The phrase “typical Tuesday,” as immortalized by Taylor Swift’s hit 2009 song You Belong with Me, is somewhat of a fallacy as no individual day can really be an accurate representation of all like-named days. But in as much as any day can be said to be “typical,” I suppose this Tuesday was as good a use of that word as any other day.
One of the more common projects Peace Corps Indonesia volunteers put together is an English Camp. Camps can differ significantly but they usually last for one or two days and include a series of short, focused English lessons. The weekend of January 21st I helped with an English camp organized by ID9 Lisa in neighboring district Majalengka.
A little less than a month ago my parents came to Indonesia to visit me. Much of my father’s career has been spent abroad, often in developing countries, so they are not unfamiliar with the conditions most of the world lives in but I was still hesitant to have them come to Indonesia.
In late October I was asked to serve as a judge for a storytelling competition at a school in my district. Like most things Peace Corps or Indonesia I tried to limit my expectations and assumptions but was still surprised by many aspects of the event.
Peace Corps service is a multi-faceted gem. Granted, one of those facets is basically the scene from the hit movie “Bridesmaids” where everyone has terrible diarrhea, except it’s once a month for two years, a gem nonetheless. It’s a complicated and difficult business to explain, what volunteers do and the focus of the work. In my opinion, one of the best ways to describe what being a volunteer is like is through the “Core Expectations for Peace Corps Volunteers.” There are ten core expectations and they are derived from the spirt of the three main goals of Peace Corps as an agency—I hope to later write a post elucidating upon each one.
Continue reading “Core Expectations”
The bathroom is a great place to find contrasts between America and Indonesia. Besides using the squatty potty, Indonesians don’t take showers. At least, not showers as most Americans know them. In the stead of shower they mandi. Mandi literally means bath or shower, though what they actually do is better described as a bucket bath.
Three times a year, in January, July, and October, Peace Corps Indonesia volunteers complete what is known as a volunteer report form, or VRF for short. The VRF is essentially what PC headquarters uses to gauge volunteer effectiveness and, when all the VRFs from all PC countries are aggregated, to make informed and quantified proposals to congress to allocate funding each year.