Difference between pages "Dissertations relating to Peace Corps" and "Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji"

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The following theses and dissertations were written about research on either:
 
# The Peace Corps organization itself, or
 
# Studies of the volunteers themselves - either in country or after they returned from service.
 
  
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===Communications===
  
==2008==
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====Mail====
  
'''A participatory approach in practice: Lessons from a Peace Corps experience'''
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Airmail leaving Suva takes about 6 to 10 days to make its U.S.  destination. However, it takes sometimes twice that for U.S.  mail to reach Suva. (Note: The farther you live from Suva, the longer the mail will take in both directions. The additional time may range from one day to two weeks or more.)
<br>by Arnold, Amy, M.A., University of Wyoming, 2008, 118 pages; AAT 1457055
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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The local mail system is better than in many developing countries and once you have been assigned to a permanent site, you will be expected to have your mail delivered to your new address. During pre-service training, you may use the following address:
Selai atau selei (bahasa Inggris: jam, bahasa Perancis: confiture) adalah salah satu jenis makanan awetan berupa sari buah atau buah-buahan yang sudah yang sudah dihancurkan, ditambah gula dan dimasak hingga kental atau berbentuk setengah padat. Selai tidak dimakan begitu saja, melainkan untuk dioleskan di atas roti tawar atau sebagai isi roti manis. Selai juga sering digunakan sebagai isi pada kue-kue seperti kue Nastar atau pemanis pada minuman, seperti yogurt dan es krim.
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Selai yang di dalamnya masih ditemukan potongan buah dalam berbagai ukuran disebut preserve atau conserves, sedangkan selai yang dibuat dari sari buah dan kulit buah genus Citrus disebut marmalade.
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''dikutip oleh:'' [http://www.tokobungasabana.com/ toko bunga online] | [http://www.pedatimotor.com aksesoris sparepart motor] | [http://www.grosir-kosmetik.com/6-baby-pink-cream-pemutih-kulit baby pink]
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This paper seeks to set PAR within a local context through exploring the extent to which a Peace Corps volunteer's approach to participatory community development proved effective at a grassroots level. Through documenting an example of a participatory process and the problems incurred, this thesis challenges the generalized picture of how participatory development works.</blockquote>
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“Your Name,” PCT
  
'''Landscape for a good citizen: The Peace Corps and the cultural logics of American cosmopolitanism'''
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Peace Corps/Fiji
<br>by Schein, Rebecca H., Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2008, 255 pages; AAT 3317408
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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Private Mail Bag
This dissertation examines the cultural practices of the Peace Corps as an expression of a peculiarly American vision of cosmopolitanism. Founded at the height of American liberalism and amid the global turbulence of decolonization and the cold war, the Peace Corps offered a compelling national story of continuity and coherence at a moment of transition in American society. The depiction of the decolonizing world as a "new frontier," the testing ground for a new generation of citizens, drew a direct line between the country's revolutionary republican past and its emergence on the world stage as a military and economic superpower. This vision of a coherent, historically stable national character contained an ideal of citizenship wrought by the intersections of class, race, and gender in U.S. culture and society. The Peace Corps represented an influential, mainstream vision of the American citizens' participation on the world stage.
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The Peace Corps not only made the world newly accessible to individual American travelers, but also produced an array of representational conventions that gave meaning to Peace Corps experiences. Volunteers enacted the successful achievement of American/global citizenship through their adoption and creation of technologies for representing their experiences: in the performance of banality in postcolonial settings; in the elaboration of "non-ugly Americanness"; in the experience of "culture shock"; in narrative performances of self-possession and subjective coherence. I explore both the cultural underpinnings that support the subjectivity of American/global citizenship and the acute contradictions that often attend the position of the volunteer abroad.
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The dissertation concludes by exploring the Peace Corps's support for liberal arts education as a the basis of American cosmopolitan citizenship. Here I explore the competing articulations of parochialism and worldliness that play out in the Peace Corps and in the internationalization of liberal arts curricula since the 1980s. The promises of "experiential learning" associated with study abroad--often a cornerstone of an international curriculum--offer students of the neo-liberal university an opportunity to fulfill a desire perhaps most richly embodied by the cultural archive of the Peace Corps: an ideal of self-actualized worldly participation was enacted experientially, corporeally, and discursively.</blockquote>
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Suva, Fiji Islands
  
'''The American Dream through the window of Peace Corps memoirs'''
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South Pacific
<br>by Blumberg, Jeffrey S., M.A.L.S., Georgetown University, 2008, 97 pages; AAT 1461108
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
 
This thesis focuses on whether and how Peace Corps volunteers attempt to impart the values of the American Dream to the communities where they serve. The American Dream is defined as a dual set of values. The material/conservative version of the Dream incorporates the idea that through hard work and determination, success will follow. The idealistic/liberal version of the Dream encompasses the ideas of liberty and equality. This thesis investigates whether volunteers experience similar frustrations in trying to impart the values of the Dream and what broader implications of the difficulties of development work would be revealed during this study.
 
<br><br>
 
To investigate this problem, the author reviews and analyzes three memoirs of Peace Corps volunteers. The author chooses the memoir as the vehicle for this study because it exposes the volunteer experience and the core beliefs of the volunteer in an expressive and pointed medium. The three selected memoirs chosen were Living Poor, drafted by Moritz Thomsen about his experience as a volunteer in Ecuador in the 1960s, The Ponds of Kalambayi, written by Mike Tidwell about his volunteer work in Congo in the 1990s, and "The Narrowest Road," my memoir about my Peace Corps experience in Belize from 2004 to 2006.
 
<br><br>
 
After a review of the three memoirs, the author determines that each of the volunteers attempts to impart the values of the American Dream. They all three face disillusionment as they encounter the challenges of trying to impart these values while doing development work in poor villages with different cultures. They face disillusionment as they struggle with an experience that is significantly different from the one they originally envision.
 
<br><br>
 
The volunteers do not achieve their originally planned version of the Dream as noted in the conclusion to this thesis. They fail to reach this vision due to the poverty in their villages, the cultural differences they encounter, and the lasting remnants of the colonialist past. The volunteers achieve some measure of success when they modify their version of the Dream and their development projects to be more sensitive to the cultural differences they face in their communities.</blockquote>
 
  
==2007==
 
  
'''Peace Corps in the 21st century: A rhetorical analysis'''
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Most essential items that are available in the U.S. are also available in Fiji through local stores in Suva and in larger towns. If your friends and family want to send you packages, have them check with their home post office as to what they can and cannot send. Customs agents are diligent about checking for food items and no seeds can be shipped into Fiji.
<br>by Maugh, Casey Malone, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2007, 181 pages; AAT 3299024
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<blockquote>
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If the declared value of the package exceeds $500 (Fijian), you may have to pay an import tax. If you plan to have packages sent to you or if you’re sending them to yourself, make sure you don’t declare more than $200 (U.S.) on the box!
Abstract (Summary)
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In 1961 John F. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps. After 45 years of continual international service, the organization has nearly 8,000 volunteers serving in 67 countries throughout the world. Throughout the years the organization has struggled to gain presidential support and funding, as well as recruit well-rounded volunteers.
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After years of falling volunteer numbers, in 2003, the Peace Corps revamped its campaign to appeal to a broader volunteer audience. The recruitment strategies differ from those in the 1960s, appealing to the pragmatic benefits of service rather than the idealistic appeals used in the early years of the organization. This work includes an analysis of the organization's recruitment strategies both textual and visual as well as an analysis of volunteer accounts of service. This study culminates in a look toward the future of the organization, in hopes of revealing the direction of the Peace Corps in the 21 st century.</blockquote>
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==2006==
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The local postal service (Post Fiji, Ltd.) can be contacted in-country at: 0800.330.7966 for more specific questions.
  
'''The message tree: A community action project and personal narrative'''
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====Telephones====
<br>by Hamilton, Patricia Kay, M.A., California State University, Dominguez Hills, 2006, 161 pages; AAT 1440184
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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Most Volunteers live close to a phone—either a conventional landline or a radio telephone. You may want to bring a cellphone (GSM-capable) for your personal use from the U.S.  as service is increasing in Fiji. A few Volunteers own personal cellphones now, but the phone and use can be expensive.  (Phone service and access is not covered by your monthly living allowance.) Most businesses will have a telephone, as will some of your urban neighbors. In the bush, people use a “radio phone” (similar to citizens’ band radios). In Suva you can place a collect call overseas 24-hours a day at the main telecommunications center. You can also pay for the overseas call yourself at a current rate of about $3–$4 per minute (Fijian). Fortunately, phone service, if available at your site, is generally reliable and connections are reasonably good.
  
The objective of this project is to inspire persons to volunteer and to encourage higher levels of senior volunteerism. Using first-person narrative, the author describes a senior citizen's Peace Corps experience during 2 ½ years in Ghana, West Africa. She was assigned the task of developing a tree-seeding nursery to supply trees for reforestation. The primary methodology used to chronicle the assignment was participant-observer.
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Card-operated pay phones are located everywhere in the urban areas; prepaid phone cards are sold at post offices, shops, and service stations.  
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In the Peace Corps, the writer assumed a difficult task in a foreign culture. She detailed the struggles, adventures, and successes that occurred. Project goals will be fulfilled if these experiences inspire others, especially senior citizens, to find their own paths in service to others.
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It is the writer's hope that the Message Tree Project will be of value to young and old who desire to use their life experiences, wisdom, and knowledge to enhance the lives of others.</blockquote>
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'''The reentry experience: An examination of Peace Corps volunteers' experience of returning home after service'''
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Many Volunteers use AT&T pre-paid phone cards (available all over the U.S.) to call home and have found the connection and service quite good. (The charge is approximately 35 cents per minute.) The country code for Fiji is 679; there are no city codes.
<br>by Bosustow, Nicole Joanna, Psy.D., The Wright Institute, 2006, 89 pages; AAT 3206361
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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====Computer, Internet, and E-mail Access====
This study focuses on the reentry phase of cross-cultural experiences, or when a traveler returns home from their time abroad. Despite being the least studied, research has found that this phase is often the most difficult.
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This study was designed to survey Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCV's) to see how they experience reentry. Using several statistical analyses, this study aimed to answer 6 research questions. (1) RPCV's who experienced a crisis during service will feel significantly less prepared for reentry than those who did not experience a crisis. (2) The mean level of distress will be higher for those volunteers who experienced a crisis during service. (3) Whether there were differences between levels of symptoms of loneliness/isolation/disconnection and depression/sadness at four time points. (4) The mean level of distress will be higher for those volunteers who left service involuntarily. (5) The mean level of distress will be higher for those volunteers with less experience with reentry or transitions. (6) Whether four factors: age, gender, length of stay overseas and amount of support at home impacted level of reentry distress.
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Results of this study show that depression and loneliness are the symptoms most experienced by RPCV's and the factors that impact reentry include being female, experiencing a crisis and how much support one returns to at home. Support was not found for the impact of leaving service involuntarily, having less experience with reentry, the length of one's stay overseas or an individual's age. It was found that the experience of a crisis significantly increases one's distress upon reentry and significantly decreases how prepared one is for reentry. It was also found that RPCV's take, on average, longer than a year to readjust, whereas in other expatriate populations most individual consider themselves readjusted within the six months after returning home.
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Recommendations are made regarding steps Peace Corps can take to strengthen their training program at the end of service and during the reentry phase so that in the future the needs of Peace Corps volunteers will be attended to at all stages of their cross cultural exchange.</blockquote>
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==2004==
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There are several Internet cafés in Suva as well as in some of the other urban centers. Access currently costs $5–$10 (Fijian) per hour. You will not likely have access during pre-service training and it may be very limited at your site unless you are in a larger town.
  
'''The impact of ethnicity on volunteerism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A look at African-American and Euro-American returned Peace Corps volunteers'''
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===Housing and Site Location===
<br>by Sia-Maat, Shadidi, Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2004, 262 pages; AAT 3140554
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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You will be living with a host family during your 10 weeks of training in Fiji. You will soon discover that families are very important to the people of Fiji and that living with a host family can be both enjoyable and challenging. Going into the experience, you should definitely set some learning goals and make sure that you’re getting the most out of your host family experience—including language, cultural, and other adjustment issues.  
This study examined the significance of ethnicity for African-American RPCVs vis-à-vis Euro-American RPCVs, in their ability to accomplish Peace Corps and personal objectives in Sub-Saharan Africa. Historically, the paucity of African-Americans (3%) working as volunteers in Sub-Saharan Africa in relation to Euro-Americans (97%) served as the catalyst for this research.
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This study utilized the mixed model design, in which the qualitative design served as the dominant paradigm and the quantitative design provided supplemental data.
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The methodological framework for the qualitative design employed grounded theory. Utilizing computer software, MAXqda, the twenty African-American RPCVs, and four managers' responses to the semi-structured and informal interviews were analyzed, using the constant comparative method.
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The data analysis for the quantitative design was prepared using the SPSS computer software program. A descriptive analysis looked at four variables; one dependent variable, the volunteer's perceived contributions to the development process, and three independent variables, namely, ethnicity, socio-economic status (SES), and living environment in the United States.
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Overall, this study found that African-American RPCVs adapted significantly better to their Peace Corps assignments than Euro-American RPCVs. They were more successful at achieving Peace Corps and personal objectives. The findings were delineated in three areas.
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The first area conveyed the life experiences and perspectives of African-American RPCVs, prior to joining the Peace Corps. Those experiences and perspectives benefited African-American RPCVs in their adjustment to Africa, as well as in their overall success. The second area, enumerated ethnic/racial attributes of African-American RPCVs, which significantly correlated with the Africans they lived and worked with. Finally, and most importantly, the findings found that African American RPCVs vis-à-vis Euro-American RPCVs had a greater impact in the area of education, as trainers and teachers because of their ethnicity.
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This study offered evidence that supports increasing the number of African-Americans sent to Sub-Saharan Africa by the Peace Corps, agencies for international development and Foreign Service. A replication of this research with a larger sample is encouraged, to further investigate the pedagogical success of African-Americans in Sub-Saharan Africa.</blockquote>
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==2003==
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Your living accommodation is intended to be modest and comparable to that of your counterparts and neighbors. As in any country, housing in Fiji varies from place to place in architecture and amenities. Village houses (bures) may be constructed of coconut fronds or they may be made of wood, concrete block, or corrugated iron. Depending on assignment and project area, Volunteers will either live in a village, in a government compound, or in a rural housing area. In some cases, Volunteers may share accommodations with another Peace Corps Volunteer and/or with another international volunteer or host country colleagues. Please note that Volunteers may be required to live with a host family for the first few months at their site or all of their service based on site location and/or village resources.
  
'''Working with the contradictions of international development: Improvisational strategies of Peace Corps volunteers'''
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Most houses in Fiji have piped running water, except for those in some rural villages. While rainfall is plentiful, there may be some periods where drinking water is scarce—especially in the western part of the main island.  
<br>by Bartholomew, Pamela Anne, M.S., Michigan State University, 2003, 91 pages; AAT 1414624
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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Traditional houses usually have separate kitchen and toilet facilities. Rural communities do not often have access to electricity, but some houses have solar energy for lighting.  
The purpose of this research was to explore and describe how improvisation is used by Peace Corps Volunteers as a strategy for negotiating and renegotiating international development. Arce and Long's perspectives on modernity were used to situate how and why various local actors renegotiate development. Long's perspective on the social interfaces of development was used to conceptualize the complexities and place in which development is renegotiated and Stake's perspective on formative evaluation provided a visualization for how improvisation could occur by the simultaneous evaluation, planning and facilitation of emancipatory social change. This research was conducted using qualitative exploratory and rapid appraisal methodologies. Themes of context and improvisation emerged from the research and indicated that program implementers are able to renegotiate the contradictions inherent in development by using improvisation and that the use of improvisation was dependent upon the empowerment of the Peace Corps Volunteer.</blockquote>
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==2001==
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Some Volunteers may be placed on outer islands and/or interior villages where transportation is by small plane, boat, and pickup truck. Most Volunteers travel much of the time on foot, by bus, or small boat at their sites.
  
'''The impact of the Peace Corps experience on returned volunteers: A case study of Peace Corps Mali returned volunteers'''
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The packing list at the back of this Welcome Book offers suggestions on what to bring from home. All basic supplies can be purchased locally. After training, you’ll receive a settling-in allowance to buy initial household supplies. The Peace Corps staff and current Volunteers will provide information about where the good bargains are, but you are encouraged to explore on your own as well!
<br>by Sissoko, Moussa, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2001, 262 pages; AAT 3013509
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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A word about pets and other critters: There are a lot of animals in Fiji, and you’ll experience the wildlife of Fiji no matter where you’re stationed. Some Volunteers choose to have cats and/or dogs, but this can be challenging. Dogs and cats are not treated like they are in the U.S.—they are considered “animals” as opposed to a “pet.” They serve a purpose and are typically kept outside. Volunteers who choose to have a cat or dog are strongly encouraged to wait until they have been at site at least a few months, and to have the pet neutered or spayed. We also encourage Volunteers who have not had pets before to learn basic pet care, as veterinarians are available only in Suva and a few other urban centers.  
The purpose of this dissertation was to look at U.S. Peace Corps in the context of U.S. relations with Africa. This has involved an examination of issues related to foundations, globalization, and the origins and creation of the Peace Corps as an agency. Particularly, it has involved a study of the Peace Corps in Mali as an attempt to assess the impact of Peace Corps service on volunteers who served there since 1971 in terms of changes in their worldviews, career goals, education, and perceptions of Mali and Africa. Data for the study were drawn from Peace Corps and the State Department collections housed under RG 59 and 490 at the National Archives, as well as a survey questionnaire and in-depth interviews.
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The findings of the survey suggest that the Peace Corps experience appears to have had an extremely positive impact on many volunteers who served in Mali. The impact is most felt in the area of personal growth, where 76 percent of respondents felt that Peace Corps service had been a source of personal enrichment for them. All respondents reported that they had a more realistic view of Mali and Africa. More than 80 percent of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) felt that their experience had enhanced their sensitivity to cultural differences, broadened their outlook, and increased their understanding of minorities. These findings are consistent with previous national surveys of RPCVs.</blockquote>
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'''The impact of international experience on teaching with a global perspective: Reflections of returned Peace Corps volunteer teachers'''
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Outside of the urban areas most people do their laundry by hand either in their homes or at a local water source. You will likely do the same.  
<br>by Myers, Barbara Hubbard, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2001, 236 pages; AAT 3022545
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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===Living Allowance and Money Management===
Demographic, economic, political, and environmental world trends have combined to create a qualitatively different class of unavoidable world-level problems that were virtually unknown to traditional diplomacy, that are beyond the reach of national governments, that cannot fit into the accepted theories of competitive interstate behavior, that are coming increasingly to dominate affairs that cannot be wished away, and are indifferent to military force.
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Because global issues are increasingly difficult to assess and solve, it is important to develop a global consciousness by developing global perspectives, understanding global awareness, and integrating global education into all facets of teaching and learning. The purpose of this study was to examine the various perceived effects of cross-cultural experiences on the subsequent curricula and instruction of returned Peace Corps volunteer teachers. The objective was to provide insight into how teachers have incorporated international cross-cultural experiences into their teaching with a global perspective.
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This study utilized qualitative inquiry. Data collection methods included an initial correspondence to collect logistical data, followed by recorded interviews, follow-up telephone conversations, and notes to guide the analysis. Evidence from the study revealed that motives for joining Peace Corps were guided by different influences--most strongly, that of personal achievement and self-gain. Overall, the major findings indicated how the respondents perceived a change in their instructional practice; however, the strongest impact of change occurred within themselves rather than in their curriculum and instruction.
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Further investigation of global education and teaching with a global perspective, as well as recommendations for international experiences for perspective teachers is also discussed. Implications from the study include considerations for the integration of Peace Corps and Global Education with that of school curricula, to be utilized in teacher preparation.</blockquote>
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==1999==
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During your training period, the Peace Corps will open an account for you with one of the local banks. The Peace Corps will deposit your living allowance into this account each month. There are banking stations and ATMs in all of the urban centers throughout Fiji. Most banks are open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Some urban stores also allow you to use your ATM card to make purchases and to receive cash back.  International transactions are commonplace in the banks of Fiji, so it will be no problem getting traveler’s checks or overseas money orders if or when you need them. Some Volunteers have found it advantageous to keep a checking account in the States as it’s much easier to send a regular U.S.  check for things like magazine subscriptions from back home than it is to get money orders from here. If your American checking account has a Visa/Cirrus/Plus debit card (with an international access PIN), you can use it to access extra personal funds you might want to use for annual leave.
  
'''Predictors of reverse culture shock in returned Peace Corps volunteers'''
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Every month, the Peace Corps will deposit a lump sum into your local bank account. It will be enough money to cover modest living expenses with the expectation that your lifestyle is similar to that of your local counterparts. Your living allowance also covers utility expenses that are not covered by your host agency, and a very modest amount to cover in-country telephone or Internet charges.  
<br>by Bieber. Lawrence C., M.S., University of Wyoming, 1999, 64 pages; AAT EP17910
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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Fijian money is counted out in dollars and cents. They have 5-, 10-, 20- 50- and 100-dollar notes (not bills), and 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-cent pieces and 1-dollar and 2-dollar pieces (no pennies, nickels, dimes, or quarters). The exchange rate between the American and Fijian dollar fluctuates. The rate at the time of this writing is roughly $1.67 Fijian for every $1 American. The estimated costs quoted in this Welcome Book are in Fijian dollars, unless otherwise noted.
Predictors of reverse culture shock were examined in 335 returned Peace Corps volunteers who served in third world countries for an average of two years from 1961 to 1993. While serving in the Peace Corps, volunteers live and work in the third world and are exposed to poverty. Reverse culture shock (RCS) is the returned volunteers' adjustment and reaction to the home culture. Participants completed a survey that measured acculturation and reverse culture shock. It was hypothesized that greater acculturation, younger age, longer Peace Corps service, and greater influence of poverty predicted greater RCS. Being in a romantic, living together relationship was hypothesized to reduce RCS. Simple regression indicated that acculturation did not predict the RCS. RCS was best predicted by a combination of acculturation variables, demographic characteristics, and sojourn variables using separate stepwise regressions for men and women. Results revealed weak support that younger age and longer Peace Corps service increased RCS. Increased reaction to poverty predicted greater RCS for men and women probably because volunteers' values concerning affluence and materialism are at odds with American norms and values. Being in a romantic, living together relationship reduced RCS for women. For men, greater contact with other returned Peace Corps volunteers reduced RCS. An unexpected finding was that difficulty with culture shock was the strongest predictor of RCS. The most likely explanation for this finding is that younger volunteers have greater difficulty with cross-cultural transitions. Identity with the host country culture also predicted RCS.</blockquote>
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==1998==
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===Food and Diet===
  
'''Perceptions of female Returned Peace Corps Volunteers regarding the participation and empowerment process for rural African women: A model'''
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Fiji has a wide selection of food and many fruits and vegetables are locally grown. Availability is seasonal, but you can often get pineapple, mango, and papaya as well as many other fruits and vegetables. The staple foods in Fijian villages are starchy root crops; namely, dalo (taro root) and cassava.  There is also plenty of curry eaten in Indo-Fijian communities.  Urban areas offer much more variety and you can get very inexpensive Chinese food and even pizza (the local take on it). Suva has a wider selection of restaurants, from upscale to very cheaply priced food stands on the corner—including McDonalds and KFC.
<br>by Ali, Hassan, Ph.D., Iowa State University, 1998, 226 pages; AAT 9826508
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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Volunteers receive a local cookbook and will learn how to cook local foods during pre-service training. Volunteers in remote areas will find that their daily selection will be limited and may wish to start a garden to grow their own vegetables. Flour, tinned fish, rice, curry spices, and dalo are usually available everywhere. The farther you go from the urban center, the fewer choices you will have.  
The purpose of this study was to interview female Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who, within the last five years, had set up, implemented, and managed an agriculturally-based, participatory and empowerment program for rural and village women, during their overseas assignment in Africa. An interview schedule of open-ended questions was used to document descriptive data regarding participation and empowerment.
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Participation occurs when facilitators or international development personnel establish self-help programs that permit women to organize, design, implement and manage their own development programs; therefore, members of the target population can have direct involvement in the process of improving their lives. Empowerment is defined as increasing the control of individual(s) over decisions, resources and institutions that may affect them.
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The purpose of this study was to determine how to improve the delivery methodologies in international extension programming for women at the village level. By interviewing selected RPCVs in this study, a comprehensive list of strategies, suggestions and helpful hints was compiled to facilitate and improve the implementation of programs that help women become directly involved in the process of solving their own problems. The objectives for this study were twofold: (a) to identify methods to enhance the effectiveness of participatory and empowerment activities for rural women, and (b) to identify strategies that may be used to attract rural/village women to participate in these self-help development programs.
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Five general conclusions were reached: (a) to achieve a successful participatory and empowerment program, a credibility stage must be completed; (b) the village women must come together as a group and work as a team to complete program activities; (c) the female clients need to expend "sweat equity" to reap program benefits; (d) participation and especially empowerment needs to adhere to village norms (i.e., they must conform to local village protocols); and (e) only "badly needed programs" (as identified by the female clients) should be initiated, and whenever possible these programs should be fun and enjoyable for the participants. Finally, a model for implementation was developed to implement a participatory and empowerment regime that emerged based on the findings of the study.</blockquote>
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'''Self-efficacy and cultural awareness: A study of returned Peace Corps teachers'''
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Cassava is one of the more pervasive root crops to be found in Fiji. Cassava is the root from which tapioca is made. It’s white and starchy and tastes something like a textured potato. There’s plenty of fish available here—fresh, frozen, and canned. Most villagers (and Volunteers) in coastal areas fish for their own food. Mutton is imported from New Zealand while chicken is raised locally.
<br>by Cross, Mary Catherine, Ph.D., The Catholic University of America, 1998, 343 pages; AAT 9829288
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<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
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Most fresh fruits (mangoes, bananas, pineapples, oranges, passion fruit, guavas, papaya, etc.) and vegetables (cassava, dalo, beans, squash, jack fruit, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, Chinese cabbage, English cabbage, chilies, tomatoes, etc.) can be purchased from local open-air markets. Vendors set up their wares on rickety tables and crates or just on the ground, and sell it all “by the heap.
Statement of problem. Peace Corps volunteers who return to the U.S. to teach are often viewed as having special qualities that enhance their teaching. Returned Peace Corps teachers are consistently characterized in positive terms because of their spirit, their can-do attitude, and their ability to triumph in the face of difficult school situations. This ability to thrive is very much like what Bandura termed self-efficacy: the belief that one is capable of carrying out the actions needed to manage situations, even in the face of difficulties. Teachers with high self-efficacy believe they affect student learning positively. Returned Peace Corps teachers are also credited with having cultural awareness which helps them succeed in teaching students from diverse backgrounds. The purpose of this study was to explore how returned Peace Corps teachers viewed the Peace Corps experience and its impact on their self-efficacy and cultural awareness.
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<br><br>
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Method. The study consisted of a questionnaire, interviews and observations. Participants for this study were 154 teachers representative of approximately 30,000 returned Peace Corps volunteer teachers, by country and decade of service. A random cluster sample of teachers who were members of two regional returned volunteer associations completed the questionnaire. The questionnaire contained demographic questions, the Sherer et al. (1982) General Self-Efficacy scale and the Gibson and Dembo Teacher Efficacy Scale (1984). Interviews were done with a smaller subset of 15 teachers. Cultural awareness, self-efficacy, teacher efficacy and the importance of the Peace Corps experience were explored in the interviews. Six teachers in this smaller sample were also be observed in their classrooms. The observations focused on practices that are associated with high self-efficacy teachers and effective multicultural teachers.
+
<br><br>
+
Results. Questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Interviews and observations were taped, transcribed, and analyzed. Data from questionnaires and interviews indicated that these teachers had high self-efficacy. A developed sense of cultural awareness was indicated in the interviews, but was not always observed in classroom visits. The data from the questionnaire and the interviews indicated mixed results in the area of teacher efficacy. The Peace Corps experience was ranked highly by teachers in its effect on their self-efficacy and cultural awareness, and less highly in its effect on their teaching.
+
<br><br>
+
Conclusions. Results indicated that the Peace Corps functioned as a mastery experience. The volunteers described the experience as difficult for a variety of reasons, but credited the Peace Corps with developing their enhanced sense of self-efficacy. Feelings of self-confidence, willingness to take on challenges, and the ability to thrive in difficult situations were attributed to their experience in the Peace Corps. Most volunteers reported increased cultural awareness as a result of the Peace Corps experience, especially a modified view of the world. The results indicated that most volunteers had a strong belief in their ability to teach. However, they also believed that a student's learning was affected not only by their teaching, but also by factors outside their control. The teachers ranked the Peace Corps experience as very important in affecting their personality and as somewhat important in affecting their teaching.</blockquote>
+
  
==1996==
+
Shops range from the small corner markets and village shops that sell basic items to large supermarket outlets that offer goods from food to tools. Cost-U-Less, a warehouse store much like Costco, has opened an outlet in Suva, but prices are higher than in most other stores.
  
'''Returned Peace Corps volunteers who teach: A profile of teachers who serve their country and their students'''
+
Depending upon where your site is located, you may find yourself cooking on a small two-burner gas stove, kerosene, or an open fire. Gas stoves are more common in urban areas and the kerosene burners in the bush.  
<br>by Hammerschlag, Judith Ruth, Ph.D., The Claremont Graduate University, 1996, 142 pages; AAT 9703839
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Yaqona is the Fijian name for a non-alcoholic drink made from the roots of the kava plant, which is a member of the pepper family. The roots are ground and made into a sort of muddy-water looking drink that turns your tongue temporarily numb and has something of an “earthy” taste. (Some say it tastes like water that twine has been soaked in.) It has a pleasant, calming/relaxing effect on the body and may make some people slightly drowsy. It is a ceremonial drink—the ceremony is called sevusevu—and it has great significance to the Fijian people. You will see yaqona offered at virtually every event of any significance and at many ordinary events. You will also see people (mostly men) drinking it in the markets, at taxi stands, at work, and at most social gatherings. Though of indigenous origin, many Indo-Fijians also drink it but in less ritualized settings. As a Volunteer, you will be involved in many ceremonies and significant events, which means you’ll be drinking your share of yaqona. You will get used to it, and possibly become fond of it. It is considered impolite to refuse the first bilo (smooth, half-coconut shells especially used for drinking yaqona), but after the first, you can either drink more or not. (But be forewarned: Fijians will be delighted if you drink more than one!)
This study investigates ways that learning and behavior, especially teaching behavior, are based upon upbringing, education, and lived experiences. Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) were chosen as the study's subjects because they share in common the experiences of volunteering and teaching.
+
<br><br>
+
Certain characteristics were common to volunteers and effective teachers, including: commitment; self-reflection; respect for cultural differences; an ethic of care; autonomy; resourcefulness; adaptability; and, concern for a larger world community. Certain features were found in common between Peace Corps service and teaching, including: job success cannot be measured in terms of monetary rewards; working cooperatively with cohorts improves the job conditions; the ability to remain flexible and deal with the unexpected will likely assure job satisfaction; successful candidates are not afraid of working with populations whose culture, religion, and economic position are different than their own.
+
<br><br>
+
A mail survey collected information from 100 RPCVs. Case studies were conducted in 40-minute telephone interviews with 5 representatives of the mail survey group and provided opportunities to go beyond the quantified results and focus upon what was seen as the meaning of experiences.
+
<br><br>
+
Eighty-two percent of the RPCVs who teach surveyed in this study did not do their undergraduate studies in the field of education. Fifty-one percent of the respondents were male which is higher than the national average of men in teaching. The respondents indicated that there were aspects of their Peace Corps training and experiences which they utilize in their teaching that they never learned in teacher training programs in the United States.
+
<br><br>
+
A phenomenological approach to the research permitted a systematic study of interrelationships among life experiences. RPCVs who teach are individuals whose actions are synchronized with their belief systems and who view their positions as Peace Corps volunteers and teachers as service to others.</blockquote>
+
  
==1995==
+
You will learn much more about yagona and the sevusevu ceremony, Fijian protocol/etiquette, and Indo-Fijian customs during your training.
  
'''Development and use of an instrument for assessing the social environment of Peace Corps training programs'''
+
===Transportation===
<br>by Styes, David James, Ed.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1995, 174 pages; AAT 9606569
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Most of the time, you will travel by foot. Look to the right! Fiji is a former British colony and everyone drives on the left side of the road. There are buses to nearly every community in Fiji, except for the outer islands. The bus prices are great: in-town fares are under a dollar. Local buses (the ones that travel in and around town, or those that stop at every stop along a longer route) generally do not have glass windows. If it rains you unroll a plastic flap that’s designed to keep most of the mud out of the bus. Express buses that connect urban areas usually have glass windows and may have air conditioning.  
Over the last 25 years, researchers have made a strong case for a better understanding of the role of the social environment in formal classroom educational settings. Much of the research in this area has centered around the relationships between students' perceptions of their classroom social environment and various educational outcomes, such as achievement. Numerous instruments have been developed and used for assessing the social environment in various formal classroom settings. Unfortunately, parallel research has not occurred in adult training settings despite the assumption by many, if not most, trainers that the social climate in a training program impacts the outcome of the program.
+
<br><br>
+
The purpose of this study was to develop and use a social environment assessment instrument in an adult training setting in order to demonstrate the viability of such an instrument development procedure for adult training programs. In addition, this study sought to demonstrate the utility of information collected by the assessment instrument developed. The US Peace Corps' preservice training program was selected as a setting for the development of the procedure and to demonstrate uses of the information collected.
+
<br><br>
+
A social environment assessment instrument for the Peace Corps' preservice training programs was developed and the development process documented. It was apparent that the same instrument development procedure could be used in other adult training settings. The information generated from uses of the assessment instrument developed, both draft and final versions, proved to be useful to both training program managers and to trainers in their work. These uses were also documented.
+
<br><br>
+
This study also found that the theoretical framework upon which formal classroom social environment assessment research is based is applicable to an adult training setting, as are the commonly used instrument development procedures for assessing classroom environments.
+
<br><br>
+
One particularly interesting conclusion of this study was that assessment instruments must be kept simple in adult training settings. Trainers and training managers are reluctant to use a longer version of the instrument developed even though it was shorter than some widely-used similar instruments designed for formal classroom settings.</blockquote>
+
  
'''Peace Corps fellows enter the urban classroom: Learning to teach by the authority of experience'''
+
There are also mini-buses (small vans) that carry passengers among the main urban centers and around villages. Until recently, they have not been regulated and have tended to be overcrowded and poorly maintained. Volunteers are strongly advised not to ride in them unless this is the only mode of transportation to your site.  
<br>by Bombaugh, Ruth, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1995, 282 pages; AAT 9542797
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Taxis are numerous in Suva and they seem to make up the bulk of the traffic on city streets. Rides within town are usually governed by meter, whereas longer trips are negotiable. Most rides in town will cost between $2 and $5, depending on how far you are going.  
This self-study by a beginning teacher educator focuses on the clinical supervision of three secondary science teachers in urban classrooms. The study is premised on the belief that reflective practitioners are researchers in the practice context and that teacher educators, no less than teachers themselves, need to engage in systematic, intentional self-reflection in order to improve their own practice.
+
<br><br>
+
Both the author-supervisor and the teachers are part of an alternative certification and masters degree program custom-designed for returned Peace Corps Volunteers called The Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program. The dual worlds of the public-innercity-science classrooms and the large-midwestern-university-education classrooms constitute the context of the study and interface with three significant areas of educational research: science education, teacher development and urban education.
+
<br><br>
+
The study is informed by multiple sources of data collected over an eighteen month period: 20 interviews, 5 focus-group sessions, over 60 classroom observations, portfolios, and journal entries. The results are reported in a series of critical vignettes, or short stories. This experimental format is in keeping with a phenomenological stance of describing events with attention to the details as a way of conveying a situation as accurately as possible. Such attention to the details is deemed absolutely essential for capturing the nuances of the atmosphere, the feeling of the reality of the present and the mood, i.e. Heidigger's Befindlichkeit.
+
<br><br>
+
Findings of the study challenge the implicit assumption that overseas teaching experiences in the Peace Corps enhance return volunteer's first semester transition in U.S. urban teaching, document constraints imposed by the large bureaucratic high school against efforts of the teachers to establish science learning communities in their classrooms, and describe the conceptual change which took place in the three teachers' understandings of the nature of science and student-centered teaching. From these findings, the author makes the practical proposal that peer critiquing and collaboration such as focus groups may be an effective alternative or addition to one-on-one clinical supervision.</blockquote>
+
  
==1994==
+
Fiji is a country composed of islands. Chances are very high that you will travel by boat at some point during your service.  The larger islands have regularly scheduled service, but all schedules in Fiji are subject to last-minute changes. Many of the villages on outer islands have local boat captains to bring villagers into the larger centers for shopping or to catch a ferry to Suva. There are also punts in some areas for crossing rivers.
  
'''Acculturation in international development: The Peace Corps in Costa Rica. (Volumes I and II)'''
+
Volunteers serving in Fiji should be comfortable both on and in the water, as many assignments will require periodic boat travel. If you are uncomfortable with your swimming skills or have a fear of water, please contact the Pacific country desk unit at Peace Corps headquarters to further discuss this issue prior to accepting your invitation to serve in Fiji.
<br>by Tsatsoulis-Bonnekessen, Barbara, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1994, 475 pages; AAT 9504064
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
There are two international airports, Nadi International Airport in the western division and Nausori International Airport outside Suva. Many of the outer islands have airstrips for periodic Air Fiji and Sun Air flights and/or private planes.  
In its thirty years of service, the Peace Corps has acquired a well-founded international reputation for successful grassroots development assistance through the unpretentious lifestyle of American individuals living and working in a single community. Clouding this success is the high rate of early terminations of trained volunteers, which not only causes financial loss to the organization, but also questions the ability of American volunteers to successfully transplant into another culture.
+
<br><br>
+
This study determines the loss of volunteers to be a symptom of unsuccessful bicultural acculturation. Detailed case histories show that all volunteers undergo a sequence of preparation, cross-cultural contact, conflict, adaptation, and separation, whereby the stages of contact-conflict-adaptation repeat with each contact. The choice of adaptation strategy of the successful volunteer varies with the area of conflict; conflict in the professional area induces adjustment, while conflict in the social area causes reaction or withdrawal. The unsuccessful volunteer is one who has been placed succeeding another, feels overwhelmed by the expectations of the community, and has low social language skills. This individual cannot adjust successfully in either area and sees withdrawal and separation as the only solution.
+
<br><br>
+
The results of this study suggest that more volunteers could be retained by raising their professional satisfaction, improving social language skills, and by placing volunteers into communities without a recent volunteer.
+
<br><br>
+
This study follows fifteen volunteers of the Peace Corps through their service experience in Costa Rica. They entered training in November 1990 and were scheduled to serve from February 1991 to January 1993. The group consisted of six women and nine men, ranging in age from 23 to 69 years. The volunteers were interviewed and tested before and during training, during the first six months of service, after one year, and shortly before they left Costa Rica.</blockquote>
+
  
 +
===Geography and Climate===
  
'''Americans in the Third World: Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s'''
+
Fiji is composed of 332 islands with a total area of 18,376 square kilometers. Fiji is located between 15 and 22 degrees south latitude and 177 west to 175 east latitude. There are four main islands: Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Kadavu, and Taveuni. Fiji is located just at the edge of the International Date Line, so it is one of the first countries in the world to see the dawn of each new day! Fiji is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich mean time, which means that it is generally 19 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time, and 16 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Daylight Savings Time is not observed in Fiji.
<br>by Fischer, Fritz, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1994, 410 pages; AAT 9433834
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
The main urban centers on Viti Levu are those that are usually labeled on maps of Fiji (e.g., Suva, the capital, Nausori, Korovou, Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi, and Sigatoka). The main urban centers on Vanua Levu are Labasa and Savusavu. For the outer islands, the port town is generally the main trade center.  
This dissertation examines Peace Corps volunteer attitudes during the 1960s and explores the relationship between these attitudes and official agency policy. Most historians, without examining the volunteers, have stuffed the Peace Corps into traditional Cold War explanations for post World War II foreign policy. Analyzing the volunteers points towards a broader understanding of America's relationship with the world as well as American society at home.
+
<br><br>
+
The first Peace Corps Director, Sargent Shriver, and the men he chose as his top deputies, rejected previous models of dealing with the developing world. They were not Cold Warriors, and tried to ignore the Cold War agenda. They insisted on breaking from past western colonialist models, and felt they could do so by creating an anti-bureaucratic bureaucracy. This agency would respect local values, while at the same time promoting universal humanistic ideals. They took Kennedy's New Frontier rhetoric seriously, launching a program which would help developing countries by sending them people who knew how to conquer frontiers--a new brand of American pioneer, the Peace Corps volunteer. They designed an exhaustive training regimen to mold young Americans into new pioneers and prepare them to encounter frontier conditions.
+
<br><br>
+
The volunteers found a reality differing from their expectations. Many lived in clean, comfortable, modern housing. Some had servants. Some rarely interacted with their hosts, and their work provided unexpected pitfalls. Many volunteers were women, yet the pioneer image was male. Peace Corps leaders had difficulty understanding why few minorities joined the Corps, but the mythic pioneer was white. Despite their best efforts, the leaders failed to prevent the growth of a bureaucratic wall between the agency and the volunteers in the field. Volunteers also found tremendous difficulties trying to live with the contradictions of accepting local culture while promoting universal humanistic values.
+
<br><br>
+
In the end, the volunteers developed their own philosophy about their projects, a philosophy of democratic, egalitarian independence that had little to do with either Kennedy's Cold War ideals or Shriver's ideas of the new pioneer.</blockquote>
+
  
==1991==
+
The weather in Fiji is “mainly fine with some scattered showers, especially over the eastern parts of both the main islands.” This is a typical weather report that is aired every two hours on radio Fiji. It is usually steamy and hot here from November to April during the rainy season. Generally, it will never get cooler than the low 60s (to the low 50s in the winter in the hills) and never be any hotter than the 90s. Many people wonder during the rainy season (i.e., most of the time on the eastern side of Viti Levu) if their laundry will ever dry out. Refer to the packing list for some detailed suggestions for things you could bring to be comfortable in this weather.
  
'''Peru and the Peace Corps, 1962-1968'''
+
===Social Activities===
<br>by Sheffield, Glenn Francis, Ph.D., The University of Connecticut, 1991, 428 pages; AAT 9221536
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Fiji has an absolutely beautiful natural environment, which draws many tourists to the resorts that are located throughout the islands. Although Volunteers are considered “on duty” 24-hours a day/seven days a week, every Volunteer receives 24 days of vacation per year of service. Even in remote areas, villages and settlements usually have social events nearly every weekend in which Volunteers may choose to participate.  
Peru hosted one of the largest Peace Corps contingents in the world. In many respects, most notably in its rural and urban community development programs, Peace Corps/Peru served as a model for Peace Corps activities throughout Latin America. This thesis argues, contrary to prevailing interpretations, that Peace Corps programs were intimately linked with and broadly conditioned by United States foreign policy and development assistance objectives in Peru. They were also shaped by many aspects of Peruvian social and political reality for which the Peace Corps proved largely unprepared and often incapable of understanding. Consequently, despite published claims of success in promoting social change and development in Peru by the Peace Corps and by researchers affiliated with Cornell University's Peru Project experiment in applied anthropology, this thesis finds that most Peace Corps volunteers and Peace Corps programs failed to contribute to the organization's statutory goals of providing middle level manpower assistance to Peru, and increasing mutual understanding between the people of Peru and the U.S. The evidence suggests that these conclusions also hold for other Latin American countries.
+
<br><br>
+
Through its focus on the nexus between Peace Corps' ostensibly non-political development assistance programs, U.S. foreign policy, and Peruvian development strategies, this thesis contributes to the social and political history of the little understood first administration of Fernando Belaunde Terry (1963-1968), especially through its examination of Belaunde's agenda for social and economic development and his troubled relations with the U.S. It also advances a thoroughgoing re-interpretation of the political role of the Peace Corps. Additionally, it provides evidence for a revision of significant aspects of U.S. policy toward Peru, particularly in relation to the slowdown in U.S. assistance to that country in the Alliance for Progress years.
+
<br><br>
+
The study is based on extensive research in primary sources, including hundreds of recently declassified documents at the presidential libraries of Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Other sources include a wealth of unpublished Peace Corps documents, published reports and documents in Peru, and many oral history interviews, including seventeen conducted by the author in Peru.</blockquote>
+
  
'''The impact of a transition workshop on reentry anxiety of Peace Corps Volunteers'''
+
Big parties surround events, such as a new Volunteer’s arrival in town, weddings, New Year’s, birthdays, etc. When a Fijian or Indo-Fijian child turns one year old, there’s a big family birthday party to celebrate it. The same goes for the 21st birthday. Occasionally, for important events, there will be a traditional dance performed called a meke or an all-night dance party called a taralala. Hopefully you’ll encounter a lovo (feast) and/or taralala in your training village. There are quite a few festivals between July and September, many of them fundraisers. The Hibiscus Festival in Suva is especially popular and takes place in August. Nadi hosts a Bula (“Welcome”) Festival in July, and nearby Lautoka hosts a Sugar Festival in September. In addition, there are many Christian, Hindu, and Muslim celebrations throughout the year.
<br>by Hartzell, Nedra, Ph.D., University of Maryland College Park, 1991, 191 pages; AAT 9222692
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Sports, such as cricket and rugby, are very popular here. Rugby is to Fiji as football is to America, except that it’s easier to get an autograph from a local hero here! Fiji’s seven-man team is often considered the best in the world. Many Volunteers jog or walk for exercise. While exercising, women generally wear sulus, skirts, or knee-length shorts depending upon their site.  
This study assessed anxiety about re-entry (returning to the U.S.) among Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) abroad who were preparing to return to the U.S. The re-entry transition for PCVs has four major components: losses associated with leaving the country of service abroad; employment change; cross-cultural readaptation; and changes in expectations.
+
<br><br>
+
The re-entry transition has been described as more disruptive than the initial cross-cultural transition abroad by Peace Corps and other populations. Anxiety has been identified as a variable in cultural transition states. Several authors have hypothesized that systematic preparation for an anticipated re-entry transition can result in smoother transitions.
+
<br><br>
+
In the present study, it was hypothesized that a transition intervention based upon a transition model conceptualized by Schlossberg would significantly reduce re-entry anxiety among PCVs in comparison to re-entry anxiety among PCVs completing the standard Peace Corps re-entry intervention. The standard Peace Corps re-entry intervention offered consideration of the re-entry transition alone. The experimental workshops addressed re-entry in a broader context, considering past transition behavior and future plans for the re-entry transition.
+
<br><br>
+
Participants completed the State Trait Anxiety Inventory before and after the interventions, and the Adult Career Concerns Inventory. One hundred twenty-three PCVs in six countries participated in the study.
+
<br><br>
+
Both experimental and comparison group participants reported less re-entry anxiety after their respective workshops. No significant differences were reported between re-entry anxiety scores of the experimental and comparison subjects, however.
+
<br><br>
+
Female subjects expressed more anxiety than male subjects at each level of measurement on the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. The differences were significant for posttest state anxiety, F(1, 114) = 4.107, p $<$.05.
+
<br><br>
+
Subjects in the study were most concerned with career exploration, the first of Super's career development stages (mean = 3.41, SD =.81). When compared to provisional national norms, subjects overall expressed less career concern.
+
<br><br>
+
A significant negative correlation (r = $-$.2544, p $<$.01) was reported between age and pretest state anxiety, suggesting that age and experience with transitions reduce anxiety about transitions. A significant positive correlation (r =.3405, p $<$.001) was reported between levels of posttest state anxiety and levels of difficulty in initial adjustment to the Peace Corps site.</blockquote>
+
  
==1990==
+
There is an Olympic-size pool open to the public in Suva and Labasa, as well as opportunities for swimming at local beaches.  Volunteers are expected to observe local customs for dress as well as for using an area that belongs to a particular village; in Fiji, there are very few areas that are truly public places, even if there is not a town or home in sight.
  
'''The international economic order and the evolution of the United States Peace Corps'''
+
There are many activities available to fill your leisure time at site. Some Volunteers learn to socialize more; others spend their time introducing their hobbies to their new local friends. Some Volunteers have taught aerobic classes (which go over surprisingly well here!), taught local kids new songs, or established a weekly craft night. Volunteers may also find themselves learning some of the local handiwork skills, such as mat making. Others rediscover their love of reading. If you like to read, bring some good books, as they are expensive to purchase locally. Paperback books are available in many local stores and the University of the South Pacific (located in Suva) has a fair selection in its bookstore. There is also a public library in Suva in which you can borrow books for two weeks at a time, which may or may not be viable for you depending upon the location of your site.
<br>by Dee, Michael J., M.A., University of Wyoming, 1990, 114 pages; AAT EP24103
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Consider keeping a journal of your stay here in Fiji. It’s not only a great way to document your experiences and accomplishments, but it’s also great to use and review when filling out your quarterly reports!
Abstract not available.</blockquote>
+
  
'''The special concerns of African-American Peace Corps volunteers'''
+
Fiji has 3 major television stations and 12 radio stations.  Suva, Lautoka, and Nadi all have cinemas that carry first-run Hollywood movies. (Some movies have even had their premier screening in Fiji.) In the villages, Volunteers may find themselves invited to a common building to watch an old movie, which someone rode into town on a horse to rent, on a VCR powered by a gas generator!
<br>by Helms, Loretta Ann, Ed.D., Columbia University Teachers College, 1990, 123 pages; AAT 9033849
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
During vacation time, many Volunteers choose to explore other areas of Fiji. There are accommodations ranging from the typical inexpensive “backpackers lodge” on the beach to very expensive resorts catering almost exclusively to tourists. Often, resorts have nice, if overpriced, restaurants, shopping, and will be overrun with tourists in the high travel season. Less expensive properties are often much quieter and more relaxing.  
African-Americans serving as Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) have concerns which are peculiar to them as an ethnic group. During pre- and in-service training these concerns are not addressed, leaving the African-Americans with unrealistic expectations and essentially ill-prepared for service.
+
<br><br>
+
For this study the subjects were 15 African-American returned PCVs, five from each of the three designated Peace Corps regions of service (Sub-Saharan African; Inter-America; NANEAP or North America, the Near East, Asia and the Pacific). The sample was purposefully selected to ensure heterogeneity since it was logically concluded that any common outcomes which emerged from variation in the sample would be of importance in capturing the central concerns of the subject. Data were collected through in-depth, open-ended interviews with the researcher using a combination of the informal conversational interview and an interview guide. Analysis was inductive with the central concerns of the subjects drawn from the data generated by the open-ended interviews.
+
<br><br>
+
The data indicated that there were four major concerns common to all the subjects, namely, perceived discrimination by host nationals, including Black on Black discrimination and fair-skinned against dark-skinned; labeled nigger by host nationals; stereotypical views of African-Americans held by host nationals; and mistaken for host nationals or nationals from neighboring countries. Two other concerns which were expressed by the subjects who had served in Sub-Saharan Africa are: labeled White by host nationals and perceived as racists by White volunteers.
+
<br><br>
+
In view of these findings several recommendations are made to Peace Corps regarding future training as well as recruitment strategies to increase the total number of African-American PCVs.</blockquote>
+
  
==1989==
+
The reefs that surround most of the islands here are teeming with wildlife, offering excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. If you own your own snorkeling equipment, considering bringing it along or sending it to yourself. There are many dive shops that offer SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) training, certification and equipment rental.
  
'''The Peace Corps: A study of the transition to bureaucracy'''
+
There are also several nearby destinations that Volunteers may also want to consider, including Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, and Vanuatu, which are easily accessible by plane from both Suva and Nadi.
<br>by Manno, Joseph Ralph, Ph.D., University of Maryland College Park, 1989, 232 pages; AAT 9021543
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
===Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior===
This is a study of a federal government agency, the Peace Corps, that was created with the concept of being a uniquely non-bureaucratic government agency. The founders of the agency were a group of high-spirited and idealistic persons. Their purpose was to create a federal agency completely different from the others. In the words of Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps, it was sui generis.
+
<br><br>
+
The founders not only wanted to create a non-bureaucratic agency, they wanted to provide a mechanism to keep bureaucracy from the agency in perpetuity. Employees were not to consider the Peace Corps a career. Significantly, to guarantee control of bureaucracy and to minimize self-interest, they persuaded the United States Congress to pass a law limiting staff tenure to five years. One of the Peace Corps staffers commented that this was the first time ever that an agency moved to limit the tenure of its staff in order to avoid "bureaucraticsclerosis." The five-year rule for turnover of staff by a federal government agency is a novel concept.
+
<br><br>
+
The study measured the following classical characteristics of bureaucracy as defined by Max Weber: (1) the existence of rules and regulations to govern daily operations; (2) the existence of a professional administrative class of employees with technical competence; (3) the existence of division of labor, and (4) the existence of authority levels arranged in a hierarchy.
+
<br><br>
+
The conclusion of the study shows that the Peace Corps did become more bureaucratic in spite of the founders' wishes and the five-year rule. It shows how the Peace Corps started with volunteers in both its administrative and volunteer structures and how it went from voluntarism to professionalization; how the division of labor, recruitment and training functions, which were to be contracted to other organizations, were done by the Peace Corps as soon as possible; and how the five-year rule was modified.</blockquote>
+
  
'''The sojourning experience: A study of Peace Corps EFL volunteer/teachers'''
+
Fiji is a warm and welcoming place where foreigners are a familiar sight. What distinguishes Volunteers from tourists is their knowledge of and respect for Fijian and Indo-Fijian customs. Volunteers receive extensive training on culture and the important part it plays in community life.  
<br>by Linse, Caroline Teresa, Ed.D., Harvard University, 1989, 166 pages; AAT 9000870
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
The atmosphere in Fiji appears somewhat relaxed, slow and  
The study examined the crosscultural adaptation process experienced by Peace Corps volunteers as sojourners. Sojourners are individuals who travel to another culture to live and study or work. The study examined the process of adaptation from the perspective of former English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Peace Corps volunteers.
+
<br><br>
+
Much of the sojourner literature has focused on the crosscultural adaptation of Peace Corps volunteers. The sojourner literature has dealt with crosscultural adaptation process models and factors which influence adaptation. The current sojourning literature does not include the perspective of participants in the sojourning process. In the literature describing crosscultural adaptation process models, there are theoretical frameworks stating what should take place during adaptation.
+
<br><br>
+
The sample consisted of returned Peace Corps EFL teacher volunteers who had served after 1969 and have taught English as a foreign language. The questionnaire consisted of three sections: background information, reflections on the personal Peace Corps experience, and the Peace Corps experience for others. Fifty-four (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) RPCVs returned questionnaires. The data were analyzed to determine the influencing factors and overall adaptation process. After the initial data were analyzed 10 RPCVs participated in follow-up interviews to triangulate the data.
+
<br><br>
+
The study revealed four factors which influenced the experience; crosscultural knowledge and crosscultural understanding; language; task effectiveness and task importance; and relationships. According to RPCVs crosscultural knowledge is: knowing the locally acceptable rules, understanding is a respectful attitude towards members of the local culture. Crosscultural knowledge and understanding also encompassed recognition of the differences in the ways men and women are treated in Third World countries. Teaching as a job was an important aspect of the sojourn and influenced the Peace Corps experience. Language and acquisition of the local language(s) influenced the experience. Three types of relationships influenced the experience; relationships volunteers had with their loved ones, relationships with members of the host country and relationships with other volunteers.</blockquote>
+
  
==1988==
+
perhaps less formal than what you may be used to in the
  
'''An ethnographic study of female Peace Corps volunteers in Sub-Saharan Africa'''
+
U.S. However, do not assume that the informal atmosphere allows for informal dress. Just as in the States, people dress differently in various situations. Volunteers are encouraged to carefully observe what others are wearing—how professional people dress for work and social occasions. Learn what these standards are and follow them.
<br>by Swartz, Marsha Rae, M.A., University of Oregon, 1988, 203 pages; AAT 1335238
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Being sensitive to Fijian dress norms, which lean toward the more conservative, will increase your effectiveness as a Volunteer. Volunteers are expected to dress and appear appropriately—both on and off the job. Volunteers who are sensitive to the cultural norms will gain respect and acceptance more readily. This respect is integral to an enjoyable and meaningful Peace Corps experience. Generally, a clean, unrumpled, somewhat low-key appearance works well in Fiji.  In Suva, a more fashion-oriented style is typical; in rural areas, most people dress in more traditional, conservative clothing.  
This qualitative study describes and analyzes the replies of 29 female Peace Corps volunteers who served in Sub-Saharan Africa for one to three years during the years of 1967-84. The respondents were located by networking efforts of the author around the United States. Fifteen returned mail questionnaires, nine were interviewed in person and four were interviewed by telephone. The replies were categorized, studied, and related to relevant literature. The work and social environment of the volunteers were scrutinized in order that their effects on volunteer performance and perception of the results of service might be ascertained.
+
<br><br>
+
A high number of volunteers commented on the fact that the cultural knowledge of and the ability to successfully communicate with their counterparts at their sites was what made the greatest difference to their enjoying and feeling successful about their work. The importance of sharing of themselves with their new friends was crucial.</blockquote>
+
  
'''The Peace Corps: Origins and performance in Cameroon'''
+
For women, dress is conservative and women cover up a lot more in Fiji than in the U.S. Ankle-length skirts are recommended. It is best to have them wide enough to sit comfortably on the floor with legs covered. Full dresses or skirts with modest tops and sleeves are very appropriate.  These are easily purchased in Suva if needed. One-piece, loose fitting dresses with no waistband are also very good for hot weather. Wearing shorts in public is inappropriate except at resorts or other tourist areas. Miniskirts, short-shorts, tank tops, plunging necklines, midriff shirts that expose your belly, and strapless tops are inappropriate.
<br>by Amin, Julius Atemkeng, Ph.D., Texas Tech University, 1988, 291 pages; AAT 8908499
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Men are also expected to dress conservatively. Long hair or untrimmed facial hair on men is considered unprofessional to Fijians. Nice slacks and shirts are the most appropriate attire, as are dress sulus (men’s skirts). Men often wear long pants in public, and shorts are worn when doing outdoor activities in the village such as gardening, or for sports and hiking.  
In 1960, John F. Kennedy accused the Eisenhower administration of allowing America to lose momentum in the Cold War. Under the Republican administration the country had grown conservative, fat and lazy. There were many problems: Sputnik, a missile-gap, Castro's Cuba and the neglect of the Third World countries. These problems, Kennedy noted, resulted from reacting to Soviet activities instead of initiating new policies. Kennedy promised "to get the country moving again" by offering new directions in foreign policy.
+
<br><br>
+
As president, Kennedy acted on his promise when on March 1, 1961, he signed Executive Order 10924 establishing the Peace Corps. This agency quickly became part of U.S. governmental support for Third World development.
+
<br><br>
+
The Peace Corps, though a major innovation of the Kennedy administration, is often ignored in the Kennedy literature. The few studies which focus on the Peace Corps expound it as an example of American idealism. This study, while not rejecting the idealism theory, attempts to show that more pragmatic reasons were at work when the Peace Corps was established. Additionally, the study goes beyond the agency's creation by examining the performance of the volunteers in Cameroon, West Africa. The study covers the period from the establishment of the Peace Corps agency to 1966, when Sargent Shriver, the agency's first director, was reappointed to other functions. Also, after 1966, the volunteers were no longer trained in the United States.
+
<br><br>
+
My hope is that this study will add something new to the interpretations of the Peace Corps agency, demonstrating the agency's importance in post-World War II American foreign policy, and illustrating the rocky path volunteers traveled in executing their duties. Finally, the author wishes to encourage other studies of the Peace Corps in action.</blockquote>
+
  
==1985==
+
Nice-looking sandals are appropriate for both men and women. For those Volunteers who may work in an office setting, especially in urban locations, flip-flops are not acceptable at work. It is considered very rude to wear any type of hat inside of buildings and may be considered offensive to wear them in a village. Bathing attire for women should be very conservative (bikinis are only acceptable on resort beaches); local women wear T-shirts and wrap-around skirts (sulus) while swimming.
  
'''A HISTORY OF THE VOLUNTEER SELECTION PROCESS IN THE UNITED STATES PEACE CORPS (TRAINING)'''
+
For most of the year, the climate will be hot and humid.  Neutral-colored cotton clothing works best in this environment. One of the paradoxes of packing is that while lightweight clothes are the most comfortable to wear, the laundering process (do-it-yourself with scrub brushes and harsh soaps) favors sturdy items. Bright colors will fade in harsh sun and light colors will pick up curry and mud stains. Consider bringing some medium-weight cotton-poly blends that will survive the washing, sun, and climate without looking worn out in the last months of your stay.
<br>by SMITH, ROBIN MCCOLLOUGH, Educat.D., Indiana University, 1985, 155 pages; AAT 8520487
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
===Personal Safety===
The purpose of this study is to trace the historical development of the Volunteer selection process in the United States Peace Corps from its beginning in 1961, through 1984. Sources for the data gathered in this study were located primarily in the library archives of the Peace Corps national headquarters in Washington, DC. Additional sources of information were obtained through conversation with Peace Corps employees and the published works of certain individuals.
+
<br><br>
+
Utilizing a methodology which combined the chronological and thematic approaches to historical research, the study documents events in three major areas: (a) legislation which led to passage of the Peace Corps Act, (b) selection models utilized between 1961 and 1984, and (c) training strategies employed over the 24 years.
+
<br><br>
+
The study found three distinct periods in the history of Peace Corps selection. For the first seven to nine years, the agency employed psychiatrists and psychologists as key personnel in the field. The presence of these mental health practitioners impacted enough on the quality of selection and training to be designated the psychiatric model period. At the turn of the decade, around 1970, a new model was initiated which minimized psychiatric input and gave more responsibility to the individual applicant to participate in the decision to qualify as a Volunteer. Finally, during a third period in selection history, the Peace Corps sponsored events called stagings which gave prospective trainees an opportunity to participate in selection and training activities prior to making the two-year commitment.
+
<br><br>
+
Conclusions drawn from this study acknowledge the Peace Corps as a unique federal agency which has historically modified its selection and training strategies in an effort to attract and prepare the best possible Volunteer force for overseas service. The study's recommendations are for the Peace Corps to continue its growth and relevancy through at least three activities: (a) expansion of the information available to policy makers through in-house review of Peace Corps history, (b) more involvement of those who have had first-hand experience with the agency through consultation boards, and (c) application of parts of the Peace Corps model to the academic and business sectors.</blockquote>
+
  
==1982==
+
More information about the Peace Corps’ approach to safety is outlined 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 occasional incidents of physical and sexual assault do occur, although many Volunteers complete their two years of service without personal safety problems. The Peace Corps has established procedures and policies designed to help Volunteers reduce their risks and enhance their safety and security. These procedures and policies, in addition to safety training, will be provided once you arrive in Fiji. At the same time, each Volunteer is expected to take primary responsibility for his or her safety and well-being.
  
'''THE PEACE CORPS IMPACT'''
+
Peace Corps/Fiji has developed a local emergency action plan that covers most contingencies. This will be discussed in more detail during pre-service training. In the event of a stateside emergency involving a close family member, the Office of Special Services at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C., can get a message to you. In addition, if your relatives hear or read something concerning Fiji that gives them reason for concern, they can contact either Office of Special Services or the country desk unit for updated information. Emergency contact numbers are listed in the back of this book.
<br>by SALAS, GLENDA CORDES, M.A., California State University, Fullerton, 1982, 133 pages; AAT 1318582
+
  
==1981==
+
===Rewards and Frustrations===
  
'''CROSS-CULTURAL ADJUSTMENT AMONG PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS'''
+
While the vision of a tropical island in the South Pacific may capture your imagination, romantic notions of this lifestyle may quickly wear thin as you adjust to the heat and humidity that descend on Fiji for six to eight months of the year. Other challenges include the occasional cyclone; the incessant ants, cockroaches, and mosquitoes that you will likely encounter; the “island fever” that can arise from living in a relatively small community where everyone knows what everyone else is doing; and the seemingly laissez-faire attitude that some people exhibit toward work and change. The island lifestyle, tropical climate, isolation, and lack of work-related resources and materials call for individuals who possesses good health, stamina, self-reliance, flexibility, and a positive attitude. You will need to adapt to a pace of life that, though not unique to the Pacific, may be quite different from what you are accustomed to in the United States.
<br>by COSTANZO, RICHARD JOSEPH, Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 1981; AAT T-28058
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Some individuals are surprised by the fact that, when joining Peace Corps, they become subject to the norms of their local in-country agencies, as well as those of the Peace Corps. As an employee of a host agency or institution, your professionalism will be counted on in order to respect policies your supervisors have established for their staff. Although you may be given a high degree of responsibility and independence in your work— perhaps more than in any other job you have had or will ever experience—you will often find yourself in situations that require an ability to motivate yourself and your counterparts with little guidance from supervisors. You may also work for months without seeing any visible impact or without receiving any feedback on your work. This is the nature of development work. It’s a slow process and often results are only seen after the combined efforts of several generations of Volunteers.  You must possess self-confidence, patience, and maturity to continue working toward long-term goals without seeing immediate results.  
The study examines the process of cross-cultural adjustment experienced by Peace Corps volunteers. The research attempts to determine if there is a U-shaped culture shock pattern which is experienced by most individuals across a wide variety of situations. In addition, the study examines those variables which may moderate the shape and general level of the adjustment pattern. The data are from four cross-sectional surveys of volunteers, each with about 4,000 respondents. The primary dependent measures are Bradburn's Affect Balance Scale and a work satisfaction index. Evidence for the existence of a U-Curve, or perhaps W-curve, was found. In addition, three major variables were identified which moderate the adjustment process among Peace Corps Volunteers. In general, it was shown that specific groups of volunteers can be identified for whom adjustment does and does not follow the U-Curve pattern. It is apparent that a complete understanding of culture shock requires a theory which addresses the large number of variables which moderate adjustment to any major life change such as a new job or a divorce. However, a simple cognitive model is useful in understanding the effect of those moderating variables which distinguish one culture from another and which are peculiar to the adjustment process called culture shock.</blockquote>
+
  
==1980==
+
Peace Corps has a highly successful history in Fiji, and most Fijians fondly remember Volunteers living and working in their communities. Now that Peace Corps has reentered Fiji after a five-year absence, Volunteers play both a technical assistance and a diplomatic role. When citizens of Fiji interact with Peace Corps Volunteers, their impressions of America are formed by those interactions. Your ability to serve as a competent professional and a tactful “ambassador” will affect both the image of Peace Corps as an agency and of Americans in general.  This is a significant responsibility for all Volunteers worldwide and will become part of Peace Corps/Fiji’s continuing legacy.
  
'''ENGLISH TEST AND ATTITUDE MEASURES AMONG KOREAN STUDENTS OF UNITED STATES PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS'''
+
The goodwill and hospitality of the Fijian people and the richness of their culture, the beauty of the environment, and the challenges offered by your work can make your life as a Volunteer exciting and rewarding.  
<br>by KAILIAN, GREGORY SHAHAN, Educat.D., University of Southern California, 1980; AAT 0534003
+
  
<blockquote>Abstract (Summary)
+
Peace Corps service requires dedication, a “can-do” attitude, commitment, and, perhaps most importantly, a sense of humor. It will be an emotionally exhausting and demanding experience. However, it is an opportunity for personal as well as professional growth and fulfillment, and the rewards are likely to far outweigh the challenges.  
Purpose. To determine effects of the U.S. Peace Corps/Korea English (TEFL) Education program by providing causal data on host student and co-teacher proficiency levels and attitudinal changes in relation to type and amount of host student and co-teacher exposure to Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) teachers and English teaching methodologies.
+
<br><br>
+
Null Hypothesis. There would be no significant difference in mean levels of performance among control and experimental groups on measures of (a) reading comprehension, (b) pronunciation and intonation, (c) grammar and translation items as functions of school and teacher characteristics.
+
<br><br>
+
Methodology. Experimental Group 1 (N = 30) was selected from former schools and co-teachers of Peace Corps/Korea (PC/K) Volunteers. Only former co-teachers teaching seventh grade students and using the PC/K developed Methodology For Teachers instructional method met final selection criteria. Experimental Group 2 numbered 30 PCVs currently working with Korean teachers. Schools received lesson plans covering the contents of the Korean Middle School English textbook, chapters 13 to 18, in order to standardize teaching methods. Ten Experimental schools and five Control schools (total student N = 4043), assigned as a third, comparison group, were selected on the basis of teacher/school background to receive the instrumentation developed: Teacher Background Questionnaire, Teacher Attitude Questionnaire, Peace Corps Specific Questionnaire; Student Background Questionnaire, Student Attitude Questionnaire (Reliability Coefficient Alpha = .87), Peace Corps Student Specific Questionnaire (Reliability Coefficient Alpha = .77). The dependent variable was a comprehensive English cognitive instrument (Reliability Coefficient Alpha = .85) covering grammar/translation reading comprehension, and pronunciation/intonation items.
+
<br><br>
+
Findings. PCVs and Peace Corps developed teaching methodologies had statistically significant effects on Experimental Group test scores. However, when these same PCVs and teaching methodologies were associated with teachers who perceived themselves to be minimally qualified, negative effects resulted.
+
<br><br>
+
Conclusions. (1) Although negligible English achievement test differences were found, highly significant interactions were taking place among the variables involved. (2) Teacher characteristics seemed to be the critical factor. (3) Students exposed to PCVs and the PC/K developed spoken English teaching methodology consistently had higher test scores than students not so exposed, but only under certain conditions. (4) PC/K TEFL seemed most effective in the co-teaching context with Korean teachers if the following conditions applied: urban sites, private schools, Korean co-teachers who were English majors in college, and who felt well qualified to teach English.
+
<br><br>
+
Recommendations. (1) This study be replicated with more teachers. (2) Present and future Peace Corps project planning and implementation take into consideration the implications of the present study to increase program impact and effectiveness. (3) Since the assignment of PCVs may actually create results completely opposite those intended, PCV placement policy be carefully reviewed in light of present study results. (4) PCV site assignment criteria be reviewed in light of the potential lowering of student performance under conditions where host teachers appear unable to integrate unfamiliar, new, teaching techniques. (5) Peace Corps develop a means for periodic, systematic measurement of host student performance and attitudes to determine whether any negative unintended effects occur in other knowledge/skills program areas. (6) Newer teaching methodologies be developed and tested for use with less qualified host country teachers if Peace Corps/Education program emphasis moves to stress upgrading presently weak teacher instructional skills and English-speaking ability.</blockquote>
+
  
'''PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD: A QUANTITATIVE STUDY'''
+
[[Category:Fiji]]
<br>by COLEMAN, TERENCE DEAN, M.A., The American University, 1980, 83 pages; AAT 1315397
+
 
+
 
+
==Before 1980==
+
 
+
''(Note: Abstracts for these dissertations were unavailable from source, see below. As such, they are listed as one group 'Before 1980')''
+
<br>
+
 
+
 
+
'''A STUDY OF THE ATTITUDES OF AFRO-AMERICAN STUDENTS AND FORMER VOLUNTEERS TOWARD THE PEACE CORPS'''
+
<br>by THOMPSON, LISBETH SHARON, M.S., Howard University, 1979, 138 pages; AAT 1313606
+
 
+
+
'''MAJOR ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS OF THE TEACHER CORPS / PEACE CORPS PROGRAM AND THEIR PRIORITIES'''
+
<br>by GUZMAN, JOHN EDWARD, Ph.D., Washington State University, 1976, 90 pages; AAT 7702861
+
 
+
+
'''INTERCULTURAL TRANSMISSION OF WORK VALUES IN A TEACHER RETRAINING SITUATION: A CASE STUDY OF THE PEACE CORPS IN THE PHILIPPINES'''
+
<br>by HERRING, RONALD BYER, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1973, 348 pages; AAT 7314907
+
 
+
+
'''THE DEVELOPMENT OF A REGIONAL PLAN FOR THE NORTH AFRICA, NEAR EAST, ASIA AND PACIFIC REGION OF THE PEACE CORPS'''
+
<br>by BALLENDORF, DIRK ANTHONY, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1973, 53 pages; AAT 7318224 
+
 
+
 
+
'''INSTRUCTIONAL EFFECT ON QUESTION ASKING BEHAVIOR OF PROSPECTIVE PEACE CORPS SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS VOLUNTEER TEACHERS'''
+
<br>by ADHIKARY, POORNA KANTA, Educat.D., Indiana University, 1972, 117 pages; AAT 7306962
+
 
+
+
'''ROLE STRAIN, TRAINING SHOCK, AND CULTURE SHOCK: TOWARD THE OPERATIONALIZATION OF A THEORY OF ROLE STRAIN IN THE EVALUATION OF ADJUSTMENT AND PERFORMANCE AMONG A GROUP OF NEW DIRECTIONS PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS'''
+
<br>by JUAREZ, LEO JOSEPH, Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 1972, 291 pages; AAT 7320596
+
 
+
+
'''THE FIRST PEACE CORPS: THE WORK OF THE AMERICAN TEACHERS IN THE PHILIPPINES, 1900-1910'''
+
<br>by MANIAGO, JO ANNE BARKER, Ph.D., Boston University Graduate School, 1971, 324 pages; AAT 7126450
+
 
+
+
'''CROSS-CULTURAL ENCOUNTER AND PERSONALITY CHANGE: PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS IN THE PHILIPPINES'''
+
<br>by STARR, JEROLD MARTIN, Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1970, 460 pages; AAT 7024660
+
 
+
+
'''PSYCHODYNAMICS OF VOLUNTEERS SERVING OVERSEAS: RELIGIOUS VOCATION WORKERSAND PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS IN A NORTH AFRICAN COUNTRY'''
+
<br>by FITZGERALD, OWEN RAY, Ph.D., Boston University Graduate School, 1969, 212 pages; AAT 6918431
+
 
+
+
'''THE IMPACT OF PEACE CORPS TEACHERS ON STUDENTS IN ETHIOPIA'''
+
<br>by BERGTHOLD, GARY DENNIS, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1969; AAT 0220052
+
 
+
+
'''THE PEACE CORPS AS A VALUE-ORIENTED MOVEMENT'''
+
<br>by ZUNIGA, RICARDO BURMESTER, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1969; AAT 0221551
+
 
+
+
'''A PROGRAM FOR THE TRAINING OF TEACHERS OF PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY FOR SERVICE IN THE PEACE CORPS IN THE SECONDARY SCHOOLS OF ENGLISH SPEAKING AFRICA'''
+
<br>by BENJAMIN, THEODORE DAVID, Educat.D., Columbia University, 1968, 362 pages; AAT 6908067
+
 
+
+
'''PEACE CORPS/PHILIPPINES: IMAGE OR PERFORMANCE?'''
+
<br>by ZIMMERMAN, ROBERT FREDERICK, Ph.D., The American University, 1968, 441 pages; AAT 6813609
+
 
+
+
'''THE PEACE CORPS, 1961-1965, A STUDY IN OPEN ORGANIZATION'''
+
<br>by BUSH, GERALD WILLIAM, Ph.D., Northern Illinois University, 1968, 224 pages; AAT 7003447
+
 
+
+
'''THE PEACE CORPS: AN ANALYSIS OF THE DEVELOPMENT, PROBLEMS, PRELIMINARY EVALUATION, AND FUTURE'''
+
<br>by JONES, CHARLES CLYDE, Ph.D., West Virginia University, 1967, 270 pages; AAT 6711789
+
+
+
'''THE ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES PEACE CORPS PUBLIC INFORMATION DIVISION'''
+
<br>by MARTIN, DONALD O., M.A., The American University, 1966, 117 pages; AAT 1300975
+
 
+
+
'''THE RELATIONSHIP OF HIERARCHICAL NEED LEVEL TO SUCCESS OF PEACE CORPS TRAINEES'''
+
<br>by HANDY, DEIRDRE CATHLEEN PATRICK, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, 1966, 112 pages; AAT 6703289
+
+
+
'''THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND THE PEACE CORPS'''
+
<br>by MACFARLANE, RUTH, Ph.D., The Claremont Graduate University, 1965, 323 pages; AAT 6603374
+
+
+
'''DIFFERENTIATION, DEMAND, AND AGENCY IN PROJECTIONS OF THE PERSONAL FUTURE: A PREDICTIVE STUDY OF THE PERFORMANCE OF PEACE CORPS TEACHERS'''
+
<br>by EZEKIEL, RAPHAEL SAFRA, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1964, 203 pages; AAT 6502977
+
 
+
+
'''THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PEACE CORPS TRAINING PROGRAM TO MEET THE REQUEST OF LIBERIA FOR FIFTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS, 1963'''
+
<br>by BINSWANGER, ROBERT BARNETT, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1964; AAT 0256759
+
 
+
==Source==
+
 
+
[http://www.ProQuest.com ProQuest Digital Dissertations database.]
+
[[Category:resources]]
+

Revision as of 05:11, 10 November 2013



Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in [[{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |8}}]]
As a Peace Corps Volunteers, you will have to adapt to conditions that may be dramatically different than you have ever experienced and modify lifestyle practices that you now take for granted. Even the most basic practices— talking, eating, using the bathroom, and sleeping — may take significantly different forms in the context of the host country. If you successfully adapt and integrate, you will in return be rewarded with a deep understanding of a new culture, the establishment of new and potentially lifelong relationships, and a profound sense of humanity.
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |8}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |8}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |8}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |8}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |8}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |8}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |8}}]]
See also:

Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles by Country Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

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[[Category:{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Fiji| |8}}]]


Communications

Mail

Airmail leaving Suva takes about 6 to 10 days to make its U.S. destination. However, it takes sometimes twice that for U.S. mail to reach Suva. (Note: The farther you live from Suva, the longer the mail will take in both directions. The additional time may range from one day to two weeks or more.)

The local mail system is better than in many developing countries and once you have been assigned to a permanent site, you will be expected to have your mail delivered to your new address. During pre-service training, you may use the following address:

“Your Name,” PCT

Peace Corps/Fiji

Private Mail Bag

Suva, Fiji Islands

South Pacific


Most essential items that are available in the U.S. are also available in Fiji through local stores in Suva and in larger towns. If your friends and family want to send you packages, have them check with their home post office as to what they can and cannot send. Customs agents are diligent about checking for food items and no seeds can be shipped into Fiji.

If the declared value of the package exceeds $500 (Fijian), you may have to pay an import tax. If you plan to have packages sent to you or if you’re sending them to yourself, make sure you don’t declare more than $200 (U.S.) on the box!

The local postal service (Post Fiji, Ltd.) can be contacted in-country at: 0800.330.7966 for more specific questions.

Telephones

Most Volunteers live close to a phone—either a conventional landline or a radio telephone. You may want to bring a cellphone (GSM-capable) for your personal use from the U.S. as service is increasing in Fiji. A few Volunteers own personal cellphones now, but the phone and use can be expensive. (Phone service and access is not covered by your monthly living allowance.) Most businesses will have a telephone, as will some of your urban neighbors. In the bush, people use a “radio phone” (similar to citizens’ band radios). In Suva you can place a collect call overseas 24-hours a day at the main telecommunications center. You can also pay for the overseas call yourself at a current rate of about $3–$4 per minute (Fijian). Fortunately, phone service, if available at your site, is generally reliable and connections are reasonably good.

Card-operated pay phones are located everywhere in the urban areas; prepaid phone cards are sold at post offices, shops, and service stations.

Many Volunteers use AT&T pre-paid phone cards (available all over the U.S.) to call home and have found the connection and service quite good. (The charge is approximately 35 cents per minute.) The country code for Fiji is 679; there are no city codes.

Computer, Internet, and E-mail Access

There are several Internet cafés in Suva as well as in some of the other urban centers. Access currently costs $5–$10 (Fijian) per hour. You will not likely have access during pre-service training and it may be very limited at your site unless you are in a larger town.

Housing and Site Location

You will be living with a host family during your 10 weeks of training in Fiji. You will soon discover that families are very important to the people of Fiji and that living with a host family can be both enjoyable and challenging. Going into the experience, you should definitely set some learning goals and make sure that you’re getting the most out of your host family experience—including language, cultural, and other adjustment issues.

Your living accommodation is intended to be modest and comparable to that of your counterparts and neighbors. As in any country, housing in Fiji varies from place to place in architecture and amenities. Village houses (bures) may be constructed of coconut fronds or they may be made of wood, concrete block, or corrugated iron. Depending on assignment and project area, Volunteers will either live in a village, in a government compound, or in a rural housing area. In some cases, Volunteers may share accommodations with another Peace Corps Volunteer and/or with another international volunteer or host country colleagues. Please note that Volunteers may be required to live with a host family for the first few months at their site or all of their service based on site location and/or village resources.

Most houses in Fiji have piped running water, except for those in some rural villages. While rainfall is plentiful, there may be some periods where drinking water is scarce—especially in the western part of the main island.

Traditional houses usually have separate kitchen and toilet facilities. Rural communities do not often have access to electricity, but some houses have solar energy for lighting.

Some Volunteers may be placed on outer islands and/or interior villages where transportation is by small plane, boat, and pickup truck. Most Volunteers travel much of the time on foot, by bus, or small boat at their sites.

The packing list at the back of this Welcome Book offers suggestions on what to bring from home. All basic supplies can be purchased locally. After training, you’ll receive a settling-in allowance to buy initial household supplies. The Peace Corps staff and current Volunteers will provide information about where the good bargains are, but you are encouraged to explore on your own as well!

A word about pets and other critters: There are a lot of animals in Fiji, and you’ll experience the wildlife of Fiji no matter where you’re stationed. Some Volunteers choose to have cats and/or dogs, but this can be challenging. Dogs and cats are not treated like they are in the U.S.—they are considered “animals” as opposed to a “pet.” They serve a purpose and are typically kept outside. Volunteers who choose to have a cat or dog are strongly encouraged to wait until they have been at site at least a few months, and to have the pet neutered or spayed. We also encourage Volunteers who have not had pets before to learn basic pet care, as veterinarians are available only in Suva and a few other urban centers.

Outside of the urban areas most people do their laundry by hand either in their homes or at a local water source. You will likely do the same.

Living Allowance and Money Management

During your training period, the Peace Corps will open an account for you with one of the local banks. The Peace Corps will deposit your living allowance into this account each month. There are banking stations and ATMs in all of the urban centers throughout Fiji. Most banks are open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Some urban stores also allow you to use your ATM card to make purchases and to receive cash back. International transactions are commonplace in the banks of Fiji, so it will be no problem getting traveler’s checks or overseas money orders if or when you need them. Some Volunteers have found it advantageous to keep a checking account in the States as it’s much easier to send a regular U.S. check for things like magazine subscriptions from back home than it is to get money orders from here. If your American checking account has a Visa/Cirrus/Plus debit card (with an international access PIN), you can use it to access extra personal funds you might want to use for annual leave.

Every month, the Peace Corps will deposit a lump sum into your local bank account. It will be enough money to cover modest living expenses with the expectation that your lifestyle is similar to that of your local counterparts. Your living allowance also covers utility expenses that are not covered by your host agency, and a very modest amount to cover in-country telephone or Internet charges.

Fijian money is counted out in dollars and cents. They have 5-, 10-, 20- 50- and 100-dollar notes (not bills), and 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-cent pieces and 1-dollar and 2-dollar pieces (no pennies, nickels, dimes, or quarters). The exchange rate between the American and Fijian dollar fluctuates. The rate at the time of this writing is roughly $1.67 Fijian for every $1 American. The estimated costs quoted in this Welcome Book are in Fijian dollars, unless otherwise noted.

Food and Diet

Fiji has a wide selection of food and many fruits and vegetables are locally grown. Availability is seasonal, but you can often get pineapple, mango, and papaya as well as many other fruits and vegetables. The staple foods in Fijian villages are starchy root crops; namely, dalo (taro root) and cassava. There is also plenty of curry eaten in Indo-Fijian communities. Urban areas offer much more variety and you can get very inexpensive Chinese food and even pizza (the local take on it). Suva has a wider selection of restaurants, from upscale to very cheaply priced food stands on the corner—including McDonalds and KFC.

Volunteers receive a local cookbook and will learn how to cook local foods during pre-service training. Volunteers in remote areas will find that their daily selection will be limited and may wish to start a garden to grow their own vegetables. Flour, tinned fish, rice, curry spices, and dalo are usually available everywhere. The farther you go from the urban center, the fewer choices you will have.

Cassava is one of the more pervasive root crops to be found in Fiji. Cassava is the root from which tapioca is made. It’s white and starchy and tastes something like a textured potato. There’s plenty of fish available here—fresh, frozen, and canned. Most villagers (and Volunteers) in coastal areas fish for their own food. Mutton is imported from New Zealand while chicken is raised locally.

Most fresh fruits (mangoes, bananas, pineapples, oranges, passion fruit, guavas, papaya, etc.) and vegetables (cassava, dalo, beans, squash, jack fruit, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, Chinese cabbage, English cabbage, chilies, tomatoes, etc.) can be purchased from local open-air markets. Vendors set up their wares on rickety tables and crates or just on the ground, and sell it all “by the heap.”

Shops range from the small corner markets and village shops that sell basic items to large supermarket outlets that offer goods from food to tools. Cost-U-Less, a warehouse store much like Costco, has opened an outlet in Suva, but prices are higher than in most other stores.

Depending upon where your site is located, you may find yourself cooking on a small two-burner gas stove, kerosene, or an open fire. Gas stoves are more common in urban areas and the kerosene burners in the bush.

Yaqona is the Fijian name for a non-alcoholic drink made from the roots of the kava plant, which is a member of the pepper family. The roots are ground and made into a sort of muddy-water looking drink that turns your tongue temporarily numb and has something of an “earthy” taste. (Some say it tastes like water that twine has been soaked in.) It has a pleasant, calming/relaxing effect on the body and may make some people slightly drowsy. It is a ceremonial drink—the ceremony is called sevusevu—and it has great significance to the Fijian people. You will see yaqona offered at virtually every event of any significance and at many ordinary events. You will also see people (mostly men) drinking it in the markets, at taxi stands, at work, and at most social gatherings. Though of indigenous origin, many Indo-Fijians also drink it but in less ritualized settings. As a Volunteer, you will be involved in many ceremonies and significant events, which means you’ll be drinking your share of yaqona. You will get used to it, and possibly become fond of it. It is considered impolite to refuse the first bilo (smooth, half-coconut shells especially used for drinking yaqona), but after the first, you can either drink more or not. (But be forewarned: Fijians will be delighted if you drink more than one!)

You will learn much more about yagona and the sevusevu ceremony, Fijian protocol/etiquette, and Indo-Fijian customs during your training.

Transportation

Most of the time, you will travel by foot. Look to the right! Fiji is a former British colony and everyone drives on the left side of the road. There are buses to nearly every community in Fiji, except for the outer islands. The bus prices are great: in-town fares are under a dollar. Local buses (the ones that travel in and around town, or those that stop at every stop along a longer route) generally do not have glass windows. If it rains you unroll a plastic flap that’s designed to keep most of the mud out of the bus. Express buses that connect urban areas usually have glass windows and may have air conditioning.

There are also mini-buses (small vans) that carry passengers among the main urban centers and around villages. Until recently, they have not been regulated and have tended to be overcrowded and poorly maintained. Volunteers are strongly advised not to ride in them unless this is the only mode of transportation to your site.

Taxis are numerous in Suva and they seem to make up the bulk of the traffic on city streets. Rides within town are usually governed by meter, whereas longer trips are negotiable. Most rides in town will cost between $2 and $5, depending on how far you are going.

Fiji is a country composed of islands. Chances are very high that you will travel by boat at some point during your service. The larger islands have regularly scheduled service, but all schedules in Fiji are subject to last-minute changes. Many of the villages on outer islands have local boat captains to bring villagers into the larger centers for shopping or to catch a ferry to Suva. There are also punts in some areas for crossing rivers.

Volunteers serving in Fiji should be comfortable both on and in the water, as many assignments will require periodic boat travel. If you are uncomfortable with your swimming skills or have a fear of water, please contact the Pacific country desk unit at Peace Corps headquarters to further discuss this issue prior to accepting your invitation to serve in Fiji.

There are two international airports, Nadi International Airport in the western division and Nausori International Airport outside Suva. Many of the outer islands have airstrips for periodic Air Fiji and Sun Air flights and/or private planes.

Geography and Climate

Fiji is composed of 332 islands with a total area of 18,376 square kilometers. Fiji is located between 15 and 22 degrees south latitude and 177 west to 175 east latitude. There are four main islands: Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Kadavu, and Taveuni. Fiji is located just at the edge of the International Date Line, so it is one of the first countries in the world to see the dawn of each new day! Fiji is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich mean time, which means that it is generally 19 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time, and 16 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Daylight Savings Time is not observed in Fiji.

The main urban centers on Viti Levu are those that are usually labeled on maps of Fiji (e.g., Suva, the capital, Nausori, Korovou, Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi, and Sigatoka). The main urban centers on Vanua Levu are Labasa and Savusavu. For the outer islands, the port town is generally the main trade center.

The weather in Fiji is “mainly fine with some scattered showers, especially over the eastern parts of both the main islands.” This is a typical weather report that is aired every two hours on radio Fiji. It is usually steamy and hot here from November to April during the rainy season. Generally, it will never get cooler than the low 60s (to the low 50s in the winter in the hills) and never be any hotter than the 90s. Many people wonder during the rainy season (i.e., most of the time on the eastern side of Viti Levu) if their laundry will ever dry out. Refer to the packing list for some detailed suggestions for things you could bring to be comfortable in this weather.

Social Activities

Fiji has an absolutely beautiful natural environment, which draws many tourists to the resorts that are located throughout the islands. Although Volunteers are considered “on duty” 24-hours a day/seven days a week, every Volunteer receives 24 days of vacation per year of service. Even in remote areas, villages and settlements usually have social events nearly every weekend in which Volunteers may choose to participate.

Big parties surround events, such as a new Volunteer’s arrival in town, weddings, New Year’s, birthdays, etc. When a Fijian or Indo-Fijian child turns one year old, there’s a big family birthday party to celebrate it. The same goes for the 21st birthday. Occasionally, for important events, there will be a traditional dance performed called a meke or an all-night dance party called a taralala. Hopefully you’ll encounter a lovo (feast) and/or taralala in your training village. There are quite a few festivals between July and September, many of them fundraisers. The Hibiscus Festival in Suva is especially popular and takes place in August. Nadi hosts a Bula (“Welcome”) Festival in July, and nearby Lautoka hosts a Sugar Festival in September. In addition, there are many Christian, Hindu, and Muslim celebrations throughout the year.

Sports, such as cricket and rugby, are very popular here. Rugby is to Fiji as football is to America, except that it’s easier to get an autograph from a local hero here! Fiji’s seven-man team is often considered the best in the world. Many Volunteers jog or walk for exercise. While exercising, women generally wear sulus, skirts, or knee-length shorts depending upon their site.

There is an Olympic-size pool open to the public in Suva and Labasa, as well as opportunities for swimming at local beaches. Volunteers are expected to observe local customs for dress as well as for using an area that belongs to a particular village; in Fiji, there are very few areas that are truly public places, even if there is not a town or home in sight.

There are many activities available to fill your leisure time at site. Some Volunteers learn to socialize more; others spend their time introducing their hobbies to their new local friends. Some Volunteers have taught aerobic classes (which go over surprisingly well here!), taught local kids new songs, or established a weekly craft night. Volunteers may also find themselves learning some of the local handiwork skills, such as mat making. Others rediscover their love of reading. If you like to read, bring some good books, as they are expensive to purchase locally. Paperback books are available in many local stores and the University of the South Pacific (located in Suva) has a fair selection in its bookstore. There is also a public library in Suva in which you can borrow books for two weeks at a time, which may or may not be viable for you depending upon the location of your site.

Consider keeping a journal of your stay here in Fiji. It’s not only a great way to document your experiences and accomplishments, but it’s also great to use and review when filling out your quarterly reports!

Fiji has 3 major television stations and 12 radio stations. Suva, Lautoka, and Nadi all have cinemas that carry first-run Hollywood movies. (Some movies have even had their premier screening in Fiji.) In the villages, Volunteers may find themselves invited to a common building to watch an old movie, which someone rode into town on a horse to rent, on a VCR powered by a gas generator!

During vacation time, many Volunteers choose to explore other areas of Fiji. There are accommodations ranging from the typical inexpensive “backpackers lodge” on the beach to very expensive resorts catering almost exclusively to tourists. Often, resorts have nice, if overpriced, restaurants, shopping, and will be overrun with tourists in the high travel season. Less expensive properties are often much quieter and more relaxing.

The reefs that surround most of the islands here are teeming with wildlife, offering excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. If you own your own snorkeling equipment, considering bringing it along or sending it to yourself. There are many dive shops that offer SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) training, certification and equipment rental.

There are also several nearby destinations that Volunteers may also want to consider, including Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, and Vanuatu, which are easily accessible by plane from both Suva and Nadi.

Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior

Fiji is a warm and welcoming place where foreigners are a familiar sight. What distinguishes Volunteers from tourists is their knowledge of and respect for Fijian and Indo-Fijian customs. Volunteers receive extensive training on culture and the important part it plays in community life.

The atmosphere in Fiji appears somewhat relaxed, slow and

perhaps less formal than what you may be used to in the

U.S. However, do not assume that the informal atmosphere allows for informal dress. Just as in the States, people dress differently in various situations. Volunteers are encouraged to carefully observe what others are wearing—how professional people dress for work and social occasions. Learn what these standards are and follow them.

Being sensitive to Fijian dress norms, which lean toward the more conservative, will increase your effectiveness as a Volunteer. Volunteers are expected to dress and appear appropriately—both on and off the job. Volunteers who are sensitive to the cultural norms will gain respect and acceptance more readily. This respect is integral to an enjoyable and meaningful Peace Corps experience. Generally, a clean, unrumpled, somewhat low-key appearance works well in Fiji. In Suva, a more fashion-oriented style is typical; in rural areas, most people dress in more traditional, conservative clothing.

For women, dress is conservative and women cover up a lot more in Fiji than in the U.S. Ankle-length skirts are recommended. It is best to have them wide enough to sit comfortably on the floor with legs covered. Full dresses or skirts with modest tops and sleeves are very appropriate. These are easily purchased in Suva if needed. One-piece, loose fitting dresses with no waistband are also very good for hot weather. Wearing shorts in public is inappropriate except at resorts or other tourist areas. Miniskirts, short-shorts, tank tops, plunging necklines, midriff shirts that expose your belly, and strapless tops are inappropriate.

Men are also expected to dress conservatively. Long hair or untrimmed facial hair on men is considered unprofessional to Fijians. Nice slacks and shirts are the most appropriate attire, as are dress sulus (men’s skirts). Men often wear long pants in public, and shorts are worn when doing outdoor activities in the village such as gardening, or for sports and hiking.

Nice-looking sandals are appropriate for both men and women. For those Volunteers who may work in an office setting, especially in urban locations, flip-flops are not acceptable at work. It is considered very rude to wear any type of hat inside of buildings and may be considered offensive to wear them in a village. Bathing attire for women should be very conservative (bikinis are only acceptable on resort beaches); local women wear T-shirts and wrap-around skirts (sulus) while swimming.

For most of the year, the climate will be hot and humid. Neutral-colored cotton clothing works best in this environment. One of the paradoxes of packing is that while lightweight clothes are the most comfortable to wear, the laundering process (do-it-yourself with scrub brushes and harsh soaps) favors sturdy items. Bright colors will fade in harsh sun and light colors will pick up curry and mud stains. Consider bringing some medium-weight cotton-poly blends that will survive the washing, sun, and climate without looking worn out in the last months of your stay.

Personal Safety

More information about the Peace Corps’ approach to safety is outlined 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 occasional incidents of physical and sexual assault do occur, although many Volunteers complete their two years of service without personal safety problems. The Peace Corps has established procedures and policies designed to help Volunteers reduce their risks and enhance their safety and security. These procedures and policies, in addition to safety training, will be provided once you arrive in Fiji. At the same time, each Volunteer is expected to take primary responsibility for his or her safety and well-being.

Peace Corps/Fiji has developed a local emergency action plan that covers most contingencies. This will be discussed in more detail during pre-service training. In the event of a stateside emergency involving a close family member, the Office of Special Services at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C., can get a message to you. In addition, if your relatives hear or read something concerning Fiji that gives them reason for concern, they can contact either Office of Special Services or the country desk unit for updated information. Emergency contact numbers are listed in the back of this book.

Rewards and Frustrations

While the vision of a tropical island in the South Pacific may capture your imagination, romantic notions of this lifestyle may quickly wear thin as you adjust to the heat and humidity that descend on Fiji for six to eight months of the year. Other challenges include the occasional cyclone; the incessant ants, cockroaches, and mosquitoes that you will likely encounter; the “island fever” that can arise from living in a relatively small community where everyone knows what everyone else is doing; and the seemingly laissez-faire attitude that some people exhibit toward work and change. The island lifestyle, tropical climate, isolation, and lack of work-related resources and materials call for individuals who possesses good health, stamina, self-reliance, flexibility, and a positive attitude. You will need to adapt to a pace of life that, though not unique to the Pacific, may be quite different from what you are accustomed to in the United States.

Some individuals are surprised by the fact that, when joining Peace Corps, they become subject to the norms of their local in-country agencies, as well as those of the Peace Corps. As an employee of a host agency or institution, your professionalism will be counted on in order to respect policies your supervisors have established for their staff. Although you may be given a high degree of responsibility and independence in your work— perhaps more than in any other job you have had or will ever experience—you will often find yourself in situations that require an ability to motivate yourself and your counterparts with little guidance from supervisors. You may also work for months without seeing any visible impact or without receiving any feedback on your work. This is the nature of development work. It’s a slow process and often results are only seen after the combined efforts of several generations of Volunteers. You must possess self-confidence, patience, and maturity to continue working toward long-term goals without seeing immediate results.

Peace Corps has a highly successful history in Fiji, and most Fijians fondly remember Volunteers living and working in their communities. Now that Peace Corps has reentered Fiji after a five-year absence, Volunteers play both a technical assistance and a diplomatic role. When citizens of Fiji interact with Peace Corps Volunteers, their impressions of America are formed by those interactions. Your ability to serve as a competent professional and a tactful “ambassador” will affect both the image of Peace Corps as an agency and of Americans in general. This is a significant responsibility for all Volunteers worldwide and will become part of Peace Corps/Fiji’s continuing legacy.

The goodwill and hospitality of the Fijian people and the richness of their culture, the beauty of the environment, and the challenges offered by your work can make your life as a Volunteer exciting and rewarding.

Peace Corps service requires dedication, a “can-do” attitude, commitment, and, perhaps most importantly, a sense of humor. It will be an emotionally exhausting and demanding experience. However, it is an opportunity for personal as well as professional growth and fulfillment, and the rewards are likely to far outweigh the challenges.