27 August, 2013

Food Challenge!

Ok – I know I keep saying I'm going to write about food on here – because it is such a major part of Namibians' culture.....and I promise, I will! I want to get a few more pictures to post. It's been tough – for instance, at the wedding this weekend – I really wanted to take lots of pictures when they were preparing and cooking their food – but I did not want them to feel like they were on display, like I was a tourist....But I will get continue to get a picture here and there....

Until then....

I want to challenge all of you to get outside your comfort zone, when it comes to food!

Here in the village, we cook outside over an open fire, as well as on a gas stove. The oven will work, but it uses a lot of gas, and so we rarely use it. And even for those who have some electricity, they do not own microwaves, or even refrigerators or freezers (though some may have a small refrigerator).

Ok – here is the challenge:

For 1 WEEK, you are not allowed to use your refrigerator and freezer. If you want/need to keep something cool, you can buy ice, and place these things in a bucket of some sort (NOT a cooler, because most of those here in the village do not have a cooler). But once in a while, they do have access to buy ice – and they have lots of buckets! Anything you want to use for the week, that you currently have in the refrigerator and/or freezer, you MUST REMOVE at the beginning of the week. Then, you are not allowed to open those doors until the week is over.... :)

Here are some other rules:
  • You are allowed to cook using the stovetop, outdoor fire (NOT grill!), and 1 meal in the oven (seeing as how they rarely use it, since it costs a lot of money).
  • Generally, we only go to our shopping town 1x/week or every other week. But – I will allow you to go to the supermarket 1 TIME at the beginning of the week, and a SECOND time at some point – if you need to pick up items you forgot, or would like to cook meat that day/evening – so make a good shopping list, or you will only be eating whatever is in your cupboards :)
  • Here are some tips on foods that keep well (at least, from what I'm learning):
  1. fruits seem to stay well for about a week - sometimes less, sometimes more, depending on the fruit
  2. eggs will stay well for almost 2 weeks, as long as you don't buy them cold (already in the cooler)
  3. milk will last a few days, again, as long as when you buy it, it is from the shelf, and not the cooler
  4. they say veggies will last longer if you bury them in the ground, where they will stay cooler – I haven't yet done this, but feel free to dig a hole in your backyard if you'd like to try! (and then, report back to me on your findings!)
  5. Most veggies will last up to a week. I am still trying to figure out if leaving them out in the open is better than putting them in my metal green trunk the PC gave us. I am purposely doing this now, because I think I had a mouse in my hut at one point. Though, I may also try to buy some plastic shelves to place the veggies in. Again, let me know what works for you – any advice would be great!
  6. Sometimes, canned veggies are the easiest....(though not my top choice)
  7. As for drinks (juice, soda, beer, etc) – again, you can buy ice to keep them cool, if you would like
  8. bread will last about a week and half – though, sometimes mold likes to a grow within 4 or 5 days
  9. I have been able to get yogurt, and it last for 2-3 days
  10. On a side note about meat – my family will often buy red meat, and then dry it – this will allow them to use it later in the week, or even a few weeks later. If you would like to try this, here is how you do it: (this is how my family does it, but feel free to Google other methods)
  • Cut the red meat into thin strips
  • Add vinegar and salt
  • Hang on some sort of rope/line in a room (we have a hut where we do this), ideally, where the air is warm, dry and low humidity
  • When you are ready to eat it, just stick it in a pot and cook!
    11. It's really a crap-shoot, what will last through the whole week (or 2, in my case). Sometimes, I               have to accept that the money I just spent went to waste, because the food did not keep well....
    12. Last point about cooking – most of those who live in the village DO NOT have a blender, juicer,           toaster, or any other appliance. So, I think it would only be right to not allow you to use these.               Knives, forks and spoons are all allowed!

So – I will check back with all of you in a week or so! And I would LOVE LOVE LOVE your feedback!!! First of all, any help I can get in this department – as far as how to prepare and cook food – would be great (though I'm beginning to get the hang of it)! Also, I want you all to get a glimpse of how many people, at least here in the villages, live on a daily basis. It's do-able. We're just not used to doing it their way...because we have become so reliant on electricity and appliances. And you all have the luxury of living in your air-conditioned houses with any appliance you would like...so, enjoy these luxuries, while you live without the use of a refrigerator and freezer.

I hope you find this challenge educational - and maybe even fun! If you can't go to Africa (or a developing country), this is a great way, to at the very least, learn a little something about how other people in the world live....
Plus, you'll be ready when your electricity or refrigerator goes out!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me, 
or contact me here:


Happy eating!!

(Peace & Love),

You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps

24 August, 2013

Tears of gratitude

I know this is the biggest tease ever, but I had to share something quickly with everyone....

I am about to go to sleep in a tent at the home of our cleaning lady's parents. Her name is Olivia. She is getting married tomorrow. And I'm her photographer!

The party started tonight...and will end Monday night. I will write more about  the entire celebration later, including pictures...


Tonight I had the honor of being part of a traditional ritual, where the bride and her bridesmaids (she has 14!) sit in a hut, and are greeted by guests. Only 3 guests came. But this was expected (I think!). And when the guests arrived, they greeted each of us separately, but we were supposed to be rude, and not shake their hand or respond. Apparently, they have to "earn" our greeting. We all had a very hard time keeping a straight face, and pretending to ignore or be rude to these people. We all were aware this was a ritual, but still, we had to do it. It was pretty funny. Eventually, we could respond to the guests' greeting...but not shake their hand yet. (Thankfully I was sitting next to my supervisor's daughter, who speaks English, and was able to talk me through this entire ritual). 

So.... The point of this is...these "guests" are supposed to bring gifts. They brought in a big suitcase. After some time, still trying to "win" the bride's greeting, and ours as well (which was pretty funny to watch!), they opened the suitcase and in it was the flower girls' dresses, the bride's dress, veil, gloves, jewelry, the rings, 2 white umbrellas, edged with the color of the bridesmaids' dressed - maroon, and the bride's shoes. 

The bride finally "accepted" the guests, and we then went outside where a group of men had been singing all night - waiting to see the bride. There were many people, and they were singing and dancing and having a grand ol' time!

Besides wanting to share this story, I also had to share with you the overwhelming feeling of gratitude I had, while sitting in that hut. I looked around the room, and saw Olivia's bridesmaids of all ages. Some dressed in "westernized or modern" clothing, and some in traditional dresses. And I had this out-of-body experience of some sort...I just couldn't believe I was sitting in a traditional hut, surrounded by beautiful Namibian women in traditional dress, in a village, in Namibia, in AFRICA, and was able to be a part of this ritual! I mean, this is a common occurrence here in Namibia, and in the villages. And yet, 6 months ago, I had no clue this was even going on! And all of you- in the U.S. or any other country- you have no idea about what is going on here. Just like these Namibians have no clue what you are all doing. It's just an odd thing to think about - or maybe I'm just weird. But we are all in our own little worlds, doing our own little thing, meanwhile, another person, maybe the same age as you, on the other side of the globe, could be doing exactly the same thing as you! Or maybe not. I don't know...maybe I am weird. But tonight I realized that I am able to get a little peek of what another person in another country is doing. And then I start thinking about what, maybe someone in China, or France, or Chile, or Iraq is doing at this moment...

So anyway, there is my brain for ya'll! 

Oh, by the way...since I am her photographer, Olivia bought me a bridesmaid's dress!  So I guess I'm considered to be part of her wedding party! Wow. 

And as I was pinching myself, a little confused how I ended up here in Africa - who would have thought?? - and just so grateful that I am getting this experience, and out of nowhere, my eyes started filling up with tears...

I just couldn't believe that I was getting this opportunity- AND to be asked to be included and participate!

Oh, and Olivia's dress? I have never seen anything quite as beautiful! I will post pictures later, but it is a white gown of satin and lace and even some sparkles! She is going to look amazing....

And I just hope my camera cooperates and helps me get the most perfect pictures for her big day!

Peace & Weddings,

p.s. many women here have decided that I should marry a Namibian, specifically, an Owambo man....


23 August, 2013

Life is funny....

So, there I was, in Nashville, USA
All stressed and worried over things that no longer matter
I had priorities which kept me, now looking back, away from people I truly cared about - and who truly cared for me
Or, I should say, my priorities were a little warped
Because I thought certain things needed to be a priority
I was in a rut
A comfortable rut

And now, here I am in Namibia, AFRICA!
And man, let me tell you
If you ever need a wake-up call from LIFE
Or need your head re-adjusted
Or need a new view of people and the world (one of my MAIN reasons for joining PC)
And need to get UNcomfortable for a while

Because then
Only then
Will you find what you are truly made of
And what truly makes you tick
And you become stronger because of it
And you realize that the things in this life that make you happy
Are really never those things you THOUGHT were "making you happy"

And only then
Can you get yourself back on track
And find the real YOU
Even if you now have another home on the other side of the globe
It has helped to bring out YOU
The best in you
The worst in you
But the TRUE YOU!

And of course
I'm still learning
And growing

So, ask me in 21 months if this still remains true

But for now,
Even through the frustrating, stressful times
The times I have no clue what the heck is going on around me
Or how I can even help
Or just want a shower
In a house with white walls and clean floors
And a sink with running water
And I miss my car
And I'm losing my independence I have worked so hard to create and manage
And never liked relying on anyone else
(Now, I see that probably was a mistake on my part -
in past friendships and relationships)
I'm loving this personal journey that I'm on!

Peace & Love,

(By the way, PINK - especially BRIGHT pink - is the traditional Owambo color - and it's kind of funny - I'm finding myself buying new flip-flops, hut shoes, and other clothing that have this color in it...and all these years I stayed away from it...even though, this was one of my favorite colors growing up...just ask my mom - my room was made of pinks and purples...Funny how, years later, I'm returning to the original Johanna!)

You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps

22 August, 2013

Drought in Namibia

From the UNICEF Drought Emergency Appeal dated 10 July 2013:

“Namibia is currently experiencing a severe drought following almost three decades of low seasonal rainfall and a second year of failed rains in some locations.   On 17 May 2013, the Government declared a drought emergency as the country faced the death of livestock, failure of crops, reduced economic activities, and declines in human health.  With all 13 regions of the country affected, an Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) identified 778,504 people (37 per cent of the population) directly affected, including 109,000 children under the age of 5 who require urgent support. 

“Against a backdrop of underlying fragility, including pre-existing high levels of food insecurity and maternal and child under-nutrition (29% national stunting) combined with low sanitation coverage (14% in rural areas), children and women are particularly at risk of worsening health and nutrition status given the current drought conditions.  Although June marks only the beginning of the dry season, there has already been a sharp increase in clinic admissions for treatment of severe acute malnutrition, and 8 reported deaths in one of the most affected regions - Kunene. 

“While the Government has responded with interim measures providing 500MT of (unfortified) maize meal for each region for a period of two months, the lack of community-based malnutrition screening and treatment, as well as targeted support for young children’s nutritional needs is a critical gap.  The impact of the drought will continue to unfold through the remainder of 2013 and the numbers of affected children and households is likely to increase through March 2014 when the next crop cycle should be harvested.  It is essential to include prevention as well as treatment and support for health and nutrition immediately, adapting planning figures and approaches over the next nine months.”

And for this reason, it is ever more important that I begin my garden project....and especially run the HEARTH program for mothers with under-weight (malnourished) children, and teach them the Permagarden technique (at least this is the one the PC is training us in - though I'm looking at all of my resources and options - I figure, the more tools I have in my back pocket, the better at a chance of success!). For some great reading, suggested to me by Peter Jensen, our PC Permagarden guru, read How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons. Also, if you're on facebook, check out Peter's fb page: Permagardens for Empowerment and Resilience.

Although I have only been here for a few months, and therefore I can't compare the climate/weather of these last few months to previous years, I will tell you that, especially outside the village, there isn't much greenery and the cattle that are on the sides of the roads are so thin that you can see their ribs. And though my supervisor has not said anything to me yet about malnutrition here in the village, I know it was already a problem - especially in the small children. 

I will be attending a workshop by Peter at the end of October - to learn all about Permagardens! So, until then - and I am still waiting to meet with the committee, to help decide on the specifics of this garden project - I will be starting my own compost pile, and my Meme has allowed me to start a small little garden at our home. I'm hoping that by showing that this technique can work - and will produce much more food (doubles after the first season, and then over 600% after the second), over a smaller area of land (potentially 1/8 the land!), with less water usage, and help add nutrients to the soil - AND be sustainable - that they will want to incorporate this in to our Clinic Garden. 

So here goes something....

I am going to try to get photos of the cattle and the land very soon, so you can see what I see....and will soon be posting them....

You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps

17 August, 2013

Project Design & Management

I'm back from my week-long training in Windhoek! It's put on by the Peace Corps as part of our "ReConnect". We will have another one at the end of October. After 3 months of "observation" at our sites, the reason behind ReConnect is to check in on all of us - how we're adjusting, answer any questions/concerns, review our Needs Assessments that we had to fill out and turn in about a month ago, meet with the doctors for 1 more shot (Lord, I hope there are no more! I have been poked so many times during PST, that I should be immune to everything for the rest of my life!), discuss PC vacation/travel policies and other admin stuff, and this time, they have included the Project Design & Management workshop. Most of us brought our counterparts for this training. This is the time to sit down, without distractions from our jobs, discuss our main project, and begin figuring out how the heck to get it all done….
We stayed at a remote little lodge, just south of Windhoek. It was very pretty, but VERY far off the beaten path….

 So, in my last blog post, I talked about how I will be working with the AIDS Awareness Club at the school, and hopefully expanding this to the other 6 nearby schools, as my main project. Well, as it goes here in the PC, plans completely changed 2 days before I left for the workshop. 
me and my fellow PCVs enjoying our lunch break!
from l-r: Denise, me, David, Cherie
Here in Namibia, hierarchy is very important. You must go through the correct channels, in the correct order, to get anything done. One of the main groups of people I still had yet to meet was the Clinic Committee. These are community members of my village. The Headman was not part of this Committee - and by the way, this would be equivalent to a mayor of a town. There is a governor above him, and so on. Some villages have chiefs, others, headmen. This is a way for Namibians (and this may be the same in other African countries?) to take care of, and maintain, the traditional aspects and running of the village. The Committee meets to discuss the running of the clinic and address any of its needs. For instance, in my clinic, there are only 2 nurses - and only 1 of them is an RN. (I have been there since May, and have yet to see a doctor.) Although the RN (my supervisor) has requested more help from the Ministry of Health & Social Services, the Committee has decided to form an official letter of request, for more staff, and send this to the Ministry. 
Well, before little ol' me can do anything here, on behalf of the clinic, I had to meet with the Committee. I have had to maintain a high level of patience, because my supervisor has been so busy, and I almost accepted the fact that everything was going to take twice as long (or more) to get anything done…..But, ahh…finally, without any notice, they showed up at the clinic for a 3-hour meeting. Since I had not been formally introduced to them,  my supervisor wanted me to wait in the other room, until it was time to introduce me. Just from walking around the village, I had already met many of them. When I introduced myself (luckily, the Chairman speaks decent English, and so he translated everything for me), I explained that I am here in the village to lend an extra hand and I will be assisting in 1 main project, along with a few secondary projects - but that these must be something that will continue on after I leave - to quote the PC, "sustainable projects". Because, really what is the point of me coming in to their community, doing something for 2 years, and then leaving - and maybe that something I did was never really anything THEY wanted or needed. And how will that help them in the future? (I'm currently reading the book DeadAid - and highly recommend it! Also, for further reading check out the public Dropbox folder I have included on my blog - especially the PACA Manual.) 
I asked them what was their greatest health concern or need, and how can I help. And they answered:

"A garden"
Let me just say, that over the past 3 months, I have been feverishly researching HIV/AIDS Awareness Clubs for schools, and any- and everything related to this topic. 
And now they want me to plant a garden. 
And I have never grown a plant in my life. 
Should be interesting.

But again, this is THEIR project. And although I will need to know the process of gardening, I will not be the one doing all the digging and planting and harvesting. I will be ASSISTING. Plus, I'm sure there are some expert farmers here in the village - seeing as how most of them have land to grow their food (mahangu, mainly).
My counterpart, Penehafo, and I got to work! This workshop was definitely educational and we were able to accomplish a lot. I especially enjoyed how they guided us through every step and detail. I guess you can say I'm a detail kind of person (although maybe I didn't realize this beforehand). Pene, on the other hand, is not. And so this workshop, I think, was an eye-opener for her - and how we can't just jump into a project without fully discussing and planning all aspects. I think it overwhelmed her a bit.
But we came up with a plan! And, really, the plan is, to take the information we learned, and bring this back to the Committee. I am hoping to meet with them this coming week. See, THEY are the ones who will be making the decisions. And as I had to keep reminding Pene, I am just an ADVISOR. I will be there every step of the way, but this is the COMMUNITY'S garden. And as I was advised, I will be that extra hand, the outreach person, who can help gather all the necessary info, and I should take a back seat and let them plan this, with me advising them. And when it comes down to implementing and even writing a grant for the funds to support this garden, this is Pene's responsibility. I will, of course, help her through every step of the way…..
Also, in October, during our second part of ReConnect, we will have a gardening training workshop. More specially, Permagarden workshop, put on by PC's own Peter Jensen. If you don't know anything about Permagarden's, check out this link: Permagarden. This technique is used when the soil has very little-to-no nutrients, and has been successfully implemented in Tanzania by Peter and the PC. Also, I have uploaded the Permagarden Field Manual on my Dropbox folder.
Oh, and the initial purpose of the Clinic Garden? (I will be asking the Committee to be a little more detailed in their goals for this garden when we meet). The plan is to give some of the vegetables to HIV patients who are on ARVs (the medicine specifically for HIV/AIDS patients - without eating properly, the medicine won't work as well. PLUS it helps keep their immune system strong, to continue to fight this virus.) and some of the food will go to orphan and vulnerable children (OVC). Here in Namibia, and in our village, there are many OVCs. I originally thought this meant children on the street - homeless. Of course, we have no "street" here in the village! What OVC really means, is that there are many children whose parents have either passed away, or have moved to a town, leaving them with the grandmother (older women are more prevalent here in the village than older men - many men pass away at an earlier age). And the parents don't have the money to support these children. And the grandmother doesn't have the money to support them either. So, the children have a place to lay their head at night, but may not have the money for a school uniform, food, etc. Also, some of these children may have HIV and/or don't go to school, and have nothing to do during their days. The Red Cross is helping them, but still, more needs to be done. I'm hoping to partner up with our TB field coordinator, who is also a volunteer for the Red Cross. He wants to start clubs for them, as well as a garden. So, I'm hoping we can join our efforts and give these kids a chance!
And not only will we be helping to feed people in the community, but the clinic also wants to use some of the vegetables as an income-generating activity for the clinic. The funds will go to these OVCs for school uniforms, as well as HIV patients to get their medication. And to further explain this - here in the village, once a month, HIV patients go to the church, where doctors and the Ministry hand out the ARV medications. (By the way, rarely does this doctor stop by the clinic to help with the "other" patients.) This is great - these patients can continue their care, without having to travel far. BUT, in order to get the ARV medication, you must be a registered HIV patient. And in order to become registered, you must go to the hospital for complete bloodwork, to determine if you are a candidate for this medicine (HIV patients only go on ARVs when their CD4 cell count is about 250, here in Namibia - which marks the beginning stages of AIDS. Oh, I'm learning so much!) Well, many of these patients don't have money to get the transportation to the hospital to get registered. SO, the clinic wants to create an income to help in this transportation. (And, you might say that these patients could work or do something to get the money. Well, that's a whole other issue, and I'm hoping to start some kind of business/entrepreneurship club for the community, to give them a chance at earning an income. BUT the reality is, getting ARVs is a life-or-death situation. These patients MUST start immediately, in order for them to have the chance of a healthy, long life. Maybe, once their health returns somewhat, we can discuss IGAs (income-generating activity) for them.
I am also hoping to use part of this garden to help teach the community how they can incorporate the Permagarden method in their own homes, as well as nutrition classes. There is another program the PC has successfully used in other countries for mothers with malnourished and under-weight children, called the HEARTH program. For more info, go to this link: HEARTH, or the Dropbox Folder (under Nutrition/Gardening).
So - this garden will be my main project. My supervisor still wants me to continue to work with the AIDS Awareness Club at the school (including using the Grassroots Soccer Program) , as well as maybe form a Girls' Club. The teenage pregnancy rate is high, here in the village, and these kids need something to do with their time - AND become a little more educated in sex, STDs, etc. Of course, I will be facing many cultural issues - some girls feel it is a sign of womanhood to be pregnant - and you will even find the daughters and mothers in a bit of a rival to see who can have more children. Or, there is the peer pressure of becoming pregnant - since all of their friends are doing it. Or their is the feeling of many women/girls to not force condom-use issue with their partner. And I could go on….

As you can see, there are many layers here……

And I just want to make one point. I am not here to change their way of life or culture. I respect it. Namibians are amazing, wonderful, loving, friendly people! I just want them to get all the facts, and to fully think things through, before moving forward…..

Well, it's time for me to learn all about gardening!!!

Have a great day everyone!
p.s. Thanks to my friends who sent the Oreos to keep me company while writing this blog!! :)
p.p.s. My next post will be about my trip to the ocean....Swakopmund!
a pretty bird at our rest camp

You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps

05 August, 2013

Trip to Windhoek during PST

Yay! I found a program I can use while offline, to update my blog! It's amazing to realize how much the internet has been a part of my life - and how much I have relied on it…..and now, I am very limited. Ah, but this is just part of the journey….

Ok, I am finally getting myself organized, with my pictures, videos, etc.....and my plan is to go back in time, a bit, and talk about some of the fun times during PST (Pre-Service Training), and eventually bring you up-to-date – and HOPEFULLY, I can do this in a short amount of time. I'm writing this blog from my hut right now, along with the next few blog entries, as well as organizing the pictures and videos, so when I do get a good internet connection on the computer, I can upload everything....at least, that's the plan (though, I'm learning very quickly, in the Peace Corps, that things don't always go according to YOUR plan. And so I'm kind of learning to enjoy going with the flow, not feeling disheartened or disappointed if something doesn't work out how I had planned or wanted. And actually, when I look back over the last few months, everything ended up how it was supposed to be – without me thinking I had to plan every moment of my life and somehow think I could control it. Crazy me!)

So let me rewind a little, and tell you about our trip to Windhoek, during PST. We all loaded up onto a bus, on a Saturday morning, and drove about an hour and a half to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. The plan was to see a few historic sites, then to the mall for lunch, then an open market, and finally drive down a road in a not-so-nice part of town. (We were told we would not be getting off the bus to walk around this street.)

I'm including a slide show at the bottom of this post, along with a few other pictures, here on this post. I'm not sure the pictures do these places real justice, but you will, at the very least, get a good idea of some of what we saw, the history of Namibia, and present-day Namibia.

The drive to Windhoek was along the B1 – the major highway in Namibia. It pretty much runs from the north to the south. So, if you ever find yourself in Namibia, just hop on the B1, and you can get almost anywhere….

The drive was beautiful, with some animals along the way (baboons, cattle, donkeys, goats – you'll find this all up and down the B1) and some mountains in the distance.

Our first stop was Heroes Acre. This is the official war memorial in Namibia. It represents the spirit of patriotism and nationalism , in hopes of passing this on to future generations. It was beautiful. Many of the gravesites don't have anyone buried there, but a headstone in their honor.

For more info, go to this website: www.namibia-1on1.com/heroes-acre.html

Our next stop was the Old Location, where, in 1959, a massacre took place. Here, in this neighborhood, only blacks lived. But apartheid was still law. The government wanted to move the black people out of their homes, to a different location, and build houses for whites only. Most blacks left, but some remained, in protest. The police opened fire on these protesters, killing 11, and injuring 44.

December 10 is actually International Human Rights Day, as well as Namibian Women's Day.

If you want to read more about the massacre, here are a few links: Old Location 1959 Massacre & Katatura

Next, was the mall. It looks like the typical westernized mall – with shops and restaurants. It was nice to be inside for a bit, and out of the sun.... :)

We then went to the open market, where foods of all kind were sold. Some spices, dried spinach (evanda), ombidi (spinach), mahangu and soghum flour, and lots of meat, mainly beef. As we walked around, and were able to get a taste of some of the meat (which was delicious!), I noticed the heads of the cows just laying around on the ground. And the raw meat is hung, for people to purchase, or those selling will cook it for you. And finally, there was someone selling ice cream. Ahh! To many of us PCTs, that was just what the doctor had ordered....

Our next stop was Herero Mall. This was a few rows of bars, or as they call them here in Namibia, shabeens. We stopped in one, danced a little, and had a grand time. (The picture below is what many of the shabeens look like - although this one is actually a little bigger than most….)

Our last stop, before heading back to Okahandja, was driving down ***look up street in Windhoek***. This road is mainly filled with shebeens and car washes. Apparently, it's not a very safe area – as alcoholism has become a major problem, here in Namibia. And so, yes, as you would guess – while people are drinking, they get their cars washed – and then drive home. I've included some pictures of this road in my photo album below. These pictures are a very real look at what many parts of this developing country look like – at least, outside the villages. But, understand, these buildings look exactly like many shops, shebeens, and even houses (more like, a room, where a person lives) throughout Namibia – even in the villages.

Overall, it was a very educational day – and, now that I've been here for almost 5 months, I am understanding the significance of all of these places. Maybe I should return to them, as I now have a better appreciation of Namibia, it's history, and it's future....

Below, is a slide show with more pictures from the outing...

Group 37 with our PC Staff Trainers - at the top of Heroes' Acre

You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps

04 August, 2013

Peace Corps Education

I want to share with all of you just some of the material I am using, here at site, to educate myself on many of the different areas of work I may be doing, while here in Namibia...

Below is the link to a public Dropbox folder....
feel free to browse at your leisure....
I will be adding more and more info as I get it...

Enjoy reading!

(click image below)
PC Education Material

You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps