Difference between pages "Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Rwanda" and "Rita Tiltges"

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{{Living_conditions_and_volunteer_lifestyles_by_country}}
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{{volunteerinfobox
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|firstname= Rita
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|middlename= 
 +
|lastname= Tiltges
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|country= Jordan
 +
|yearservicestarted= 2001
 +
|yearserviceended= 2002
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|site= Aqaba
 +
|site2= Wadi Rum
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|group= {{{group}}
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|program= Business
 +
|assignment01= Business_Advising
 +
|assignment02=Environmental Ed.
 +
|assignment03=
 +
}}
  
===Communications===
+
== Description of Service ==
  
====Mail====
 
  
Few countries in the world offer the level of mail service we
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== About Rita Tiltges  Today ==
take for granted in the United States. Mail takes a minimum
 
of two weeks to arrive in Rwanda. Some mail may simply not
 
arrive (fortunately, this is not a frequent occurrence, but it
 
does happen). We do not want to sound discouraging, but
 
when someone is thousands of miles away from families and
 
friends, communication can become a very sensitive issue.
 
We would prefer you be forewarned of the reality of mail
 
service in the developing world. Advise your family and
 
friends to number their letters and to include “Airmail” and
 
“Par Avion” on their envelopes.
 
  
The amount of time it takes for mail to reach Volunteers is as
 
varied as their sites. Airmail from the United States to major
 
cities in Rwanda will take about two weeks. More remote
 
post offices receive mail less frequently, and sometimes a
 
local courier is employed to ferry mail from isolated villages
 
to trading centers. Although mail is sent regularly from the
 
Peace Corps office, the timing of its receipt depends on the
 
location of the Volunteer’s site.
 
  
We strongly encourage you to write to your family regularly
 
(perhaps weekly or biweekly) and to number your letters.
 
Family members will typically become worried when they do
 
not hear from you, so please advise your parents, friends, and
 
relatives that mail is sporadic and that they should not worry
 
if they do not receive your letters regularly.
 
  
Packages normally take about four to five months to reach
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== External Links ==
Rwanda from the United States if sent via surface mail.
 
Volunteers are requested to follow the mailing procedures
 
described in the Peace Corps/Rwanda Volunteer Handbook.
 
Your address during training will be:
 
  
PC/Rwanda <br>
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*Personal homepage/Blog:
B.P. 5657 <br>
+
*Facebook page:
Kigali, Rwanda <br>
+
*Myspace page:
 +
*Linked-in page:
  
It is your responsibility to forward the postal address at
+
== Publications based on Peace Corps Experience ==
your site (once you know it) to the Peace Corps office in
 
Kigali so mail can be routed directly to you. Remember that
 
it is important to keep in regular contact with relatives and
 
friends, not just for them but also for you. Write often so no
 
one has cause to worry, which a lapse in letters for any period
 
of time has been known to create.
 
  
Once at your site, you will receive a notification slip in your post
 
box when you receive a package. Respond promptly; the sooner
 
you pick up the package, the cheaper storage fees will be.
 
Trainees and Volunteers are responsible for mailing personal
 
letters and packages. Airmail letters and stamps are available
 
at local post offices.
 
  
====Telephones====
 
  
Most large cities and provincial capitals have domestic longdistance
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== References  ==
service; regional centers and some large cities also
 
provide overseas telephone service. In some locations, the
 
service is fast and efficient; in others, it may take several
 
hours to get calls through.
 
  
Cellular telephones and service are available in Rwanda,
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(for all information above)
especially in Kigali and larger towns. SIM cards are inexpensive
 
and can be found in Kigali. Peace Corps does not require
 
Volunteers to purchase a phone, but Volunteers may choose to
 
buy a phone and service once they reach their sites and have a
 
clear idea of the network coverage in the area.
 
  
Domestic calls: Volunteers are responsible for all toll charges
 
on calls, but you may call the Peace Corps/Kigali office collect
 
or reverse charges if it is an emergency. Peace Corps/Rwanda
 
will provide a monthly telecommunications allowance to cover
 
official and emergency phone calls.
 
  
Overseas calls: The Peace Corps occasionally authorizes a
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[[category:Volunteers]]
Volunteer to call home because of a family emergency. When
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[[category:Jordan_Volunteers]]
you receive such notification from the Peace Corps, you may
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[[category:Jordan_Volunteers_2001]]
pay for toll charges and bring the receipt to the Peace Corps
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[[category:Jordan_Volunteers_2001_Aqaba]]
office for reimbursement. Volunteers will be responsible
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[[category:Aqaba]]
for personal overseas calls, which can be made from their
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[[category:2001]]
cellphones for a higher charge per minute. Many Volunteers
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[[category:Aqaba_2001]]
choose to call home and ask their families to call them back
 
on their cellphones, as cellphones can make and receive
 
international calls.
 
  
====Computer, Internet, and Email Access====
+
{{DEFAULTSORT:Tiltges,Rita }}
 
 
Internet access is available at post offices and cybercafés
 
in towns and cities, but can be slow and costly. Because
 
Internet use appears to be primarily for personal reasons,
 
you are expected to use your living and telecommunications
 
allowances to cover your Internet costs. Designated
 
computers in the resource center at the PC/Kigali office do
 
have Internet access. You are welcome to use these, though
 
priority is given to Volunteers who are getting ready to
 
finish their service, to assist them with graduate school and
 
job applications. Volunteers are prohibited from using staff
 
computers in all offices.
 
 
 
===Housing and Site Location===
 
 
 
As a Volunteer, you will most likely live in a small town or
 
rural community, and not have access to indoor plumbing or
 
electricity. Expect to use lamps and candles for lighting and to
 
cook using a single-burner kerosene stove, wood, or charcoal.
 
 
 
The standards and conditions of Volunteer housing vary
 
widely, from mud houses with thatched roofs to very modern
 
cement houses with running water and electricity. The type
 
of house you have will depend on your project, the area of
 
the country to which you are posted, and the types of houses
 
available in the community. You may also be required to share
 
housing with other staff or to live in a room behind a shop at
 
a market center. You can expect to have, at the very least, a
 
room to call your own. The decision as to whether housing
 
standards are “acceptable” lies with the Peace Corps staff.
 
When it comes to your housing, you should not lose sight of
 
the guiding goal of the Peace Corps. Maintain your focus on
 
service to the people of Rwanda and not on the level of your
 
accommodations.
 
 
 
Because Peace Corps Volunteers are often posted in poor rural
 
areas to work with communities with little or no money for
 
housing, the Peace Corps sets minimum housing standards:
 
 
 
* There must be at least a private, lockable room if housing is shared with other people.
 
* The room should have windows.
 
* The roof should not leak.
 
* There should be a cement floor and a place for a Volunteer to take a bucket bath or shower.
 
* There should be a latrine that is private or semiprivate (not used by all schoolchildren at a school, but perhaps shared by other staff members).
 
* The Volunteer will be expected to use the same water source as the community.
 
 
 
Your site assignment is made during pre-service training,
 
in collaboration with the training staff. The assignment is
 
based on their assessment and recommendation regarding
 
community needs and your skill levels in the technical,
 
cross-cultural, and language areas. You will be interviewed
 
prior to an actual placement decision so additional personal
 
preferences can be considered in making the site assignment.
 
Site placements are made using the following criteria (in
 
priority order):
 
 
 
* Medical considerations
 
* Government of Rwanda needs
 
* Site requirements (community needs) matched with demonstrated technical, cross-cultural, and language skills
 
* Peace Corps/Rwanda needs
 
* Personal preference of the trainee
 
 
 
The final decisions on site placement are made by the Peace
 
Corps staff. If you choose not to go to the site assigned to you,
 
you will be given the opportunity to terminate your service
 
with the Peace Corps.
 
 
 
===Living Allowance and Money Management===
 
 
 
Each Volunteer receives a monthly allowance sufficient
 
to '''cover basic costs. The allowance enables you to live
 
adequately''' according to the Peace Corps’ philosophy of a
 
modest lifestyle. It is based on the [[Media:[[Media:Example.ogg]]<nowiki>--~~~~Insert non-formatted text here</nowiki>]]local cost of living'' and''
 
is paid in local currency. Your living allowance is intended
 
to cover food, housing, clothing, transportation from home
 
to worksite''', utilities, household supplies, recreation and
 
entertainment''', incidental personal expenses, communications,
 
and reading material'''.'''
 
 
 
===Food and Diet===
 
 
 
In most parts of Rwanda there is a wide choice of foods,
 
ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables (such as cabbage,
 
avocadoes, mangoes, bananas, carrots, and passion fruit) to
 
starches (such as potatoes, plantains, corn, rice, and cassava)
 
to meats (primarily goat and beef, with some chicken and
 
fish). With a little creativity, you can enjoy a varied diet. Fruits
 
and vegetables are seasonal, which means some items may not
 
be available at all times. Vegetarian Volunteers will have little
 
difficulty in continuing their diets after becoming familiar with
 
local food items and their preparation.
 
 
 
===Transportation===
 
 
 
All Volunteers will be expected to travel in Rwanda using local
 
transportation (i.e., foot, public buses, or vans). This includes
 
getting from your training center to your site both during and
 
at the end of pre-service training.
 
 
 
Volunteers may not own or operate motorized vehicles, but
 
they are allowed to rent vehicles during approved vacation
 
periods. Trainees and Volunteers are not allowed to drive any
 
vehicle during training or at their sites.
 
 
 
===Social Activities===
 
 
 
The most common form of entertainment is socializing among
 
friends and neighbors. Some Volunteers visit other Volunteers
 
on weekends and holidays. The Peace Corps encourages
 
Volunteers to remain at their sites as much as possible to
 
develop relationships with community members, but it also
 
recognizes that they need to make occasional trips to regional
 
centers and to visit friends.
 
 
 
You will find it easy to make friends in your community and
 
to participate in weddings, funerals, birthday celebrations,
 
and other social events. It is impossible to overemphasize the
 
rewards of establishing that rapport with one’s supervisors,
 
co-workers, and other community members. A sincere effort to
 
learn the local language will greatly facilitate these interactions.
 
 
 
===Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior===
 
 
 
Volunteers will find that most Rwandans are very hard
 
working. They expect the same of all foreigners, including
 
Volunteers, and expect them to conduct themselves in a
 
mature and professional manner.
 
 
 
Present-day transformations have made managers hesitant
 
to confront issues, provide constructive criticism or to simply
 
say "no" when they feel it might result in conflict. Volunteers
 
will have to find ways of creating comfortable working
 
relationships at all levels of the organization and in the
 
community.
 
 
 
The business culture in Rwanda presents a unique set of
 
challenges. The Volunteer will need to gain a thorough
 
understanding of the host culture and then work to adapt
 
strategies to fit within acceptable practices. For example, the
 
process of giving direct feedback, which in the United States
 
is expected, may be interpreted as rudeness or disrespect by
 
your Rwandan colleagues. Women, particularly young women,
 
and younger Volunteers need to be aware of a very different
 
gender and age dynamic in Rwanda. Gaining the respect of
 
colleagues and traditional leaders may require more effort
 
than you may expect.
 
 
 
It is likely that you are curious about the events of 1994,
 
specifically the genocide, and how the people you will meet
 
and work with survived during that extremely tragic time.
 
Rwandans do have their personal stories about the events of
 
1994, but it is extremely insensitive to broach this subject or
 
ask questions. Rwandans, although polite and friendly, can be
 
rather reserved about sharing intimate details without first
 
establishing a relationship based on trust. Thus, you should
 
refrain from asking questions about the genocide, but rather
 
allow people to tell you their stories as they feel comfortable
 
and ready.
 
 
 
Rwandans are conservative in professional and casual attire.
 
It is considered disrespectful to be dressed too casual or
 
in an untidy manner. The settings in which Volunteers are
 
placed make this a particularly important consideration. Men
 
wear trousers such as chinos and button-down shirts in work
 
settings. Jackets and ties are occasional requirements. Blue
 
jeans, T-shirts, and very casual sandals are not considered
 
professional attire. Shorts should only be worn when
 
engaged in athletic activities. Women wear dresses, skirts, or
 
trouser suits with tunic style tops in both work and leisure
 
environments. Short, low cut garments are not appropriate
 
for women. You must be willing to comply with acceptable
 
Rwandan social norms of dress and grooming. This may require
 
that you modify the manner of dress to which you are presently
 
accustomed. Men must wear their hair neat. Dreadlocks are
 
not appropriate. Facial piercing should be kept to a minimum,
 
with discreet studs. Accommodating Rwandan sensitivities in
 
dress and grooming will greatly facilitate your own professional
 
credibility and effectiveness in your assignment.
 
 
 
===Rewards and Frustrations===
 
 
 
Challenges are many in this placement. If this were not the
 
case, there would be no need for Volunteers! The Rwandan
 
government has very high expectations for the performance
 
and work of expatriates, even those who are Volunteers.
 
 
 
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will be expected to act
 
professionally and maturely at all times, as your behavior
 
on and off the job will be noticed. Some challenges
 
which Volunteers find most difficult to deal with are: the
 
psychological aftermath of the genocide; the poverty of many
 
community members; the overwhelming number of orphans
 
and the difficulty in envisioning how to assist them; issues
 
of death and dying; limited resources and minimal facilities
 
and the misuse of resources which do exist; hunger among
 
children; beliefs which limit the ability to implement “simple”
 
solutions to enormous problems; too many demands placed
 
by the community; the sense that there is too much to do;
 
the need to slow down and understand; and the lack of
 
organization and collaboration among partner agencies.
 
 
 
It is difficult to share these challenges in such a limited way,
 
as each is so complex. Coping with them, as well as with
 
the challenges that come from daily life, demands flexibility,
 
patience, humility, and good humor. It is not possible for a
 
Volunteer to "fix" things. Volunteers work creatively to get
 
around the fact that there are so few resources available, or that
 
the systems to deliver resources are in their infancy. Volunteers
 
develop relationships with community members, build trust
 
among the various stakeholders in the health system, and find
 
ways to motivate the staff of health facilities and organizations
 
about their role in contributing to the well-being of their service
 
areas and communities. Each activity Volunteers become
 
involved in brings its own reward, small steps forward, enjoyable
 
moments, “Aha!” experiences, and a sense of connection. With
 
all the "challenges," it is nonetheless universally agreed upon by
 
Volunteers: We gain more than we could ever hope to give.
 
 
 
The AIDS pandemic strikes across all social strata in many
 
Peace Corps countries. The loss of teachers has crippled
 
education systems, while illness and disability drain family
 
income and force governments and donors to redirect limited
 
resources from other priorities. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you
 
will confront these issues on a very personal level. It is important
 
to be aware of the high emotional toll that disease, death, and
 
violence can have on Volunteers. As you strive to integrate
 
into your community, you will develop relationships with local
 
people who might die during your service. Some Volunteers
 
will be meeting and working with people who are HIV positive
 
and living with AIDS. Volunteers need to prepare themselves to
 
embrace these relationships in a sensitive and positive manner.
 
Likewise, malaria and malnutrition, motor vehicle accidents and
 
other unintentional injuries, domestic violence, alcoholism, and
 
corporal punishment are problems a Volunteer may confront.
 
You will need to anticipate these situations and utilize supportive
 
resources available throughout your training and service to
 
maintain your own emotional strength, so you can continue to be
 
of service to your community.
 
 
 
Although working in Rwanda can be a tremendously gratifying
 
experience, the new life and job you are considering will be
 
challenging. Please take some time to seriously reflect on
 
your decision to live and work in Rwanda. Working in Rwanda
 
requires great sensitivity and maturity related to the genocide.
 
We encourage you to exercise caution when discussing the
 
genocide. As you work and interact on a daily basis with the
 
people of Rwanda, you may notice that almost everyone has a
 
story, and the genocide (to which most Rwandans refer simply
 
as “the war”) pervades nearly every aspect of society. Working
 
in Rwanda will require an understanding of and respect for
 
historical events and their aftermath. As a Volunteer you might
 
experience the “gacaca,” a process during which suspected
 
génocidaires are brought to justice. The death penalty is
 
not permitted and generally the punishment is to work on a
 
neighbor’s field, to repay the cost of stolen goods, or to perform
 
general public works. Non-Rwandans are not permitted to
 
attend gacaca and the Rwandan government has been very
 
careful to ensure that this somewhat private process continues
 
to be locally owned and driven, without outside influence.
 
Rwanda has made great strides in its reconciliation, but its
 
wounds have not yet fully healed. Genocide memorials, which
 
you will be visiting as part of pre-service training (PST), are
 
scattered across the country and are integral to understanding
 
the extent of the trauma suffered by the Rwandan people. In
 
an effort to unify the country and, hopefully, make the ethnic
 
divisions a thing of the past, the post-conflict government
 
has instituted a policy that ethnicity no longer exists and that
 
everyone is simply Rwandan. It is illegal in Rwanda to inquire
 
about or discuss ethnicity, as this is perceived as divisive, and
 
one can be prosecuted for doing so.
 
 
 
Lastly, while Rwanda is considered to be a peaceful country,
 
we urge you to exercise vigilance and use common sense
 
during your service. We strongly discourage cultural or safetyrelated
 
"adventurism" that can put you at risk.
 
 
 
 
 
See also: [[Rwanda]]
 

Latest revision as of 12:16, 23 August 2016



{{#if:Rita|Firstname::Rita|}} {{#if:|Middlename::|}} {{#if:Tiltges|Lastname::Tiltges|}}{{#if:Jordan||}}

{{#if:|
{{{flickr}}}|}}{{#if:|
[[Image:{{{image}}}|250px]]|}}

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Description of Service

About Rita Tiltges Today

External Links

  • Personal homepage/Blog:
  • Facebook page:
  • Myspace page:
  • Linked-in page:

Publications based on Peace Corps Experience

References

(for all information above)