Experiences of a recently-returned Community Economic Development Specialist at Peace Corps-Namibia
Until recently, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia focused on Community Economic Development. Before that, I was a high-tech executive, small business owner, consultant and business broker.
Since closing my service and returning to the US in December, I have been searching for my next adventure – an opportunity that would give me the same level of fulfillment that I enjoyed in Arandis.
I considered a return to the corporate world, buying another company, moving into non-profit organization management and even retirement. I only knew for sure that I wanted to be here in San Jose with my love – relocation wasn’t an option. I’m happy to share with you today that I found it…
Heralia and Simeon, good friends from Arandis, were recently married at her village in the north of Namibia. I was fortunate to attend and photograph the event. This is a long post with a lot of photos. I hope they give you a sense of the colorful sights, festive ceremonies, joyous music, smiling faces and delicious food we all enjoyed.
Congratulations, my dear friends. It was a privilege and an honor to share your special day with you.
Since people have been asking… I made the four long, uneventful flights to return safely to California, my “other” home, where I am slowly adjusting to the colder weather. I want to express my appreciation to all of you for following along this journey with me. My posts focused mostly on the recreation and entertainment I enjoyed for the past 2 3/4 years – without a lot said about the work I did. Now that I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV), free of certain restrictions, I intend to write more about some of the things I experienced and learned in the work I did. I hope you’ll tag along!
Today is my last day at the office where I have worked at the Arandis Town Council for the past 2 1/2 years. It hasn’t always been easy – but it has always been rewarding. Above my desk, every day, I used this poem for inspiration. Attributed to the philosopher Laozi in the 6th Century BC, it encapsulates for me the primary objective of Peace Corps around the world. Continue reading “Goodbye, Arandis! P.S. I love you!”
This past weekend was most special! Bringing together so many of my favorite people in Namibia! Colleagues from work, clients, Namibian friends and fellow PCVs joined me Friday night to celebrate my farewell – an experience I will never forget! Some of them agreed to be caught in these photos and many others graciously made entries in my Memory Book. (I can’t bring myself to go through that one until I’m on the airplane in 10 days’ time.)
It’s always interesting to come across a travelogue like this one about Namibia, the place I’ve called home for nearly 3 years. While I don’t particularly like the commercial aspects of the embedded video, it’s still nice to share this beautiful land.
As I enter my final month of Peace Corps service in Namibia, I was delighted to come across these wonderful aerial photographs by Leah Kennedy showing the abstract but very real beauty of this country. (Photo Credit: Leah Kennedy. All rights reserved).
Following the Game Count, I had the chance to hang out on Namibia’s Zambezi River and to visit Botswana’s supreme Chobe National Park – home to the largest collection of elephants anywhere in the world. I also got to Victoria Falls, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, one of the natural wonders of the world. It was a treat to meet other Africans and to see a bit of our neighboring countries! I hope you enjoy the images! Continue reading “Zambezi, Chobe and Victoria Falls”
I recently participated in IRDNC’s wildlife census activity in the Zambezi Region of Namibia, the far northeast corner of the county, at the tip of the extended thin finger of land squeezed between Zambia and Botswana. After a 3-day long road journey from Arandis, hitchhiking about 8 hours a day, the transformation of terrain and population density made evident those words from the national anthem: “contrasting, beautiful Namibia.” Green, Trees and Water – things I don’t often seen in the desert! Continue reading “Game Count in Zambezi”