Difference between pages "FAQs by country" and "Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland"

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{{FAQs by country}}
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{{Living_conditions_and_volunteer_lifestyles_by_country}}
==[[Africa]]==
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{|  style="width:100%"
 
|
 
  
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Benin]]<br>
+
===Communications ===
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Botswana]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Burkina Faso]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Cameroon]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Cape Verde]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Ethiopia]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in The Gambia]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Ghana]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Guinea]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Kenya]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Lesotho]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Madagascar]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Malawi]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Mali]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Mauritania]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Mozambique]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Namibia]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Niger]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Rwanda]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Senegal]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in South Africa]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Swaziland]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Tanzania]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Togo]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Uganda]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Zambia]]<br>
+
  
 +
===Mail ===
  
|
+
Postal rates in Swaziland are reasonable, and airmail to the United States generally takes two to three weeks.  Aerogrammes and other mailing supplies can be purchased at post offices. Sending large packages via airmail can be very expensive, but smaller items such as cassettes can be sent via airmail for a reasonable charge. Surface mail takes two to four months to reach the United States. During pre-service training, you will receive mail at the training location. During Volunteer service, you are likely to be able to receive mail directly at your site.  
[[Image:Map_Africa.gif|right]]
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|}
+
  
 +
===Telephones ===
  
 +
Domestic and international phone service is available in large towns and in some villages. You will certainly have the opportunity to make or receive international calls during your service. Cellular phones are becoming more affordable as cellular service is available throughout Swaziland, and Peace Corps/Swaziland provides Volunteers with funds to purchase a cellular phone after completion of pre-service training.  However, depending on network coverage, you may not be able to telephone your home from your site on a regular basis.
  
==[[Asia]]==
+
===Computer, Internet, and E-mail Access ===
  
{| style="width:100%"
+
E-mail access is available at Internet cafés in Mbabane and other large towns. As telephone service has increased, so has Internet access. You are likely to have access to these services approximately every one to two months, unless there is access near your site. You should not expect to have access to the Internet and e-mail during pre-service training.
|
+
Not much people have them, only the ones who is very rich.
 +
☺☺ ☺☺ ☺☺☺☺
 +
☺☺☺☺☺☺  ☺☺
 +
☺☺  ☺☺ ☺☺☺☺
  
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Cambodia]]<br>
+
===Housing and Site Location ===
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in China]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Mongolia]] <br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Philippines]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Thailand]]<br>
+
  
 +
Your community will provide safe and adequate housing in accordance with the Peace Corps’ site selection criteria.  However, you need to be very flexible in your housing expectations. Housing will vary from a mud house with a thatch or tin roof to a cement block house to a room with a local family in a traditional homestead. Most Volunteers live on rural homesteads with Swazi host families. There is no guarantee that you will have running water or electricity; if you do not, you will collect your water from a community tap and spend evenings reading by candlelight or lantern. You will receive a settling-in allowance in local currency to purchase necessary household items.
  
|
+
===Living Allowance and Money Management ===
[[Image:Map_Asia.gif|right]]
+
|}
+
  
 +
The Peace Corps provides each Volunteer with a small allowance during training, a settling-in allowance, and a monthly living allowance for routine, basic expenses. A leave allowance equivalent to $24 a month and a travel allowance for official in-country travel are also provided. The allowances are calculated to allow a modest lifestyle in Swaziland, which most Volunteers find to be adequate.
  
==[[Central America and Mexico]]==
+
The local currency is the lilangeni (plural: emalangeni). South African rand are also accepted as legal tender. MasterCard credit cards are widely accepted in Swaziland, while Visa has more limited use. Traveler’s checks are also widely accepted. (Be sure to keep the original receipt of purchase.) Volunteers recommend that you bring some U.S. currency and credit cards if you plan to travel during vacations or after your service. The amount of cash you need will depend on the amount of traveling you plan to do.  In neighboring South Africa, credit cards are widely accepted at places of business, and there are many ATMs that provide access to bank accounts in the United States.
  
 +
The local people ususally get about $200 per month which is not alot but they still can live thourg it very well even it very hard. :) ☺☺☺☻☻☺☺
  
{| style="width:100%"
+
===Food and Diet ===
|
+
  
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Belize]]<br>
+
The staple food in Swaziland is corn, prepared as a thick porridge and eaten with vegetables or a sauce. Common vegetables include tomatoes, greens, potatoes, cabbage, and onions. Various fruits and vegetables are available seasonally, which means that some things will not be in markets year-round. A variety of meat and dairy products is also available.  You are likely to find canned goods and basic food items throughout Swaziland. Vegetarians will be able to maintain a healthy diet in Swaziland after becoming familiar with local food items and their preparation. However, being a vegetarian will require some compromises and a willingness to continually explain your diet to others.
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Costa Rica]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in El Salvador]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Guatemala]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Honduras]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Mexico]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Nicaragua]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Panama]]<br>
+
  
 +
===Transportation ===
  
|
+
The primary modes of transportation in Swaziland are public buses and minivans. Minivans travel between towns on irregular schedules (i.e., when full), so travel via this form of transport is never a timed affair. Bus schedules are fairly regular, but buses generally are not available in remote, rural areas. Roads generally are in good condition in the larger towns and cities. Poorly maintained vehicles, livestock wandering into the road, and intoxicated drivers are the main causes of road accidents in Swaziland.  
[[Image:Map_cen_america_mex.gif|right]]
+
|}
+
  
 +
Swaziland Volunteers receive an all-terrain bicycle (along with a helmet) to facilitate transportation to and from their work. Peace Corps policy requires that helmets be worn when riding. The bikes provided by the Peace Corps are men’s bikes, which can be difficult for women to ride when wearing a skirt. Female Volunteers often wear shorts under their skirts to accommodate this.
  
==[[Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]==
+
Volunteers are not allowed to own or operate motor vehicles, including motorcycles. Furthermore, Volunteers are not allowed to ride or be a passenger on a motorcycle. All trainees will receive a copy of Peace Corps/Swaziland’s transportation policy during pre-service training. Violation of this policy will result in your being terminated from Volunteer service.
  
{| style="width:100%"
+
===Geography and Climate ===
|
+
  
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Albania]]<br>
+
Swaziland can be divided into four distinct geographical areas, running north to south, each with its own climate and other characteristics: highveld, middleveld, lowveld (or bushveld), and the Lubombo Plateau.
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Armenia]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Azerbaijan]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Bulgaria]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Georgia]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Kazakhstan]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Macedonia]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Moldova]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Romania]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Turkmenistan]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Ukraine]]<br>
+
  
 +
On the western border is the highveld, lying on the edge of an escarpment at altitudes averaging 4,000 feet. This mountainous area has abundant rivers, waterfalls, and gorges. The climate is temperate with wet, warm summers and cold, dry winters. The capital, Mbabane, is located in this area. Moving toward the east, at a lower altitude, is the middleveld, which gets slightly less rain, has a warm climate, and features lush, fertile valleys. This region is the main area for agriculture and industry and has the densest population.  Adjacent to the middleveld is the lowveld, which is hotter and drier than the areas to the west. Major export crops such as sugarcane and citrus fruits are cultivated here. Dominated by grasslands and thorn trees, the region is the least populated area. Eastern Swaziland consists of the Lubombo Plateau, an escarpment bordering Mozambique. This mountainous area is broken by three main rivers and has a subtropical climate much like that of the middleveld.
  
|
+
The moderate climate ranges from subtropical to temperate depending on the altitude. June through September is cool and dry, but often cold at night, while October through May is warm and wet. Higher elevations are generally cloudy, mist covered, and about 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the country. The temperature in Mbabane ranges from 59 to 77 degrees in January and 42 to 67 degrees in July (Farenheit).  
[[Image:Map_east_eu_caucasas.gif|right]]
+
|}
+
  
==[[North Africa and the Middle East]]==
+
===Social Activities ===
  
{| style="width:100%"
+
Your social life will vary depending on where you are located.  In more rural communities, the major pastime is visiting with neighbors and friends. Cultural festivities, sporting events, weddings, and even funerals provide opportunities to meet and catch up with community members and their extended families.
|
+
  
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Jordan]]<br>
+
Although Volunteers often want to visit other Volunteers on weekends or holidays, the Peace Corps encourages Volunteers to remain at their sites to develop relationships in their community and to promote the second goal of the Peace Corps, i.e., cultural exchange. Also, in accordance with the Peace Corps’ philosophy of full community integration, Volunteers are deemed to be on duty seven days a week, except on national or local holidays.
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Morocco]]<br>
+
  
 +
Swaziland has a few television stations and several radio stations that play popular music.
  
|
+
===Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior ===
[[Image:Map_north_africa_mid_east.gif|right]]
+
|}
+
  
 +
Swazis value professional dress in the workplace, and dress is more conservative in rural areas than it is in cities. In the United States, we often view clothes as a reflection of our individuality. In Swaziland, dressing well is seen as a sign of your respect for others, and how you are viewed by your local colleagues will be highly dependent on the way you present yourself. Swazis do not appreciate clothes that are dirty, have holes in them, or are too revealing. Wearing such clothes will reduce the amount of respect given to you and therefore your effectiveness. While jeans and T-shirts are acceptable as casual wear, it is more common to see men in shirts with collars and casual slacks and women in casual dresses or skirts or slacks with blouses or shirts.
  
==[[South America]]==
+
The Peace Corps expects you to behave in a way that not only fosters respect toward you but reflects well on both the Peace Corps and the United States. Your dress, behavior, and attitude will all contribute to how well the agency is received.  As an invited guest, you must be sensitive to the habits, tastes, and taboos of your hosts.
  
{| style="width:100%"
+
===Personal Safety ===
|
+
  
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Bolivia]]<br>
+
More detailed information about the Peace Corps’ approach to safety is contained 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 Swaziland 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 Swaziland. At the same time, you are expected to take responsibility for your safety and well-being.
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Ecuador]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Guyana]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Paraguay]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Peru]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Suriname]]<br>
+
  
|
+
===Rewards and Frustrations ===
[[Image:Map_south_america.gif|right]]
+
|}
+
  
 +
Invariably, Volunteers who have completed their service speak of the relationships that they have established as the highlight of their service. Many speak of how they learned to value and respect a more family- and community-centered way of life and of how they have grown in patience and understanding.  Most are able to point to specific contributions they have made to a country’s development. In Swaziland, such contributions might include increasing the dialogue about HIV/AIDS; helping improve the level of knowledge about HIV/ AIDS among community members, teachers, and students; seeing colleagues try new approaches to nonformal education; and helping a community organize and plan an important project.
  
==[[The Caribbean]]==
+
The positive reflections are the endpoint of a series of highs and lows that are part and parcel of the process of leaving the United States, arriving in Swaziland, and adapting to the practices and slower pace of life in a new culture. You will have less guidance and direction than you would get in a new job in the United States. Oftentimes you will need to motivate yourself and your counterpart without receiving any feedback on your work. You will need flexibility, maturity, openmindedness, and resourcefulness to overcome difficulties.  Community development work is not a 9-to-5 job. Often there is little structure in place as a result of the devastation of HIV/AIDS in the rural areas. If you are willing to respect and become integrated into your community, to work hard at your assignment, and to be open to all that Swaziland has to offer, you will be a successful Volunteer. You, too, will be able to look back positively on the relationships you have built and the small differences you have made by virtue of those relationships.
  
  
{| style="width:100%"
+
[[Category:Swaziland]]
|
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Dominican Republic]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in the Eastern Caribbean]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Guyana]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Jamaica]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Suriname]]<br>
+
|
+
[[Image:Map_caribbean.gif|right]]
+
|}
+
 
+
==[[The Pacific Islands]]==
+
 
+
{| style="width:100%"
+
|
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Fiji]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Kiribati]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Micronesia]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Samoa]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Tonga]]<br>
+
[[FAQs about Peace Corps in Vanuatu]]<br>
+
|
+
[[Image:Map_pacific_islands.gif|right]]
+
|}
+

Revision as of 13:00, 2 October 2013



Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in [[{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |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 Swaziland| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |8}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |8}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |8}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |8}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |8}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |8}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |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 Swaziland| |6}}{{#if:{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}}|_{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}}|}}{{#if:{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |8}}|_{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |8}}|}}.svg|100px|none]]
[[Category:{{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |6}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |7}} {{#explode:Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Swaziland| |8}}]]


Communications

Mail

Postal rates in Swaziland are reasonable, and airmail to the United States generally takes two to three weeks. Aerogrammes and other mailing supplies can be purchased at post offices. Sending large packages via airmail can be very expensive, but smaller items such as cassettes can be sent via airmail for a reasonable charge. Surface mail takes two to four months to reach the United States. During pre-service training, you will receive mail at the training location. During Volunteer service, you are likely to be able to receive mail directly at your site.

Telephones

Domestic and international phone service is available in large towns and in some villages. You will certainly have the opportunity to make or receive international calls during your service. Cellular phones are becoming more affordable as cellular service is available throughout Swaziland, and Peace Corps/Swaziland provides Volunteers with funds to purchase a cellular phone after completion of pre-service training. However, depending on network coverage, you may not be able to telephone your home from your site on a regular basis.

Computer, Internet, and E-mail Access

E-mail access is available at Internet cafés in Mbabane and other large towns. As telephone service has increased, so has Internet access. You are likely to have access to these services approximately every one to two months, unless there is access near your site. You should not expect to have access to the Internet and e-mail during pre-service training. Not much people have them, only the ones who is very rich. ☺☺ ☺☺ ☺☺☺☺ ☺☺☺☺☺☺ ☺☺ ☺☺ ☺☺ ☺☺☺☺

Housing and Site Location

Your community will provide safe and adequate housing in accordance with the Peace Corps’ site selection criteria. However, you need to be very flexible in your housing expectations. Housing will vary from a mud house with a thatch or tin roof to a cement block house to a room with a local family in a traditional homestead. Most Volunteers live on rural homesteads with Swazi host families. There is no guarantee that you will have running water or electricity; if you do not, you will collect your water from a community tap and spend evenings reading by candlelight or lantern. You will receive a settling-in allowance in local currency to purchase necessary household items.

Living Allowance and Money Management

The Peace Corps provides each Volunteer with a small allowance during training, a settling-in allowance, and a monthly living allowance for routine, basic expenses. A leave allowance equivalent to $24 a month and a travel allowance for official in-country travel are also provided. The allowances are calculated to allow a modest lifestyle in Swaziland, which most Volunteers find to be adequate.

The local currency is the lilangeni (plural: emalangeni). South African rand are also accepted as legal tender. MasterCard credit cards are widely accepted in Swaziland, while Visa has more limited use. Traveler’s checks are also widely accepted. (Be sure to keep the original receipt of purchase.) Volunteers recommend that you bring some U.S. currency and credit cards if you plan to travel during vacations or after your service. The amount of cash you need will depend on the amount of traveling you plan to do. In neighboring South Africa, credit cards are widely accepted at places of business, and there are many ATMs that provide access to bank accounts in the United States.

The local people ususally get about $200 per month which is not alot but they still can live thourg it very well even it very hard. :) ☺☺☺☻☻☺☺

Food and Diet

The staple food in Swaziland is corn, prepared as a thick porridge and eaten with vegetables or a sauce. Common vegetables include tomatoes, greens, potatoes, cabbage, and onions. Various fruits and vegetables are available seasonally, which means that some things will not be in markets year-round. A variety of meat and dairy products is also available. You are likely to find canned goods and basic food items throughout Swaziland. Vegetarians will be able to maintain a healthy diet in Swaziland after becoming familiar with local food items and their preparation. However, being a vegetarian will require some compromises and a willingness to continually explain your diet to others.

Transportation

The primary modes of transportation in Swaziland are public buses and minivans. Minivans travel between towns on irregular schedules (i.e., when full), so travel via this form of transport is never a timed affair. Bus schedules are fairly regular, but buses generally are not available in remote, rural areas. Roads generally are in good condition in the larger towns and cities. Poorly maintained vehicles, livestock wandering into the road, and intoxicated drivers are the main causes of road accidents in Swaziland.

Swaziland Volunteers receive an all-terrain bicycle (along with a helmet) to facilitate transportation to and from their work. Peace Corps policy requires that helmets be worn when riding. The bikes provided by the Peace Corps are men’s bikes, which can be difficult for women to ride when wearing a skirt. Female Volunteers often wear shorts under their skirts to accommodate this.

Volunteers are not allowed to own or operate motor vehicles, including motorcycles. Furthermore, Volunteers are not allowed to ride or be a passenger on a motorcycle. All trainees will receive a copy of Peace Corps/Swaziland’s transportation policy during pre-service training. Violation of this policy will result in your being terminated from Volunteer service.

Geography and Climate

Swaziland can be divided into four distinct geographical areas, running north to south, each with its own climate and other characteristics: highveld, middleveld, lowveld (or bushveld), and the Lubombo Plateau.

On the western border is the highveld, lying on the edge of an escarpment at altitudes averaging 4,000 feet. This mountainous area has abundant rivers, waterfalls, and gorges. The climate is temperate with wet, warm summers and cold, dry winters. The capital, Mbabane, is located in this area. Moving toward the east, at a lower altitude, is the middleveld, which gets slightly less rain, has a warm climate, and features lush, fertile valleys. This region is the main area for agriculture and industry and has the densest population. Adjacent to the middleveld is the lowveld, which is hotter and drier than the areas to the west. Major export crops such as sugarcane and citrus fruits are cultivated here. Dominated by grasslands and thorn trees, the region is the least populated area. Eastern Swaziland consists of the Lubombo Plateau, an escarpment bordering Mozambique. This mountainous area is broken by three main rivers and has a subtropical climate much like that of the middleveld.

The moderate climate ranges from subtropical to temperate depending on the altitude. June through September is cool and dry, but often cold at night, while October through May is warm and wet. Higher elevations are generally cloudy, mist covered, and about 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the country. The temperature in Mbabane ranges from 59 to 77 degrees in January and 42 to 67 degrees in July (Farenheit).

Social Activities

Your social life will vary depending on where you are located. In more rural communities, the major pastime is visiting with neighbors and friends. Cultural festivities, sporting events, weddings, and even funerals provide opportunities to meet and catch up with community members and their extended families.

Although Volunteers often want to visit other Volunteers on weekends or holidays, the Peace Corps encourages Volunteers to remain at their sites to develop relationships in their community and to promote the second goal of the Peace Corps, i.e., cultural exchange. Also, in accordance with the Peace Corps’ philosophy of full community integration, Volunteers are deemed to be on duty seven days a week, except on national or local holidays.

Swaziland has a few television stations and several radio stations that play popular music.

Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior

Swazis value professional dress in the workplace, and dress is more conservative in rural areas than it is in cities. In the United States, we often view clothes as a reflection of our individuality. In Swaziland, dressing well is seen as a sign of your respect for others, and how you are viewed by your local colleagues will be highly dependent on the way you present yourself. Swazis do not appreciate clothes that are dirty, have holes in them, or are too revealing. Wearing such clothes will reduce the amount of respect given to you and therefore your effectiveness. While jeans and T-shirts are acceptable as casual wear, it is more common to see men in shirts with collars and casual slacks and women in casual dresses or skirts or slacks with blouses or shirts.

The Peace Corps expects you to behave in a way that not only fosters respect toward you but reflects well on both the Peace Corps and the United States. Your dress, behavior, and attitude will all contribute to how well the agency is received. As an invited guest, you must be sensitive to the habits, tastes, and taboos of your hosts.

Personal Safety

More detailed information about the Peace Corps’ approach to safety is contained 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 Swaziland 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 Swaziland. At the same time, you are expected to take responsibility for your safety and well-being.

Rewards and Frustrations

Invariably, Volunteers who have completed their service speak of the relationships that they have established as the highlight of their service. Many speak of how they learned to value and respect a more family- and community-centered way of life and of how they have grown in patience and understanding. Most are able to point to specific contributions they have made to a country’s development. In Swaziland, such contributions might include increasing the dialogue about HIV/AIDS; helping improve the level of knowledge about HIV/ AIDS among community members, teachers, and students; seeing colleagues try new approaches to nonformal education; and helping a community organize and plan an important project.

The positive reflections are the endpoint of a series of highs and lows that are part and parcel of the process of leaving the United States, arriving in Swaziland, and adapting to the practices and slower pace of life in a new culture. You will have less guidance and direction than you would get in a new job in the United States. Oftentimes you will need to motivate yourself and your counterpart without receiving any feedback on your work. You will need flexibility, maturity, openmindedness, and resourcefulness to overcome difficulties. Community development work is not a 9-to-5 job. Often there is little structure in place as a result of the devastation of HIV/AIDS in the rural areas. If you are willing to respect and become integrated into your community, to work hard at your assignment, and to be open to all that Swaziland has to offer, you will be a successful Volunteer. You, too, will be able to look back positively on the relationships you have built and the small differences you have made by virtue of those relationships.