One of the biggest thing Peace Corps stresses is “Community Intergration.” So on that note you are suppose to get paid an amount that puts you on the same living level as Host Country Nationals (HCN). But what Community Intergration have to do with money you maybe wondering? – read on and find out.
We were told, “You will not need any personal savings during your Peace Corps Service.”
What is ironic about that is once we were in country – other in country PVC’s warned us about Peace Corps not being on top of it when it came to reimbursements and depositing money for things like trainings that you may need to go to outside our sites. This means for many of them – they have had to use their own personal funds regularly to stay afloat in Morocco.
Point in case – not getting paid for this month. Why you maybe wondering? God knows – a screw up at the bank – where such deposits should be automatic or human error somewhere in Peace Corps Washington DC headquarters or Morocco?
My entire stajj aka group hasn’t gotten paid this month and we are hurting bad. If we requested it we could get a 300DH = $37.50 advance but that doesn’t cover my rent for the month.
I had to pull money out of my personal account to pay my rent – why? Because its my first month in a new apartment and it looks bad when you don’t pay the rent on time. It shakes people’s trust in you when suddenly you can’t pay the rent and they KNOW you should have the money – meaning you have just shot yourself in the foot when it comes to community intergration.
I have found many people now that I have been in site a few months willing to let me pay later but I prefer to save using such their trust for something else more serious rather than paying my first month’s rent.
For some of us in our group they are simply left hanging and have to deal with their local community and landlords looking at them with suspicion and distrust since the the middle of last week – the trust that had been budding – just got crushed.
Others of us are dealing with the fact – we don’t have money for food let alone the rent – and we don’t have the money in an account somewhere we can pull it from to tide us over either.
All of us are dealing with being hung out to dry by our government organization – which we should be able to trust to handle such things with efficient and concise actions and not be left wondering – Why did I sign up for this again?