Difference between pages "Lesotho" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Mongolia"

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{{CountryboxAlternative
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{{FAQs by country}}
|Countryname= Lesotho
 
|CountryCode = lt
 
|status= [[ACTIVE]]
 
|Flag= Flag_of_Lesotho.svg
 
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/lswb632.pdf
 
|Region= [[Africa]]
 
|CountryDirector= [[Edward Mooney]]
 
|Sectors= [[Education]]<br> ([[APCD]]: [[Clement Lephoto]])<br> [[Community Health and Economic Development]]
 
|ProgramDates= [[1967]] - [[Present]]
 
|CurrentlyServing= 88
 
|TotalVolunteers= 2030
 
|Languages= [[Sesotho]], [[English]]
 
|Map= Lt-map.gif
 
|stagingdate= Jun 1 2010
 
|stagingcity= Philadelphia
 
}}
 
  
Peace Corps was invited to work in Lesotho in 1967, one year after the country gained
 
independence from Great Britain. Nearly 1,900 Volunteers have served in Lesotho over 37
 
years, most being assigned to education and agriculture projects. Current programming
 
goals are based on community development projects that accommodate placements of
 
Volunteers in education and community health and development.
 
  
  
==Peace Corps History==
 
  
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Lesotho]]''
+
==How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Mongolia? ==
  
The Peace Corps was invited to work in Lesotho in 1967. Since that time, a relatively constant number of about 95 Volunteers have served at any given time in Lesotho, except for a brief time following a political uprising in 1998. Education, agriculture, and health have been the primary Peace Corps programs here. The focus of Volunteer placement has been rural development, which mirrors the country’s 85 percent rural population demography. Volunteers serve in all 10 districts of the country.
+
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 102 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 70 pounds for any one bag.  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/ permitted-prohibited-items.shtm.  
  
The current goals of Peace Corps/Lesotho programming are based on community development projects that place Volunteers in education, HIV/AIDS, the environment, and community economic development.  
+
Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters, 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? ==
  
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles==
+
It is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles. Outlets take European-style round pin plugs and, as a general rule, are not grounded.  You should consider bringing a voltage converter as well as a battery charger/adapter and several rechargeable batteries for flashlights and other battery-operated equipment. Candles are a necessity and are available locally.
  
''Main article: [[Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Lesotho]]''
+
==How much money should I bring? ==
  
You must be prepared for a number of hardships and for a lack of amenities that you are probably accustomed to in the United States. Each house will be simply furnished with a bed, a two-burner gas stove, and a heater for winter. You will probably have to walk a short distance to fetch water from a community water tap. Depending on where you are stationed, you may be required to use an outdoor pit latrine. The Peace Corps works with communities prior to the arrival of Volunteers at their sites to ensure safe and adequate housing. For a house to be considered suitable, it must have strong doors and windows, a good roof, and burglar bars. Many Volunteers live in a one-room rondavel (round house) with an outdoor pit latrine. Others may be provided housing on a school compound and may have electricity, indoor plumbing, and running water.
+
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 will cover most living 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.  
  
 +
==Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ==
  
==Training==
+
The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. Volunteers are 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.
  
''Main article: [[Training in Lesotho]]''
+
==Do I need an international driver’s license? ==
  
All new Volunteers arriving in Lesotho are provided with a nine- to 10-week pre-service training program prior to their posting. The training provides skills development in Sesotho, cross-cultural communication, and Volunteers’ particular job assignments. Sessions also cover specific medical and security conditions in Lesotho, first-aid instruction, and the historical, economic, political, and development issues facing Lesotho and southern Africa. Sesotho language classes and cultural training make up more than 65 percent of pre-service training.
+
Volunteers in Mongolia do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of motorized vehicles by Volunteers in Mongolia is strictly prohibited.  
  
Training is a special time that may, at times, seem very intense. During training, the Peace Corps gives you the knowledge and training necessary to become a productive Peace Corps Volunteer. Sometimes the knowledge given to you may not seem relevant to what you think you will be doing as a Volunteer. However, it is usually months after becoming a Volunteer that you realize why the Peace Corps trained you in these areas. Coming to training with an open mind and the ability to be flexible will help you adjust to a new environment and the journey you are about to undertake.
+
==What should I bring as gifts for Mongolian friends and my host family? ==
  
New Volunteers recruited to work in Lesotho are brought into the country in two training groups annually. One group, consisting of education Volunteers, arrives in mid October to early November, and a second group of community health and development Volunteers arrives in June.  
+
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. Mongolians will enjoy seeing pictures of your home and family.  
  
 +
==When can I take vacation and have people visit me? ==
  
==Your Health Care and Safety==
+
Each Volunteer accrues two annual leave (vacation days) per month of service, excluding training. Annual leave may not be taken during training or during the first three months or last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. In addition to vacation days, Volunteers also accrue in-country leave days, which allow them time away from site to visit friends and to get to know Mongolia. 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.  Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps cannot provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance. Weather conditions throughout the year make travel to and within Mongolia difficult.
  
''Main article: [[Health Care and Safety in Lesotho]]''
+
==Where will my site assignment be when I finish training, and how isolated will I be? ==
  
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps/Lesotho maintains a health unit with two full-time medical officers, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Lesotho and South Africa. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported to a medical facility in South Africa or to the United States.
+
Peace Corps trainees are assigned to individual sites toward the end of 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 counterpart agencies. 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. Site assignments are based on the following factors, in order of priority: (1) the community’s request and needs, (2) the Volunteer’s skills and experience, and (3) the Volunteer’s interests and preferences.  
  
 +
Most Volunteers will live in aimag centers (provincial centers of 10,000 to 20,000 people) or soums (provincial villages of 1,000 to 10,000), and will generally be one to three hours from the nearest fellow Volunteer. Some sites are as far as a 10- to 30-hour drive away from the capital.
  
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
+
==How do Volunteers deal with the pressure to drink on social occasions? ==
  
''Main article: [[Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Lesotho]]''
+
Some Volunteers choose not to drink and occasionally may have to put up with disappoval from Mongolians as a result.  Some choose to drink only beer or wine, and others take just a sip or put a little on the tips of their fingers and do a ceremonial offering (you will learn more about this in training). Mongolians are usually respectful of these efforts and do not expect you to drink more. It is ultimately up to you to decide how to handle alcohol responsibly.
  
Perhaps because Lesotho is rooted in the fusion of a variety of tribes and traditions, Basotho culture tends to emphasize conformity over diversity. The size, complexity, and diversity of American culture continue to surprise many Basotho.
+
==Are the heating systems as poor as some have said? ==
  
Although apartheid is officially a policy of the past, and there have been great changes in neighboring South Africa, its history continues to influence the region. Many Basotho have experienced the now defunct apartheid system. Hence, relations between certain Basotho and any white person can be, at first, somewhat strained. For the most part, however, Basotho differentiate quite readily between white Volunteers and other whites in the region. Foreigners are generally perceived as guests and treated with respect and care. Basotho also enjoy good relations with large numbers of their white South African neighbors.  
+
Yes, some are. Many Volunteers report being able to see their breath when teaching at schools. Housing may not have good heating, either. Some solutions are to wear layers, to become cozy with your Peace Corps-issued space heater, and to become a competent fire builder.  Also how well you insulate your home or apartment makes a considerable difference.  Many nationals are usually happy to assist you in insulating your home or apartment to get ready for the harsh winter.
  
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
+
==Where will I eat during pre-service training? ==
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
 
* Possible Issues for Married Volunteers
 
  
 +
During training you will live with a host family, who will provide your breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays and weekends. This can be difficult for some Volunteers because they do not have full control over what they eat. Some trainees have even offered to cook for their host family as a strategy to eat a mutton-free meal. Once you get to your site, you will have more control over your diet.
  
==Frequently Asked questions==
+
==My friends and family keep telling me to pack toilet paper—is this necessary? ==
  
{{Volunteersurvey2008
+
No. While most of the toilet paper in Mongolia is not quilted or soft, you do not need to pack any—all the toilet paper you need can be bought locally. You can even find baby wipes.  
|H1r=  4
 
|H1s=  81
 
|H2r=  2
 
|H2s=  94
 
|H3r=  5
 
|H3s=  90
 
|H4r=  13
 
|H4s=  111
 
|H5r=  19
 
|H5s=  56.8
 
|H6r=  31
 
|H6s=  86.1
 
}}
 
  
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Lesotho]]''
+
==How can my family contact me in an emergency? ==
  
I have just been accepted for an assignment in Lesotho; is there anything I should be doing to get ready?
+
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, extension 2416 or 2413.
  
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Lesotho?
+
[[Category:Mongolia]]
* What is the electric current in Lesotho?
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* When can I take vacation?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
 
* Should I bring gifts for friends and my host family?
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training?
 
* Can I call home from Lesotho?
 
 
 
 
 
==Packing List==
 
 
 
''Main article: [[Packing List for Lesotho]]''
 
 
 
People preparing to come to Lesotho are, of course, interested in finding out what items and clothing they should bring. The problem in preparing such a list is that even the best suggestions are subject to variations and changes, depending on your personal interests and style. There is no perfect list! In the past, many Volunteers have regretted bringing half of what they packed. Almost everything you could want or need is available in-country, so do not load up on a lot of basic items.
 
 
 
Volunteers must prepare themselves for extremes in climate (up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and below freezing in winter). You may have to discard a lot of preconceived ideas of Africa, including visions of hot, steamy jungles. Sweaters and coats are a must because there is no central heating, and buildings get very cold when nighttime temperatures drop below freezing. Some buildings have fireplaces or heaters, but they typically heat only a small area. All clothes should be washable and comfortable. You will most likely do your laundry by hand in cold water, so bring clothes that can take that kind of treatment. There is a lot of wind, dust, and dirt, and clothes need to be washed frequently.
 
 
 
* General Clothing
 
* For Men
 
* Kitchen
 
* Miscellaneous
 
 
 
==Peace Corps News==
 
 
 
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
 
 
 
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22lesotho%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
 
 
 
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/lt/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
 
 
 
==Country Fund==
 
 
 
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=632-CFD Lesotho Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Lesotho. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
 
 
 
==See also==
 
* [[Volunteers who served in Lesotho]]
 
* [[Friends of Lesotho]]
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 
* [[List of resources for Lesotho]]
 
 
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/lt.html Peace Corps Journals - Lesotho]
 
 
 
[[Category:Lesotho]] [[Category:Africa]]
 
[[Category:Country]]
 

Latest revision as of 13:15, 23 August 2016

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 will I be allowed to bring to Mongolia?

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 102 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 70 pounds for any one bag. 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/ permitted-prohibited-items.shtm.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters, 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?

It is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles. Outlets take European-style round pin plugs and, as a general rule, are not grounded. You should consider bringing a voltage converter as well as a battery charger/adapter and several rechargeable batteries for flashlights and other battery-operated equipment. Candles are a necessity and are available locally.

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 will cover most living 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.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. Volunteers are 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?

Volunteers in Mongolia do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of motorized vehicles by Volunteers in Mongolia is strictly prohibited.

What should I bring as gifts for Mongolian 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. Mongolians will enjoy seeing pictures of your home and family.

When can I take vacation and have people visit me?

Each Volunteer accrues two annual leave (vacation days) per month of service, excluding training. Annual leave may not be taken during training or during the first three months or last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. In addition to vacation days, Volunteers also accrue in-country leave days, which allow them time away from site to visit friends and to get to know Mongolia. 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. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps cannot provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance. Weather conditions throughout the year make travel to and within Mongolia difficult.

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

Peace Corps trainees are assigned to individual sites toward the end of 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 counterpart agencies. 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. Site assignments are based on the following factors, in order of priority: (1) the community’s request and needs, (2) the Volunteer’s skills and experience, and (3) the Volunteer’s interests and preferences.

Most Volunteers will live in aimag centers (provincial centers of 10,000 to 20,000 people) or soums (provincial villages of 1,000 to 10,000), and will generally be one to three hours from the nearest fellow Volunteer. Some sites are as far as a 10- to 30-hour drive away from the capital.

How do Volunteers deal with the pressure to drink on social occasions?

Some Volunteers choose not to drink and occasionally may have to put up with disappoval from Mongolians as a result. Some choose to drink only beer or wine, and others take just a sip or put a little on the tips of their fingers and do a ceremonial offering (you will learn more about this in training). Mongolians are usually respectful of these efforts and do not expect you to drink more. It is ultimately up to you to decide how to handle alcohol responsibly.

Are the heating systems as poor as some have said?

Yes, some are. Many Volunteers report being able to see their breath when teaching at schools. Housing may not have good heating, either. Some solutions are to wear layers, to become cozy with your Peace Corps-issued space heater, and to become a competent fire builder. Also how well you insulate your home or apartment makes a considerable difference. Many nationals are usually happy to assist you in insulating your home or apartment to get ready for the harsh winter.

Where will I eat during pre-service training?

During training you will live with a host family, who will provide your breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays and weekends. This can be difficult for some Volunteers because they do not have full control over what they eat. Some trainees have even offered to cook for their host family as a strategy to eat a mutton-free meal. Once you get to your site, you will have more control over your diet.

My friends and family keep telling me to pack toilet paper—is this necessary?

No. While most of the toilet paper in Mongolia is not quilted or soft, you do not need to pack any—all the toilet paper you need can be bought locally. You can even find baby wipes.

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, extension 2416 or 2413.