Peace Corps: This ain’t no vacation.
As far as living conditions, we’re going to be living in the same environment as the local people that we’re visiting. I’m expecting to be in a house without electricity, running water, hot, humid weather, and limited access to contact my friends and family.
As a brief introduction, the Peace Corps is a volunteer program supported by the U.S. government with the goal of supporting a number of countries with dire need for support in sectors such as health, education and economic development.
This is a volunteer experience. We don’t get paid much to do this, haha. I mean, we’ll be given a living allowance, equivalent to our neighborhood counterparts. It’d be nice to make money, but that’s not our job.
So, tell me more about “No Electricity”
It’s about a fifty-fifty percent chance that I’ll have any electricity while I am living in Uganda. It’s going be pretty barebones, and I’m not expecting much of anything that we take for granted. Think: hot shower, cold shower… any shower. Running water, air condition, and so on. Some things you can take for granted, but coming from Hawai’i I feel like most missed luxury will be having running water.
Will I miss any of it? 100% yes.
I’d be lying to say that I’m completely comfortable with all of the upcoming changes, but I’m welcome to this new kind of experience. I’m positive I can get through this experience because it’s obviously not the end of the world. It’s nice to have electricity at home, it’ll just take time to get used to it.
As far as specific details on where I’m going to be living, I can’t say right now. Not because I don’t want to share the details, but because I actually don’t know where I’ll be. From the conference calls we’ve had so far, there isn’t much that I can pinpoint. It’s the famous answer of: it depends.
What do you mean by, “It Depends?”
My placement is dependent on my own personality, skills, talents, the needs of the community, and the judgement from my Peace Corps officers to place me in a position that they would deem to be a good fit.
As much I would like to be placed in an IT centric position, with most of my skills and expertise revolving around networks, computers, and technology, I’m pretty sure it won’t be too useful in a place that isn’t supremely dependent on the internet.
During Pre-Service Training, known as PST, I’m assuming we will be placed according to our identified strengths and weaknesses. I know I’m strongest in my skills in organization, communication, and connection, so I hope I get placed in to something that highlights that, haha.
If not? Alas, we will have to adjust.
The Peace Corps is a sacrifice. I am fully aware of what I am about to get in to, and also realize that things will definitely not match up to any expectation I might have. I could be placed in a very remote location or a place that has the normal amenities you would find at a 1-star hotel; who knows. What matters is having a good attitude about it. At least with that, I know that I can adjust my new lifestyle for the next two years