So what is the difference between regular Peace Corps service and being a PC Response Volunteer, numerous people have asked. I can only speak to my experience, but the differences are great and many!
As a regular PCV, I went to my country of service (Morocco) with 29 other people, and for three months we were together, learning the language and culture, and establishing friendships. The next two months at my assigned site, I stayed with a family who helped me integrate into the community, and I started work at a women's association where there were numerous women that I worked with daily. Then I moved into my own apartment which had electricity, running cold water, and squat toilet, and after about a year, I had access to Wi-fi! But, no TV or heat. I was only 12 miles from other volunteers, and met with yet other set of friends on a usually a monthly basis for a weekend in Marrakech or other towns. Interaction with various social/work groups on a regular basis was part of my lifestyle.
As a PC Response Volunteer, I came by myself (flew over with another person who is situated far from me now), and after a few days orientation, moved into an apartment in a huge city where no other PCVs are normally even allowed to go. There are only two people here in my NGO, but Tshidi, who I work with daily has gone above and beyond to be helpful. I have electricity, hot water, flush toilet, and a TV. I have chosen to not spend the money on heat that I'd use for about three months, and instead am making use of extra clothing to get through the winter. I have very limited built-in social groups and discovered it is challenging to find them. I enjoy the modern conveniences, but very much miss the socialization that comes with being a regular PCV, yet I don't know that I'd want to have spent a year hauling water and going out to a pit toilet.
The two Peace Corps country offices I've reported to are also very different in how they manage their operations. One thing both North and South Africa have in common is that where I lived, the winters are colder inside homes than outside in the sunshine! :) The seasons are the same in Morocco as U. S., not the opposite as they are in South Africa. Here I walk the streets of a suburb of a huge city; I've posted photos of scenes/flowering shrubs. This is a photo of a winter walk of 20K (about 12 miles) that I did a few times to my post office town in Morocco. Notice the snow in the mountains.
So there you have it. As is the case with most life experiences, there are both the positive and negative aspects, challenges that must be met and dealt with, and accomplishments to celebrate. Bottom line, I do know that my time here is helping improve understanding between our countries, that my work is helping improve lives, and I am receiving more than I am giving. So it is with both my Peace Corps experiences.