PO Box 9536
TelephonesUpon arrival in South Africa, every trainee is given an opportunity to e-mail and telephone a family member or friend in the U.S. However, during most of pre-service training, you will have infrequent opportunities to use telephones or Internet, if at all. Cell phones are widely available in South Africa. You will find that most people have cell phones, even in the remotest parts of the country.
InternetYour site may not have electricity, so the ability to use a personal computer is not guaranteed. The Peace Corps office in Pretoria has computers available in the Volunteer resource center for Volunteer use. Volunteers normally use these computers for committee work and to complete service documents. In most large cities and towns, Volunteers are able to access email at Internet cafes.
Housing and Site Location
All Volunteers live with a host family at a site located anywhere from one hour to nine hours from the capital city of Pretoria. Proximity to another Volunteer varies from site to site. Your host agency will provide safe and adequate housing—in accordance with the Peace Corps’ site selection criteria—that is likely to consist of a private room inside a family’s house or a room in an outside building within a family compound. Housing varies from mud houses with either thatch or tin roofs to brick homes with tin roofs. You need to be very flexible in your housing expectations because there is no guarantee that you will have running water or electricity. If you do not, you will collect your water from a well or borehole and spend your evenings reading by candlelight or lantern. The sponsoring agency or host family will provide you with basic items (e.g., a bed, mattress, desk/table, straight chair, and cupboard for hanging clothing or storage). Each Volunteer will receive an allowance in local currency to purchase needed settling-in items, as well as a water filter provided by the Peace Corps.