…for such a time as this

Stories about the adventure that is Peace Corps Tonga

Bureaucracy and the never ending need for forms

Peace Corps, being a part of the US government, does have its fair share of bureaucracy. There is a form and procedure for everything. You may not know the procedure or actually have the form, but they’re there, they’re always there.
Here’s an example of what us Ha’apai volunteers face:

Our upcoming Close of Service Conference is coming up on the main island. It’s a chance for my group, Tonga Group 75 to get together to celebrate our accomplishments and see eachother one last time before we all start leaving later this year.

Usually, when Peace Corps is flying us to another island, it’s a good chance to catch up with PCVs you haven’t seen in a while. I like to take a little vacation time before or after to take full advantage of the break. But, there are forms to be filled out.

Recently, our “office” printer broke during the Camp Glow festivities. There isn’t someone in Ha’apai that can fix printers, so on my way up to Vava’u for a workshop I brought it to the airport to be shipped to the main island to be fixed. We don’t expect to see that printer again.

Without a printer in the office, my next stop would be my school. But, that printer is out of toner.

Luckily, I work in a Ministry with a very capable office manager. If it’s up to her, she has everything stocked and running smoothly. I feel bad asking to use their printer for PC business because I really shouldn’t. Of course they allow me to do it, but it’s the principal of the matter. Here’s what I have to do to get a form to the PC main office.

1. Ask to use the printer at the ministry.
2. Log on to email to print the form.
3. Bike to school to get the form signed.
4. Find camera
5. Take picture of said form
6. Find camera wire
7. Upload picture to computer
8. Go to office to connect to the internet
9. Upload picture of form to email
10. Email to program manager for approval

….all to request a Saturday and Sunday “off” as vacation days. To TTap I come!

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