Difference between pages "Volunteer discounts" and "Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger"

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<center><div style="border-right: 1px solid white; border-bottom: 1px solid white; background: white none repeat scroll 0% 0%; width: 20em; text-align: center; margin-right: 1em; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; font-size: 120%;"><div style="border: 1px solid rgb(170, 170, 170);"><div style="border-top: 1px solid white; border-left: 1px solid white;"><span class="plainlinks"> '''[http://peacecorpswiki.org/Volunteer_discounts?title=Volunteer_discounts&action=edit Click here to edit or add a new discount!]'''</span></div></div></div></center> <!-- (End of Code for the Button) -->
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==Confirmed Discounts==
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===Communications === not ture
  
 +
===Mail ===
  
===Camping and Travel Gear===
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Few countries in the world offer the level of mail service considered normal in the United States. If you expect U.S.  standards for mail service, you will be in for some frustration.  Some mail may simply not arrive (fortunately, this is not a frequent occurrence, but it does happen).
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
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Mail service in Niger is relatively good compared with that in other African countries. Letters and packages mailed from the United States by air (or from Niger to America) usually take two to six weeks to arrive. Packages mailed by surface typically take six months or more, so this method is not recommended. Note that incoming packages are subject to customs duties (generally small).
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! width="200pt"|Company
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! width="200pt"|Type
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! width="200pt"|Discount
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! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
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|-
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|[http://www.mhmgear.com/ MHM]
+
| Amazing packs!! You want to get one :)
+
| Peace Corps Deal 25% (cannot combine with sale items)
+
| Contact them via their website (www.mhmgear.com) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mhmgear) and provide verification (acceptance letter, follow up email from recruiting officer, or PC ID) You will receive a friendly quick response, the guys are super cool. (8/2013)
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|-
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|-
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Despite the delays, we strongly encourage you to write to your family regularly and to number your letters. Family members typically become worried when they do not hear from you, so it is a good idea to advise them that mail is sporadic and that they should not worry if they do not receive your letters regularly. You might also suggest that family and friends number their letters for tracking purposes and write “Airmail” and “Par Avion” on the envelopes. You should bring a supply of U.S. stamps for sending mail to the United States via travelers. DHL service is available in Niger, and though it is very expensive, this is the best way to mail valuable or time-sensitive items such as airplane tickets.
| [http://www.treklightgear.com Trek Light Gear]
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| Hammocks, Bug Nets, Ultralight Backpacks, more
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| 20% Off (not valid on sale items) (Up to 40% off for group orders - contact your fellow PCV's!)
+
| Just [http://www.treklightgear.com/contacts/ contact TLG] and you'll get a response ASAP to get your discount (you'll be asked to provide easy verification). For more information on how Trek Light has helped helped PCV's in the past, check out the post [http://www.treklightgear.com/treklife/peace-corps-hammocks/ Hammocks For The Peace Corps]. If you're already stationed Trek Light can easily ship international. TLG has been a huge supporter of PCV's so please support them back, their Bindle daypack and hammocks are essentials on your trip! (Current thru 2015)
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|-
+
  
|-
 
| [http://www.marmot.com/ Marmot]
 
| Outdoor gear
 
| Marmot offers a Professional Courtesy Program to Peace Corps Volunteers.  Discount may vary by product but is <b>substantial</b>. Selection is limited compared to regular online site (some products may be "out of stock," but you can request them). 10/31/14: Pro Account accepted, and discount is 50%.- 12/7/14 the discount is up to 50% off however it ranges more so around 42-45% off depending on the gear
 
| Apply for the program [http://marmot.promotive.com/action/index here], you should hear back within a couple business days.
 
  
|-
 
| [http://www.coleman.com/nonprofit Coleman]
 
| Outdoor gear
 
| Coleman offers a discounted pricing program for non-profit groups.  Discount varies by product. <b>must order for delivery in the states</b>
 
| Email their customer service department [http://www.coleman.com/coleman/feedback2.asp here] and ask if they provide discounts to Peace Corps volunteers. 12/12/11- Customer Service replied to my question saying they do not offer discounts to Peace Corps volunteers 1/13/14 - emailed customer service and attached invitation letter. Received promo code for 30%
 
|-
 
| [http://cascadedesigns.com/ Cascade Designs (MSR, Thermarest, Seal Line, Platypus, Tracks)]
 
| Outdoor Gear
 
| approximately 30%
 
| Email friends@cascadedesigns.com with your acceptance letter.  They will email back with information to register. Peace Corps are allowed to use a home address as the registered shipping address, since they only ship items to the United States. 11/28/11:  please email before submitting a registration. 09/2014- Still available!
 
|-
 
| [http://www.eaglecreek.com/ Eagle Creek]
 
| Travel Gear
 
| 30-50%
 
| Ask to join the Pro-Deal go to proshop.eaglecreek.com to apply for discount. 06/20/13 - 50% discount.
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [http://www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com ENO]
 
| Hammocks, Rain tarps, Stuff sacks
 
| 10%
 
| Email Customer Service
 
|-
 
| [http://www.hennessyhammock.com Hennessy Hammock]
 
| Camping Hammocks
 
| 50%. Must order at least ten at a time (talk to other PCVs to put together bulk order). They will ship internationally.
 
  40% If order individually
 
| Email Customer Service. This is a small company and they were really excited about this pro-deal. 2/19/11 just emailed and they confirmed 50% discount. No mention of a requirement to purchase 10 at a time.
 
|-
 
|[http://www.timbuk2.com Timbuk2]
 
|Messenger bags, backpacks, and laptop bags
 
|You get the "prodeal" 30% discount when you sign up.
 
|sign up [https://prodeal.timbuk2.com/tb2/pro/signin.htm here](I tried this and never got a response. I sent many emails and only part were returned. This did not work for me April 2011.  Update: The pro deal website didn't work for me either, so I emailed the Customer Support.  I got a quick friendly response from CS and they gave me a code for a single use as their pro deal website was down (April 12, 2011). 2/1/14 - pro deals all go through promotive. Apply online to [http://www.promotive.com/] to save 30%
 
|-
 
|[http://www.backcountry.com/ Backcountry.com]
 
| All the Best Outdoor Gear!
 
| Variable depending on product (average 20%-30%)
 
| Email: mcorey@backcountry.com and provide verification (acceptance letter, follow up email from recruiting officer, or PC ID)if emails are not sent to above email response may be delayed. Note emails responses are sent Mon.-Fri. You will receive a friendly quick response. (6/2013)
 
|-
 
  
|Eastern Mountain Sports
+
Your mailing address in Niger will be:
|Outdoor Gear, Clothing
+
|20% off retail price.
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|<u>In stores only</u>: ask for the "humanitarian discount." You will get 20% off your entire purchase. **(UPDATE AS OF 6/25/2014--Don't give the humanitarian discount anymore, but if you explain you're going into PC, they'll give you the student discount of 15% !)
+
  
|-
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Name of Trainee/Volunteer
  
|Samsonite
+
Corps de la Paix
|Luggage
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|10% off retail price.
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|<u>In stores confirmed, unsure online</u>:08/14/2014 at Samsonite outlet store, asked salesperson and he looked it up and told me that they offer 10%. Unsure if this is in all Samsonite stores, or just the outlet stores. Just ask for it !)
+
  
|-
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B.P. 10537
  
|[http://www.travelonbags.com/ Travelon]
+
Niamey, Niger
|Travel Accessories/Security Bags
+
|25% off
+
|<u>Online</u>:08/15/2014 contacted via Facebook and they provided me with a one time use code for 25% off
+
  
|-
 
|}
 
LuminAid  10% off use code "LuminAIDPeaceCorps"
 
  
===Clothing===
 
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
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===Telephones ===
|-
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! width="200pt"|Company
+
! width="200pt"|Type
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! width="200pt"|Discount
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! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
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|-
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|[http://www.ourtalkinghands.com/ Our Talking Hands]
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|Unique, high quality, handmade designs fashioned by Deaf Ghanaian Artisans - Founded by a PCV in 2009.
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|Our Talking Hands offers a 20% discount code to all PCVs and RPCVs.
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|Submit your invitation letter or DOS to ourtalkinghands@gmail.com.  They will send you a 20% OFF Discount Code that can be used at https://www.etsy.com/shop/OurTalkingHands on any purchase you make!
+
|-
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|[http://ministryofsupply.com/ Ministry of Supply]
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|Men's business attire engineered to be adaptable to any situation.
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|15% off Apollo Dress Shirts, perhaps other discounts available.
+
|Submit your invitation letter or DOS to q@ministryofsupply.com and explain your situation and what products you want.  They will have you call in to place an order and apply your discount over the phone. (Negotiated by a PCV)
+
|-
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|[http://www.runjanji.com/ Janji]
+
|Running Apparel that Gives Back
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|40% off for PCVs and RPCVs, 50% off if you serve in a country that we support. You pay shipping if outside US
+
|Email sam.bar@runjanji.com (RPCV Moz '11-'13) a scan of your invitation letter or DOS and he'll send you a discount code
+
|-
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| [http://www.bluffworks.com/ Bluffworks]
+
| Mens Pants for Work, Travel and Play
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| "Inspired by the performance of technical travel clothing, I built a pant that marries technical performance with office ready looks... I designed these pants to keep up with the rigors of my own life, where work, play, and travel frequently collide."
+
| Email the Bluffworks Team at team@bluffworks.com to receive a 20% discount for Peace Corps Volunteers. (Negotiated by PCV)
+
|-
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| [http://www.marmot.com/ Marmot]
+
| Outdoor clothing
+
| Marmot offers a Professional Courtesy Program to Peace Corps Volunteers.  Discount may vary by product but is <b>substantial</b>. Selection is limited compared to regular online site (some products may be "out of stock," but you can request them).  12/17/14 50% discount on clothing
+
| Apply for the program [http://marmot.promotive.com/action/index here], you should hear back within a couple business days.
+
|-
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| [http://www.ae.com/ American Eagle Outfitters]
+
| Men's and Women's Clothing
+
| 20% off ALL AEO and Aerie clothing
+
| Call customer service (1-888-232-4535)to speak with a customer service rep. 7/25/14: received discount after submitting Peace Corps verification via email. Orders using this discount will have to be placed over the phone, in coordination with a rep.
+
|-
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| [http://www.thenorthface.com/ The North Face]
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| Outdoor Clothing
+
| The North Face offers a Pro Pricing Program to Peace Corps Volunteers.  Discount may vary by product but is <b>substantial</b>. Selection is limited compared to regular online site (some products may be "out of stock," but you can request them).
+
| Apply for the program [http://thenorthface.promotive.com/action/index here], you should hear back within a couple business days. **5/11/11: The program is not accepting new applicants. The Pro program is apparently under review for possible termination. 11/28/11: The program is back, but no longer offers discounts to Peace Corps Volunteers.  (Policy change-no more discounts)
+
|-
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| [http://www.exofficio.com/ ExOfficio]
+
| Outdoor Clothing
+
| 20-30%
+
| apply online at http://www.exofficio.com/pro **7/20/11: Received a 10% discount, not 50%-60%. 1/7/12: Received a 25% discount: Received a 20% discount on 12/23/13. 09/2014- Discount still stands but only on select items and most of it is out of stock.
+
|-
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| [http://www.macabiskirt.com Macabi]
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| Macabi Skirts
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| $50 per skirt instead of $80
+
| e-mail your acceptance letter
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|-
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| [http://www.moosejaw.com Moosejaw]
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| Outdoor gear/clothes
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| 10% off regular prices, 5% off sale prices<br>
+
''Excludes Arc'Teryx, Bugaboo,Burton, Merrell, Nixon,Suunto, The North Face and Western Mountainering products''
+
| Use Coupon Code "LTM" (discount did work on 4/26/2011)Code did not work for me but I live-chatted with them and they gave me a weekly code of 15% off (4/23/2014)
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|-
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| [http://www.backcountry.com/ Backcountry.com]
+
| All the Best Outdoor Gear!
+
| Variable depending on product (average 20%-30%)
+
| Email: mcorey@backcountry.com and provide verification (acceptance letter, follow up email from recruiting officer, or PC ID)if emails are not sent to above email response may be delayed. Note emails responses are sent Mon.-Fri.
+
|-
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| [http://www.hotchillys.com/home/index/1520.1 Hot Chillys]
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| Hot Chillys
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| 10% off Code for Clothing and Socks
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| e-mail sales@hotchillys.com or customer service, ask for a Peace Corps Discount, and provide verification (7/1/13)
+
 
+
|-
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|}
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===Education===
+
Cellphone service is becoming increasingly more available throughout the country; many Volunteer villages have cellphone coverage, however, your relatives and friends should be prepared for significant changes in the regularity, reliability, and speed of communication you currently enjoy. also this is Sword Art Online/ Alfhime Online/ Gun Gale Online/ YOUR MOM / Akame Ga Kill TROLOLOLOLOL
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
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===Computers, Internet, and E-mail Access ===
|-
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! width="200pt"|School / University
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! width="200pt"|Type
+
! width="200pt"|Benefits
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! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
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|-
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| [http://www.msu.edu Michigan State University]
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| Graduate School
+
| In-State Tuition for RPCVs
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| [http://www.reg.msu.edu/ROInfo/notices/residency.asp Section 3G]
+
|-
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| [http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.whyvol.eduben.mastersint Master's International]<br>
+
| "more than 60 universities offering 117 different graduate degrees."
+
| [http://multimedia.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/masters/current-programs.pdf See list, school dependent]
+
| [http://multimedia.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/masters/current-programs.pdf See list, school dependent]
+
|-
+
| [http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.whyvol.eduben.fellows Fellows/USA]<br>
+
| "more than 50 universities."
+
| [http://multimedia.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/fellows/current-programs.pdf See list, school dependent]
+
| [http://multimedia.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/fellows/current-programs.pdf See list, school dependent]
+
|-
+
| [http://www.livelingua.com/peace-corps-discounts.php Live Lingua School]<br>
+
| "Live Skype lessons in 11 languages.  Free Ebooks & Audios for over 90 languages."
+
| [http://www.livelingua.com/peace-corps-discounts.php Live lessons (up to 40% off)]
+
| Follow instructions on page.
+
|-
+
|}
+
  
===Electronics===
+
There are increasing numbers of private telecenters and Internet cafes in larger towns. These generally work well for e-mail, but Internet access is both slow and expensive.  Volunteers can access e-mail at the Peace Corps office in Niamey and at regional Peace Corps offices, but not at the training center.
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
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===Housing and Site Location ===
|-
+
! width="200pt"|Company
+
! width="200pt"|Type
+
! width="200pt"|Discount
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! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
+
|-
+
| [http://www.voltaicsystems.com/index.shtml Voltaic Systems]
+
| Solar Powered Backpacks
+
| 30% off
+
| Write to sales@voltaicsystems.com for the discount code (peacecorps30) or call 877.304.6861 ext. 701
+
|-
+
| [http://www.freeplayenergy.com/products/aiddev/scout Freeplay Energy]
+
| Scout shortwave radio
+
| discount price $25 plus shipping
+
| contact Penny Thornton 866-526-2826 (1/11/11 I called and the Scout has been discontinued and Penny Thornton no longer works there. They did offer the Eyemax as somewhat comparable and at a small discount) Update: 5/5/2013- A rep told me they are no longer offering this discount in the US.
+
|-
+
| [http://www.etoncorp.com/ Eton]
+
| shortwave radios
+
| 20% off
+
| Call 1-800-872-2228 (6/17/11 - called and says they only give discounts to retailers) (7-28-2011 gave me 50% off plus the cost of shipping)
+
|-
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| [http://www.sollight.com/ Sollight]
+
| Solar powered water bottle caps turn your bottle into a lantern
+
| 40%
+
| Email orders@sollight.com and ask nicely
+
(I didn't get a reply at that address. I e-mailed info@sollight and immediately got a code for a 25% discount. 5/14/13)
+
|-
+
| [http://www.solio.com Solio]
+
| Universal solar power charger
+
| 40%
+
| Use coupon code "PEACECORPS40"
+
|-
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| [http://www.goenerplex.com EnerPlex]
+
| Solar Chargers, Powerbanks, Solar Backpacks
+
| 25% off
+
| Use coupon code "PeaceCorps2014". (10/7/2014)
+
|-
+
| [http://www.goalzero.com Goal Zero]
+
| Solar power chargers
+
| 5%
+
| Told me they do offer a discount for Peace Corp volunteers. "It is a 5% discount and all you'll need to do is send us your acceptance letter to support@goalzero.com and we can place your order over the phone and apply that 5% discount." (Feb 2014)
+
|-
+
| [http://store.apple.com Apple]
+
| Electronics
+
| 5-6%
+
| Use their government pricing program. Need original copy of your invite.  Called Apple on 7/16/2013 and they no longer give governmental discounts...  Went to Apple store 9/12/13, told my story and showed my invite email, discounts apply to computers only.  $50 off computers and $66 off 3 year warranty.
+
|-
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| [http://www.dell.com/epp Dell]
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| Electronics
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| 10-30% (depends on product)
+
| www.dell.com/epp; member ID GS83510340
+
|}
+
  
===Food and Drinks===
+
Most agriculture, environment, and community health Volunteers live in villages of 200 to 1,000 people within a few miles of other Volunteers and roads served by public transportation. You may be anywhere from 60 to 750 miles (100 to 1,200 kilometers) from Niamey. You are likely to be one of only a handful of people—perhaps the only person—in the village with anything beyond the equivalent of a sixth-grade education. Many sites have a rural health clinic or a primary school, but some do not. Housing is provided by each village and consists of a traditional one- or two-room house of adobe brick with an adobe or thatch roof. Most Volunteer houses have a small yard surrounded by an adobe or thatch enclosure. The Peace Corps pays for the cementing of the floor of your house and bath/toilet area and provides screens for doors and windows.
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
+
There will be no running water or electricity. You will obtain your water from a well and rely on a kerosene lamp or candles for light in the evening. Most of the year, you will sleep outside, with only a mosquito net, which the Peace Corps provides, between you and the stars. You will become adept at using a squat latrine and taking a bucket bath—pouring water over yourself from a bucket. Although it may sound like a two-year camping trip (and in some ways it is), your site will become your home. With time, you will find ways to make yourself comfortable, and soon enough, you will forget how strange some of these conditions once seemed.  
|-
+
! width="200pt"|Company
+
! width="200pt"|Type
+
! width="200pt"|Discount
+
! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
+
|-
+
| [http://www.facebook.com/riseupcoffee Rise Up Coffee]
+
| Organic Coffee
+
| " Rise Up Coffee will send our coffee to any current PCV's for FREE!!!" 
+
| "Simply contact us through [http://www.facebook.com/riseupcoffee FB] or email info@drinkorganiccoffee.com ... and wait for your organic coffee to show up (which, depending on where you are, could take some time!)." <br>(Owner Tim Cureton, PC Kiribati 98-01) As of March 25 2014, after many attempts of contacting someone at the company, they said this is a one time opportunity. Also they are really busy and said it might or might not happen. It is worth a shot but not a guarantee. Perhaps it will change in the future. It is a great company. <br>
+
[http://drinkorganiccoffee.blogspot.com/2010/03/free-coffee-to-any-peace-corps.html More Info]
+
|-
+
|}
+
  
===Medical===
+
Education Volunteers are posted in small towns of 10,000 to 100,000 people, located near clusters of rural-based Volunteers. Housing consists of a small mud brick or cement house or an apartment provided by the government of Niger.  The towns have the education infrastructure and partners you will need in your assignment. Some of the towns have Peace Corps regional offices, headed by a Volunteer regional representative. There may also be Volunteers working with international and nongovernmental organizations such as UNICEF and CARE. Most of these sites are on the main road that crosses the country from east to west.
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
+
Although running water and electricity are available in most towns, there may be limited hours of electricity use and frequent power failures.  
|-
+
! width="200pt"|Company
+
! width="200pt"|Type
+
! width="200pt"|Discount
+
! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
+
|-
+
| [http://www.usa-icd.org/information/peace-corps/index.htm USA-ICD]
+
| Dental (Applicants)
+
| "volunteering to provide a dental examination and x-rays for Peace Corps applicants at no charge" (read [http://www.usa-icd.org/projects/peace-corps/index.htm more...])
+
| "The applicant will bring a Peace Corps dental examination form to the appointment." (Available [[Forms | here]])
+
|-
+
| [http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2009/november/story19697.html Michigan Tech]
+
|  Medical exams and lab tests required by Peace Corps, for Master's International students
+
| "The health care provider will offer PCMI students at Michigan Tech a 20 percent discount on any balance they owe after insurance payments for exams and tests required by the Peace Corps, plus an additional 10 percent prompt-pay discount, for a total discount of 30 percent."
+
| [http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2009/november/story19697.html press release]
+
|-
+
|}
+
  
===Personal Products===
+
===Living Allowance and Money Management ===
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
+
As a Volunteer in Niger, you will receive four types of allowances. The first is a living allowance to cover your basic living expenses. This allowance is reviewed at least once a year through a survey of Volunteer expenses to ensure that it is adequate. The living allowance is paid in local currency (CFA francs) and is intended to cover the cost of food, utilities, household supplies, clothing, recreation and entertainment, transportation, reading materials, and other incidentals. Volunteers typically find that this allowance is more than adequate for maintaining their health and wellbeing, and you are therefore discouraged from supplementing the allowance with money from home. You will find that you receive more remuneration than your Nigerien counterpart or supervisor.  
|-
+
! width="200pt"|Company
+
! width="200pt"|Type
+
! width="200pt"|Discount
+
! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
+
|-
+
| [http://www.lunapads.com/ Lunapads.com]
+
| The Diva Cup, washable menstrual pads
+
|
+
10% off any order of $25 or more<br>
+
|
+
enter "PEACECORPS14" in promotion code box <br>
+
The code is updated yearly so change the numbers on the end to match the year you are ordering in.
+
|-
+
| [http://www.rockshaving.com/ Rock Shaving]
+
| Rock Shaving, travel friendly double edge razors which use blades available worldwide.
+
|
+
5% off<br>
+
|
+
Enter code "PEACECORPS" at checkout.
+
|}
+
  
===Shoes===
+
You will also receive a vacation allowance of $24 per month, paid quarterly in CFA francs along with your living allowance.  After you are sworn-in as a Volunteer, you will receive a onetime settling-in allowance to purchase items you need to set up your house, such as a bed, pots, and dishes. The Peace Corps will supply you with a tabletop gas stove for cooking, a mosquito net, a water filter, a basic medical kit, and a bicycle and helmet.
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
+
If the Peace Corps requires you to travel, you will also be given additional money for transportation and meals. This amount is established by the administrative officer based on the actual cost of transportation and lodging.  
|-
+
! width="200pt"|Company
+
! width="200pt"|Type
+
! width="200pt"|Discount
+
! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
+
|-
+
| [https://www.lunasandals.com/ Luna Sandals]
+
| Footwear
+
| 15% discount
+
| Use code "PeaceCorpsRules1515" when ordering
+
|-
+
| [http://www.keenfootwear.com/ Keen]
+
| Footwear
+
| 30% off up to 4 pair(s) of shoes, 2 bag(s), 4 pair(s) of socks, 3 items of clothing
+
| Must request promo code [http://pro.keenfootwear.com/pro/code.aspx here]
+
|-
+
| [http://chacousa.com/ Chaco]
+
| Footwear
+
| 40% off
+
|[http://www.chacoprodeal.com chacoprodeal.com] - They also require proof of service which can be faxed to 1-888-746-3329 or emailed, call the number on the prodeal site to find out where. 11/28/13 - Allowed up to 4 pairs per YEAR (not service) at approx 40% off. 9/1/14 - Each account allows for 8 items to be purchased each year (account seems to only be valid for 1 year).
+
|-
+
| [http://www.merrell.com/ Merrell]
+
| Footwear
+
| 40% off
+
|www.merrellprodeal.com
+
|-
+
| [http://www.teva.com/ Teva]
+
[http://www.simpleshoes.com/ Simple Shoes]
+
| Footwear
+
| 50% off
+
| [UPDATE 03/05/14] Must request promo code <pro@deckers.com> for all Teva Pro discounts. Proof of acceptance needed. To request a code for Simple Shoes, be sure to mention this in your request email. Worked 5/8/13- received code for 50% off up to 4 pairs of shoes (if purchased as part of a single order). ATTENTION: Sadly Simple shoes is no more. They can only be found on zappos now.
+
|-
+
| [http://www.backcountry.com/ Backcountry.com]
+
| All the Best Outdoor Gear! We got lots of shoe too!
+
| Variable depending on product (average 20%-30%)
+
| Email: mcorey@backcountry.com and provide verification (acceptance letter, follow up email from recruiting officer, or PC ID)if emails are not sent to above email response may be delayed. Note emails responses are sent Mon.-Fri. 
+
|-
+
| [http://www.wolverine.com/ Wolverine]
+
| Footwear
+
| unsure but there is a discount
+
|http://www.wolverineprodeal.com/
+
|-
+
|}
+
  
===Sporting Goods===
+
Although most Volunteers find they can live comfortably in Niger with these four allowances, many Volunteers bring money (in U.S. traveler’s checks) or credit cards for out-of-country travel. You are strongly discouraged from supplementing your income with money from home. The living allowance is adequate, and it is important for Peace Corps Volunteers to live at the economic level of their neighbors and colleagues.
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
+
Retail stores in Niger do not accept credit cards. For safekeeping, you can store money, passports, and other valuables in the Peace Corps office safe in Niamey.  
|-
+
! width="200pt"|Company
+
! width="200pt"|Type
+
! width="200pt"|Discount
+
! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
+
|-
+
| [http://www.discraft.com/ Discraft.com]
+
| Ultimate frisbee discs
+
|
+
Up to 10 free discs, only pay shipping costs<br>
+
|
+
For more information contact Discraft [http://www.discraft.com/contact10.html here.]
+
  
|-
+
===Food and Diet ===
|}
+
  
===Travel===
+
Although the local diet is heavy on starches (millet, sorghum, and rice), Volunteers use creativity, home gardens, and provisions from stores in larger towns to maintain an adequately diverse diet. The limited supply of fresh fruit and vegetables and their extreme seasonality make it difficult to maintain a strict vegetarian diet. During the hot season, it is often difficult to find fresh vegetables in villages. Nonetheless, there are Volunteers who are strict vegetarians and who remain healthy by making an extra effort to ensure adequate nutrition. Others become meat eaters during their service in Niger. Meat is sometimes difficult to find in villages, but it is always available in larger towns. Bread is available in towns and larger villages, and there are small stores where you can usually find imported foods such as pasta, tuna, cornflakes, and so on.
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
+
===Transportation ===
|-
+
! width="200pt"|Company
+
! width="200pt"|Type
+
! width="200pt"|Discount
+
! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
+
|-
+
| [https://www.cwtsatotravel.com/ Sato Travel]
+
| airline, hotel, train and car reservations
+
| "managing travel for U.S. military and government clients."
+
| [PCVs] "can use our SatoVacation Center for personal travel being paid for on a personal credit card." <br>
+
Peace Corps account info [https://www.cwtsatotravel.com/traveler_info/contactInfo.aspx?cid=1154 here]
+
|-
+
|}
+
  
===Other===
+
The villages in which rural-based Volunteers live are typically located within nine or so miles (15 kilometers), usually less, of a road serviced by public transportation. Volunteers must walk or bike from their village to wherever there is regular road traffic. Depending on the region, the available vehicle for which the generic term is “bush taxi” might be anything from a station wagon to a Land Rover to a minibus, varying in age from nearly new (very rare) to older than you are. Vehicles are usually crowded and uncomfortable and are subject to frequent breakdowns. On the two major highways (eastwest and north-south), large buses provide regular service.  Volunteers are often able to hitch rides with Peace Corps staff members, who visit Volunteers frequently, and with vehicles operated by various foreign aid projects.There are also regular monthly shuttles to and from the transit houses by Peace Corps vehicles. In larger towns, taxis are available for local transportation.
  
{| class="wikitable" border="1" style="text-align:center"
+
All Volunteers are issued good-quality bicycles and are given training in their maintenance. They are also issued helmets, which are required for riding at all times. If the area is not too sandy, Volunteers often use bicycles for transportation from their villages to regional transit houses or to visit neighboring Volunteers.
|-
+
! width="200pt"|Company
+
! width="200pt"|Type
+
! width="200pt"|Discount
+
! width="200pt"|Notes / Procedures
+
|-
+
|[http://www.cardsagainsthumanity.com/ Cards Against Humanity]
+
|"A party game for horrible people." Like Apples to Apples, but completely inappropriate.
+
|Free set of CAH sent to your post. Technically for active military, but they've been kind enough to send to PCVs.
+
|E-mail Mail@CardsAgainstHumanity.com and ask nicely.
+
|-
+
|}
+
  
==No discounts==
+
===Geography and Climate ===
* [http://www.llbean.com/ LL Bean]
+
 
* [http://www.target.com/ Target]
+
Except for a mountainous area in the northern Sahara, Niger is mostly flat, with some low hills, ridges, and rainy-season riverbeds. The Niger is the only major river. The climate is harsh, ranging from extremely hot (over 120 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely below 90 degrees) in April and May to dry and cool between November and February when the nights are cool enough (as low as 40 degrees in northern areas) to require a blanket and the days cool enough to require warm clothes. Winds off the Sahara sometimes make the air very dusty. The rainy season, from June through late September, is characterized by periods of increasing heat and humidity punctuated by violent, brief downpours. Rain is very unlikely at other times of the year.  
* [http://www.prana.com/ prAna]
+
 
* [http://www.crocs.com/ Crocs]
+
===Social Activities ===
* [http://www.rei.com/ REI]
+
 
* [http://www.smartwool.com/ Smartwool Socks]
+
Nigeriens are very social people, and individuals who are not social may be viewed suspiciously. Hanging out, talking, and laughing are desirable. Even if you do not talk a lot, hanging out quietly with Nigeriens is viewed as being social. Privacy and solitude, on the other hand, are viewed as undesirable by most Nigeriens, and your friends and neighbors will attempt to ensure that you are never alone (except, of course, when going to the latrine, taking a bath, getting dressed, etc.). In many cases, this is because they have never encountered someone of such a different background—they are only trying to be good hosts and friends. But if you establish your personal limits early on, you will find that with time and patience you and your neighbors will reach a comfortable understanding.  
* [http://www.arcteryx.com/ Arc'teryx]
+
 
* [http://www.ems.com/ Eastern Mountain Sports]
+
===Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior ===
* [http://www.patagonia.com/ Patagonia]
+
 
* [http://www.ospreypacks.com/ Osprey]
+
Being well dressed with clean clothes is important in Niger. Though their country is hot, dusty, and poor, Nigeriens take a lot of pride in their personal appearance. It can be insulting, even to people you know well, to wear clothing that is torn, dirty, or too revealing in any setting other than your house or while performing hard physical labor. This is not to imply that you need dress clothes for work. Collared shirts and casual slacks or jeans for men, and blouses and below-the-knee skirts or dresses for women, are acceptable. (Pants for women are also acceptable in some areas.) Lightweight cotton or other fabrics made for the tropics are best. Tank or sleeveless tops, shorts, and tight-fitting clothes (e.g., items made of Lycra, tight jeans) are not acceptable for men or women. You can have appropriate, inexpensive clothing made by local tailors.  
* [http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/ Vibram FiveFingers]
+
 
* [http://www.timberland.com/ Timberland]
+
Although officially secular, Niger is an Islamic country, and most people—especially in the countryside—are devout and conservative in dress and behavior. Alcohol is available in larger towns, but public drinking and boisterous behavior are considered inappropriate. Drugs are illegal and socially taboo, as well as strictly prohibited by Peace Corps regulations.  Public display of affection between the sexes is considered improper.  
* [http://www.tigerdirect.com/ Tiger Direct]
+
 
* [http://www.redwingshoes.com/ Red Wing Shoes]
+
===Personal Safety===
* [http://www.amazon.com/ Amazon] - but check with your country; some sites give Volunteers the option of getting a Kindle containing their training materials
+
 
[[Category:resources]]
+
Information about the Peace Corps’ approach to safety is outlined in the Health Care and Safety section, but it is an important issue and cannot be overemphasized. As stated in the Volunteer Handbook, becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer entails certain safety risks. Living and traveling in an unfamiliar environment (oftentimes alone), having a limited understanding of local language and culture, and being perceived as well off are some of the factors that can put a Volunteer at risk. Many Volunteers experience varying degrees of unwanted attention and harassment. Petty thefts and burglaries are not uncommon, and incidents of physical and sexual assault do occur, although most Niger Volunteers complete their two years of service without personal security incidents. The Peace Corps has established procedures and policies designed to help you reduce your risks and enhance your safety and security. These procedures and policies, in addition to safety training, will be provided once you arrive in Niger. However, you are expected to take significant responsibility for your own safety and well-being.  
 +
 
 +
===Rewards and Frustrations ===
 +
 
 +
WHATS 9 + 10            after reading this book, that serving as a Volunteer in Niger is an extraordinarily difficult assignment. Living in a mud hut in an isolated village with no electricity or running water, learning new languages, functioning in a culture far different from your own, being face-to-face with grinding poverty, lacking a structured work environment—these are just a few of the challenges you will face. Work will proceed at an excruciatingly slow pace from the Western perspective, and there will be times when you will wonder if change is taking place at all.  
 +
 
 +
Impatience and overexcitement due to frustration are viewed by Nigeriens as personality weaknesses and will rarely, if ever, produce a favorable result. Rather than losing your cool, you are better off making fun of the situation with a couple of wry comments or a proverb in a local language.  
 +
 
 +
Despite these frustrations and bouts of doubt, with patience and perseverance you will ultimately make a significant contribution to your assigned community in Niger. Moreover, you will have considerable flexibility and the opportunity to exercise your initiative and creativity. Along the way, you will learn a great deal—about Nigeriens, about living in a developing country, about poverty, about who you are, and about what it means to be an American in the global context.  You will make close friends and be amazed by their hospitality and ability to cope with extreme adversity. When your assignment is over, you will join 3,000 returned Volunteers from Niger who view their service here as one of the most interesting, formative, and worthwhile periods in their lives.  And your service will continue for the rest of your life as you share what you have learned with others.  
 +
 
 +
The Peace Corps, particularly in Niger, is not for everyone. The level of motivation and commitment required to successfully serve here exceeds that needed in most other work environments. If you are up to the challenge, we look forward to working with you.  
 +
 
 +
How will living and working in communities affected by HIV/AIDS affect me?
 +
 
 +
The AIDS pandemic strikes across all social strata in many Peace Corps countries. The loss of teachers has crippled education systems, while illness and disability drains family income and forces governments and donors to redirect limited resources from other priorities. The fear and uncertainty AIDS causes has led to increased domestic violence and stigmatizing of people living with HIV/AIDS, isolating them from friends and family and cutting them off from economic opportunities.  As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will confront these issues on a very personal level. It is important to be aware of the high emotional toll that disease, death, and violence can have on Volunteers. As you strive to integrate into your community, you will develop relationships with local people who might die during your service. Because of the AIDS pandemic, some Volunteers will be regularly meeting with HIV-positive people and working with training staff, office staff, and host family members living with AIDS. Volunteers need to prepare themselves to embrace these relationships in a sensitive and positive manner. Likewise, malaria and malnutrition, motor vehicle accidents and other unintentional injuries, domestic violence and corporal punishment are problems a Volunteer may confront. You will need to anticipate these situations and utilize supportive resources available throughout your training and service to maintain your own emotional strength so that you can continue to be of service to your community.
 +
 
 +
In Niger, unlike many other African countries, AIDS has not yet reached pandemic proportions, and other killer diseases, notably malaria, are much more common. The rate of HIV prevalence is about 1 percent, and victims are mostly concentrated in larger cities. Volunteers in Niger are unlikely to encounter AIDS victims unless they seek them out.
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Niger]]

Revision as of 02:19, 8 December 2014



Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in [[{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}]]
As a Peace Corps Volunteers, you will have to adapt to conditions that may be dramatically different than you have ever experienced and modify lifestyle practices that you now take for granted. Even the most basic practices— talking, eating, using the bathroom, and sleeping — may take significantly different forms in the context of the host country. If you successfully adapt and integrate, you will in return be rewarded with a deep understanding of a new culture, the establishment of new and potentially lifelong relationships, and a profound sense of humanity.
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}]]
See also:

Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles by Country Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

[[Image:Flag_of_{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}}{{#if:{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}}|_{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}}|}}{{#if:{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}|_{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}|}}.svg|100px|none]]
[[Category:{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Niger| |8}}]]


===Communications === not ture

Mail

Few countries in the world offer the level of mail service considered normal in the United States. If you expect U.S. standards for mail service, you will be in for some frustration. Some mail may simply not arrive (fortunately, this is not a frequent occurrence, but it does happen).

Mail service in Niger is relatively good compared with that in other African countries. Letters and packages mailed from the United States by air (or from Niger to America) usually take two to six weeks to arrive. Packages mailed by surface typically take six months or more, so this method is not recommended. Note that incoming packages are subject to customs duties (generally small).

Despite the delays, we strongly encourage you to write to your family regularly and to number your letters. Family members typically become worried when they do not hear from you, so it is a good idea to advise them that mail is sporadic and that they should not worry if they do not receive your letters regularly. You might also suggest that family and friends number their letters for tracking purposes and write “Airmail” and “Par Avion” on the envelopes. You should bring a supply of U.S. stamps for sending mail to the United States via travelers. DHL service is available in Niger, and though it is very expensive, this is the best way to mail valuable or time-sensitive items such as airplane tickets.


Your mailing address in Niger will be:

Name of Trainee/Volunteer

Corps de la Paix

B.P. 10537

Niamey, Niger


Telephones

Cellphone service is becoming increasingly more available throughout the country; many Volunteer villages have cellphone coverage, however, your relatives and friends should be prepared for significant changes in the regularity, reliability, and speed of communication you currently enjoy. also this is Sword Art Online/ Alfhime Online/ Gun Gale Online/ YOUR MOM / Akame Ga Kill TROLOLOLOLOL

Computers, Internet, and E-mail Access

There are increasing numbers of private telecenters and Internet cafes in larger towns. These generally work well for e-mail, but Internet access is both slow and expensive. Volunteers can access e-mail at the Peace Corps office in Niamey and at regional Peace Corps offices, but not at the training center.

Housing and Site Location

Most agriculture, environment, and community health Volunteers live in villages of 200 to 1,000 people within a few miles of other Volunteers and roads served by public transportation. You may be anywhere from 60 to 750 miles (100 to 1,200 kilometers) from Niamey. You are likely to be one of only a handful of people—perhaps the only person—in the village with anything beyond the equivalent of a sixth-grade education. Many sites have a rural health clinic or a primary school, but some do not. Housing is provided by each village and consists of a traditional one- or two-room house of adobe brick with an adobe or thatch roof. Most Volunteer houses have a small yard surrounded by an adobe or thatch enclosure. The Peace Corps pays for the cementing of the floor of your house and bath/toilet area and provides screens for doors and windows.

There will be no running water or electricity. You will obtain your water from a well and rely on a kerosene lamp or candles for light in the evening. Most of the year, you will sleep outside, with only a mosquito net, which the Peace Corps provides, between you and the stars. You will become adept at using a squat latrine and taking a bucket bath—pouring water over yourself from a bucket. Although it may sound like a two-year camping trip (and in some ways it is), your site will become your home. With time, you will find ways to make yourself comfortable, and soon enough, you will forget how strange some of these conditions once seemed.

Education Volunteers are posted in small towns of 10,000 to 100,000 people, located near clusters of rural-based Volunteers. Housing consists of a small mud brick or cement house or an apartment provided by the government of Niger. The towns have the education infrastructure and partners you will need in your assignment. Some of the towns have Peace Corps regional offices, headed by a Volunteer regional representative. There may also be Volunteers working with international and nongovernmental organizations such as UNICEF and CARE. Most of these sites are on the main road that crosses the country from east to west.

Although running water and electricity are available in most towns, there may be limited hours of electricity use and frequent power failures.

Living Allowance and Money Management

As a Volunteer in Niger, you will receive four types of allowances. The first is a living allowance to cover your basic living expenses. This allowance is reviewed at least once a year through a survey of Volunteer expenses to ensure that it is adequate. The living allowance is paid in local currency (CFA francs) and is intended to cover the cost of food, utilities, household supplies, clothing, recreation and entertainment, transportation, reading materials, and other incidentals. Volunteers typically find that this allowance is more than adequate for maintaining their health and wellbeing, and you are therefore discouraged from supplementing the allowance with money from home. You will find that you receive more remuneration than your Nigerien counterpart or supervisor.

You will also receive a vacation allowance of $24 per month, paid quarterly in CFA francs along with your living allowance. After you are sworn-in as a Volunteer, you will receive a onetime settling-in allowance to purchase items you need to set up your house, such as a bed, pots, and dishes. The Peace Corps will supply you with a tabletop gas stove for cooking, a mosquito net, a water filter, a basic medical kit, and a bicycle and helmet.

If the Peace Corps requires you to travel, you will also be given additional money for transportation and meals. This amount is established by the administrative officer based on the actual cost of transportation and lodging.

Although most Volunteers find they can live comfortably in Niger with these four allowances, many Volunteers bring money (in U.S. traveler’s checks) or credit cards for out-of-country travel. You are strongly discouraged from supplementing your income with money from home. The living allowance is adequate, and it is important for Peace Corps Volunteers to live at the economic level of their neighbors and colleagues.

Retail stores in Niger do not accept credit cards. For safekeeping, you can store money, passports, and other valuables in the Peace Corps office safe in Niamey.

Food and Diet

Although the local diet is heavy on starches (millet, sorghum, and rice), Volunteers use creativity, home gardens, and provisions from stores in larger towns to maintain an adequately diverse diet. The limited supply of fresh fruit and vegetables and their extreme seasonality make it difficult to maintain a strict vegetarian diet. During the hot season, it is often difficult to find fresh vegetables in villages. Nonetheless, there are Volunteers who are strict vegetarians and who remain healthy by making an extra effort to ensure adequate nutrition. Others become meat eaters during their service in Niger. Meat is sometimes difficult to find in villages, but it is always available in larger towns. Bread is available in towns and larger villages, and there are small stores where you can usually find imported foods such as pasta, tuna, cornflakes, and so on.

Transportation

The villages in which rural-based Volunteers live are typically located within nine or so miles (15 kilometers), usually less, of a road serviced by public transportation. Volunteers must walk or bike from their village to wherever there is regular road traffic. Depending on the region, the available vehicle for which the generic term is “bush taxi” might be anything from a station wagon to a Land Rover to a minibus, varying in age from nearly new (very rare) to older than you are. Vehicles are usually crowded and uncomfortable and are subject to frequent breakdowns. On the two major highways (eastwest and north-south), large buses provide regular service. Volunteers are often able to hitch rides with Peace Corps staff members, who visit Volunteers frequently, and with vehicles operated by various foreign aid projects.There are also regular monthly shuttles to and from the transit houses by Peace Corps vehicles. In larger towns, taxis are available for local transportation.

All Volunteers are issued good-quality bicycles and are given training in their maintenance. They are also issued helmets, which are required for riding at all times. If the area is not too sandy, Volunteers often use bicycles for transportation from their villages to regional transit houses or to visit neighboring Volunteers.

Geography and Climate

Except for a mountainous area in the northern Sahara, Niger is mostly flat, with some low hills, ridges, and rainy-season riverbeds. The Niger is the only major river. The climate is harsh, ranging from extremely hot (over 120 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely below 90 degrees) in April and May to dry and cool between November and February when the nights are cool enough (as low as 40 degrees in northern areas) to require a blanket and the days cool enough to require warm clothes. Winds off the Sahara sometimes make the air very dusty. The rainy season, from June through late September, is characterized by periods of increasing heat and humidity punctuated by violent, brief downpours. Rain is very unlikely at other times of the year.

Social Activities

Nigeriens are very social people, and individuals who are not social may be viewed suspiciously. Hanging out, talking, and laughing are desirable. Even if you do not talk a lot, hanging out quietly with Nigeriens is viewed as being social. Privacy and solitude, on the other hand, are viewed as undesirable by most Nigeriens, and your friends and neighbors will attempt to ensure that you are never alone (except, of course, when going to the latrine, taking a bath, getting dressed, etc.). In many cases, this is because they have never encountered someone of such a different background—they are only trying to be good hosts and friends. But if you establish your personal limits early on, you will find that with time and patience you and your neighbors will reach a comfortable understanding.

Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior

Being well dressed with clean clothes is important in Niger. Though their country is hot, dusty, and poor, Nigeriens take a lot of pride in their personal appearance. It can be insulting, even to people you know well, to wear clothing that is torn, dirty, or too revealing in any setting other than your house or while performing hard physical labor. This is not to imply that you need dress clothes for work. Collared shirts and casual slacks or jeans for men, and blouses and below-the-knee skirts or dresses for women, are acceptable. (Pants for women are also acceptable in some areas.) Lightweight cotton or other fabrics made for the tropics are best. Tank or sleeveless tops, shorts, and tight-fitting clothes (e.g., items made of Lycra, tight jeans) are not acceptable for men or women. You can have appropriate, inexpensive clothing made by local tailors.

Although officially secular, Niger is an Islamic country, and most people—especially in the countryside—are devout and conservative in dress and behavior. Alcohol is available in larger towns, but public drinking and boisterous behavior are considered inappropriate. Drugs are illegal and socially taboo, as well as strictly prohibited by Peace Corps regulations. Public display of affection between the sexes is considered improper.

Personal Safety

Information about the Peace Corps’ approach to safety is outlined in the Health Care and Safety section, but it is an important issue and cannot be overemphasized. As stated in the Volunteer Handbook, becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer entails certain safety risks. Living and traveling in an unfamiliar environment (oftentimes alone), having a limited understanding of local language and culture, and being perceived as well off are some of the factors that can put a Volunteer at risk. Many Volunteers experience varying degrees of unwanted attention and harassment. Petty thefts and burglaries are not uncommon, and incidents of physical and sexual assault do occur, although most Niger Volunteers complete their two years of service without personal security incidents. The Peace Corps has established procedures and policies designed to help you reduce your risks and enhance your safety and security. These procedures and policies, in addition to safety training, will be provided once you arrive in Niger. However, you are expected to take significant responsibility for your own safety and well-being.

Rewards and Frustrations

WHATS 9 + 10 after reading this book, that serving as a Volunteer in Niger is an extraordinarily difficult assignment. Living in a mud hut in an isolated village with no electricity or running water, learning new languages, functioning in a culture far different from your own, being face-to-face with grinding poverty, lacking a structured work environment—these are just a few of the challenges you will face. Work will proceed at an excruciatingly slow pace from the Western perspective, and there will be times when you will wonder if change is taking place at all.

Impatience and overexcitement due to frustration are viewed by Nigeriens as personality weaknesses and will rarely, if ever, produce a favorable result. Rather than losing your cool, you are better off making fun of the situation with a couple of wry comments or a proverb in a local language.

Despite these frustrations and bouts of doubt, with patience and perseverance you will ultimately make a significant contribution to your assigned community in Niger. Moreover, you will have considerable flexibility and the opportunity to exercise your initiative and creativity. Along the way, you will learn a great deal—about Nigeriens, about living in a developing country, about poverty, about who you are, and about what it means to be an American in the global context. You will make close friends and be amazed by their hospitality and ability to cope with extreme adversity. When your assignment is over, you will join 3,000 returned Volunteers from Niger who view their service here as one of the most interesting, formative, and worthwhile periods in their lives. And your service will continue for the rest of your life as you share what you have learned with others.

The Peace Corps, particularly in Niger, is not for everyone. The level of motivation and commitment required to successfully serve here exceeds that needed in most other work environments. If you are up to the challenge, we look forward to working with you.

How will living and working in communities affected by HIV/AIDS affect me?

The AIDS pandemic strikes across all social strata in many Peace Corps countries. The loss of teachers has crippled education systems, while illness and disability drains family income and forces governments and donors to redirect limited resources from other priorities. The fear and uncertainty AIDS causes has led to increased domestic violence and stigmatizing of people living with HIV/AIDS, isolating them from friends and family and cutting them off from economic opportunities. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will confront these issues on a very personal level. It is important to be aware of the high emotional toll that disease, death, and violence can have on Volunteers. As you strive to integrate into your community, you will develop relationships with local people who might die during your service. Because of the AIDS pandemic, some Volunteers will be regularly meeting with HIV-positive people and working with training staff, office staff, and host family members living with AIDS. Volunteers need to prepare themselves to embrace these relationships in a sensitive and positive manner. Likewise, malaria and malnutrition, motor vehicle accidents and other unintentional injuries, domestic violence and corporal punishment are problems a Volunteer may confront. You will need to anticipate these situations and utilize supportive resources available throughout your training and service to maintain your own emotional strength so that you can continue to be of service to your community.

In Niger, unlike many other African countries, AIDS has not yet reached pandemic proportions, and other killer diseases, notably malaria, are much more common. The rate of HIV prevalence is about 1 percent, and victims are mostly concentrated in larger cities. Volunteers in Niger are unlikely to encounter AIDS victims unless they seek them out.