Archive - July 29, 2011

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Groups, Batches, and Pods

Groups, Batches, and Pods

As a Volunteer in Colombia when I was asked by a Colombian, “Quien es?” I would reply “Cuerpo de Paz.”  When asked the same question by an American, I would say “Colombia XI.”  Those were all the IDs I needed; designations I was proud to claim, then and now. One of the unique features of Peace Corps administration that gets too little attention is the organization of Volunteers into groups. Volunteers apply individually, are accepted individually and serve individually; but in between, they are “staged,” “trained,” and “sworn in,” as a member of a group. Everyone in the group goes to the same country; has the same starting and terminating date; usually the same program description; attends classes together; and serves under the same Host Country management. The groups are named by country and then by number; the numbers are sequential within each country, except when they are not.* Taken all . . .

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