Difference between pages "David Peterson" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in East Timor"

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{{Volunteerinfobox
 
|firstname=David
 
|lastname=Peterson
 
|country=Panama
 
|yearservicestarted=1967
 
|yearserviceended=1969
 
|site=Tocumen
 
|groupcode=Group IV (14)
 
|program=Education
 
|assignment01=Occupat. Therapy, Voc. Trainer
 
}}
 
{{Volunteerinfobox
 
|firstname=David
 
|middlename=C.
 
|lastname=Peterson
 
|country=US_Relief
 
|yearservicestarted=2005
 
|yearserviceended=2005
 
|site=Louisiana
 
|groupcode=Group 1
 
|program=Crisis Corps
 
|assignment01=Crisis_Corps
 
}}
 
  
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===How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to East Timor? ===
  
==Description of Peace Corps Service==
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Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds this allowance.  The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits The authorized baggage 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 80 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 50 pounds for any one bag.  Since travel requirements may change because of circumstances beyond the Peace Corps’ control, you should remain alert for additional information regarding luggage allowances before you arrive for staging and check with the airline a few days prior to your departure.
  
Mr. David C. Peterson entered training on July 16, 1967 at Camp David Crozier, Arecibo, Puerto Rico and completed an intensive ten-week program.  Included in the subjects studied were Spanish, Panamanian History, Cooperatives, Economics, and Investigation of Barriada Problems.
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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.  
  
He was enrolled in the Peace Corps on October, 1967. Upon arrival in Panama, Mr. Peterson participated in a five-week orientation program at Desarrollo Comunal Urbano (Urban Community Development) in Panama City. He was responsible to the Instituto para la Formacion y Aprovechamiento de Recursos Humanos (IFARHU), an autonomous government agency during his service in Panama. Mr. Peterson served as an occupational counselor assigned to the Centro Nacional de Aprendizaje (National Apprenticeship Center). As a Peace Corps Volunteer and Occupational Counselor, he worked in professional training at three levels: semi-skilled, skilled, and professional. This position involved the selection and follow-up procedures of the personnel related to the three above mentioned groups and included the following duties: interviewing, psychological testing, selection, supervision and counseling of students.
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===What is the electric current in East Timor? ===
  
Additionally, he attended the XII Interamerican Psychology Congress, 30 March – 6 April, 1969 in Montevideo, Uruguay as a delegate of IFARHU. He visited the countries of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia.
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The current is 220 volts. Any electrical appliance you bring will require a transformer, and these are readily available in Dili. Because of the varied outlets, universal plug adapters, also available in Dili, will come in handy. Power surges are common in East Timor and can cause irreversible damage to your appliances or laptops.  
  
Pursuant to section 5 (f) of the Peace Corps Act, 22 U.S.C.S 2504 (f), as amended, any former Volunteer employed by the United States Government following his Peace Corps Volunteer service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps Volunteer service credited for purposes of retirement, seniority, reduction in force, leave and other privileges based on length of Government service.
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===How much money should I bring? ===
  
This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order No. 11103 of April 10, 1963, that Mr. David C. Peterson served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His service ended on August 20, 1969. His benefits under the Executive Order extend for a period of one year after termination of Volunteer service, except that the employing agency may extend the period for up to three years for a former Volunteer who enters military service of pursues studies at a recognized institution of higher education.
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Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards are rarely accepted in East Timor, but are preferable to cash for out-ofcountry travel. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the
  
Signed by John B Arango
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amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.
Peace Corps Director/Panama
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August 20, 1969
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===When can I take vacation and have people visit me? ===
  
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Volunteers often state an interest in traveling and learning about other cultures as a main reason for wanting to join the Peace Corps. You are encouraged to use your vacation time to travel around East Timor and to other countries in the region.  Each Volunteer accumulates two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa or travel assistance, nor can it provide health care in the case of a visitor’s accident or illness.
  
==Description of Crisis Corps Service==
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Extended stays at your site by visitors are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director.  Consistent with the Peace Corps’ worldwide policy of not permitting nonmarried couples to serve together, Peace Corps/East Timor does not permit non-Volunteer “significant others” to establish permanent residence with Volunteers during their service.
  
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===Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ===
  
DATES OF SERVICE:  08 September to 07 October, 2005
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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 personal property 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 are cautioned not to 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.
  
NAME:  David C. Peterson
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===Do I need an international driver’s license? ===
  
COUNTRY: United States, Group 1
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Volunteers in East Timor do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of motorized vehicles is prohibited. Most urban travel is by minibus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks, bicycles, and lots of walking.
  
STATE:  Louisiana
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===What should I bring as gifts for East Timorese friends and my host family? ===
  
POSITION TITLE:  Applicant Services Specialist in the Individual Assistance Cadre
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While this is not a requirement, bringing a small token of friendship is certainly acceptable. Lavish gifts are discouraged. Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; photos to give away; or hard candies or biscuits, which can be purchased locally.
  
===Description of training===  
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===Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be? ===
  
Conducted at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s training center in Orlando, Florida, David Peterson received training in the functions of Disaster Recovery Centers including tracking the status of applications via web based programs, providing referrals and mitigation information, and problem resolution. David Peterson also received training in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission standards and Safety and Security in the field.  
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Peace Corps trainees are not assigned to individual sites until several weeks into their pre-service training. This gives the Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites and to finalize site selections with their counterparts. If feasible, you may have the opportunity to provide input on your site preferences, including geographical location, distance from other Volunteers, or living conditions. However, many factors influence the site selection process and the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you might ideally like to be. Most Volunteers will live in small towns or in rural villages, but will usually be within a few hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites will require a six- to 12-hour drive from Dili.  
  
Upon graduation from the center, David Peterson was able to assist with web based applications; routing applicants to appropriate services; providing authoritative information, explanations, program requirements and referrals to applicants affected by disasters, and assist in case processing and program eligibility decisions.
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===How can my family contact me in an emergency? ===
  
David Peterson was sworn in as a Crisis Corps Volunteer on 09 September 2005.
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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, you should 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; select option 2, then 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; select option 2, then extension 2502 or 2522.  
  
===Description of assignment===
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===Can I call home from East Timor? ===
  
Following training David was deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At the Joint Field Office of FEMA David was assigned to Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) #2 in Marksville, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana as an Applicant Services Representative. At the DRC he worked with volunteers from various agencies, FEMA employees, and personnel from other support groups. In his position he met one-on-one with evacuees from hurricanes Katrina and Rita with the primary purpose of providing information and requirements of the individual assistance programs for which they were eligible.  
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Cellular phones, rather than fixed-line phones, are the norm in East Timor. While cellphones do not reach most areas outside the capital, overseas calls are easy to make from Dili with cellphones. The cost of calls to the U.S. varies but averages about $1 per minute.  
  
The most important responsibilities involved accessing the individual records of the applicants in the FEMA software database and verifying the accuracy of that information, making necessary corrections, additions and updates; assisting the applicant to resolve specific issues; referring the applicant to other assistance programs, community resources and other appropriate agencies; reviewing the applicant status to determine eligibility for financial and direct assistance, then forwarding it to the National Processing Service Center; and determining the applicant’s immediate and long-term housing needs.
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===Should I bring a cellular phone with me? ===
  
===Achievements===
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A cellphone from the United States will not work in East Timor because of different programming protocols. However, cellphones are readily available for purchase in East Timor at a cost of $100 to $200. The phone cards used to charge the phones for use are regularly sold in the capital.
  
David became very proficient in the FEMA web based applications and knowledgeable of FEMA programs. He was initially one of two volunteers at the center who had a PC and access to the FEMA website. David was selected as a trainer to cross train others at the DRC and train new staff toward the end of his assignment. As a fluent Spanish speaker he was called on occasionally to assist speakers of that language. David, along with other volunteers, helped set up the DRC the day before opening. The manager of the DRC provided a very positive Performance Review and Recommendation in appreciation of his service.
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===Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ===
  
===Primary Project===
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While there is limited Internet and e-mail access in East Timor, it is very unlikely that e-mail access will be available at your site. Currently, there are computers available for limited Volunteer use in the Volunteer office. There are a few Internet cafes in Dili, but they are expensive ($8 per hour). Volunteers may bring computers if they wish, but the Peace Corps cannot reimburse Volunteers for damage to or loss of computers.  Many sites have no access to electricity and others have electricity for only a few hours each day. Breakdowns are frequent because of inconsistent electrical currents.  Maintenance and repair of electronic equipment is difficult and quite costly in East Timor. Volunteers should insure items such as computers and expensive cameras, audio equipment, and the like before leaving the United States.
  
Katrina Louisiana Disaster Recovery, DRC #2, Marksville, Louisiana
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[[Category:East Timor]]
 
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David served as an Applicant Services Representative interviewing the applicants to ensure they received the benefits to which they were entitled. The data collected was entered on a FEMA personal computer.
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===Other experiences===
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David witnessed first hand the arrival of Hurricane Rita on September 22 and 23, but fortunately his area was spared major damage and the DRC was only closed one day.  David worked one day with the US Public Health Service at the Lamar-Dixon Animal Shelter in Gonzales, LA, monitoring the area from a health perspective and recommending changes to make it safe for the workers.
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===Comments on physical demands of the position===
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David, along with most of the DRC staff, was housed in the nearby community of Bunkie. He commuted daily about 15 miles each way to and from the DRC in Marksville. The DRC staff reported at 0700 each morning and worked until 1900, or later if necessary, to accommodate the evacuees. For three nights David lived in a tent city near Baton Rouge before his deployment to the DRC.
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===Privacy Act Notice / Non-Competitive Eligibility===
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The information requested herein is collected pursuant to Section 5 of the Peace Corps Act (USC 2504 (f)).  The information will be used exclusively to prepare the Description of Volunteer Service Statement, which will be permanently retained by the Peace Corps.  The statement will be used to verify service performed.
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This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order No. 11103 of April 10, 1963 that David C. Peterson served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  His service ended on 07 October 2005.
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Pursuant to Section 5(f) of the peace Corps Act, 22 USC No. 2504 (f) as amended, any former Volunteer employed by the United States government following his /her Peace Corps Service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps Volunteer Service based on length of government service.  Peace Corps service shall not be credited toward completion of a probationary p0r trial period or completion of any service requirement for career appointment.
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NOTE:  Presidential directive establishing non-competitive eligibility in 1963 after completion of at least one year of Peace Corps service; see Federal Personnel Manual (FPM), Chapter 315, 6-7.  Therefore, service under the Katrina Relief Initiative does not qualify.
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Signed by Mary Angelini, 21 March 2006
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Director of the Crisis Corps
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[[category:Description of Service]]
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Latest revision as of 14:40, 21 May 2014

How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to East Timor?[edit]

Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds this allowance. The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits The authorized baggage 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 80 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 50 pounds for any one bag. Since travel requirements may change because of circumstances beyond the Peace Corps’ control, you should remain alert for additional information regarding luggage allowances before you arrive for staging and check with the airline a few days prior to your departure.

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.

What is the electric current in East Timor?[edit]

The current is 220 volts. Any electrical appliance you bring will require a transformer, and these are readily available in Dili. Because of the varied outlets, universal plug adapters, also available in Dili, will come in handy. Power surges are common in East Timor and can cause irreversible damage to your appliances or laptops.

How much money should I bring?[edit]

Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards are rarely accepted in East Timor, but are preferable to cash for out-ofcountry travel. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the

amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.

When can I take vacation and have people visit me?[edit]

Volunteers often state an interest in traveling and learning about other cultures as a main reason for wanting to join the Peace Corps. You are encouraged to use your vacation time to travel around East Timor and to other countries in the region. Each Volunteer accumulates two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa or travel assistance, nor can it provide health care in the case of a visitor’s accident or illness.

Extended stays at your site by visitors are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. Consistent with the Peace Corps’ worldwide policy of not permitting nonmarried couples to serve together, Peace Corps/East Timor does not permit non-Volunteer “significant others” to establish permanent residence with Volunteers during their service.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?[edit]

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase personal property 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 are cautioned not to 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.

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

Volunteers in East Timor do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of motorized vehicles is prohibited. Most urban travel is by minibus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks, bicycles, and lots of walking.

What should I bring as gifts for East Timorese friends and my host family?[edit]

While this is not a requirement, bringing a small token of friendship is certainly acceptable. Lavish gifts are discouraged. Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; photos to give away; or hard candies or biscuits, which can be purchased locally.

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

Peace Corps trainees are not assigned to individual sites until several weeks into their pre-service training. This gives the Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites and to finalize site selections with their counterparts. If feasible, you may have the opportunity to provide input on your site preferences, including geographical location, distance from other Volunteers, or living conditions. However, many factors influence the site selection process and the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you might ideally like to be. Most Volunteers will live in small towns or in rural villages, but will usually be within a few hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites will require a six- to 12-hour drive from Dili.

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

The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, you should 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; select option 2, then 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; select option 2, then extension 2502 or 2522.

Can I call home from East Timor?[edit]

Cellular phones, rather than fixed-line phones, are the norm in East Timor. While cellphones do not reach most areas outside the capital, overseas calls are easy to make from Dili with cellphones. The cost of calls to the U.S. varies but averages about $1 per minute.

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

A cellphone from the United States will not work in East Timor because of different programming protocols. However, cellphones are readily available for purchase in East Timor at a cost of $100 to $200. The phone cards used to charge the phones for use are regularly sold in the capital.

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

While there is limited Internet and e-mail access in East Timor, it is very unlikely that e-mail access will be available at your site. Currently, there are computers available for limited Volunteer use in the Volunteer office. There are a few Internet cafes in Dili, but they are expensive ($8 per hour). Volunteers may bring computers if they wish, but the Peace Corps cannot reimburse Volunteers for damage to or loss of computers. Many sites have no access to electricity and others have electricity for only a few hours each day. Breakdowns are frequent because of inconsistent electrical currents. Maintenance and repair of electronic equipment is difficult and quite costly in East Timor. Volunteers should insure items such as computers and expensive cameras, audio equipment, and the like before leaving the United States.