Difference between pages "Packing list for Madagascar" and "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana"

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In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the full face of America with our host countries, we are making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years.  Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race, and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other, despite our many differences. Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal.
  
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[Madagascar]] and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally.  You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 100-pound weight restriction on baggage. (Luggage should be tough, lightweight, lockable, and easy to carry.) And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Madagascar.  
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In other ways, however, our diversity poses challenges. In Ghana, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.  
  
===General Clothing===
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Outside of Accra, Ghana’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Ghana are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another.
  
* Lightweight all-weather jacket
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In order to ease the transition and adapt to life in Ghana, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises with who you are as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.
* Hooded sweatshirt or fleece
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* Knit hat and gloves
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* Swimsuit (one-piece and very sturdy)
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* Bandannas or handkerchiefs
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* Baseball cap or straw hat for sun protection
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* Good-quality lightweight raincoat and heavy-duty poncho
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* Slacks and shirts or blouses (some sleeveless)
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* Shorts and other clothes for lounging around (e.g., drawstring pajama pants or doctor’s scrubs).
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* For women, dresses or skirts (below the knee for teachers, with no slits above the knee and not tight-fitting), including a dressy outfit
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* For women, cotton slips (short and long)
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* For men, a button-down shirt and tie for special occasions
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* Plenty of underwear, bras (including a sports bra), and socks
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* Belt
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* Money belt
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* Quick-drying shorts for biking
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Note: The three ideal characteristics of clothing in Madagascar are dark colors, many pockets, and the ability to withstand rain and mud splatters (i.e., quick drying and breathable). In general, one should dress conservatively. It does get cold, so bring some warm clothes. Do not bring a lot of clothes, just three or four outfits for staging and the beginning of training; you can buy just about anything in local markets.
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===Overview of Diversity in Ghana===
  
===Shoes===
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The Peace Corps staff in Ghana recognizes adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups, and ages and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who will take pride in supporting each other and demonstrating the richness of American culture.
  
* Sandals such as Tevas or Chacos
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===What Might A Volunteer Face?===
* Sneakers and/or hiking boots (at least two pairs of shoes)
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* Professional shoes for teachers (with closed toes and comfortable for standing)
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* Dress shoes for special occasions
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====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers====
  
===Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items===
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Friendships between men and women and ideas about romance are different in Ghana than in the U.S. Ghanaians casually joke about marriage often, and after a while you will appreciate the humor and laugh right along with them. Some Volunteers, however, tire of the constant marriage requests.  Wearing a wedding-band does not minimize unappreciated comments.
  
* Enough deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen, lotion, etc. to last you through training
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====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color====
* A few toothbrushes
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* Tampons without applicators (e.g., o.b.); a basic selection of pads and tampons without applicators are available through the Peace Corps. If a specific brand/ type is preferred, please have them sent to you.
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* Razor and extra blades
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* Manicure set
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* Hair-cutting scissors, if so inclined
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MaThe name they give to foreigners, oburoni, actually translates to “someone from over the horizon.” But you will find that this term is used interchangeably with “white person.” People will try to guess at what you are or simply assume and yell something at you like “Indian!” or “Chinese!” or “Black-American!” This is very difficult for some people. To suggest people might
 +
not know the difference between chinese,indian, black American is a bit untrue.Labanese,Indians, half cast and black Americans are the easiet to be indentify by Ghanains
 +
But it is true that most Ghanaians will get confused with chinese,Koreans Japanese and whites.
  
===Miscellaneous===
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====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers====
  
* Bicycle helmet
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Age is respected in Ghana, and Volunteers in their early twenties find that they may have to make an extra effort to be accepted as professional colleagues since very often Ghanaians of that age are still pursuing their education. Younger Volunteers must work for acceptance and respect since respect in traditional Ghanaian society is associated with age. In contrast, every wrinkle and every gray hair earns respect for the experience and wisdom they represent. 
* Sturdy water bottle (e.g., Nalgene)
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* Leatherman or Swiss army knife
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* Compact sleeping bag for cold weather
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* Indiglo watch
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* Bungee cords or backpack straps
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* Chair that folds out into a sleeping mat
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* Flashlight or headlamp with extra bulbs
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* Shortwave radio
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* Solar-powered rechargeable batteries with recharger
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*      Solar bulbs or/and solar power panels. With a power panel you can charge your cell or any other low-voltage USB-port devices, such as IPod, Kindle, etc. All you need is sun, and that's plentiful. You may want to check the Nokero and Solio products. Peace Corps Volunteers get a 25%-50% discount on Nokero products when they join Market for Change [http://www.marketforchange.com].
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* Duct tape
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* Scissors
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* Good envelopes
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* Glue
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* Dictionary
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* U.S. stamps for sending letters with travelers (and for mailing in student loan deferments, taxes, etc)
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* Battery-powered alarm clock
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* Towels, preferably of the quick-drying camping variety.
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* Sewing kit
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* Sunglasses
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* Cash (which you can keep in the safe at the Peace Corps office)
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* A voided check or deposit slip from your U.S. bank account
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* Games (Scrabble, cards, chess, Frisbee, etc.)
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* Walkman/iPod with favorite music
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* Musical instruments (harmonica, guitar, etc.)
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* Videotapes of some favorite or new movies to share at the Volunteer house in the capital
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* A few novels (to swap after reading)
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* Hobby materials like sketching pads and pencils
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* Day pack or a small backpack without a frame
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* Sturdy gardening gloves
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* Good-quality large umbrella
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*      Cell phone and charger
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[[Category:Madagascar]]
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====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers====
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Ghanaians feel that homosexuality is immoral and depraved behavior. Homosexuality is against the law. Being sensible about revealing one’s sexual orientation in one’s home, workplace, and community is advisable. Being “out” can invite harassment and physical attack.
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'''See also:''' Articles about Ghana on the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Peace Corps Alumni Association website at http://www.lgbrpcv.org/articles.htm
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====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers====
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Volunteers in Ghana may frequently be asked if you believe in God. Because church or the mosque and prayer is a big part of many communities, you may feel under pressure to attend.
 +
 
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Because Ghana is predominantly a Christian and Muslim country, people may not understand what it means to be Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu. Unlike the United States, religion and prayer are built into all official ceremonies and meetings.  Interestingly, many educated Ghanaians do not believe in traditional, indigenous beliefs and frown upon others being interested in such topics. If you do not participate in organized religion in the U.S. it is alright to discuss this with Ghanaians. They will be quite intrigued if you do not believe in God. Some people may find this nearly impossible.
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====Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities====
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Being disabled in Ghana brings about its own complications.  In some cases, people may not feel you can do the job, and others may try to do things for you instead of letting you do them yourself. As for Ghanaians, they are generally very blunt and direct in asking you about your disability. As a disabled Volunteer in Ghana, you will face a special set of challenges.  There is very little infrastructure to accommodate those with disabilities. Peace Corps/Ghana will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, and job sites to enable them to serve safely and effectively.
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[[Category:Niger]]

Revision as of 16:25, 27 August 2010

Diversity and cross-cultural issues in [[{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with their host countries, Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
See also:
[[Category:{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]

In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the full face of America with our host countries, we are making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race, and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other, despite our many differences. Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal.

In other ways, however, our diversity poses challenges. In Ghana, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.

Outside of Accra, Ghana’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Ghana are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another.

In order to ease the transition and adapt to life in Ghana, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises with who you are as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.

Overview of Diversity in Ghana

The Peace Corps staff in Ghana recognizes adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups, and ages and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who will take pride in supporting each other and demonstrating the richness of American culture.

What Might A Volunteer Face?

Possible Issues for Female Volunteers

Friendships between men and women and ideas about romance are different in Ghana than in the U.S. Ghanaians casually joke about marriage often, and after a while you will appreciate the humor and laugh right along with them. Some Volunteers, however, tire of the constant marriage requests. Wearing a wedding-band does not minimize unappreciated comments.

Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color

MaThe name they give to foreigners, oburoni, actually translates to “someone from over the horizon.” But you will find that this term is used interchangeably with “white person.” People will try to guess at what you are or simply assume and yell something at you like “Indian!” or “Chinese!” or “Black-American!” This is very difficult for some people. To suggest people might not know the difference between chinese,indian, black American is a bit untrue.Labanese,Indians, half cast and black Americans are the easiet to be indentify by Ghanains But it is true that most Ghanaians will get confused with chinese,Koreans Japanese and whites.

Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers

Age is respected in Ghana, and Volunteers in their early twenties find that they may have to make an extra effort to be accepted as professional colleagues since very often Ghanaians of that age are still pursuing their education. Younger Volunteers must work for acceptance and respect since respect in traditional Ghanaian society is associated with age. In contrast, every wrinkle and every gray hair earns respect for the experience and wisdom they represent.

Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers

Ghanaians feel that homosexuality is immoral and depraved behavior. Homosexuality is against the law. Being sensible about revealing one’s sexual orientation in one’s home, workplace, and community is advisable. Being “out” can invite harassment and physical attack.

See also: Articles about Ghana on the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Peace Corps Alumni Association website at http://www.lgbrpcv.org/articles.htm

Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers

Volunteers in Ghana may frequently be asked if you believe in God. Because church or the mosque and prayer is a big part of many communities, you may feel under pressure to attend.

Because Ghana is predominantly a Christian and Muslim country, people may not understand what it means to be Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu. Unlike the United States, religion and prayer are built into all official ceremonies and meetings. Interestingly, many educated Ghanaians do not believe in traditional, indigenous beliefs and frown upon others being interested in such topics. If you do not participate in organized religion in the U.S. it is alright to discuss this with Ghanaians. They will be quite intrigued if you do not believe in God. Some people may find this nearly impossible.

Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities

Being disabled in Ghana brings about its own complications. In some cases, people may not feel you can do the job, and others may try to do things for you instead of letting you do them yourself. As for Ghanaians, they are generally very blunt and direct in asking you about your disability. As a disabled Volunteer in Ghana, you will face a special set of challenges. There is very little infrastructure to accommodate those with disabilities. Peace Corps/Ghana will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, and job sites to enable them to serve safely and effectively.