Check out Andrew’s blog!

Andrew, a friend and another PC CED volunteer, is staying with a host family related to my own here in Okahandja – just two blocks away. In addition, we’re both learning Afrikaans together.

For more information on what’s going on here, and with another perspective on the Peace Corps life in Namibia, check out his blog:

www.dunesdaynamibia.wordpress.com.

Listen to this!

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, we begin our PST sessions with a number of songs to get the blood flowing. Starting with the national anthems (where you’ll hear the low energy in this audio clip), they get more and more rambunctious and end with stamping, swaying, dancing, clapping, finger-snapping and lots of laughing. It certainly wakes us up!

Continue reading “Listen to this!”

Images of Life in Namibia

Wash basin on the right and rinse bucket on the left. Best technique, they say, is to rub the fabric on your forearm rather than on another part of the garment.
Laundry day! Hand wash & line dry…  Wash basin on the right and rinse bucket on the left. Best technique, they say, is to rub the fabric on your forearm rather than on another part of the garment. After an hour, my arm was quite sore!
On the last day of the month, when many workers' monthly pay is automatically deposited into their accounts, there's a Black Friday-like line outside every bank and ATM to withdraw payday cash. This is at 9:55AM on April 30th.
On the last day of the month, when many workers’ monthly pay is automatically deposited into their accounts, there’s a Black Friday-like queue outside every bank and ATM to withdraw payday cash. This is at 9:55AM on April 30th.
Namibia is a land of entrepreneurs! While unemployment is desperately high (reports vary from 25-50%!), most of those employed also find ways to supplement their income. Spelling aside, this guy offers a pretty comprehensive range of services.
Namibia is a land of entrepreneurs! While unemployment is desperately high (reports vary from 35-50%!), many find new ways to make a living or to supplement their income. These guys offer a pretty comprehensive range of services.
Not sure what the definition of a ghetto is, in this context, but I know that Five Rand Camp is a district of Okahandja where people (mostly from the North) can stay overnight on their way to Windhoek for just 5 Rand per night. Rand is the currency of neighboring South Africa - the Namibian Dollar is pegged to its value, currently around 14 to the US$ on the street. Yep, that means you can get shelter and a bed for the night for about 35¢. And your own ghetto for just north of US$175.
Interesting use of the word “ghetto” in this context. Five Rand Camp is a district of Okahandja where people (mostly from the North) can stay overnight on their way to Windhoek for just 5 Rand per night. Rand is the currency of neighboring South Africa – the Namibian Dollar is pegged to its value, currently around N$14 to the US$. Yep, that means you can get shelter and a bed for about 35¢ a night – and your own “ghetto” for just north of US$175.
Pasta and homemade Tuscan bread from scratch, care of a fellow PST volunteer. His host family Mom, Martina, is the mother of my host family Dad and they live a block away. The two households enjoyed this tasty meal together.
Pasta and homemade Tuscan bread from scratch, care of a fellow PC volunteer. His host family Mom, Martina, is the mother of my host family Dad and they live a block away. The two households enjoyed this tasty meal together on Monday night.

Yes, this is a parody of an Afrikaans language lesson – but it will give you an idea of the difference in pronunciation when compared to English.

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!