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karate_chick1 in peacecorpsfolks

Living in a isolated area

Hi guys!

I have a question. In the Peace Corps application it asks me about if I am prepared to serve in a site that is isolated and/or a significant distance from other volunteers. While I understand that sometimes Peace Corps volunteers are in isolated areas, I would really love to be placed in an area with other Peace Corps volunteers. Has anyone had experience with this? Do you have any advice?

Thanks!

Comments

While I was close to other volunteers, there were certainly volunteers where I served (Benin) who were quite far from everyone. The downside is that it can be isolating. The upside is that you really get to become more part of your community. Also, there is the assumption here that you aren't going to feel isolated with the other volunteers. I am mainly a tech geek and don't drink. I felt isolated around volunteers too. There was one volunteer in my country who served quite far away from other volunteers. She was invited to weddings and all kinds of other cultural events. When she traveled, people from her village would send her to meet their relatives, sometimes these were women in purdah, so they were people who no volunteer would have gotten to meet without some contact person. Being isolated at your post (and for that matter all of the Peace Corps) is what you make of it. I can almost guarantee that you will feel isolated and lonely at some point, even if you have another volunteer next door. In addition to coming up with coping strategies, you also need to be honest with yourself about how much you can handle it. I got the impression that they gave us our posts based in part on what they thought we could cope with. If, after training, you don't think you can handle being way out in the middle of nowhere, tell the person making the assignments. It might help.