Difference between pages "Training in Togo" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Bolivia"

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{{Training_by_country}}
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{{FAQs by country}}
Training is held in communities that are as similar as possible to the typical site for a given project.  During your pre-service training, you will live with a host family. Other trainees from your program will live in the same village, but you will all have your own host family. All of your language, technical, cross-cultural and community development, and personal health and safety sessions will take place either in your host village or a neighboring community.  Current Volunteers are available during PST to assist in training and to answer your questions.
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===How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Bolivia?===
  
Training days are long and demanding, so be prepared. Your day will start at 7:30 a.m. and continue until 5:30 p.m., with a two-hour break for lunch and other short breaks throughout the day. On Saturdays, you will have classes from 7:30 a.m. until noon. Training is an essential part of your Peace Corps service. Our goal is to give you sufficient skills and information to prepare you for living and working in Togo.  Pre-service training uses an experiential approach wherever possible. Rather than reading and/or hearing about Volunteer activities, you will be practicing, processing, and evaluating actual or simulated activities.  
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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. Peace Corps allows 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. The larger piece of checked baggage may not exceed 62 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.  
  
The 11 weeks of pre-service training are divided into two phases. Phase I runs for the first six weeks and is very intensive in French language and cultural training.  Additionally, there are sessions on safety and security, medical/health, and some technical training. This first phase will help you develop basic language and cultural adaptation skills.  
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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. Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permittedprohibited-items.shtm.  
  
Phase II is also very intensive, but it centers on technical training. Language classes will continue, and technical material will increasingly be presented and practiced in French. Some trainees will begin local language classes during this phase, depending on their level of French. Safety and Security training and medical/health training also continue.
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===What is the electric current in Bolivia?===
  
During the second or third week of training, your program director will interview you about possible sites to help identify a post that is linked to your skills, interests, and needs. During the seventh or eighth week, you will spend a week at your site. This will be your first contact with your future site and will provide an idea of what real Volunteer life is like, what work options exist, and an opportunity to know more of Togo.  It also gives you a break from the intense, structured regime of the pre-service training schedule.  
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It is 220 volts.  
  
===Technical Training ===
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===How much money should I bring?===
  
Technical training prepares you to work in Togo by building on the skills you already have and by helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The Peace Corps staff, Togolese experts, and current Volunteers conduct the training program. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer.  
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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 wish to 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.  
  
Technical training will include sessions on general environmental, economics, and the political situation in Togo and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Togolese agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them.
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===When can I take vacation and have people visit me?===
  
You will be supported and evaluated by the training staff throughout the training to build the confidence and skills you will need to undertake your project activities and to be a productive member of your community.  
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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, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after you have completed pre-service training and the 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 may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps cannot provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.  
  
===Language Training ===
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===Will my belongings be covered by insurance?===
  
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will find that language skills are the key to personal and professional satisfaction during your service. These skills are critical to your job performance, will help you integrate into your host community, and ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. Therefore, language training is the heart of the training program, and you must successfully meet minimum language requirements in order to complete training and become a VolunteerExperienced Togolese language instructors teach formal language classes 5 days a week in small classes of four to five people. Language is also introduced in the health, culture, and technical components of training.  
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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. 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/Bolivia strongly recommends that you purchase personal property insurance before you leave if you are taking valuables such as a laptop computer, digital camera, etcPersonal articles insurance information is provided in your invitation kit as well as during staging, or you may contact your own insurance company.  
  
Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom instruction, you will be given language assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family. Our goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills in French and a local language so that you can practice and develop language skills more thoroughly once you are at your site. Prior to swearing in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your two years of service.
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===Do I need an international driver’s license?===
  
===Cross-Cultural Training ===
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Volunteers in Bolivia do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus, minivan, or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minivans to trucks, bicycles, and lots of walking. On very rare occasions, a third-year Volunteer or technical specialist may be authorized to drive a Peace Corps vehicle. Should this occur, the Volunteer will need to present the Peace Corps with a valid U.S. driver’s license to obtain a local driver’s license and be fully trained in vehicle operation.
  
As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Togolese host family. This experience is designed to ease your transition into life at your site. Families have gone through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of the pre-service training program and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Togo. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.
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===What should I bring as gifts for my host family?===
  
Cross-cultural and community development will be covered to help improve your skills of perception, communication, and facilitation. Topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, and traditional and political structures are also addressed.  
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We ask that you not bring gifts for your host family. Future trainees and Volunteers may not be in a position to provide gifts, and it would be unfair to develop an expectation of gifts in host communities.  
  
===Health Training ===
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===Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?===
  
During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. As a Volunteer, you are expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. As a trainee, you are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that Volunteers may encounter while in Togo. Sexual health and harassment, nutrition, mental health, and safety issues are also covered.  
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You will be assigned a site between the sixth and eighth week of pre-service training. This gives the associate Peace Corps director the opportunity to assess your skills and interests and to get your input and that of the training staff before deciding on the best possible site match. 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. While a few Volunteers live in larger cities, most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural communities and are within three hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites require a 10- to 12-hour drive from the nearest departmental capital.  
  
===Safety Training ===
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===How can my family contact me in an emergency?===
  
During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces risk in your home, at work, and during your travels. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service.  
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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 non-emergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, then extension 2515, 2516, or 2525.  
  
===Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service ===
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===Can I call home from Bolivia?===
  
In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system that provides Volunteers with continuous opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills.  
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While Volunteers do not typically have telephones in their home or work facilities, most have access to a telephone company office at their site or in their departmental capital where they can make and receive calls. Collect calls can be made from most phones, and AT&T, MCI, and Sprint calling cards can be used from some phones. International long distance is very expensive, however, and most Volunteers find it more convenient and reliable to communicate via electronic or regular mail.  
  
During your service, there are usually two training events. The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:
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===Should I bring a cellular phone with me?===
  
* In-Service Training (IST): Provides an opportunity for Volunteers to upgrade their technical and project development skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment to the Peace Corps. The first IST will take place during the first three months of service. The second will occur later during the first year of service. Volunteers also attend An IST in their second year.  
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Most Volunteers purchase cellular phones, or bring them from home and get service at their own expense. Cellular service is generally available only in and near major cities, not in the rural areas where most Volunteers live and work. The Peace Corps does not provide cellphones or service, as every site is accessible by regular phone service or shortwave radio. If you want to bring a cellphone, make sure it is compatible with Bolivian cell technology, which currently uses GSM or TDMA—not CDMA techology.
* Close-of-Service Conference: Prepares Volunteers for
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the future after Peace Corps service, and reviews Volunteers’ respective projects and personal experiences.  
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The number, length, and design of these trainings are adapted to country-specific needs and conditions. The key to the training system is that training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.
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===Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ===
  
[[Category:Togo]]
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All major cities and many smaller communities have Internet cafés. Although you are not likely to have direct access to the Internet at your site, you should be able to access the Internet and send and receive e-mail in your departmental capital for a reasonable hourly rate. While it is difficult and costly to secure personal Internet access via a modem at most sites, many Volunteers in Bolivia still find that having a laptop computer enhances their communications capabilities and their project work. If you choose to bring a computer, we encourage you to insure it along with all your other valuable belongings.
[[Category:Training|Togo]]
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[[Category:Bolivia]]

Latest revision as of 11:54, 8 December 2015

Country Resources

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

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. Peace Corps allows 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. The larger piece of checked baggage may not exceed 62 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.

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. Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permittedprohibited-items.shtm.

What is the electric current in Bolivia?[edit]

It is 220 volts.

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 wish to 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 and have people visit me?[edit]

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, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after you have completed pre-service training and the 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 may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps cannot provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.

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. 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/Bolivia strongly recommends that you purchase personal property insurance before you leave if you are taking valuables such as a laptop computer, digital camera, etc. Personal articles insurance information is provided in your invitation kit as well as during staging, or you may contact your own insurance company.

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

Volunteers in Bolivia do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus, minivan, or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minivans to trucks, bicycles, and lots of walking. On very rare occasions, a third-year Volunteer or technical specialist may be authorized to drive a Peace Corps vehicle. Should this occur, the Volunteer will need to present the Peace Corps with a valid U.S. driver’s license to obtain a local driver’s license and be fully trained in vehicle operation.

What should I bring as gifts for my host family?[edit]

We ask that you not bring gifts for your host family. Future trainees and Volunteers may not be in a position to provide gifts, and it would be unfair to develop an expectation of gifts in host communities.

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

You will be assigned a site between the sixth and eighth week of pre-service training. This gives the associate Peace Corps director the opportunity to assess your skills and interests and to get your input and that of the training staff before deciding on the best possible site match. 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. While a few Volunteers live in larger cities, most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural communities and are within three hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites require a 10- to 12-hour drive from the nearest departmental capital.

How can my family contact me in an emergency?[edit]

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 non-emergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, then extension 2515, 2516, or 2525.

Can I call home from Bolivia?[edit]

While Volunteers do not typically have telephones in their home or work facilities, most have access to a telephone company office at their site or in their departmental capital where they can make and receive calls. Collect calls can be made from most phones, and AT&T, MCI, and Sprint calling cards can be used from some phones. International long distance is very expensive, however, and most Volunteers find it more convenient and reliable to communicate via electronic or regular mail.

Should I bring a cellular phone with me?[edit]

Most Volunteers purchase cellular phones, or bring them from home and get service at their own expense. Cellular service is generally available only in and near major cities, not in the rural areas where most Volunteers live and work. The Peace Corps does not provide cellphones or service, as every site is accessible by regular phone service or shortwave radio. If you want to bring a cellphone, make sure it is compatible with Bolivian cell technology, which currently uses GSM or TDMA—not CDMA techology.

Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?[edit]

All major cities and many smaller communities have Internet cafés. Although you are not likely to have direct access to the Internet at your site, you should be able to access the Internet and send and receive e-mail in your departmental capital for a reasonable hourly rate. While it is difficult and costly to secure personal Internet access via a modem at most sites, many Volunteers in Bolivia still find that having a laptop computer enhances their communications capabilities and their project work. If you choose to bring a computer, we encourage you to insure it along with all your other valuable belongings.