trucks and lots of walking. On very rare occasions, a Volunteer may be asked to drive a vehicle. Should this occur, the Volunteer may obtain a local driver’s license.  Your U.S. driver’s license will facilitate the process, so bring it with you just in case.
 +
Bring your US drivers license if you plan to travel outside of Lesotho during vacations. A plain U.S. License will be accepted in all of the countries in Southern Africa. Again, Lesotho Volunteers are typically prohibited from driving in Lesotho.
  
International phone service from Tanzania to the United States is poor to good depending on the location. It is easier (and far cheaper) for your family and friends to call you from the United States. However, you are likely to find a phone from which you can call family and friends within a few hours of your site.
+
===Should I bring gifts for friends and my host family? ===
  
===Should I bring a cellular phone with me? ===
+
While this is not required, some Volunteers have brought gifts to share. A token of friendship is sufficient; do not get carried away. Some gift suggestions include household items (sheets or tablecloths in American styles); knickknacks for the house; photos, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; pens, crayons and colored pencils for children, or photos to give away. You will live with a host family during part of your training, and it is a common practice to bring them small gifts.
  
Cellphone service is growing in many, but not all, parts of the country. About 90 percent of Volunteers in Tanzania now have cellphones, and the number is growing. Not all Volunteers have network coverage at their sites, though, but use the phones when they get to a location with coverage. Differences in technology make most U.S. cellphones incompatible with local service, so only phones purchased in Tanzania are likely to work. Cellphones are very readily available in Tanzania.
+
===Where will my site assignment be when I finish training? ===
  
===Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ===
+
This is the most common question asked of the Lesotho desk by trainees. Peace Corps/Lesotho staff will make site assignments after they get to know each trainee, usually during the last few weeks of training. This reflects our desire to make the best match possible between an individual’s skills, experience, and interests and the specific needs at each site.
  
E-mail and Internet services are available for reasonable fees at cybercafés in all large towns and a growing number of smaller towns. Volunteers also have access to e-mail at the Peace Corps office in Dar es Salaam. Many Volunteers set up a free e-mail account (e.g., Hotmail or Yahoo) that allows them retrieve and send e-mail from any computer with Internet access. However, many sites are not near large towns, so you may not be able to communicate regularly by e-mail after training.
+
===Can I call home from Lesotho? ===
  
Deciding whether to bring a computer is difficult, with some Volunteers arguing for and others against bringing a laptop. There may not be a functioning computer or printer at your school. Many sites, and certainly all environment Volunteer sites, are in rural areas with no, limited, or sporadic electricity.  If you decide to bring a computer, you should insure it and expect humidity, fluctuating current, and limited resources for repairs and replacement parts.  
+
Most phone service is cellular, and landlines are rare to non-existent outside of Masseru. Cell phones with sim cards (pay as you go) are readily available for purchase and affordable on a living allowance. Calls to America are not cheap, so look for cheap ways for your families to call you. International phone service, by cell phone, to and from Lesotho is reasonably good in the cities and most sites have cell service with limited cellular internet. Calling cards may be used from some telephones—check with your international long-distance company to see if it provides services in Lesotho. You can buy international calling cards in the capital city and use a "public phone" or a land line at Peace Corps Lesotho headquarters but this is inconvenient. Depending on your assignment, You may not be able to receive calls from home while at your site. (Most sites are covered but not all, and cellular service for regions can be dropped for frustratingly long periods. However, in general, most volunteers buy a pay-as-you-go cell phone, and are able to make and receive calls.  Calling America gets expensive very quickly (read: pay-as-you-go), but text messaging is the way of the future! Make sure your family members at home have international text message options on their phones.  
  
[[Category:Tanzania]]
+
[[Category:Lesotho]]

Latest revision as of 11:48, 8 December 2015

Country Resources

You will receive reporting instructions from the Office of Staging approximately two weeks before your staging. In the meantime, here are some answers to questions frequently asked by new trainees.

I have just been accepted for an assignment in Lesotho; is there anything I should be doing to get ready?

Submit an updated copy of your résumé to the country desk (send e-mail to lesotho@peacecorps.gov) along with your personal statement as requested in the invitation kit. Complete and submit your passport application to SATO Travel. Be sure you have completed all of your medical and dental requirements. You must be medically cleared before you arrive at the staging! If you are not sure of your clearance status, contact the Office of Medical Services.

We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the resources suggested in this Welcome Book. You will receive several weeks of intensive instruction in-country, but the more familiar you are with Lesotho before arriving there, the less difficulty you will have adjusting to the new culture.

How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Lesotho?[edit]

Refer to your welcome packet before you go.

Lesotho is designated a winter country... and it does get cold. So it gets Peace Corps winter country allowance for bags.

Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limits.

The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 50 pounds for any one bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave receivers are permitted, and are a good source of news), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.

What is the electric current in Lesotho?[edit]

Electrical appliances run on 240 volts. Your laptop should be able to handle it. Check the adapter. There is a distinct possibility that you will not have electricity at your site, we recommend that you wait to purchase any electrical appliances you may need until you have seen your particular living situation. That being said, nearly all recent groups have brought laptops and found ways to charge them. Most shops, or at least shops in district capital cities, will have ways to charge your laptop and cell phone. For the most rural volunteers - the longer the battery life the better.

How much money should I bring?[edit]

Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.

When can I take vacation?[edit]

Each Volunteer begins accruing two vacation days per month of service after being sworn in. During your nine-week training period, the first three months of service, and the last three months of service, you are not eligible to take vacation.

These first months in your site are important for establishing good relations with the community and host agency. For this reason, you are encouraged to remain at your site. Volunteers often state an interest in traveling and learning about other cultures as one of the reasons for joining the Peace Corps. Therefore, the Peace Corps encourages Volunteers to use their vacation time to travel around Lesotho and other countries in the region, rather than vacationing in the United States.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?[edit]

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase personal property insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.

Do I need an international driver’s license?[edit]

Volunteers in Lesotho do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and crowded minibuses to trucks and lots of walking. On very rare occasions, a Volunteer may be asked to drive a vehicle. Should this occur, the Volunteer may obtain a local driver’s license. Your U.S. driver’s license will facilitate the process, so bring it with you just in case. Bring your US drivers license if you plan to travel outside of Lesotho during vacations. A plain U.S. License will be accepted in all of the countries in Southern Africa. Again, Lesotho Volunteers are typically prohibited from driving in Lesotho.

Should I bring gifts for friends and my host family?[edit]

While this is not required, some Volunteers have brought gifts to share. A token of friendship is sufficient; do not get carried away. Some gift suggestions include household items (sheets or tablecloths in American styles); knickknacks for the house; photos, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; pens, crayons and colored pencils for children, or photos to give away. You will live with a host family during part of your training, and it is a common practice to bring them small gifts.

Where will my site assignment be when I finish training?[edit]

This is the most common question asked of the Lesotho desk by trainees. Peace Corps/Lesotho staff will make site assignments after they get to know each trainee, usually during the last few weeks of training. This reflects our desire to make the best match possible between an individual’s skills, experience, and interests and the specific needs at each site.

Can I call home from Lesotho?[edit]

Most phone service is cellular, and landlines are rare to non-existent outside of Masseru. Cell phones with sim cards (pay as you go) are readily available for purchase and affordable on a living allowance. Calls to America are not cheap, so look for cheap ways for your families to call you. International phone service, by cell phone, to and from Lesotho is reasonably good in the cities and most sites have cell service with limited cellular internet. Calling cards may be used from some telephones—check with your international long-distance company to see if it provides services in Lesotho. You can buy international calling cards in the capital city and use a "public phone" or a land line at Peace Corps Lesotho headquarters but this is inconvenient. Depending on your assignment, You may not be able to receive calls from home while at your site. (Most sites are covered but not all, and cellular service for regions can be dropped for frustratingly long periods. However, in general, most volunteers buy a pay-as-you-go cell phone, and are able to make and receive calls. Calling America gets expensive very quickly (read: pay-as-you-go), but text messaging is the way of the future! Make sure your family members at home have international text message options on their phones.