Difference between pages "David Peterson" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Belize"

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{{DEFAULTSORT:YOUR LAST NAME, YOUR FIRST NAME}}
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{{FAQs by country}}
  
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|Volunteer=David Peterson
 
|Country=  Panama
 
|Years=    1967-1969
 
|Group=    Group IV (14)
 
|Site=    Tocumen, Panama City
 
|Sector=  Occupational Consultant for IFARHU
 
}}
 
  
{{quickbar
 
|Volunteer=David Peterson
 
|Country=  USA
 
|Years=    2005
 
|Group=    Group 1
 
|Site=    Louisiana
 
|Sector=  Crisis Corps
 
}}
 
  
  
==Description of Peace Corps Service==
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===How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Belize?===
  
Mr. David C. Peterson entered training on July 16, 1967 at Camp David Crozier, Arecibo, Puerto Rico and completed an intensive ten-week programIncluded in the subjects studied were Spanish, Panamanian History, Cooperatives, Economics, and Investigation of Barriada Problems.
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Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limitsThe Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.  
  
He was enrolled in the Peace Corps on October, 1967. Upon arrival in Panama, Mr. Peterson participated in a five-week orientation program at Desarrollo Comunal Urbano (Urban Community Development) in Panama City. He was responsible to the Instituto para la Formacion y Aprovechamiento de Recursos Humanos (IFARHU), an autonomous government agency during his service in Panama. Mr. Peterson served as an occupational counselor assigned to the Centro Nacional de Aprendizaje (National Apprenticeship Center). As a Peace Corps Volunteer and Occupational Counselor, he worked in professional training at three levels: semi-skilled, skilled, and professional. This position involved the selection and follow-up procedures of the personnel related to the three above mentioned groups and included the following duties: interviewing, psychological testing, selection, supervision and counseling of students.
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Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.  
  
Additionally, he attended the XII Interamerican Psychology Congress, 30 March – 6 April, 1969 in Montevideo, Uruguay as a delegate of IFARHU. He visited the countries of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia.
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===What is the electric current in Belize?===
  
Pursuant to section 5 (f) of the Peace Corps Act, 22 U.S.C.S 2504 (f), as amended, any former Volunteer employed by the United States Government following his Peace Corps Volunteer service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps Volunteer service credited for purposes of retirement, seniority, reduction in force, leave and other privileges based on length of Government service.
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Although 220-volt electricity is available for large appliances, all homes and offices have 110-volt outlets.  
  
This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order No. 11103 of April 10, 1963, that Mr. David C. Peterson served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His service ended on August 20, 1969. His benefits under the Executive Order extend for a period of one year after termination of Volunteer service, except that the employing agency may extend the period for up to three years for a former Volunteer who enters military service of pursues studies at a recognized institution of higher education.
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===How much money should I bring?===
  
Signed by John B Arango
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Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.
Peace Corps Director/Panama
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August 20, 1969
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===When can I take vacation and have people visit me?===
  
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Each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work.  Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.
  
==Description of Crisis Corps Service==
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===Will my belongings be covered by insurance?===
  
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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase such insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, laptops, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.
  
DATES OF SERVICE:  08 September to 07 October, 2005
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===Do I need an international driver’s license?===
  
NAME: David C. Peterson
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Volunteers in Belize do not need an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking. On very rare occasions, a Volunteer may be asked to drive a sponsor’s vehicle, but this can occur only with prior written permission of the country director. Should this occur, the Volunteer may obtain a local driver’s license. Your U.S. driver’s license will facilitate the process, so bring it with you just in case.  
  
COUNTRY:  United States, Group 1
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===What should I bring as gifts for Belizean friends and my host family? ===
  
STATE: Louisiana
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This is not a requirement. A token of friendship is sufficient. Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.
  
POSITION TITLE:  Applicant Services Specialist in the Individual Assistance Cadre
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===Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be? ===
  
===Description of training===
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Peace Corps trainees are not assigned to individual sites until after they have completed pre-service training. This gives the Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with their ministry counterparts. If feasible, you may have the opportunity to provide input on your site preferences, including geographical location, distance from other Volunteers, and living conditions.  However, many factors influence the site selection process and the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural villages and are usually within one hour from another Volunteer. There is usually at least one Volunteer based in each of the district capitals and five to eight Volunteers in Belize City.
  
Conducted at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s training center in Orlando, Florida, David Peterson received training in the functions of Disaster Recovery Centers including tracking the status of applications via web based programs, providing referrals and mitigation information, and problem resolution. David Peterson also received training in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission standards and Safety and Security in the field.
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===How can my family contact me in an emergency?===
  
Upon graduation from the center, David Peterson was able to assist with web based applications; routing applicants to appropriate services; providing authoritative information, explanations, program requirements and referrals to applicants affected by disasters, and assist in case processing and program eligibility decisions.  
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The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580.  
  
David Peterson was sworn in as a Crisis Corps Volunteer on 09 September 2005.
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===Can I call home from Belize?===
  
===Description of assignment===
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It is relatively easy to call the United States. Phones are available in almost all parts of the country, and the connections are good. However, international calls are expensive.
  
Following training David was deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At the Joint Field Office of FEMA David was assigned to Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) #2 in Marksville, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana as an Applicant Services Representative.  At the DRC he worked with volunteers from various agencies, FEMA employees, and personnel from other support groups. In his position he met one-on-one with evacuees from hurricanes Katrina and Rita with the primary purpose of providing information and requirements of the individual assistance programs for which they were eligible.
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===Should I bring a cellular phone with me?===
  
The most important responsibilities involved accessing the individual records of the applicants in the FEMA software database and verifying the accuracy of that information, making necessary corrections, additions and updates; assisting the applicant to resolve specific issues; referring the applicant to other assistance programs, community resources and other appropriate agencies; reviewing the applicant status to determine eligibility for financial and direct assistance, then forwarding it to the National Processing Service Center; and determining the applicant’s immediate and long-term housing needs.  
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Most volunteers elect to not to bring a cellphone with them to Belize, although most of the country has cell coverage and service (though it is expensive compared to U.S. rates). If you choose to bring a cellphone, bring one that uses a SIM card and remember that the chip in your phone will need to be reprogrammed by the local service provider to work on its system.  
  
===Achievements===
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===Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?===
  
David became very proficient in the FEMA web based applications and knowledgeable of FEMA programs. He was initially one of two volunteers at the center who had a PC and access to the FEMA website. David was selected as a trainer to cross train others at the DRC and train new staff toward the end of his assignment. As a fluent Spanish speaker he was called on occasionally to assist speakers of that language. David, along with other volunteers, helped set up the DRC the day before opening. The manager of the DRC provided a very positive Performance Review and Recommendation in appreciation of his service.  
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Internet and e-mail access is available through Belize Telecommunications Limited—the only Internet service provider in Belize—wherever there is telephone service. But it is expensive. The Peace Corps office in Belmopan has computers with Internet access that are available for Volunteer use.
  
===Primary Project===
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[[Category:Belize]]
 
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Katrina Louisiana Disaster Recovery, DRC #2, Marksville, Louisiana
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David served as an Applicant Services Representative interviewing the applicants to ensure they received the benefits to which they were entitled. The data collected was entered on a FEMA personal computer.
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===Other experiences===
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David witnessed first hand the arrival of Hurricane Rita on September 22 and 23, but fortunately his area was spared major damage and the DRC was only closed one day.  David worked one day with the US Public Health Service at the Lamar-Dixon Animal Shelter in Gonzales, LA, monitoring the area from a health perspective and recommending changes to make it safe for the workers.
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===Comments on physical demands of the position, if any===
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David, along with most of the DRC staff, was housed in the nearby community of Bunkie. He commuted daily about 15 miles each way to and from the DRC in Marksville. The DRC staff reported at 0700 each morning and worked until 1900, or later if necessary, to accommodate the evacuees. For three nights David lived in a tent city near Baton Rouge before his deployment to the DRC.
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===Privacy Act Notice / Non-Competitive Eligibility===
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The information requested herein is collected pursuant to Section 5 of the Peace Corps Act (USC 2504 (f)).  The information will be used exclusively to prepare the Description of Volunteer Service Statement, which will be permanently retained by the Peace Corps.  The statement will be used to verify service performed.
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This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order No. 11103 of April 10, 1963 that David C. Peterson served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  His service ended on 07 October 2005.
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Pursuant to Section 5(f) of the peace Corps Act, 22 USC No. 2504 (f) as amended, any former Volunteer employed by the United States government following his /her Peace Corps Service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps Volunteer Service based on length of government service.  Peace Corps service shall not be credited toward completion of a probationary p0r trial period or completion of any service requirement for career appointment.
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NOTE:  Presidential directive establishing non-competitive eligibility in 1963 after completion of at least one year of Peace Corps service; see Federal Personnel Manual (FPM), Chapter 315, 6-7.  Therefore, service under the Katrina Relief Initiative does not qualify.
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Signed by Mary Angelini, 21 March 2006
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Director of the Crisis Corps
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[[category:Volunteer]][[category:Description of Service]]
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Latest revision as of 13:40, 21 May 2014

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

For information see Welcomebooks



How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Belize?[edit]

Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limits. The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.

What is the electric current in Belize?[edit]

Although 220-volt electricity is available for large appliances, all homes and offices have 110-volt outlets.

How much money should I bring?[edit]

Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.

When can I take vacation and have people visit me?[edit]

Each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?[edit]

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase such insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, laptops, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.

Do I need an international driver’s license?[edit]

Volunteers in Belize do not need an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking. On very rare occasions, a Volunteer may be asked to drive a sponsor’s vehicle, but this can occur only with prior written permission of the country director. Should this occur, the Volunteer may obtain a local driver’s license. Your U.S. driver’s license will facilitate the process, so bring it with you just in case.

What should I bring as gifts for Belizean friends and my host family?[edit]

This is not a requirement. A token of friendship is sufficient. Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.

Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?[edit]

Peace Corps trainees are not assigned to individual sites until after they have completed pre-service training. This gives the Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with their ministry counterparts. If feasible, you may have the opportunity to provide input on your site preferences, including geographical location, distance from other Volunteers, and living conditions. However, many factors influence the site selection process and the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural villages and are usually within one hour from another Volunteer. There is usually at least one Volunteer based in each of the district capitals and five to eight Volunteers in Belize City.

How can my family contact me in an emergency?[edit]

The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580.

Can I call home from Belize?[edit]

It is relatively easy to call the United States. Phones are available in almost all parts of the country, and the connections are good. However, international calls are expensive.

Should I bring a cellular phone with me?[edit]

Most volunteers elect to not to bring a cellphone with them to Belize, although most of the country has cell coverage and service (though it is expensive compared to U.S. rates). If you choose to bring a cellphone, bring one that uses a SIM card and remember that the chip in your phone will need to be reprogrammed by the local service provider to work on its system.

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

Internet and e-mail access is available through Belize Telecommunications Limited—the only Internet service provider in Belize—wherever there is telephone service. But it is expensive. The Peace Corps office in Belmopan has computers with Internet access that are available for Volunteer use.