PCT “Your Name”
Corps de la Paix
Thiès, Senegal, West Africa
Once you have been sworn in as a Volunteer and are at your permanent site, you will set up a postal box. Peace Corps cannot forward your mail to your new address, so loved ones should consider this and not send mail too close to the end of training.
TelephonesIf you would like to bring an iPhone or other smartphone, consult with your carrier to determine your options. Peace Corps/Senegal training staff facilitates the purchase of locally available cell phones upon arrival. About 70 percent of Volunteers in Senegal have regular access to the cell phone network. Volunteers are able to place direct international calls and SMS messages through local carriers.
InternetThere is Internet access at the many Internet cafes across Senegal, particularly in regional capitals. Many Volunteers do not have electricity in their homes, and security and maintenance of devices cannot be guaranteed. If you do bring a computer, consider purchasing personal property insurance.
Housing and Site LocationMost Volunteers in Senegal are assigned to rural areas, especially those who work in sustainable agriculture, health, and agroforestry. For safety and cultural reasons, Volunteers are usually housed in family compounds, where accommodations range from a cement-block room with a tin roof to a traditional hut with a thatched roof. The Peace Corps expects that all housing be equipped with screens to protect against mosquitoes and other insects, doors and windows with locks, and a concrete floor. Additionally, bathing and toilet facilities must meet Peace Corps standards. Your site will be supplied with water through a reliable well water source, a community tap, or a tap in your home, depending on where you may be assigned. Volunteers are encouraged to bring pictures or other decorations to “make their hut a home.” While there is no guarantee of having electricity, the current in Senegal is 220 volts, 50 hertz.
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.