A Day In The Life: Conference Edition

Peace Corps is known for its 3-month Community-Based Training at the beginning of a volunteer’s service. Sometimes people forget that there are other conferences, trainings, and workshops available throughout one’s service.

Every volunteer, no matter the country nor sector must attend the following:

CBT or Community Based Training: Scheduled the first 10 weeks to 3 months in country. This training includes language, cultural, and technical support.

IST or In-Service Training: Scheduled after that staging group’s 3rd month in site. This training consists of additional cultural and technical support that wasn’t covered during CBT. After this training, volunteers are allowed to travel out of site and can take vacation days if they wish.

MST or Mid-Service Training: Scheduled around that group’s swearing in date but could be delayed by 2 months. At this training, volunteers will have their annual medical and dental evaluations. This training will focus on the reflection of your 1st year of service and help you think about your 2nd-year plans.

COS or Close of Service Conference: Scheduled 3 months before your end of service. At this conference you apply for/receive your official leave date, reflect on your 2 years of service and prepare for life as an RPCV.

Each country and sector will have other workshops and training that are more specific to the service of the volunteer. I have been to the following: IFY Passport to Success Training, Amazigh Language Training, Regional Meeting, and Thanksgiving/Get Flu Shot Dinner.

Others available that I did not attend include the Library Workshop, Health Workshop, PP&D Workshop, Wellness Retreat, Gender, and Development Training, etc.

Without further adieu, here is a sample day in the life of one of these types of events in Peace Corps Morocco. This schedule is part of the COS Conference for Staj 96 2014-2016 (my group).

Breakfast

Session 1- Representing your Service
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Break
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Session 2: Visit from the Ambassador

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Session 3 – RPCV Panel
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Lunch

Session 4 – Service Reflection
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Break
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Session 5 – Resources for Jobs and Graduate School
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Dinner – On your own
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Shopping ( if you want)
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Volunteers in other countries: Does this sound familiar? Maybe your training is different? Please comment your answers below.

Tr3mendous Love,
Renee

Blogging Abroad's Boot Camp Blog Challenge: Starting January 2015

Snapshot: Community Based Training (CBT) in Sidi Kacem

Staging for Morocco

In making the decision whether or not to serve with the Peace Corps, it is mandatory that one research what to not expect in order to have a realistic idea of what to potentially expect. (Confusing I know)

Leaving your family, friends, careers, etc for two years is a major decision. Not only that, but with the Peace Corps you know that you could also potentially not have running water, internet, western toilet, or electricity. You also know that you may have to learn a language you’ve never studied or even heard of. With all of these unknowns, many people still decide to apply and accept the invitation. Once the invitation is accepted, one realized that you can’t fully prepare. We all have anxieties of what the service is going to throw at us.

The Staging Event in Philadelphia was enlightening and inspiring for me. I had anxieties about going to Morocco and was crazy enough to still get on the plane. Why? I wasn’t the only one with those anxieties. I’m not the only one making sacrifices to leave the US for 27 months. I’m not the only one that is so excited I can’t help but to smile at every person I walk past that’s in my training group. I’m not the only one who doesn’t know a lick of Arabic. I’m not the only who can’t remember the names of 103 other people who got on the plane with me.

We all bring something different to PC Morocco. However, we are all starting from square 1. I not only have my training group, but I’ve learned the various ways that the Peace Corps Staff can help emotionally, linguistically, medically, and any other -ically I can think of. Thank you, Staging staff for making it easier for me to get on Royal Air Maroc. I wasn’t the only one.

Tr3mendous Love,
Renee