Difference between pages "FAQs about Peace Corps in The Gambia" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Ghana"

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==How much luggage am I allowed to bring?==
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===How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Ghana?===
  
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 70 pounds for any one bag.  
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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.  
  
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.  
+
Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (short-wave 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. Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permittedprohibited-items.shtm.  
  
==What is the electric current?==
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===What is the electric current in Ghana?===
  
The electric current is 220 volts, but electricity is extremely irregular outside Banjul and in rural areas.  
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If you have electricity, the current is 50 cycles, 220 volts.  There are surges and cuts, which put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, so bring good-quality items. We recommend CD players that use “D” batteries since “C” batteries are a little harder to find. “AA,” as well as watch and calculator batteries, are easy to find. Highly recommend rechargeable batteries.  
  
==How much money should I bring?==
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===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. If you bring extra money, U.S. dollars and traveler’s checks are recommended because credit cards are not widely accepted (though they are useful for travel outside the country and cash advances). Personal checks can be cashed, and if you think you will be doing any banking with U.S.  banks, bring a checkbook.  
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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. Travelers checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, plan on bringing the amount that suits your own personal travel plans and needs.  
  
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===When can I take vacation and have people visit me?===
  
==When can I take vacation and have people visit me?==
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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 after the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work.  Long-term visitors are only permitted with the prior approval of the Contry Director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa or travel assistance. However, if your family or friends plan to visit you in Ghana, they are welcome to contact the Peace Corps/Ghana country desk at Peace Corps headquarters at 202.692.2326/7 for a letter addressed to the Ghanaian Embassy, requesting their assistance to obtain a tourist visa.
  
Volunteers accrue 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.
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===Will my belongings be covered by insurance?===
  
==Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ==
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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. Such insurance can be purchased before you leave. Ultimately, Volunteers are responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms have been enclosed, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Further information about insurance should be obtained by calling the company directly.
  
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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Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, iPods, laptop computers, 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?==
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===Do I need an international driver’s license?===
  
Volunteers in The Gambia do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned motorized vehicles. Most local travel is by bush taxi.  
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Volunteers in Ghana do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of vehicles is prohibited.  
  
==What should I bring as gifts for Gambian friends and my host family? ==
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===What should I bring as gifts for Ghanaian friends and my host family? ===
  
This is not a requirement. Small tokens of friendship are sufficient.  
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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; 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? ==
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===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 after they have begun pre-service training. This gives Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s skills and needs in order to make a placement that will be mutually beneficial to the Volunteer and the assigned community.  
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Peace Corps trainees in Ghana are assigned to individual sites during the second week of pre-service training. Most Volunteers will live in small towns or in rural villages, but will usually be within three to four hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites will require a two- to three-day drive from the capital.  
  
==How can my family contact me in an emergency?==
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===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 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, extension 2317 or 2318.  
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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, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the special services duty officer can 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 800.424.8580, extension 2327/6.  
  
==Can I call home?==
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===Can I call home from Ghana?===
  
You will need an international phone card to call the United States. The Gambia’s public telephone company, Gamtel, provides phone service in larger towns and villages throughout The Gambia. In smaller villages, there are coin-operated public phone booths that you can use to reach an AT&T or MCI operator for international calls. There are also many “telecenters” around the country, which may charge a bit more than Gamtel.  
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Yes. The international phone service to and from Ghana is good. The Ghana telephone agency has offices and phone booths located in major cities and some smaller towns. There are direct lines to the United States in regional capitals. You can purchase a phone card locally to make international calls, or see mobile phones, below.
  
==Should I bring a cellular phone with me?==
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===Should I bring a cellular phone with me?===
  
Differences in technology make most U.S. cellular phones incompatible with the cellular service in The Gambia. Local communication methods are reliable enough and are more compatible with the Peace Corps’ belief that Volunteers should live modestly at the level of their local colleagues.  
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Peace Corps does not provide money for a mobile phone. Most Ghanians you come in contact with these days have mobile phones (if not the call credit to use them). If you need a cell phone for your job, or for contact with family abroad, there are many available to purchase in Ghana although coverage is not yet available in all parts of the country.
  
==Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ==
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===Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ===
  
Because the availability of electricity is so sporadic in the rural areas where most Volunteers live, it is inadvisable to bring your own computer. Volunteers have access to e-mail and the Internet at the main Peace Corps office and some Volunteers also have access to e-mail at the schools where they teach.  
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There are more and more places (Internet cafés and com centers) springing up around Ghana although most are still in the larger towns and cities. Most Volunteers are able to access such places once a month or, at best, once a week.  There are Peace Corps Volunteers with laptops, and some find them useful in their jobs. Even if you do not bring a laptop, it is recommended that you bring a high density memory stick, sometimes called a pen drive or flash drive. They can hold huge quantities of data. Volunteers like to keep letters, e-mails, photos, and project proposals, lesson plans, etc. They are far more reliable than floppy disks or CDs. They can be purchased for around $30 (U.S.).  
  
[[Category:The Gambia]]
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[[Category:Ghana]]

Revision as of 10:15, 8 December 2015

Country Resources

How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Ghana?

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.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (short-wave 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. Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permittedprohibited-items.shtm.

What is the electric current in Ghana?

If you have electricity, the current is 50 cycles, 220 volts. There are surges and cuts, which put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, so bring good-quality items. We recommend CD players that use “D” batteries since “C” batteries are a little harder to find. “AA,” as well as watch and calculator batteries, are easy to find. Highly recommend rechargeable batteries.

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. Travelers checks are preferable to cash. 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 after the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. Long-term visitors are only permitted with the prior approval of the Contry Director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa or travel assistance. However, if your family or friends plan to visit you in Ghana, they are welcome to contact the Peace Corps/Ghana country desk at Peace Corps headquarters at 202.692.2326/7 for a letter addressed to the Ghanaian Embassy, requesting their assistance to obtain a tourist visa.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?

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

Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, iPods, laptop computers, 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 Ghana do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of vehicles is prohibited.

What should I bring as gifts for Ghanaian 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; 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 in Ghana are assigned to individual sites during the second week of pre-service training. Most Volunteers will live in small towns or in rural villages, but will usually be within three to four hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites will require a two- to three-day drive from the capital.

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 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 non-emergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2327/6.

Can I call home from Ghana?

Yes. The international phone service to and from Ghana is good. The Ghana telephone agency has offices and phone booths located in major cities and some smaller towns. There are direct lines to the United States in regional capitals. You can purchase a phone card locally to make international calls, or see mobile phones, below.

Should I bring a cellular phone with me?

Peace Corps does not provide money for a mobile phone. Most Ghanians you come in contact with these days have mobile phones (if not the call credit to use them). If you need a cell phone for your job, or for contact with family abroad, there are many available to purchase in Ghana although coverage is not yet available in all parts of the country.

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

There are more and more places (Internet cafés and com centers) springing up around Ghana although most are still in the larger towns and cities. Most Volunteers are able to access such places once a month or, at best, once a week. There are Peace Corps Volunteers with laptops, and some find them useful in their jobs. Even if you do not bring a laptop, it is recommended that you bring a high density memory stick, sometimes called a pen drive or flash drive. They can hold huge quantities of data. Volunteers like to keep letters, e-mails, photos, and project proposals, lesson plans, etc. They are far more reliable than floppy disks or CDs. They can be purchased for around $30 (U.S.).