Difference between pages "Charles Sloan Jr." and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Namibia"

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{{volunteerinfobox
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{{FAQs by country}}
|firstname= Charles
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|middlename= 
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|lastname= Sloan Jr.
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|country= Tanzania
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|yearservicestarted= 1992
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|yearserviceended= 1994
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|site= Kartu
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|site2=
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|group= {{{group}}
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|program= Education
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|assignment01= Literacy Ed.
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|assignment02=
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|assignment03=
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|editor=
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|editorname= Willd
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}}
+
  
== About==
 
  
Charles Sloan, Jr., Manager of [[Nianjema Secondary School]], former Peace Corps Volunteer, USA citizen, graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
 
  
Charlie Sloan entered into the Peace Corps in November, 1992. He was assigned to teach math and science at Karatu Secondary and High School in Karatu, Tanzania. It was a government boarding school located in a small town about halfway between Arusha, a large city and Ngorogoro Crater, a world-famous park, each several hours away.
 
One of his students was Frank Manase,a personable, bright and eager-to-learn young fellow. As time went by the teacher and student became friends. Charlie taught him to play chess and they played often together. Charlie encouraged Frank to continue his education. Frank went to the university to study medicine.
 
  
After Charlie finished his Peace Corps tour he remained in Tanzania, teaching at a girls school in Bagamoyo. In 1999 he realized that there were as many smart young people on the street as in school. Tanzania was educating only 20% of its eligible students. Why not build a new school? He looked up Frank Manase who was in medical school in Dar es Salaam. Frank liked the idea and encouraged Charlie. Frank had a brother, Dan who was an architect looking for work and an uncle, Gideon who understood government red tape. They agreed to work together to build a school to be called Nianjema -"Good Intentions" in Swahili.
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===How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Namibia? ===
  
Charlie took the remaining money in his college fund and purchased 15 acres of vacant land in Bagamoyo and persuaded his parents to start fund-raising in the United States. The school opened to 90 students in 2000. Charlie organized the school and now manages itday-to-day. Frank Manase,
+
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.  
M.D. chairs the school board and provides advice. Dan Manase designed all the buildings and supervises construction.
+
  
As of January 2009 Nianjema Secondary and High School has a 25 acre campus, with three large classroom buildings, science lab, a library, computer lab, large assembly hall, administration building, two large student hostels and nine houses for teachers. Under construction are two more large classroom buildings, another science lab and high school library. There are over 400 students in the school. The students test scores place the school in the top 10-20% of all schools in Tanzania, despite the fact that all the best students are offered scholarships at government schools.
+
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.  
Charlie had the idea and the vision and put it all together. The spark came from Frank Manase. All this started with a friendly game of chess.
+
  
== Article from Virginia Tech Magazine ==
+
===What is the electric current in Namibia? ===
+
Source: http://www.vtmagazine.vt.edu/sum05/shorts.html
+
  
''"In the United States, a free public education is a right granted to every child. In [[Tanzania]], however, limited facilities mean that only 20 percent of eligible students attend secondary school.
+
It is 220 volts, 50 cycles. You will need a transformer to use American appliances such as hair dryers or battery chargers, but computers are equipped to handle the change in voltage.  Namibian outlets use the three-pronged plug common in South Africa; adapters can be purchased inexpensively (about N$50) in Windhoek and other towns.
  
Seeing this shortage firsthand, former Peace Corps volunteer Charlie Sloan (mechanical engineering '92), who had taught at a government boarding school and a private school in Tanzania, knew something needed to be done. At his father's suggestion, Sloan and three Tanzanian friends began construction of a school on a 15-acre plot in [[Bagamoyo]], a port town on the Indian Ocean, and in January 2001, [[Nianjema Secondary School]] opened its doors to 90 students.
+
===How much money should I bring? ===
  
The original building plan contained only four classrooms, but thanks to efforts spearheaded by Sloan's parents in Vienna, Va., the school received money and supplies from more than 200 donors. As a result of this ongoing benevolence, [[Nianjema School]] now has 12 classrooms, two science labs, and two computer labs, and 16 faculty members teach classes in English, math, biology, chemistry, physics, [[Kiswahili]] (the local language), history, geography, civics, commerce, bookkeeping, and computer studies to more than 200 students.
+
Volunteers are expected to live at the same economic 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 and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs. Note that Visa cards can be used to obtain cash at most banks in Namibia, reducing the risk of carrying a lot of cash.
  
As school manager and accountant, Sloan contributes to every aspect of running the school, as well as advising the library and teaching sports. "I'm involved pretty much anywhere money is involved," he admits. "But I also advise the principal about starting new programs for the students and adjusting the way things are run." Those adjustments include plans to expand the school even more. "As I go along," Sloan says, "my dreams get bigger and bigger, more and more possible."
+
Newly arriving Volunteers will be given a week of "walk-around" allowance (N$20/day) upon their arrival in Namibia, which should be sufficient to purchase basic items (such as toiletries) that the Trainee may need.
  
Sloan and other school officials are also making plans to build hostels for the students and a high school and a primary school to increase the area's educational opportunities. They also hope to build a hospital to improve the quality of medical care available to local residents. Currently, medical treatment is limited, and patients often die as a result of negligence, lack of equipment, and reluctance to seek medical help early. "It is very hard work," Sloan says, "but it is satisfying dreaming up the world and then making it happen."
+
Volunteers planning to travel from Namibia to other countries in the region (especially Zambia and Zimbabwe) during their service are advised to have U.S. dollars available (either in cash or a bank account), as most foreign visas will need to be paid in U.S. dollars.  Exchange rates between Namibian and U.S. dollars vary, but the fees associated with currency exchange are frequently high.
  
In the United States, a free public education is a right granted to every child. In [[Tanzania]], however, limited facilities mean that only 20 percent of eligible students attend secondary school.
+
===When can I take vacation and have people visit me? ===
  
Seeing this shortage firsthand, former Peace Corps volunteer Charlie Sloan (mechanical engineering '92), who had taught at a government boarding school and a private school in [[Tanzania]], knew something needed to be done. At his father's suggestion, Sloan and three Tanzanian friends began construction of a school on a 15-acre plot in Bagamoyo, a port town on the Indian Ocean, and in January 2001, [[Nianjema Secondary School]] opened its doors to 90 students.
+
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.
  
The original building plan contained only four classrooms, but thanks to efforts spearheaded by Sloan's parents in Vienna, Va., the school received money and supplies from more than 200 donors. As a result of this ongoing benevolence, [[Nianjema School]] now has 12 classrooms, two science labs, and two computer labs, and 16 faculty members teach classes in English, math, biology, chemistry, physics, [[Kiswahili]] (the local language), history, geography, civics, commerce, bookkeeping, and computer studies to more than 200 students.
+
Volunteers working in schools should keep in mind that Namibian schools run year-round, with longer breaks in between terms rather than one long "summer vacation" as is common in the U.S. The exact dates of school holidays vary from year to year, but in general fall in late April/early May (approx. 3 weeks), late August/early September (approx. 2 weeks), and December/mid-January (approx. 6 weeks).  Volunteers working in schools are not permitted to take annual leave during school terms except in emergency or other extraordinary circumstances.
  
As school manager and accountant, Sloan contributes to every aspect of running the school, as well as advising the library and teaching sports. "I'm involved pretty much anywhere money is involved," he admits. "But I also advise the principal about starting new programs for the students and adjusting the way things are run." Those adjustments include plans to expand the school even more. "As I go along," Sloan says, "my dreams get bigger and bigger, more and more possible."
+
===Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ===
  
Sloan and other school officials are also making plans to build hostels for the students and a high school and a primary school to increase the area's educational opportunities. They also hope to build a hospital to improve the quality of medical care available to local residents. Currently, medical treatment is limited, and patients often die as a result of negligence, lack of equipment, and reluctance to seek medical help early. "It is very hard work," Sloan says, "but it is satisfying dreaming up the world and then making it happen."''
+
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.  
  
Source: http://www.vtmagazine.vt.edu/sum05/shorts.html
+
===Do I need an international driver’s license? ===
  
For more information on[[ Nianjema School]], visit http://www.TanzaniaEducation.org.
+
No.  Volunteers in Namibia are permitted to drive only while on approved annual leave; your U.S. driver's license will suffice for this purpose and is also acceptable for driving in other southern African countries (South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).
  
 +
===What should I bring as gifts for Namibian friends and my host family? ===
  
[[category:Volunteers]]
+
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 are not assigned to individual sites until week 2 in the training period. 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.  The primary factor in assigning sites is the match between the opportunities and interests at a site and the skills and interests of the Volunteer. The Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural villages. In the densely populated north of Namibia, you may be within an hour from another Volunteer. In the southern part, you may be two to four hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites require a 10- to 12-hour 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 nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580.
 +
 
 +
===Can I call home from Namibia? ===
 +
 
 +
Yes. Most telephones and cellphones can be used for international calls or text messages.  Volunteers often call home and, in a brief exchange, ask to be called back, or prearrange a time for someone to call them.  Certain U.S. cellphone providers are not compatible with Namibian cellphone providers; for example, calls cannot be made by MTC customers (in Namibia) to Verizon Wireless customers (in the U.S.).
 +
 
 +
Calls can also be made to Volunteers' cellphones from services such as Skype at a low cost.
 +
 
 +
===Should I bring a cellular phone with me? ===
 +
 
 +
Cellular phone service is growing in Namibia and is available in most rural areas where Volunteers serve. Fewer than 5 percent of currently serving Volunteers live in areas with no or poor cellular phone coverage. Unfortunately, cellular phones purchased in the United States are not likely to operate in-country. You should plan on purchasing a local cellphone in Namibia.
 +
 
 +
===Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ===
 +
 
 +
Laptops are very useful for Volunteers in all sectors.  Volunteers in urban areas have more reliable access to electricity and internet services, but even those living in rural areas find laptops to be invaluable for work and entertainment purposes.  Like with any valuable, however, it is advisable to exercise caution in storing the laptop safely. A security cable is highly recommended and insurance coverage for the laptops and other valuables is advisable.  The climate, particularly the heat and dust, in Namibia can be very harsh on laptops and other electronic equipment.  A fan or other cooling device is strongly recommended for laptops.
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Namibia]]

Revision as of 13:58, 26 December 2010

FAQs about Peace Corps
  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
  • What is the electric current?
  • How much money should I bring?
  • When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
  • Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
  • Do I need an international driver’s license?
  • What should I bring as gifts for my host family?
  • Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
  • How can my family contact me in an emergency?
  • Can I call home?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
...and more...

For information see Welcomebooks



How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Namibia?

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.

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 Namibia?

It is 220 volts, 50 cycles. You will need a transformer to use American appliances such as hair dryers or battery chargers, but computers are equipped to handle the change in voltage. Namibian outlets use the three-pronged plug common in South Africa; adapters can be purchased inexpensively (about N$50) in Windhoek and other towns.

How much money should I bring?

Volunteers are expected to live at the same economic 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 and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs. Note that Visa cards can be used to obtain cash at most banks in Namibia, reducing the risk of carrying a lot of cash.

Newly arriving Volunteers will be given a week of "walk-around" allowance (N$20/day) upon their arrival in Namibia, which should be sufficient to purchase basic items (such as toiletries) that the Trainee may need.

Volunteers planning to travel from Namibia to other countries in the region (especially Zambia and Zimbabwe) during their service are advised to have U.S. dollars available (either in cash or a bank account), as most foreign visas will need to be paid in U.S. dollars. Exchange rates between Namibian and U.S. dollars vary, but the fees associated with currency exchange are frequently high.

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.

Volunteers working in schools should keep in mind that Namibian schools run year-round, with longer breaks in between terms rather than one long "summer vacation" as is common in the U.S. The exact dates of school holidays vary from year to year, but in general fall in late April/early May (approx. 3 weeks), late August/early September (approx. 2 weeks), and December/mid-January (approx. 6 weeks). Volunteers working in schools are not permitted to take annual leave during school terms except in emergency or other extraordinary circumstances.

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.

Do I need an international driver’s license?

No. Volunteers in Namibia are permitted to drive only while on approved annual leave; your U.S. driver's license will suffice for this purpose and is also acceptable for driving in other southern African countries (South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

What should I bring as gifts for Namibian 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 are not assigned to individual sites until week 2 in the training period. 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. The primary factor in assigning sites is the match between the opportunities and interests at a site and the skills and interests of the Volunteer. The Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural villages. In the densely populated north of Namibia, you may be within an hour from another Volunteer. In the southern part, you may be two to four hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites require a 10- to 12-hour 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 nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580.

Can I call home from Namibia?

Yes. Most telephones and cellphones can be used for international calls or text messages. Volunteers often call home and, in a brief exchange, ask to be called back, or prearrange a time for someone to call them. Certain U.S. cellphone providers are not compatible with Namibian cellphone providers; for example, calls cannot be made by MTC customers (in Namibia) to Verizon Wireless customers (in the U.S.).

Calls can also be made to Volunteers' cellphones from services such as Skype at a low cost.

Should I bring a cellular phone with me?

Cellular phone service is growing in Namibia and is available in most rural areas where Volunteers serve. Fewer than 5 percent of currently serving Volunteers live in areas with no or poor cellular phone coverage. Unfortunately, cellular phones purchased in the United States are not likely to operate in-country. You should plan on purchasing a local cellphone in Namibia.

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

Laptops are very useful for Volunteers in all sectors. Volunteers in urban areas have more reliable access to electricity and internet services, but even those living in rural areas find laptops to be invaluable for work and entertainment purposes. Like with any valuable, however, it is advisable to exercise caution in storing the laptop safely. A security cable is highly recommended and insurance coverage for the laptops and other valuables is advisable. The climate, particularly the heat and dust, in Namibia can be very harsh on laptops and other electronic equipment. A fan or other cooling device is strongly recommended for laptops.