“The best things in life are free
But you can keep ’em for the birds and bees
Now give me money (that’s what I want)” — The Beatles, Money (That’s What I Want)
So … money in the Peace Corps. There isn’t any. The end.
No, just kidding. Oh, not about the no-money part. That’s true. I just meant I have a little more to say about it …
I mentioned I am in PST (pre-service training) for the Peace Corps. Here’s how the money situation works right now. The Peace Corps gives me:
- Rent money, which they give directly to me, and which I give to my host family. This is to cover the cost of my expenses (feeding me three times per day, water and electricity I use, etc.).
- Transportation money (I take a taxi to training every day, 1 Euro each way)
- And … 2 Euro per day as “walking around money,” which I receive as a monthly lump sum.
I know! 2 Euro per day doesn’t sound like much, does it? But let’s break down the cost of some common things I buy:
- Macchiato — 50 cents
- Chocolate croissant — 40 cents
- Piece of pizza — 40 cents
- Chicken sandwich from our favorite chicken sandwich place — $1.50 Euro
- Postage to the United States (per item) — about $2.50, depending on what it is
- Package of gum — 40 cents
- Pack of travel tissue — 9 cents (Seriously, when was the last time you bought anything for 9 cents? Never?)
Here is a receipt from lunch at a nice restaurant. The total cost was 7 Euro for 3 people. We all had a bottle of water. Charlie and I each got a hamburger and fries, while Sierra got a margarita pizza. (This sounds like the beginning of a textbook math problem, but I promise, no math is involved.)
For those of you who are all like, “I can’t visit you in Kosovo. It’s so expensive!” My response is: “Yes, it’s expensive to get over here, but once you’re here, you can live like a king!”
Think about it.