30 July, 2013

From oh, so long ago....

Here are 2 different slideshows of some pictures during PST (Pre-Service Training)...
One is of my host family's house, and the other has some random pictures during our time in Okahandja...
I know, I'm really, really, REALLY late with these...I guess you could say I'm officially on "Peace Corps time"! 

28 July, 2013

What has Johanna been up to.....

I got an email from a friend the other day - yelling at me for not updating the blog (just kidding, she wasn't yelling - just wondering!), and letting her know what I have been up to….

So here it is….

I am now spending more time at the school - and will soon, hopefully, get to the other 6 local schools (oh, and the trek on foot will be far!). I am assisting with Grade 9& 10 Life Skills classes, as well as the AIDS Awareness Club. This will be my main project (hopefully). There will be a few other secondary projects - plant a garden for the clinic, educate on nutrition and health (through a program the PC has provided us with) to the HIV/AIDS patients, expecting mothers, as well as mothers with very malnourished children. And there are soooo many other little and big projects that can be done, associated with all of these things - I'm just taking 1 thing at a time right now….So I've been researching HIV/AIDS, AIDS Awareness Clubs, and everything related to HIV in Namibia. I am also hoping to start using the World Wise School Program with a few teachers back in the US. I have a few ideas, that include the PE program at the school, along with after-school sport activities - as well as general education/information that can be exchanged between my learners here in Namibia, and those in the U.S. If you are a teacher, and interested, please contact me on the Contact tab! For more information on World Wise Schools, and what it's all about, click HERE.

There is soooo much I can do here - but I'm learning to take one task at a time….this run at a much slower pace here in Namibia, and maybe it's for the best - for me at least! haha!
Also, I'm heading to a week-long training next week, with my counterpart. Here, we will set up and design my main project! I'm excited to see all of my American Volunteer friends, and enjoy life outside of the village for a short bit….

Village Life:
I am in the process of learning how to make traditional beer! It's actually not alcoholic - unless I let it sit for a few days - but my family doesn't really drink, and so we're making it nonalcoholic. I'll be cooking it tonight - and we'll drink it tomorrow! Pictures to come soon….
Also, I've been learning more about how to turn the mahangu grain into flour - by pounding it. It's pretty hard to do! I have a video of my attempt at learning this skill - and hopefully, I can upload this video….

I have been trying to find a good offline blog program (If anyone knows of any good ones, please let me know! And free, if possible!), as well as breaking down and getting internet capability in my hut - though we will see how well it works, since the network is not that great here….

After my week-long training, a few of us will be celebrating a fellow PCV's birthday - in Swakopmund - on the beach!!! I'm excited for this, and hoping to get some great pictures, and of course, vacation time….

I am slowly uploading pictures and videos of other fun things I've been doing since arriving in Namibia. The internet is very slow (I tried to upload a 3.5 minute video to YouTube, and it said it would take 2387 minutes to upload!)….so patience is something I am definitely learning…..but now that I"m "connected" more, I will be posting more updates!
Other than that, things are wonderful. I have my moments of frustration - this is definitely the biggest personal challenge I have ever experienced - and highly recommend it for everyone! It is testing my limits and boundaries, and also helping me to create new and improved boundaries and self-confidence, as well as teaching me about myself, people, the world, and more…..

If you have any specific questions (and no question is a dumb question - believe me, I've probably asked myself the same questions, and have already had a few friends as "strange" questions - but the only way to learn, is to ask, right??) please, contact me - either through a comment, here on the blog, private email (for those with my email address), or the Contact form. I will answer your questions, and more…and even post my responses here on the blog, or all to learn…. :)

Also, I just went to the post office yesterday, and picked up TWO packages, plus a letter from a friend! I love receiving things from my friends and family in America - it really means a lot - even if it's just a letter! If you do want to send a package with some fun things and/or pictures of you so I can hang on my hut wall, check out my Contact tab for more info - address, a few specific items I am missing from home and more….

Love and miss everyone, but am so happy where my life has taken me….All of those "wrong" turns were, apparently, the CORRECT roads for me to take!!!

Peace & Love,

09 July, 2013

Good morning!!

Wa lele po nawa? (Is your morning going well?)

I had to share a picture of the beautiful sun rising this morning! The sun was a bright red - and I'm not sure this picture does it justice. But I will keep trying - because, I figure, after 2 years of being here, I will have the perfect picture of a Namibian sunrise and sunset!


08 July, 2013

Monday's lesson

Today's agenda:

"People cannot be developed; they can only develop themselves." - Julius Nyerere

I'm writing this as I'm doing some "self-studying" about exactly what my role will/can be as a PCV. 

I've decided to compile a stack of resources to share with all of you- resources the PC has given us to learn from, and to better help us create projects and make a small ripple in our communities...

This will be available via a public Dropbox folder, and as soon as they are all uploaded, I will post the link - 

Happy Monday! ( or as all the locals call it, I hope you are not having a "Blue Monday")

- Ombili (Peace)

05 July, 2013

A few more lessons...

I have I only been here for about 3.5 months, but have already learned a few things about life...and I wish I had figured these out a long time ago...ahhh, but as the proverb says:

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

So, here are a few more lessons I'm passing on....

Celebrate the rain. But do not disturb it. 

Walk with the sand. Don't try to fight it. 

Treasure every moment. Live in the moment.  And don't rush your time or conversation with people. Every minute that passes is one minute longer you are able to share a moment and enjoy this person. 

Listen to Namibian (sounds like "Island") music everyday. 

You call it extreme camping.
They call it everyday living. 

You call it off-roading.
They call it a trip to the supermarket. 

Mahangu and soghum have many uses - hard porridge (oshifima - sort of like harder mashed potatoes), soft porridge (like oatmeal), a (soft)drink, beer, baby food, chicken feed, pig food, dog food....just to name a few....

Laughter is a great form of communication.

Let nature take its course, and don't try to get in it's way or control it..and things will always work out the way they are supposed to....

01 July, 2013

The Pig - Part II

And you thought the saga was over....

So, let me update you:
The pig (still pregnant) escaped again....

With the help of whom, you ask? 

We're not sure...maybe the boyfriend? 

Updates to follow as the story continues...

And if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can read the story from the beginning here: 

Also, I'm hoping to post an album of pictures, and maybe even some videos, from the village later today...so stay tuned!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Monday!!