Difference between pages "FAQs about Peace Corps in Cameroon" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Cape Verde"

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===How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Cameroon?===
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===How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Cape Verde?===
  
Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limits.  The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds those 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 80 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website has a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items. Go to: http://www.tsa.gov/ travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm.  
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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 limitations, and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limitations. 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 70 pounds for any one bag. DUE TO REGULAR CHANGES IN AIRLINE BAGGAGE LIMIT POLICIES IN RECENT YEARS, PLEASE VERIFY THIS INFORMATION PRIOR TO 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. In addition, do not pack important documents or valuables in your checked luggage; luggage may be delayed on the way to Cameroon, so make sure any essentials are in your carry-on bags.  
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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.  
  
===What is the electric current in Cameroon?===
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===What is the electric current in Cape Verde?===
  
In Cameroon, all appliances are powered with 220 volts (as is the case in most of Europe). However, there may be large fluctuations in power, and most appliances should be protected with a voltage regulator. These can be purchased throughout Cameroon.  
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The electric current in Cape Verde is 220 volts. Some sites do not have electricity 24 hours a day, but only for part of the day, while others do not have electricity at all. There are surges and cuts, which put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, so bring good quality items. The Peace Corps does not provide transformers. Batteries are available here, but their quality is sometimes questionable.  
  
 
===How much money should I bring?===
 
===How much money should I bring?===
  
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 to purchase a cell phone or for use during vacation travels to other countries. Though it's not entirely safe to keep a large amount of cash in your house or on your person, it is preferable to traveler's checks and credit cards.  Identity theft is quickly on the rise in Cameroon, and incidents happen even when paying with them at established places like the Hilton.  Most volunteers who bring traveler's checks end up never using them because they are rarely accepted and expensive to cash. If you are bringing extra money to spend within Cameroon, then bring cash. You can convert it to local currency (Fcfa) and deposit it in your bank, or store it in your own envelope in the administrative safe in the Peace Corps Headquarters in Yaoundé. ATM cards are coming into much wider use in Africa and may also be beneficial while traveling. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.
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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. For security purposes credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. However, banks charge quite a large fee to cash traveler’s checks. If you choose to bring extra money, plan on bringing the amount that suits your own personal travel plans and needs.  
  
 
===When can I take vacation and have people visit me?===
 
===When can I take vacation and have people visit me?===
  
Each Volunteer accrues 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. 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 work. Extended 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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Each Volunteer accrues 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. 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 work. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from the country director. The Peace Corps cannot provide your visitors with visa or travel assistance.  
  
===Will my belongings be covered by insurance?===
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===Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ===
  
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 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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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. However, such insurance can be purchased before you leave. Ultimately, Volunteers are responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. If you wish, contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be available and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Additional information about insurance should be obtained by calling the company directly.
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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.
  
 
===Do I need an international driver’s license?===
 
===Do I need an international driver’s license?===
  
Volunteers in Cameroon 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, bicycles, and lots of walking. On very rare occasions, a Volunteer may be asked to drive a sponsor’s vehicle, but this can occur only with prior written permission of the country director. Should this occur, the Volunteer may obtain a local driver’s license. A U.S. driver’s license will facilitate the process, so bring it with you just in case.  
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Volunteers in Cape Verde do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of privately owned vehicles is prohibited. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses to mini-buses to trucks to a lot of walking. On very rare occasions, a Volunteer may be asked to drive a sponsor’s vehicle,but this is only with prior written permission from the country director. Should this occur, the Volunteer may obtain a local driver’s license. Your U.S. driver’s license will facilitate the process, so bring it with you just in case.  
  
===What should I bring as gifts for Cameroonian friends and my host family? ===
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===What should I bring as gifts for friends and my host family? ===
  
This 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; maps of the world or Africa; souvenirs from your area; or photos to give away.
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This is not a requirement, and be aware of what effect such a precedence may have on future Volunteers where you live. A token of friendship is sufficient. Some gift suggestions include: “knick-knacks” for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.  
  
 
===Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be? ===
 
===Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be? ===
  
Peace Corps trainees are not assigned to individual sites until mid-way through pre-service training (PST), and are not actually posted at that site until they successfully complete PST. This gives the Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with their ministry 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, keep in mind that many factors influence the site selection process and that the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural villages and are usually within one hour from another Volunteer. Some sites require a 10-to-12 hour drive from the provincial capital.
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Peace Corps trainees are not assigned sites until after they have successfully completed pre-service training. This gives the Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with their counterparts.  
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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, but will usually be within one hour from the nearest Volunteer. There will be at least one Volunteer based on seven of the nine inhabited islands, no one on Brava or Boavista and up to five Volunteers in the capital city.  
  
 
===How can my family contact me in an emergency?===
 
===How can my family contact me in an emergency?===
  
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 call the country desk staff at the Peace Corps at 800.424.8580.  
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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 1.800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can always be reached at 202.638.2574.  
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For non-emergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 1.800.424.8580, and dialing extension 2317 or 2318.
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===Can I call home from Cape Verde?===
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International phone service to and from Cape Verde is reasonably good. Calling cards may be used from some telephones. Before leaving the United States, check with your international long distance company to see whether they provide services in Cape Verde. Most Volunteers have telephones in their homes and for a fee (it is significantly more expensive to make calls from Cape Verde to the U.S. than the other way around) many of you will be able to call the U.S. with little difficulty.
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===Should I bring a cellular phone with me?===
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Cellphones are available and widely used in Cape Verde, however SIM cards are very expensive and services have not reached some remote areas. Your cellphone from the U.S. will only work here if it is unlocked and works on a GSM network. Cellphones are targets for thefts. Use at your own discretion.
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===Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?===
  
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E-mail access is available in all cities and most small towns. It is not yet available in some remote areas. Many Volunteers find it a great advantage to have their computers with them for work and Internet use. Please note, however, that your computer will be of limited use if you are posted in a remote site.
  
[[Category:Cameroon]]
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[[Category:Cape Verde]]

Revision as of 10:15, 8 December 2015

Country Resources

How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Cape Verde?

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 limitations, and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limitations. 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 70 pounds for any one bag. DUE TO REGULAR CHANGES IN AIRLINE BAGGAGE LIMIT POLICIES IN RECENT YEARS, PLEASE VERIFY THIS INFORMATION PRIOR TO 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 Cape Verde?

The electric current in Cape Verde is 220 volts. Some sites do not have electricity 24 hours a day, but only for part of the day, while others do not have electricity at all. There are surges and cuts, which put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, so bring good quality items. The Peace Corps does not provide transformers. Batteries are available here, but their quality is sometimes questionable.

How much money should I bring?

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. For security purposes credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. However, banks charge quite a large fee to cash traveler’s checks. If you choose to bring extra money, plan on bringing the amount that suits your own personal travel plans and needs.

When can I take vacation and have people visit me?

Each Volunteer accrues 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. 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 work. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from the country director. The Peace Corps cannot provide your visitors with visa or travel assistance.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. However, such insurance can be purchased before you leave. Ultimately, Volunteers are responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. If you wish, contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be available and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Additional information about insurance should be obtained by calling the company directly.

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.

Do I need an international driver’s license?

Volunteers in Cape Verde do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of privately owned vehicles is prohibited. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses to mini-buses to trucks to a lot of walking. On very rare occasions, a Volunteer may be asked to drive a sponsor’s vehicle,but this is only with prior written permission from the country director. Should this occur, the Volunteer may obtain a local driver’s license. Your U.S. driver’s license will facilitate the process, so bring it with you just in case.

What should I bring as gifts for friends and my host family?

This is not a requirement, and be aware of what effect such a precedence may have on future Volunteers where you live. A token of friendship is sufficient. Some gift suggestions include: “knick-knacks” for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.

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

Peace Corps trainees are not assigned sites until after they have successfully completed pre-service training. This gives the Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing 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, but will usually be within one hour from the nearest Volunteer. There will be at least one Volunteer based on seven of the nine inhabited islands, no one on Brava or Boavista and up to five Volunteers in the capital city.

How can my family contact me in an emergency?

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 1.800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can always be reached at 202.638.2574.

For non-emergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 1.800.424.8580, and dialing extension 2317 or 2318.

Can I call home from Cape Verde?

International phone service to and from Cape Verde is reasonably good. Calling cards may be used from some telephones. Before leaving the United States, check with your international long distance company to see whether they provide services in Cape Verde. Most Volunteers have telephones in their homes and for a fee (it is significantly more expensive to make calls from Cape Verde to the U.S. than the other way around) many of you will be able to call the U.S. with little difficulty.

Should I bring a cellular phone with me?

Cellphones are available and widely used in Cape Verde, however SIM cards are very expensive and services have not reached some remote areas. Your cellphone from the U.S. will only work here if it is unlocked and works on a GSM network. Cellphones are targets for thefts. Use at your own discretion.

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

E-mail access is available in all cities and most small towns. It is not yet available in some remote areas. Many Volunteers find it a great advantage to have their computers with them for work and Internet use. Please note, however, that your computer will be of limited use if you are posted in a remote site.