Where am I going to live?
Now that I’ve been here for over a week, I feel myself settling in nicely. Of course, we are in the confines of Camp Peace Corps (as we jokingly say!) This was a hectic week full of information upon information. We had workshops and classes starting at 8am and going until after 9pm some nights. A lot of PCV’s (current Peace Corps Volunteers) have been here this week for info forums and sessions. I am learning Afrikaans (Ek leer Afrikans!) which has been really fun. It is a lot like German, so I’m lucky to have a little background to help me learn Afrikaans. Basically my day begins at 7 when I shower then eat breakfast. We go straight to language classes from 8-10 followed by sessions on culture and education throughout the day. Our Afrikaans teacher, Liz, doesn’t like to sit in a classroom, so we head into town and speak with the people directly. It is quite hilarious to see a group of Americans march into town and introduce ourselves to random people “My name is Pam. I come from America. I am learning Afrikaans. I am in the Peace Corps.” Oh, and “This is my friend Caitlin. She is a teacher.” We have a ball laughing at ourselves!
The town of Omaruru is really cute. I haven’t seen it in its entirety, but the people are friendly and it has everything we could want. There is a nice coffee shop called the Sand Dragon which is owned by Americans, so many of us PCT’s drop by every now and then for some good coffee.
We found out our permanent sites!!!!
I will be living in……..Swakopmund!
You are probably thinking right now…where is that?? WELL, it is on the coast right in the middle of the country. I think I won the lottery of permanent sites, because it is about 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the country and seems to be quite a happening place! I received a letter from my predecessor, and she said there is a movie theater, coffee shop, and a GYM. Was this what you thought I’d find in Africa? I certainly didn’t! However, I am still a little torn between the Africa I envisioned and the Africa where I will now live. It seems like I will have everything and more in this place. The great thing to comfort my mixed emotions is that my job will bring me out to rural areas. I will visit the schools in my district and meet with teachers to determine which resources the Teacher Resource Center (TRC) can provide. I hope that through my collaboration with other TRC’s, I will make it out to see most of the country. My group Nam 25 is pretty much covering the entire country of Namibia. Some are isolated, others in suburban areas, and others in cities. We leave on Tuesday for our site visit. I will be there for a week then come back only to begin my stay with a host family.
I want to share a few funny things that have happened yesterday. First, there was a group of ostriches in our back yard!!! So funny! Then, after enduring the desert heat for a week, there was a downpour in the afternoon! Last night was great: one side of the camp we had a full on dance party and the other side was movie night. Our tech people are awesome because they hooked up a projector to a laptop and we all watched Office Space. Today is our first full day off, and we pretty much don’t know what to do with ourselves!
I’m working on my cell phone situation at the moment. I’m trying to find a way to unlock my phone from the states. If anyone has any idea on how to do this, please email me and let me know. I’m looking for a “restriction code” for a nokia 3120b phone. Hopefully I can use the one I have from home. Unfortunately, I won’t be calling many people because it is so expensive for me on my tiny tiny budget. But, incoming calls and texts for me are FREE!
I think that covers everything going on here. I want to say hello to all the parents and friends of people in my group who are reading my blog for updates. (Patrick Riley’s dad, Elissa's mom from VA, and Wendie’s friends!) We are all doing well here and are safe. Just the occasional spider and now apparently ostriches!!
I hope everyone is doing well stateside!