FAQs about Peace Corps in Ukraine

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{{FAQs by country}}
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A list of websites for additional information about the Peace Corps and Macedonia, or to connect you to returned Volunteers, is provided below. Please keep in mind that although we try to make sure all these links are active and current, we cannot guarantee it.
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A note of caution: As you surf these sites, be aware that you will find bulletin boards and chat rooms in which people are free to give opinions and advice based on their own experiences. The opinions expressed are not those of the Peace Corps or the U.S. government. You may find opinions of people who were unhappy with their choice to serve in the Peace Corps. As you read these comments, we hope you will keep in mind that the Peace Corps is not for everyone, and no two people experience their service in the same way.
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===Life and Times of Peace Corps Macedonia ===
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PAUZA MAGAZINE is Peace Corps Macedonia's quarterly online publication.
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===How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Ukraine? ===
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http://www.joomag.com/magazine/mag/0981740001375293851?feature=archive  <br>
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PAUZA Summer 2013 Issue: features Summer Festivals in Macedonia and the Balkans and our Peace Corps stories of love and loss.
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Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limitsThe Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 100 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.  
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http://www.joomag.com/magazine/pauza-magazine-spring-2013/0224786001368727189 <br>
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PAUZA Spring 2013 Issue: features our Peace Corps transformations; International Women's Day; and our PCV projects.
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Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.  
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http://www.joomag.com/magazine/mag/0252911001360874870?feature=archive  <br>
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PAUZA Winter 2013 Issue: features what we love about winter in Macedonia; sports; and poignant cultural experiences.
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===What is the electric current in Ukraine? ===
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===General Information About Macedonia ===
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[[Image:Voltage b.jpg|thumb|right|Ukrainian adaptor]]
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[[Image:800px-Odessa Ukraine 5170.jpg|thumb|right200px|Ukrainian outlet]]
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The current is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Plugs and sockets are of the European two-pin type. If you bring 110-volt appliances, be sure to bring the appropriate transformers and adapters, which are not always easily available in Ukraine. Since hair dryers, cassette recorders, irons, clocks, etc. are available here (some of which can be switched between 220 and 110 volts), you may want to leave your American appliances at home. However, the prices of name-brand items are generally higher than in the United States because of customs and import taxes. Electricity is sometimes rationed, so it is a good idea to bring items that can also run on batteries if necessary.
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===How much money should I bring? ===
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http://www.countrywatch.com <br>
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On this site, you can learn anything from what time it is in Skopje to how to convert from the dollar to the denar. Just click on Macedonia and go from there.
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Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. You will be given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which is designed to cover your expenses. However, with inflation and the dropping dollar, many Volunteers in larger communities find it difficult to live within the Peace Corps Living AllowanceAn increase to the living allowance was just approved, and currently Peace Corps is seeking additional monies with the new fiscal year.  Often Volunteers bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.
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http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations <br>
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Visit this site for general travel advice about almost any country in the world.  
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===When can I take vacation and have people visit me? ===
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http://www.state.gov  <br>
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The State Department’s website issues background notes periodically about countries around the world. Find Macedonia and learn more about its social and political history.
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During the 24-month service, the Volunteer accrues a total of 48 days of vacation time, two days per month of service (excluding training).  The Volunteer may use vacation days retroactively (in other words, if a Volunteer wants to take a 14-day vacation, he/she does not need to wait 7 months to accumulate these vacation days). However, leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your workExtended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.
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http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/official.htm <br>
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This site includes links to all the official sites for governments worldwide.  
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===Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ===
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http://www.geography.about.com/library/maps/blindex.htm  <br>
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This online world atlas includes maps and geographical information about countries around the world. Each country page contains links to other sites, such as the Library of Congress, which contain comprehensive historical, social, and political background.
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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase such insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.  
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http://www.cyberschoolbus.un.org/infonation/info.asp  <br>
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This United Nations site allows you to search for statistical information for member states of the U.N.  
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===Do I need an international driver’s license? ===
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http://www.worldinformation.com  <br>
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This site provides an additional source of current and historical information about countries around the world.
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Volunteers in Ukraine do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking.
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===Connect With Returned Volunteers and Other Invitees ===
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===What should I bring as gifts to Ukraine? ===
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http://groups.yahoo.com/group/peacecorps2  <br>
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This Yahoo site hosts a bulletin board where prospective Volunteers and returned Volunteers can come together.
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Gifts for Ukrainian friends and your host family is not a requirement. A token of friendship is sufficient. Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; decals and stickers; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.
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http://www.rpcv.org  <br>
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This is the site of the National Peace Corps Association, a membership organization for returned Volunteers. On this site you can find links to all the Web pages of the “friends of ” groups for most countries of service. The groups include former Volunteers who served in those countries. There are also regional groups which frequently get together for social events and local Volunteer activities.  
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===After training where will my site assignment be? ===
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http://www.peacecorpswriters.org  <br>
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This site is hosted by a group of returned Volunteer writers. It is a monthly online publication of essays and Volunteer accounts of their Peace Corps service.
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Midway through pre-service training, you will have a site placement interview (SPI) with Peace Corps Ukraine staff.  You will have  an opportunity to talk about your preferences and what you would like in a site.  However, keep in mind that many factors influence the site assignment process and that the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be.  Volunteers' sites range from villages with less than a thousand inhabitants to regional capitals with over a million people.  The language that you are trained in will heavily influence the region of the country you are sent to--trainees who learn Russian tend to go to Crimea and the eastern regions, while trainees who learn Ukrainian go to the western regions and generally to smaller towns.  These are generalizations, however.  Formerly, trainees were told of their sites halfway through training.  But currently, trainees do not find out their site until swearing-in retreat.
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===Online Articles/Current News Sites About Macedonia ===
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===How can my family contact me in an emergency? ===
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http://www.maknews.com  <br>
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Current events in Macedonia from many sources
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The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2420 or 2419.
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http://www.mia.com.mk  <br>
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The site of Macedonia’s official information agency, in English, German, and Macedonian
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===Can I call home from Ukraine? ===
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http://www.antiwar.com/maknews/macedonia.html  <br>
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Unconventional news about Macedonia
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Ukraine has good telephone connections with the United States, although service is most consistent from the capital and other large cities. Because international calls are very expensive, most Volunteers call home collect, establish a time to receive a call from home, or use international calling cardsCards from companies like AT&T, MCI, and Sprint can be used in Ukraine via an international operator. In some of the larger cities, it is possible to buy calling cards to use to call home from Ukraine.  Also, some Ukrainian cellular phone companies offer affordable rates to call the United States.
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http://www.macedonianamerican.org <br>
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A site hosted by the Macedonian American Friendship Association
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===Should I bring a cellular phone with me? ===
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http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk  <br>
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Current issues with some emotional overtones
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Ukraine has cellular phone service, and Peace Corps staff members are equipped with cellphones for emergencies. Nearly all Volunteers in Ukraine have cell phonesDifferences in technology make most U.S. cellphones incompatible with Ukrainian systems, but Tri-band phones should work in Ukraine.  You will need to have your cell phone company unlock your phone in the US, and while in Ukraine, you should purchase a local sim card.  Cellphones are available for purchase virtually everywhere, even in villages.  Having a cellphone is both useful for safety reasons (especially when in remote areas) and also to keep in touch with fellow Volunteers, site colleagues, and Peace Corps staff while away from your site.
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http://www.macedonia.org <br>
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Well-rounded site about all aspects of Macedonia
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===Will there be Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ===
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http://www.ajvar.com  <br>
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A site (in Macedonian) with some entertainment value
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Most Volunteers in Ukraine have access to e-mail, though access is not as consistent or fast as in the United StatesDepending on where you live and work, you will be able to access e-mail at a local Internet cafe, at your place of work, from home (if you have a computer), or at the nearest regional center. Volunteers generally find the Internet to be the fastest and most affordable way to communicate with friends and family in the United States.
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http://www.blesok.com.mk <br>
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A site featuring electronic literature and other arts
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It is recommended by PCVs serving in Ukraine that you do bring a laptop (PC, not Mac) as many materials provided to you by PC Ukraine are on CD rather than paper. Volunteers are responsible for insuring and maintaining their laptop computers. The Peace Corps will not replace stolen computers and strongly encourages those who bring them to get personal property insurance.
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===International Development Sites About Macedonia ===
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[[Category:Ukraine]]
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http://www.usaid.gov/regions/europe_eurasia/countries/mk  <br>
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Information about the U.S. Agency for International
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===Development Work in Macedonia ===
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http://www.undp.org.mk  <br>
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The United Nations Development Programme in Macedonia
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http://www.iscvt.org  <br>
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Site of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, which runs the USAID-funded Democracy Network Program in Macedonia
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http://www.dai.com  <br>
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Site of Development Alternatives, Inc., which operates a USAID-funded local government reform project in Macedonia
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http://www.iom.int  <br>
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Site of the International Organization for Migration
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===Recommended Books ===
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It can be difficult to find texts specifically about Macedonia.  Since its history and culture are intrinsically bound with the history of the Balkan region, other books about the Balkans do provide insight into Macedonia.
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# Andric, Ivo. The Bridge on the Drina. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959.
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# Danforth, Loring M. The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997.
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# Evans, Thammy. Macedonia: Bradt Travel Guide, London: Bradt Travel Guides, 2004.
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# Fonseca, Isabel. Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey. New York: Vintage Books, 1996.
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# Kaplan, Robert D. Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993.
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# Kita, Sapurma, and Petrovska Pandora. Children of the Bird Goddess. VAE Enterprises, 1997. 
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# Pettifer, James (ed.). The New Macedonian Question. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
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# Phillips, John. Macedonia. Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2004.
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# Silber, Laura, and Allan Little. Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation. New York: Penguin Books, 1996.
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# Townson, Annabelle. We Wait for You: Unheard Voices from Post-Communist Romania. Lanham, Maryland: Hamilton Books, 2005 (paperback).
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# West, Rebecca. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia. New York: Penguin Books, 1995 (originally published in 1941).
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===Books About the History of the Peace Corps===
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# Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs. All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960’s. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.
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# Rice, Gerald T. The Bold Experiment: JFK’s Peace Corps. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985.
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# Stossel, Scott. Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2004.
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===Books on the Volunteer Experience ===
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# Dirlam, Sharon. Beyond Siberia: Two Years in a Forgotten Place. Santa Barbara, Calif.: McSeas Books, 2004.
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# Casebolt, Marjorie DeMoss. Margarita: A Guatemalan Peace Corps Experience. Gig Harbor, Wash.: Red Apple Publishing, 2000.
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# Erdman, Sarah. Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village. New York, N.Y.: Picador, 2003.
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# Hessler, Peter. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. New York, N.Y.: Perennial, 2001.
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# Kennedy, Geraldine ed. From the Center of the Earth: Stories out of the Peace Corps. Santa Monica, Calif.: Clover Park Press, 1991.
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# Thompsen, Moritz. Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle. Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 1997 (reprint).
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[[Category:Macedonia]]

Revision as of 09:27, 21 October 2013

A list of websites for additional information about the Peace Corps and Macedonia, or to connect you to returned Volunteers, is provided below. Please keep in mind that although we try to make sure all these links are active and current, we cannot guarantee it.

A note of caution: As you surf these sites, be aware that you will find bulletin boards and chat rooms in which people are free to give opinions and advice based on their own experiences. The opinions expressed are not those of the Peace Corps or the U.S. government. You may find opinions of people who were unhappy with their choice to serve in the Peace Corps. As you read these comments, we hope you will keep in mind that the Peace Corps is not for everyone, and no two people experience their service in the same way.

Contents

Life and Times of Peace Corps Macedonia

PAUZA MAGAZINE is Peace Corps Macedonia's quarterly online publication.

http://www.joomag.com/magazine/mag/0981740001375293851?feature=archive
PAUZA Summer 2013 Issue: features Summer Festivals in Macedonia and the Balkans and our Peace Corps stories of love and loss.

http://www.joomag.com/magazine/pauza-magazine-spring-2013/0224786001368727189
PAUZA Spring 2013 Issue: features our Peace Corps transformations; International Women's Day; and our PCV projects.

http://www.joomag.com/magazine/mag/0252911001360874870?feature=archive
PAUZA Winter 2013 Issue: features what we love about winter in Macedonia; sports; and poignant cultural experiences.

General Information About Macedonia

http://www.countrywatch.com
On this site, you can learn anything from what time it is in Skopje to how to convert from the dollar to the denar. Just click on Macedonia and go from there.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations
Visit this site for general travel advice about almost any country in the world.

http://www.state.gov
The State Department’s website issues background notes periodically about countries around the world. Find Macedonia and learn more about its social and political history.

http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/official.htm
This site includes links to all the official sites for governments worldwide.

http://www.geography.about.com/library/maps/blindex.htm
This online world atlas includes maps and geographical information about countries around the world. Each country page contains links to other sites, such as the Library of Congress, which contain comprehensive historical, social, and political background.

http://www.cyberschoolbus.un.org/infonation/info.asp
This United Nations site allows you to search for statistical information for member states of the U.N.

http://www.worldinformation.com
This site provides an additional source of current and historical information about countries around the world.

Connect With Returned Volunteers and Other Invitees

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/peacecorps2
This Yahoo site hosts a bulletin board where prospective Volunteers and returned Volunteers can come together.

http://www.rpcv.org
This is the site of the National Peace Corps Association, a membership organization for returned Volunteers. On this site you can find links to all the Web pages of the “friends of ” groups for most countries of service. The groups include former Volunteers who served in those countries. There are also regional groups which frequently get together for social events and local Volunteer activities.

http://www.peacecorpswriters.org
This site is hosted by a group of returned Volunteer writers. It is a monthly online publication of essays and Volunteer accounts of their Peace Corps service.

Online Articles/Current News Sites About Macedonia

http://www.maknews.com
Current events in Macedonia from many sources

http://www.mia.com.mk
The site of Macedonia’s official information agency, in English, German, and Macedonian

http://www.antiwar.com/maknews/macedonia.html
Unconventional news about Macedonia

http://www.macedonianamerican.org
A site hosted by the Macedonian American Friendship Association

http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk
Current issues with some emotional overtones

http://www.macedonia.org
Well-rounded site about all aspects of Macedonia

http://www.ajvar.com
A site (in Macedonian) with some entertainment value

http://www.blesok.com.mk
A site featuring electronic literature and other arts

International Development Sites About Macedonia

http://www.usaid.gov/regions/europe_eurasia/countries/mk
Information about the U.S. Agency for International

Development Work in Macedonia

http://www.undp.org.mk
The United Nations Development Programme in Macedonia

http://www.iscvt.org
Site of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, which runs the USAID-funded Democracy Network Program in Macedonia

http://www.dai.com
Site of Development Alternatives, Inc., which operates a USAID-funded local government reform project in Macedonia

http://www.iom.int
Site of the International Organization for Migration

Recommended Books

It can be difficult to find texts specifically about Macedonia. Since its history and culture are intrinsically bound with the history of the Balkan region, other books about the Balkans do provide insight into Macedonia.

  1. Andric, Ivo. The Bridge on the Drina. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959.
  2. Danforth, Loring M. The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997.
  3. Evans, Thammy. Macedonia: Bradt Travel Guide, London: Bradt Travel Guides, 2004.
  4. Fonseca, Isabel. Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey. New York: Vintage Books, 1996.
  5. Kaplan, Robert D. Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993.
  6. Kita, Sapurma, and Petrovska Pandora. Children of the Bird Goddess. VAE Enterprises, 1997.
  7. Pettifer, James (ed.). The New Macedonian Question. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
  8. Phillips, John. Macedonia. Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2004.
  9. Silber, Laura, and Allan Little. Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation. New York: Penguin Books, 1996.
  10. Townson, Annabelle. We Wait for You: Unheard Voices from Post-Communist Romania. Lanham, Maryland: Hamilton Books, 2005 (paperback).
  11. West, Rebecca. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia. New York: Penguin Books, 1995 (originally published in 1941).

Books About the History of the Peace Corps

  1. Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs. All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960’s. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.
  2. Rice, Gerald T. The Bold Experiment: JFK’s Peace Corps. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985.
  3. Stossel, Scott. Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2004.

Books on the Volunteer Experience

  1. Dirlam, Sharon. Beyond Siberia: Two Years in a Forgotten Place. Santa Barbara, Calif.: McSeas Books, 2004.
  2. Casebolt, Marjorie DeMoss. Margarita: A Guatemalan Peace Corps Experience. Gig Harbor, Wash.: Red Apple Publishing, 2000.
  3. Erdman, Sarah. Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village. New York, N.Y.: Picador, 2003.
  4. Hessler, Peter. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. New York, N.Y.: Perennial, 2001.
  5. Kennedy, Geraldine ed. From the Center of the Earth: Stories out of the Peace Corps. Santa Monica, Calif.: Clover Park Press, 1991.
  6. Thompsen, Moritz. Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle. Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 1997 (reprint).
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