TelephonesAll Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji have mobile phones. If you choose to bring a phone from the U.S., ensure that it is unlocked and GSM capable. You can receive phone calls on your local mobile phone at no charge to you. You can call mobile phones or landlines in the U.S. for about 20–90 Fijian cents per minute depending on your local phone carrier’s plan. Also, many Volunteers who have Internet access use Skype or FaceTime to make calls from a computer at no or minimal charge.
InternetThere are several Internet cafes in Suva and other urban centers. You will probably not have regular access during pre-service training and it may be very limited at your site unless you are in a larger town. It is recommended that you insure any devices, such as laptops, that you decide to bring to country. Many Volunteers are able to purchase mobile Wi-Fi devices, which can be used to access the Internet from most sites.
Housing and Site LocationYou will be living with a host family during your eight weeks of pre-service training in Fiji. You will soon discover that families are very important to the people of Fiji and that living with a host family can be both enjoyable and challenging. Going into the experience, you should definitely set some learning goals and make sure you are getting the most out of your host family experience—including language, culture, and other adjustment issues. Village houses may be constructed of palm fronds (bures) or may be made of wood, concrete block, or corrugated iron. Volunteers live in various settings, including rural areas, villages, towns, or urban areas. While rainfall is plentiful in most parts of Fiji, there may be periods where drinking water is scarce. Some Volunteers may have to walk short distances to carry water to their house. Traditional houses usually have separate kitchen and toilet facilities. Many rural communities do not have access to electricity, but most have at least a few hours of electricity a day provided by a generator. Electric current is wired at 220-240 volts, 50 hertz. Outlets take plugs with two or three flat pins (as in Australia). Some Volunteers may be placed on outer islands and/or in interior villages where transportation is by small plane, boat, and pickup truck.
Living Allowance and Money Management
Volunteers receive a monthly allowance in local currency that is sufficient to live at the level of the local people. The allowance covers food, housing, household supplies, clothing, transportation to and from work, utilities, recreation and entertainment, and incidental expenses. Peace Corps Volunteers are expected to live at a level that is comparable with that of their host country counterparts. The Peace Corps discourages Volunteers from supplementing their living allowance with funds from home. However, Volunteers often wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. For this, credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.