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.
Most of the past 8 months have been filled with questions that generated answers of “I don’t know” or “It depends…” Some of the mystery is starting to clear now. Yesterday, we received brief summaries of the 18 projects that our Community Economic Development (CED) team will tackle. We had interviews with senior staff today to express our preferences. The decision on assignments will be made by Monday so that we can begin our intensive language training, although we won’t know the specific assignments (and specific locations) Next week, each PCT will move into a local family’s home to live for the remainder of our Pre-Service Training (PST). Those PST housing assignments will be determined once we learn the language we will learn. The 6 possibilities (up from 5 referenced in an earlier post)
I’ve taken some photos and videos of the greeting we received by our hosts – beautiful singing and quite moving – which I’ll upload when I get a faster internet connection than this