Images of Life in Namibia

Some random photos from this past week…

Introducing my wonderful host family during PST: 15-yo Kiara, Baai (pron: "Bye"), Trys (pron: Trace), and 13-yo Damien. They shelter, feed, entertain, teach and support me. All are multi-lingual and they're helping me learn Afrikaans. More in them in a coming post...
Introducing my wonderful host family during PST: 15-yo Kiara, Baai (pron: “Bye”), Trys (pron: Trace), and 13-yo Damien. They shelter, feed, entertain, teach and support me. All are multi-lingual and they’re helping me learn Afrikaans. More on them in a future post…
My host family's home, and my home for two months in Okahandja. And yes, the weather is as nice as it looks without a cloud in the sky!
My host family’s home, and my home for two months in Okahandja. And yes, the weather is as nice as it looks, without a cloud in the sky!
PST is comprehensive: not only are language, cross-cultural, technical, medical, safety and security matters covered, but daily practical subjects as well. Due to Okahandja's severe drought, I have no running water at my home from 7am to 8pm so I'll be handwashing my laundry like this tomorrow.
PST is comprehensive: not only are language, cross-cultural, technical, medical, safety and security matters covered, but daily practical subjects as well. Due to Okahandja’s severe drought, I have no running water at my home from 7am to 8pm so I’ll be handwashing my laundry like this tomorrow.
Both chicken and eggs are on this coffee shop's menu, but these two seemed to have no cares...
Both chicken and eggs are on this coffee shop’s menu, but these two seemed to have no cares.
Posted hours of a nearby hangout for tired trainees at the end of the day. Not the first time I've seen a reference only to opening hours. Another place closes "when there's no one else here or we're tired..."
Posted hours of a nearby hangout for tired trainees at the end of the day. Not the first time I’ve seen a reference only to opening hours. Another place closes “when there’s no one else here or we’re tired…”
Even "in town" Namibia's wildlife impresses. My watch on the toad to lend scale.
Even “in town,” Namibia’s wildlife impresses. My watch on the road lends scale.
My Small Business Partner during PST. Like so many businesses I've worked with in the past, the owner of 20+ years is tired, overworked and looking for an exit strategy.
My Small Business Partner during PST. Like so many businesses with whom I’ve worked in the past, the owner of 20+ years is overworked, burned out and looking for an exit strategy.
Came across this woman in Okahandja wearing traditional Herero dress, complete with petticoats. Her unique headress is designed to resemble the horns of the cattle that the Hereo revere. It's a fairly common sight and not just on special occasions.
Came across this woman in Okahandja wearing traditional Herero dress, complete with petticoats. Her unique headress is designed to resemble the horns of the cattle that the Hereo revere. It’s a fairly common sight and not just on special occasions.

 

Day of sightseeing in Windhoek

We spent last Saturday exploring various sites in and around the nation’s capitol, Windhoek:

  • Heroes Acre national cemetery.
  • The Grove shopping mall.
  • Old Location Cemetery at site where signs of South Africa’s apartheid regime are still evident.
  • Katatura (meaning “the place where we don’t want to go”) – the district where Windhoek’s blacks were relocated during apartheid.
  • Single Quarters open-air market where traditional food and drink are prepared and sold.
  • Independence Memorial Museum with impressive galleries commemorating the country’s struggle for freedom from German, British and South African rule.

Continue reading “Day of sightseeing in Windhoek”

Breaking News: I’ll be learning to speak Afrikaans!


Our language assignments were announced last night to many cheers of excitement & gulps of nervousness. This morning, we all had to learn some basic greetings in all 6 languages that Group 43 is learning, which gave us a sense of the amazing diversity of this vast land. Detailed instruction (full immersion!) have started and our host families arrive in 30 minutes for first introductions. We move in with them tomorrow so stress levels are at a peak!

Staging

Staging was a ½-day meeting in the U.S. of all members of our Peace Corps Namibia Group 43 and a couple of Peace Corps staffers, just prior to traveling out of the country. It was held in the conference room of a small hotel in Philadelphia and comprised 5 hours of structured but casual introduction, orientation and team-building activities. The premise is that these 32 other trainees will serve as my new support unit throughout my time away: raw strangers one afternoon in Philly will become close friends, even a new “family,” with relationships that will last a lifetime. We’re going to spend a lot of time together over the next 9 weeks of Pre-Service Training and at other times throughout our 2-year service period. I have no doubt we’ll get to know each other quite well. Continue reading “Staging”

We’ve arrived!

I’m pleased to report that after an endless series of plane rides, bus trips and long periods of  w  a    i     t      i       n        g       for connections, we finally arrived in the town of Okahandja on Thursday, about 25 miles north of the Namibian capital of Windhoek. We are 33 Peace Corps Trainees (PCTs) along with ≈25 trainers and staff members who will spend most of the next 9 weeks together preparing us for our assignments. For the first 6 nights, we are living together in a conference center dormitory: women on the ground floor, men up one flight, 4 people per unit with shared bathroom/shower facilities on each floor. It has the feel of a summer camp.

Continue reading “We’ve arrived!”

Not bad for 2:30AM

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Our first steps were to lug our bags through construction-filled streets of Philly to our waiting bus. Roll call onboard found no lost souls – and a lot of smiling faces at this early hour.

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Since yesterday’s post, a few people have asked me why I’ve decided to do this, which gives me the chance to refer you to the Page on this blog by that name. Someday, I’ll learn how to post a link directly to it, but until then please navigate yourself to the list of Pages in the righthand column.

And so it begins…

Flew from SFO to Philadelphia yesterday for today’s staging event. In an hour, I will meet for the first time my new colleagues – roughly 30 of us from around the country split between two teams: Community Economic Development (CED) folks and Healthcare people.

Welcome to Philadelphia!
First leg of my journey: Staging in Philadelphia

Continue reading “And so it begins…”