Difference between pages "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Uganda" and "Packing list for Georgia"

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{{Packing lists by country}}
In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with our host countries, we are making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
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Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In Uganda, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Uganda. Outside of Uganda’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Uganda are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.  
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This list has been compiled with the assistance of Volunteers serving in [[Georgia]]. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 100 pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Georgia.  
  
 +
===General Clothing===
  
 +
Volunteers in Georgia may come unprepared for the flexibility between rural and urban dress. Living in the regions will require you to dress professionally and fairly modestly. Professional dress at your site means clean and conservative—not necessarily dress suits or coats and ties.  Georgians tend to wear black and other dark colors. It is not necessary for you to eliminate bright colors from your wardrobe; just be aware that they will make you stand out.  Winters are quite cold and classrooms and offices are often not heated. Think warm clothes for the cold winters and cool clothing for the hot summers.
  
To ease the transition and adapt to life in Uganda, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limitations. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.
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===Women===
  
===Overview of Diversity in Uganda ===
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* Loosely tailored pants
 +
* Skirts and dresses for both warm and cold weather
 +
* Long- and short-sleeved button-down shirts
 +
* Wool or cotton sweaters
 +
* Tailored jackets
 +
* Tights and stockings (good quality are difficult to find in Georgia) 81
 +
* Solid, sturdy shoes and boots for rough terrain and mud
 +
* A warm winter coat, either of wool or down
 +
* Two sets of long underwear that can be worn under dress wear
 +
* Couple of pairs of good gloves (more if you are prone to losing them)
 +
* Wool socks (many pairs)
 +
*      shorts or capries ( for spring and summer)
 +
Women’s clothing is available at various shops, boutiques, and markets, but good quality is expensive and styles are limited.
  
The Peace Corps staff in Uganda recognizes adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of races, ethnic groups, ages, religions, and sexual orientations, and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.
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===Men===
  
Many Ugandans have little or no concept of the United States as a pluralistic society and generally view Americans as a homogeneous group. For some Ugandans, being American is synonymous with being white or of European descent. This is understandable when one considers the images that come to Uganda via the Western media and the extremely limited contact the average Ugandan has had with the Western world, mainly in the form of development agencies, missionaries, and television. Peace Corps/Uganda closely reflects the demographic distribution of Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide.
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* Khakis and casual-dress pants (avoid light-colored khakis, as these show stains very easily)
 +
* Long-sleeved button-down shirts (light and heavy materials for climate changes)
 +
* Sports jackets
 +
* Belts and dress socks (these are available in-country) and a few ties
 +
* Sturdy shoes
 +
* Two sets of long underwear
 +
* Wool socks (many pairs)
 +
* Couple of pairs of good gloves
 +
* Warm coat (wool or down)
  
While aproximately 80 percent of Volunteers are caucasian between 21 and 30 years of age, Peace Corps worldwide continues to attract an increasingly more diverse group of Americans to assist us in demonstrating an ever more realistic portrait of America to Ugandans.  
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Men’s clothing is readily available in Georgia at retail shops and markets, but good quality is expensive.  
  
===What Might a Volunteer Face? ===
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===Miscellaneous===
  
====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers ====
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Note: You will need to prioritize to meet the weight limitations.
  
Equality of the sexes is generally considered irrelevant in Ugandan culture, as distinct roles and responsibilities are expected of men and women. Female Volunteers often encounter extremely conservative attitudes regarding gender equality. Likewise, the behavior of female Volunteers is more often scrutinized and criticized than that of their male peers.  Although the Peace Corps emphasizes sensitivity toward other cultures, it may occasionally be necessary to explain why you believe something or behave a certain way—but only you can determine when and if such an explanation is worthwhile.  Neither men nor women are considered adults until they are married and have children. This being the case, female Volunteers should expect curiosity from Ugandan friends regarding their marital status and whether they have children.  
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Depending on your region or placement, your heating may be very limited or close to non-existent. A hot water bottle is a good thing to consider taking from home.
  
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color ====
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* Luggage, such as duffel bags and hiking backpacks, should be tough and flexible. When choosing luggage, remember that you will be hauling it in and out of taxis, minibuses, trains, and often carrying it around on foot.  Bring luggage that is durable, lightweight, and easy to carry.
 +
* Good-quality backpack, daypack, or messenger bag
 +
* Prescription drugs: A three-month supply
 +
* Eyeglasses—two pairs, since replacements take several months to arrive from the United States. Contact lens supplies are not available in Georgia and are not supplied by the Peace Corps.
 +
* Sunglasses
 +
* Rechargeable batteries and rechargers
 +
* Poncho/raincoat and folding umbrella
 +
* Camera and film (film and processing are readily available)
 +
* Musical instruments (with music books and spare parts as needed)
 +
* Sewing items (iron-on mending tape, straight and safety pins, etc.)
 +
* Several good flashlights (of different sizes) and accompanying batteries
 +
*      Headlamp (for outhouses, outages, dark stairwells, dark streets)
 +
* Small, battery-powered alarm clock
 +
* CD player and CDs or MP3 player or iPod. A variety of Russian, American, and European music is available cheaply in Tbilisi, though much of it is pirated and not of very good quality.
 +
* Favorite books (PC does have books in the lounge), including a dictionary
 +
* Lots of pictures of home (photos, postcards, etc.) for yourself and to share with friends, students
 +
* U.S. stamps and envelopes (for sending mail with friends who happen to make a return trip to the United States)
 +
* Swiss Army, Leatherman, or an equivalent multipurpose knife
 +
* Journal, diary, or schedule book
 +
* Small retractable tape measure (inch/centimeter)
 +
* Good can opener
 +
* Maps of the United States and the world (good teaching aids) and wall-hangings
 +
* Inexpensive gifts (toys, jewelry, perfume, magazines, books, pencils, key chains, etc.)
 +
* Games (e.g., Scrabble, chess, Trivial Pursuit) 
 +
* Baseball, football, Frisbee, hackeysack, or other “American” sports equipment
 +
* Ziploc storage bags
 +
* Polypropylene, wool, and cotton sock and glove liners
 +
* Warm gloves, hats, scarfs, and boots
 +
* Spices (your favorites may be difficult to locate, especially in winter)
 +
* Some supplies if you like to bake or cook (things like baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, are difficult to find locally)
  
Skin color and appearance, more than actual heritage, often influence how Volunteers are perceived and treated by their host communities. Even if they can convince Ugandans that they are indeed American, Volunteers who do not fit the mold of the “typical” American may still not be regarded as “true” Americans. African-American Volunteers often express frustration or disappointment at being asked, “What are you?” and having Ugandans show genuine shock or amazement
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[[Category:Georgia]]
 
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when they answer “African American” or “black American.” Ugandans often react with disbelief and ask, “But where are your parents from?” African-American women should be aware that they may be perceived as Ugandan women and thus be treated as such. This can be an asset in some situations and a challenge in others in many instances. African-American women may find that their behavior is scrutinized more closely than that of white women. Asian-American Volunteers express frustration at being assumed to be Chinese or Japanese rather than American.
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Because of the kung fu movies shown throughout the country, some Asian Americans have been asked if they know kung fu. This may seem humorous at first, but can eventually become tiresome. Americans of South Asian descent, whether Indian, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, or Pakistani, are collectively referred to as Indians or Asians rather than Americans. Some Ugandans may feel resentment toward people with a South Asian background because of the unequal treatment received by Ugandans and South Asian residents of Uganda during the period of British colonialism.
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On the flip side, Volunteers of color may also be surprised to find that Ugandans consider them to be American or European regardless of their color and refer to them using words normally used to describe white people.
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====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers ====
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Age can also determine how a Volunteer is perceived and treated by Ugandans. Older Volunteers may be respected for their wisdom but may face challenges in being fully accepted in the workplace. Ugandans can be especially curious about older female Volunteers, puzzled as to why they have no spouse or children, even if they have the pictures to prove otherwise. In addition, since most Volunteers are younger than 30, it may be difficult for older Volunteers to develop friendships and gain the necessary support within the most accessible group—other Peace Corps Volunteers.
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====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers ====
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Gay and lesbian Volunteers need to know that Uganda has a very conservative society. Homosexuality is illegal (with a possible sentence of 17 years to life imprisonment), and many Ugandans deny that homosexuality actually exists in their culture. Any display of your sexual orientation will, at best, be severely frowned upon and, at worst, may threaten your safety and security. Most previous gay, lesbian, or bisexual Volunteers in Uganda have decided to not be open about their sexual orientation. Prior to accepting an assignment in Uganda, you should discuss this issue thoroughly with a member of the recruitment staff with whom you feel comfortable. Anyone who wants to discuss this subject further once in Uganda can do so in confidence with a Peace Corps staff member.
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'''See also:''' Articles about Uganda on the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Peace Corps Alumni Association website at http://www.lgbrpcv.org/articles.htm
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====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers ====
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Whether you practice a religion or not, you will probably find Ugandan approaches to spirituality different from what you are used to. You will certainly gain a deeper understandingover your two years of service, but initially, the most disconcerting thing may be the constant open discussion of religion.
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You should be prepared to be asked if you are a Christian, if you are “saved,” and if there are any Muslims in America. You may be stared at in disbelief if you state that you do not believe in God. Your tolerance of and willingness to answer such questions will serve you well.
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====Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities ====
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Ugandans with disabilities are generally treated no differently from other Ugandans (hence the lack of special schools or accommodations for those with disabilities) and are expected to complete the same work, though not necessarily using the same methods.
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There is little of the infrastructure to accommodate individuals with disabilities that has been developed in the United States. That being said, as part of the medical clearance process, the Peace Corps’ Office of Medical Services determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodations, of performing a full tour of Volunteer service in Uganda without unreasonable risk of harm to yourself or interruption of your service. Peace Corps/ Uganda staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, job sites, and other areas to enable them to serve safely and effectively.
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While this section on diversity may be unsettling to some of you, we want you to be prepared for the many challenges you are about to face. Know that “non-stereotypical” Volunteers have had excellent experiences in Uganda. Ultimately, only you can shape your time in Uganda as a Volunteer, but Peace Corps/Uganda is here to support you along the way.
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[[Category:Uganda]]
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Revision as of 20:02, 3 November 2011


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

Packing Lists by Country

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

See also:
Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

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

This list has been compiled with the assistance of Volunteers serving in Georgia. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 100 pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Georgia.

General Clothing

Volunteers in Georgia may come unprepared for the flexibility between rural and urban dress. Living in the regions will require you to dress professionally and fairly modestly. Professional dress at your site means clean and conservative—not necessarily dress suits or coats and ties. Georgians tend to wear black and other dark colors. It is not necessary for you to eliminate bright colors from your wardrobe; just be aware that they will make you stand out. Winters are quite cold and classrooms and offices are often not heated. Think warm clothes for the cold winters and cool clothing for the hot summers.

Women

  • Loosely tailored pants
  • Skirts and dresses for both warm and cold weather
  • Long- and short-sleeved button-down shirts
  • Wool or cotton sweaters
  • Tailored jackets
  • Tights and stockings (good quality are difficult to find in Georgia) 81
  • Solid, sturdy shoes and boots for rough terrain and mud
  • A warm winter coat, either of wool or down
  • Two sets of long underwear that can be worn under dress wear
  • Couple of pairs of good gloves (more if you are prone to losing them)
  • Wool socks (many pairs)
  • shorts or capries ( for spring and summer)

Women’s clothing is available at various shops, boutiques, and markets, but good quality is expensive and styles are limited.

Men

  • Khakis and casual-dress pants (avoid light-colored khakis, as these show stains very easily)
  • Long-sleeved button-down shirts (light and heavy materials for climate changes)
  • Sports jackets
  • Belts and dress socks (these are available in-country) and a few ties
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Two sets of long underwear
  • Wool socks (many pairs)
  • Couple of pairs of good gloves
  • Warm coat (wool or down)

Men’s clothing is readily available in Georgia at retail shops and markets, but good quality is expensive.

Miscellaneous

Note: You will need to prioritize to meet the weight limitations.

Depending on your region or placement, your heating may be very limited or close to non-existent. A hot water bottle is a good thing to consider taking from home.

  • Luggage, such as duffel bags and hiking backpacks, should be tough and flexible. When choosing luggage, remember that you will be hauling it in and out of taxis, minibuses, trains, and often carrying it around on foot. Bring luggage that is durable, lightweight, and easy to carry.
  • Good-quality backpack, daypack, or messenger bag
  • Prescription drugs: A three-month supply
  • Eyeglasses—two pairs, since replacements take several months to arrive from the United States. Contact lens supplies are not available in Georgia and are not supplied by the Peace Corps.
  • Sunglasses
  • Rechargeable batteries and rechargers
  • Poncho/raincoat and folding umbrella
  • Camera and film (film and processing are readily available)
  • Musical instruments (with music books and spare parts as needed)
  • Sewing items (iron-on mending tape, straight and safety pins, etc.)
  • Several good flashlights (of different sizes) and accompanying batteries
  • Headlamp (for outhouses, outages, dark stairwells, dark streets)
  • Small, battery-powered alarm clock
  • CD player and CDs or MP3 player or iPod. A variety of Russian, American, and European music is available cheaply in Tbilisi, though much of it is pirated and not of very good quality.
  • Favorite books (PC does have books in the lounge), including a dictionary
  • Lots of pictures of home (photos, postcards, etc.) for yourself and to share with friends, students
  • U.S. stamps and envelopes (for sending mail with friends who happen to make a return trip to the United States)
  • Swiss Army, Leatherman, or an equivalent multipurpose knife
  • Journal, diary, or schedule book
  • Small retractable tape measure (inch/centimeter)
  • Good can opener
  • Maps of the United States and the world (good teaching aids) and wall-hangings
  • Inexpensive gifts (toys, jewelry, perfume, magazines, books, pencils, key chains, etc.)
  • Games (e.g., Scrabble, chess, Trivial Pursuit)
  • Baseball, football, Frisbee, hackeysack, or other “American” sports equipment
  • Ziploc storage bags
  • Polypropylene, wool, and cotton sock and glove liners
  • Warm gloves, hats, scarfs, and boots
  • Spices (your favorites may be difficult to locate, especially in winter)
  • Some supplies if you like to bake or cook (things like baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, are difficult to find locally)