Allan Oliver in Guatemala & Beyond

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By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, July 01, 2001 - 3:36 pm: Edit Post

Allan Oliver in Guatemala & Beyond

Allan Oliver in Guatemala & Beyond

Allan Oliver in Guatemala & Beyond

Advice for PC Volunteers

A couple of buddies and I sat down with some friends and came up with a list of advice for new volunteers...

BAD advice received from PC

1.Women need to wear skirts and shirts with collars only - A load of hooey, most women need all the jeans they can get and women here wear t-shirts like anybody else

2.Weight limit on stuff. Don't get into a nervous sweat, most people did not get their stuff weighed and if it means a lot to you (sentimental wise not price-wise) bring it. On the other hand we had one person bring 50 lbs of cosmetics, this was considered extraneous.

3.Don't worry about it. BS it's easier to sweat the details in the states than in any foreign country

4.In training- spend every waking moment with your host family. Hooey, you NEED time to unwind with friends, yes, it's good for Spanish but you have 2 years to improve your Spanish.

Good Advice

1.Antigua and Guate have just about everything you could possibly need, sometimes at a better prices.

2.Shortwave radios rock. VOA basically is good for baseball scores and government propaganda.

3.Music tapes- DO NOT SLACK ON THIS. Many volunteers have been driven insane by lack of music or an overabundance of ranchero music. Tape-to-tape is a damn good idea, and worth the weight (see above)

4.Have money back in the states. PC money is not sufficient for training and is usually not quite enough in site. You try living on $1.25 per day.

5.Even a little Spanish helps. To start Spanish ability is about confidence, not vocabulary. If you feel a bit confident in your Spanish, your skill will improve FASTER.

6.Don't worry about it. Stressing over every little detail will kill you. Enjoy it, Peace Corps is a helluva lotta fun if you let it be.

7.Build a support network. The single most important thing in training (opinion of the author only) is to develop a network of friends who you can talk with and share ups and downs. It is also VERY easy, because you're all in the same boat.

8.Approvechar. Take advantage of stuff. Weekends see Antigua, or Panajachel. Site rats are fine, but cultivating yourself - seeing what other volunteers are doing improves your own work. In training, challenging yourself by traveling will improve your spanish and build your confidence.

9.Listen to volunteers, they are doing the stuff. Not the desk jockeys.

10.Enjoy the ride. 'Nuff said.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Guatemala; Humor; Advice for New Volunteers



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