24 February 2008

Quick Rundown on Peace Corps in Fiji

(I saw this idea on another site and thought it might be helpful.)

The quick run-down on PC/Fiji

PC Fiji currently has 2 main programs: Community Health Promotion and Integrated Environmental Resource Management. There are also volunteers working in Youth Life Skills Development and Business Advising.

All trainees currently arrive in late May.

PST (Pre-Service Training) is community based. This means you will live in a village or a settlement for 10 weeks with a host family while attending language and technical training.

After PST, you will be placed at site in your own housing. This housing can vary. Possible options: an apartment on your own with water and electricity, a shared house with another PCV, standard government housing at a hospital or school, your very own bure in the village.

You will find out more on the specifics of your site about 6 weeks into PST. Our site announcement was on July 4th.

Language: Currently, the majority of volunteers learn Bauan, a select few learn Hindi. The language you learn, in theory, depends on your future placement. This is not always true.

My advice, if you have a strong preference - give it up, you'll be happier.

Internet: Internet access is available throughout the country. Internet cafes vary in price from $1.00 - $6.00 and hour. Speed also varies greatly, but often uploading pictures takes a long time. Some volunteers, like myself, are able to have access in their homes.

Electricity & Water: The majority of volunteers have power/electricity all the time. There are more random black outs than you might experience in America though and they take longer to be resolved. You may or may not have indoor plumbing.

Food: You can be vegetarian, even vegan while serving in Fiji. Fruits and fresh vegetables about on Viti Levu but become more scarce on other islands or in the interior areas of the country. Main staples everywhere include: cassava, dalo, bananas, coconut, fish, powdered milk, rice and canned meats.

Electronics: Most volunteers brought digital cameras. Some brought their MP3 players and have been quite pleased with the decision. A few brought their laptops, and a few who did not have expressed that it might have useful if they had. There is a risk in bringing such goods to your service, but I personally have found the benefits outweigh the risks by far.

Other: There are ATMs available in the larger cities on Viti & Vanua Levu. This is not always so elsewhere in the country.

The Peace Corps Wiki - Fiji seems to be a through and accurate resource


Monocot said...

Thanks, this info is much appreciated for us Fiji invitees that stalk your blog

Rhiannon said...

My pleasure.