22 February, 2015

Thought for the day...




And if you're considering joining the PC, living in another country, or even just traveling - 
If you want to grow from the experience, you must be open to this potential, 
in my opinion. 
As for me, it definitely has been challenging, 
and even sometimes disturbing and offensive -
but one I don't regret for a second, and would do again and again -
to continue learning and growing!



11 February, 2015

"Unsung Hero"

If only to give happiness and help others for these reasons...
The world would be more happy....




Peace & Love,
Ndapandula

10 February, 2015

The Germ Lesson

We have a weekly Health Club at the school, and this week's topic was germs. First, I should them some fun videos about germs, and then we played around with glitter! The kids really enjoyed this - and I think it truly taught them how easily germs are spread....And yes, glitter ended up EVERYWHERE.....lol. But we had fun.

Then, they each got a blank "germ", and gave it a face and added some color - and then they NAMED their germ. After the arts & crafts, they then all pledged to not spread their germ. 

It was a successful day at the office!









06 February, 2015

When you want to throw in the shitange....

Ugh...I'm so close to actually accomplishing things....

But then the learners didn't show up for Grassroots Soccer - even after we reminded them the week before, as well as the day of (they even asked if it was that day!!).

And my wonderful counterpart was willing to put in so much extra time (and basically, volunteer) and go with me 2 days/week for more Grassroots Soccer programs at the other school (the one that takes about 1.5 hours to get, walking thru the bush) AS WELL AS a Health Club that HE wanted to start! On his own! Oh my gosh...all of this "sustainability" thing that has been pounded into our heads, was maybe, finally happening!! Nope...although we had asked permission from my supervisor sometime back, she changed her mind, and felt she needs to speak with the Life Skills teacher at this school first (whom we have already talked with and she is desperate for our help) to make sure the community won't get upset if we do this. If we teach the kids about health. And HIV/AIDS. After school - not during classes. Done by 3:30. Yep...now I have to wait for her approval.....and my counterpart is frustrated too.....

My garden is a mess. When I was gone during the holidays, no one watered it, and the rain didn't come. And somehow, even though I only planted 3 watermelon seeds, it seems they have moved to different parts of the garden and it is now taking over the entire garden. Nothing else has grown. Weeds are everywhere. The door is gone - who knows what happened to that.




But you know, I just have to keep going. This has all taught me patience. And to let go. I am doing all I can. And I will weed this weekend :)

Another volunteer (business) nearby, is helping me design a basketball/netball post for this court we are hoping to build in the village. And the design is great! I sent it to the organization that will be helping us build this court, and they sent it off to some engineering students...and when I got the feedback, found out that we weren't too far off in our design. And by the end of this project, I'll know exactly how to build a concrete basketball/netball court!

I am assisting the Life Skills Teacher in teaching the grade 9 & 10 classes. Last week we talked about motivation. And, well, I sort of got very passionate in the middle of the class, and tried to motivate them, telling them that they can do or be anything they want! I think they were actually listening. It was really great to see, almost, a light bulb go on for almost every single student. I hope I said something to help....And then this week we taught them about goal setting. And I gave them homework - a goal. After writing down 3 different goals (short, mid, long-term), they are now supposed to go home and write the steps they will take to achieve these goals. I don't think they were happy I gave them homework, but then again, what student is? And I consider it tough love <3

For the Health Club that I've started at the school, my plan is to teach them about germs, using glitter, this coming Monday. After that, they will split into groups, and choose a topic to teach. I am going to help them use the computer to research their topic, and then they will be teaching the info to the club. What better way to learn about something, than to have to teach it yourself! Plus, I think they're excited about using the computer....

And I'm still waiting to hear from my director about my 3rd year project, but I believe it will be with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare. And they want help with policy development. Let's just say, after looking at their website (HERE) and all of the programs they are doing, I am extremely excited with this possibility. This is what International Health and Development is all about.....and what I'd like to have as my next career :) Hopefully I will know more in about 2 weeks....cross fingers...

I've started studying for the GREs. Yikes. I haven't taken a math class since 1993. But, luckily, math is not my problem. Vocab....ugh...is all I can say. But I'm studying every day, and hoping to take it in May, before I come home for a visit. Then I have all of next year to find a great grad program! And take the test again if I have to...lol. But so far, I'm feeling pretty good....p.s. for those who have to take this awesome exam, I highly recommend Cracking The GRE. Great book.

And there's a new small child at our house - the daughter of one of my brothers. We're watching her, while her mother is helping my other sister, in Windhoek, with her new child. Anywho - this little child doesn't understand a word I say, nor do I understand her, but she is the sweetest thing in the world, and she just loves me! I'll have to get a picture and show you....

Lastly, when I leave my house every morning and come home every afternoon, I walk by our guava tree...and all you smell is the sweetness....

Oh, and by the way, a shitange is a piece of material, used by many women in Africa. It can be a towel, blanket, skirt, apron, head wrap, shawl, and well, you can use it pretty much anyway you would like. It really is just any ol' piece of material, but they come in all different bright colors and patterns. So, of course, I had to buy 1....or 3.......

Here is a picture of me, Crystal (another PCV) and my sister, while we were in Zambia.
Crystal is wearing one of her shitanges....pretty fun, eh?




And since I'm posting pics, here are just a few from my birthday dinner at home...with my Namibian family....

My Meme bought me some wine :)

Just my sister, Anna, and me playing around

My sweet sister, Heeno
And here is another slideshow of just some of the animals we saw while in Livingstone, Zambia....
(give it a minute or 2 to load....)




Have a great weekend!
Johanna