Difference between pages "Packing list for Tonga" and "Inter-America and Pacific"

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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[Tonga]] 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. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. Remember, you can get almost everything you need in Tonga for a price, and you can have parcels shipped to you later.  
+
Since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, more
 +
than 73,000 Volunteers have served in the Inter-
 +
America and Pacific (IAP) region. They have served
 +
in more than 32 countries in the Inter-Americas and
 +
14 countries in the Pacific Islands. At the end of fiscal
 +
year (FY) 2006, 2,501 Volunteers were working in 23
 +
posts in all six of the agency’s sectors: agriculture, business
 +
development, education, the environment, health
 +
and HIV/AIDS, and youth. Additional countries in the
 +
Pacific and South America continue to be interested
 +
in establishing Peace Corps programs.  
  
===General Clothing ===
+
The region is committed to ensuring the safety
 +
and security of all Volunteers. All IAP posts have
 +
trained safety and security coordinators. In addition,
 +
three regional Peace Corps safety and security officers,
 +
stationed in El Salvador, Fiji, and Peru, help posts
 +
assess risks and ensure appropriate training for staff
 +
and Volunteers. Each post has an emergency action
 +
plan, which is tested and revised at least once every
 +
year. Headquarters staff is trained to review posts’
 +
emergency plans and to support field staff in crisis
 +
management.
  
Note that hand washing and Tongan weather are hard on clothing, so any clothing you bring will eventually wear out.  Lightweight, fast-drying clothing (polyester or nylon) is best and will not fade or stretch as much as cotton blends. See the note about leather items and mildew at the bottom of this page.
+
Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts
 +
have become active, productive participants in the
 +
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),
 +
the five-year, multi-billion-dollar initiative to combat
 +
the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. For example,
 +
in Guyana, Volunteers are focusing on community
 +
mobilization strategies to prevent HIV/AIDS and to
 +
improve access to existing services. They help reach out
 +
to vulnerable groups, including orphans and vulnerable
 +
children, by working with the Ministry of Health
 +
and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on
 +
national programs focused on prevention and care.
 +
They also work with health centers and communities
 +
to help facilitate community health assessments,
 +
design and implement health education projects,
 +
and train health center staff and community leaders.
 +
Volunteers are working with health centers and NGOs
 +
to help Guyana address the HIV/AIDS pandemic as
 +
well as other diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria,
 +
and dengue fever. Other Volunteers worked to mobilize
 +
communities to attend health education outreach sessions,
 +
encouraging community members to be tested at HIV/AIDS testing facilities. These testing facilities
 +
will help lower mother-to-child transmission of  
 +
HIV/AIDS.  
  
Dressing in a culturally appropriate manner is important, especially on outer islands. In professional settings, male Volunteers are expected to wear what Tongan men wear—a tupenu, a solid-color wraparound garment (easily found locally), with a button-down shirt. During leisure time, Tongan men typically wear the same things men wear in the United States (e.g., knee-length shorts or slacks and T-shirts). Female Volunteers are expected to wear mid-calf or longer skirts or dresses in both professional settings and during leisure time.  
+
In FY 2006, Peace Corps programs in the
 +
Dominican Republic, Eastern Caribbean, and Panama
 +
received PEPFAR funding to carry out technical assistance
 +
to community-based organizations, offer small
 +
assistance grants, and organize behavioral change and
 +
monitoring and reporting workshops for HIV/AIDS
 +
prevention and education.  
  
If the dresses/skirts are not long enough, long wraparound underskirts are available. Tight clothing can also be culturally inappropriate. At home or on some occasions, women often wear loose-fitting slacks, capris pants or below-the-knee shorts. In general, women should always cover their shoulders and knees and should not wear shorts except for swimming or exercising. Additionally, you should not be able to see your armpits or midriff when raising your arms.  
+
Many Volunteers in the IAP region work in traditional
 +
sectors, such as water and sanitation. For
 +
example, Volunteers in Bolivia improve sanitary conditions
 +
by designing and constructing water systems that
 +
provide potable water to rural communities. They also
 +
help organize water boards to take over maintenance
 +
of these systems to ensure sustainability.  
  
Following are some specific clothing suggestions and recommendations:
+
In Honduras, Volunteers promote sustainable
 +
production techniques to improve soil conservation
 +
as well as to increase the diversity of crops, enhancing
 +
food security and family incomes. To improve family
 +
nutrition and income, Volunteers introduce improved
 +
vegetable and small animal production methods to
 +
women working in agriculture.
  
*      1 or 2 black outfits (There are numerous times when it will be appropriate for you to wear black. For instance, in case of a death in the Royal Family or of someone in your community, you may be expected to wear black for an extended period of time. However, you can always buy more clothes here.) 
+
In Mexico, Volunteers are now assigned to  
* 1 or 2 sweatshirts or sweaters and sweatpants (it can get a bit chilly in winter)
+
work with SEMARNAT, Mexico’s Ministry for the  
* Lightweight spring jacket/rain jacket
+
Environment and Natural Resources. Volunteers
* Lightweight suit jacket, black or dark. (Note: unmarried men can usually make do with a tie and a long-sleeved shirt)
+
focus on issues related to combating deforestation,  
* Swimsuit or swim trunks (even though women will not be able to wear a swimsuit in Tonga, it is a good idea to bring one for vacations)
+
forest fires, and soil erosion; promoting conservation
* Socks and underwear (with sturdy elastic)
+
of biodiversity and natural habitats; and improving
* Shoes, including high-quality flip-flops (e.g., Tevas, reef walkers, or water shoes), sneakers, hiking boots, and dress sandals (for men and women). Don’t bring nice leather shoes.
+
management of national parks and wildlife reserves.  
  
===For Men ===
+
In many IAP countries, Peace Corps’ traditional
 +
sectors are melding with some of the newer cross-cutting
 +
areas such as youth development and technology.
 +
Many programs target youth to develop life skills,
 +
leadership skills, and employability. In the Dominican
 +
Republic, for instance, Volunteers engage young
 +
people in activities ranging from business education
 +
to strategic planning to technical assistance. In rural
 +
communities, Volunteers work with farmers’ markets
 +
and agricultural cooperatives to introduce e-marketing
 +
and website development.
  
* Two or three light T-shirts
+
In Samoa, the education project includes a focus
* Both black and white button-down shirts
+
on information and communication technology.  
* Jeans and lightweight pants (khakis or loose-fitting pants with drawstrings; one pair of each should suffice)
+
Volunteers work with teachers and counterparts in computer studies, helping them update curricula and  
* Convertible (zip-off leg) pants 
+
lesson plans for years 9–13 and providing assistance
* Lots of lightweight, collared, short-sleeved, button-down-the-front shirts (enough for work and church, for every day but Saturday) and at least one tie and a long-sleeved shirt to go with it
+
to teachers to access materials and resources for their
* Shorts for your own house or exercise
+
classes. Volunteers also help teach computer skills to  
* Bicycle or cotton shorts for modesty and comfort under tupenu (men’s skirt).
+
youth and help teachers establish computer labs.  
===For Women ===
 
* Casual dresses or mix-and-match skirts and blouses (for work and in public, including church, skirts should be mid-calf to ankle length, and blouses should not be sleeveless, see-through or have bare midriffs).
 
* Underwear, bras (cotton is best), and sports bras (wickaway fabric [e.g., Coolmax] is effective)
 
* Undershirts or camisoles for sheer blouses
 
* One or two pairs of capris or lightweight long pants for hiking and free time (jeans are acceptable, but a bit heavy and annoying to wash)
 
* Bike shorts and/or slips for modesty and comfort under skirts (remember that Tonga is very humid)
 
Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Lightweight or travel (micro-fiber) towel (thick ones won't do well with hand washing and will take a long time to dry, especially during periods of daily rainstorms)
 
* Initial supply of your favorite shampoo, deodorant, perfume, etc. (Tongans place a high importance on hygiene, and offensive odors are particularly objectionable in Tongan culture.) Note that some brands of all of these items are available here and you should only bring them if you are particularly attached to a certain brand.  .
 
* Cosmetics, if you wear them (local products generally are not of good quality)
 
* Six-month supply of tampons or pads (tampons are not always available in Tonga, and they are expensive)
 
* 2 or 3 Handkerchiefs (multi-purpose; e.g., for dishes, cleaning, sweat rags, etc.)
 
*      Remember, Peace Corps will supply medical items like vitamins, insect repellent, and sunscreen
 
* hand sanitizer (e.g., Purell), if you want it
 
* Baby powder or talcum powder, if you have oily skin
 
* Small mirror
 
  
===Kitchen ===
+
In Vanuatu, Fiji, and other Pacific posts, Volunteers
 +
are working with marine protected areas and other
 +
marine conservation projects. Volunteers in Vanuatu
 +
partnered with a U.S. conservation foundation to
 +
promote costal resource ecotourism.
  
(Many of these items can be found in Tonga, but of reduced quality. You are encouraged to prioritize these items as you see fit, keeping in mind your limited luggage capacity.)
+
Volunteers have left a significant legacy of service
 +
to countries in the IAP region. Since the agency’s
 +
inception in 1961, Peace Corps Volunteers have served
 +
continuously in the Eastern Caribbean island of St.  
 +
Lucia. The Peace Corps has also partnered with other
 +
countries for more than 40 years and will continue to  
 +
work to the benefit of people throughout the Inter-
 +
Americas and the Pacific.  
  
* Swiss army knife, Leatherman, or other utility tool (packed in checked luggage)
+
==External Links==
* Sharp kitchen knife (packed in checked baggage)
+
[http://www.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/peacecorps_cbj_2008.pdf Congressional Budget Justification 2008] Peace Corps website (PDF, 47MB)
* Nonstick frying pan (those in Tonga are not of good quality)
 
* Sturdy manual can opener
 
* A French press or stove-top espresso maker (if you like coffee). Instant coffee is available here; but decaf coffee is not.
 
* Measuring spoons and cups
 
* Rubber spatula
 
* Spices/hot sauce (e.g., Tabasco)
 
* Gum
 
* Vegetable holder (three-basket, hanging) 
 
 
 
===Miscellaneous/Recommended/Optional===
 
 
 
* Luggage: lockable rolling duffel bags work best (make sure locks are the ones approved by airlines—otherwise they will be cut off). You should also be able to manage all of your luggage without the assistance of others. You will also want a smaller bag to use for your pre-service training homestay.
 
* Small backpack
 
* Sheets (double flats are most useful because they fit either a double or a single bed)
 
* Sturdy, inexpensive water-resistant watch
 
* Sturdy water bottles (at least two; e.g., Nalgene or camel back)
 
* Camera: 35 mm (with an initial supply of film) or digital is recommended. Also consider an underwater camera. Film processing and printing is expensive and only available on Tongatapu and Vava'u. Consider extra memory cards and multiple rolls of film.
 
* Flashlight or headlamp (LED preferred) and/or reading lamp/book light
 
* Mask and snorkel or swimming goggles
 
* Small sewing kit
 
* Umbrella and/or poncho
 
* Rechargeable batteries and charger (batteries are available, but are generally of poor quality and there is no way to properly dispose of them)
 
* Walkman or CD player and CDs (many Volunteers choose a portable CD player with small attachable speakers) or mp3 player (e.g., iPod) or small boom box
 
* Bicycle (some Volunteers highly recommend bringing one because of the poor quality of local brands; others say bringing one is not worth the added weight). If you decide to bring a bicycle, then a bicycle tool kit and inner tubes are recommended. The Peace Corps will provide a helmet. 
 
* Laptop computer—if you already own one, it may be worth bringing, as many Volunteers find it very helpful to have one. Conditions are hard on computers, but insurance is available. Most locations have electricity though a small number of assignments are in locations that have electricity only at certain times or not at all.
 
* Electrical converter for 210 volts (the same as Australia).
 
* Jump Drive for easy computer information storage and transportation
 
* Sunglasses
 
* Sun hat or visor
 
* Ear plugs
 
* Travel iron (with a converter and adapter)
 
* Extra pair of glasses
 
* Tape recorder
 
* School supplies (e.g., highlighters, index cards, stapler and staples, glue sticks, rubber bands, paper, laminating sheets, etc.)  
 
Waterproof zippered plastic bags to help protect valuables and to keep clothes and important papers dry.  Don’t bring anything made from leather, including shoes, belts, and wallets. They will mildew.
 
 
 
[[Category:Tonga]]
 

Latest revision as of 12:02, 23 August 2016

Since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, more than 73,000 Volunteers have served in the Inter- America and Pacific (IAP) region. They have served in more than 32 countries in the Inter-Americas and 14 countries in the Pacific Islands. At the end of fiscal year (FY) 2006, 2,501 Volunteers were working in 23 posts in all six of the agency’s sectors: agriculture, business development, education, the environment, health and HIV/AIDS, and youth. Additional countries in the Pacific and South America continue to be interested in establishing Peace Corps programs.

The region is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all Volunteers. All IAP posts have trained safety and security coordinators. In addition, three regional Peace Corps safety and security officers, stationed in El Salvador, Fiji, and Peru, help posts assess risks and ensure appropriate training for staff and Volunteers. Each post has an emergency action plan, which is tested and revised at least once every year. Headquarters staff is trained to review posts’ emergency plans and to support field staff in crisis management.

Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts have become active, productive participants in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the five-year, multi-billion-dollar initiative to combat the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. For example, in Guyana, Volunteers are focusing on community mobilization strategies to prevent HIV/AIDS and to improve access to existing services. They help reach out to vulnerable groups, including orphans and vulnerable children, by working with the Ministry of Health and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on national programs focused on prevention and care. They also work with health centers and communities to help facilitate community health assessments, design and implement health education projects, and train health center staff and community leaders. Volunteers are working with health centers and NGOs to help Guyana address the HIV/AIDS pandemic as well as other diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, and dengue fever. Other Volunteers worked to mobilize communities to attend health education outreach sessions, encouraging community members to be tested at HIV/AIDS testing facilities. These testing facilities will help lower mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

In FY 2006, Peace Corps programs in the Dominican Republic, Eastern Caribbean, and Panama received PEPFAR funding to carry out technical assistance to community-based organizations, offer small assistance grants, and organize behavioral change and monitoring and reporting workshops for HIV/AIDS prevention and education.

Many Volunteers in the IAP region work in traditional sectors, such as water and sanitation. For example, Volunteers in Bolivia improve sanitary conditions by designing and constructing water systems that provide potable water to rural communities. They also help organize water boards to take over maintenance of these systems to ensure sustainability.

In Honduras, Volunteers promote sustainable production techniques to improve soil conservation as well as to increase the diversity of crops, enhancing food security and family incomes. To improve family nutrition and income, Volunteers introduce improved vegetable and small animal production methods to women working in agriculture.

In Mexico, Volunteers are now assigned to work with SEMARNAT, Mexico’s Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources. Volunteers focus on issues related to combating deforestation, forest fires, and soil erosion; promoting conservation of biodiversity and natural habitats; and improving management of national parks and wildlife reserves.

In many IAP countries, Peace Corps’ traditional sectors are melding with some of the newer cross-cutting areas such as youth development and technology. Many programs target youth to develop life skills, leadership skills, and employability. In the Dominican Republic, for instance, Volunteers engage young people in activities ranging from business education to strategic planning to technical assistance. In rural communities, Volunteers work with farmers’ markets and agricultural cooperatives to introduce e-marketing and website development.

In Samoa, the education project includes a focus on information and communication technology. Volunteers work with teachers and counterparts in computer studies, helping them update curricula and lesson plans for years 9–13 and providing assistance to teachers to access materials and resources for their classes. Volunteers also help teach computer skills to youth and help teachers establish computer labs.

In Vanuatu, Fiji, and other Pacific posts, Volunteers are working with marine protected areas and other marine conservation projects. Volunteers in Vanuatu partnered with a U.S. conservation foundation to promote costal resource ecotourism.

Volunteers have left a significant legacy of service to countries in the IAP region. Since the agency’s inception in 1961, Peace Corps Volunteers have served continuously in the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Lucia. The Peace Corps has also partnered with other countries for more than 40 years and will continue to work to the benefit of people throughout the Inter- Americas and the Pacific.

External Links

Congressional Budget Justification 2008 Peace Corps website (PDF, 47MB)