30 July, 2014

Sunday night ramblings.....

Well, my computer's hard drive crashed. It overheated. I am in Africa, though :) So I've been computerless for about 2 weeks. At first it was difficult to get over - it's crazy how much we rely on these stupid boxes. And I was just about to do a back up. So I lost a few things, but nothing I can't get back...at least, I haven't found yet. And I was in the middle of working on this video for my Court & Field Project. But...ahhh...I've been able to start all over again, with no problems. And thanks to my good friend, Erick - another PCV - he is a computer/tech genius - he performed some surgery on her, I got a new hard drive, and will now just need a new hard drive cable. And yay, parents are coming in less than a month and will bring that for me! I can't seem to find hard drive cables here in Namibia....

Ok, so computer issues. Then my phone cord died. And there was a power surge at the clinic, and all of a sudden, the other day, I heard a "pop" from the outlet. Luckily, the little iPhone charger converter-box is the thing that blew - NOT my phone. So I was out of a phone for about a day and a half. And for some reason, I have no idea why, I remembered that I had brought an adapter plug to use an iPhone 4 cord with and iPhone 5. (Of course, these things are rare to get in Namibia - it would have meant I had to go all the way down to Windhoek to find....and that's not easy or fun, when you don't have a car). And luckily, I had my cord for my iPhone 4, here. 

So, away from technology for a bit...but kind of a nice break.....

I'm back to working on the video as well! The Court & Field project, itself, is moving slow. And we're about to have a holiday in August, plus I'll be out of the village for a few weeks when my parents come. But you learn patience here......

I almost had the chance to play my guitar and sing a few songs at an expo this weekend! But I got sick....
My friend, Erick, is an amazing guitar player, and we were planning on playing. Luckily, he also invited another volunteer who plays as well...and they're hoping to get to play this week....

This last week has been rough. I realize how much I miss my family. Sometimes there are happenings in the village that I just have to accept, and it's emotionally draining. And then all of my technology started dying. But I got away for a few days, and will finish up getting some quotes for materials for the court & field, and this week will be better :)

Oh, and I'm going to Etosha next weekend with a few other PCVs and Namibians for my dear friend, Crystal's birthday!!! Bring on the elephants, lions, and giraffes....

This is how life goes, sometimes, in the PC....

I started Grassroots Soccer with my AIDS Club. I think they're really enjoying it! And hopefully learning. This last week they started exams, so we're holding off until after the holiday, to finish the program. But this last time we met, since many didn't show up, we decided to open the floor up to any questions about HIV, sex, etc. Well, they definitely had a lot to ask about sex, and I guess you'd say, I've become the one to talk about sex. I never thought I would do this, but I have no problems with it. I want these kids to understand and learn! And no one else will talk about it.....

But during this class, I started learning a lot about Namibians' thoughts on sex, etc. It's very eye-opening. And the thing with HIV/AIDS and it's high rate - well, it's not about the virus, or a disease. You have to dig deeper - into the culture, the way of life, the way of thinking. And it opens your eyes, and challenges you to try to figure out a different route to "attack" this virus. For example, what I have heard so far, at least in this particular class, is that rape, here in Namibia - and let me preface this by saying that rape is rape, period - occurs because a man wants sex. It's not about power or control, (Though, I'm sure there are times where this is the case) which is what my western mind is used to. Girls turn guys down, and so they find a girl they can rape - so they can have sex. I really don't know how violent it gets, if it does at all. I'm sure every case is different, but again, this is not about power for them - they just want sex.

And I guess I should let the cat out of the bag now....

I'm highly considering staying here a 3rd year!!! I'm gaining an interest in HIV/AIDS, as well as International Health and Development. And, well, I'm living internationally, so why not stay here? I feel like I'm back in school, and I've not finished learning. For my 3rd year, I'll get to pick my own project. So, though I'm still discussing it with my director, I'm thinking of doing some work for PC, as well as an organization such as USAID. Everything is still very early...but I'll keep you up-to-date! Needless to say, I'm pretty excited!!!

And for anyone interested in working in the States, or Internationally, with an NGO, UN, etc, check out the link for FundsforNGOs. There is a place on there where you can sign up for job opportunities - JobsinNGOs.

Well, that's about it for now....we have had to start saying our goodbyes to Group 36...they are about 2 months away from finishing their service. It's weird that they're leaving. And hard to say goodbye...but I know we'll all stay in touch and hopefully meet back up sometime soon! And we just had Group 40 come in last week to begin their training! There are 52 of them! And I've heard there are a few who will be up north, near me. So that's something to look forward to....

Well, time to sign out for now. I hope you are all well and safe and healthy and happy. This world is a-changin', but I have hope that it will all work out in the end.....

Love and Miss You All,
Johanna

p.s. Come visit me!!!! (since I'll be here an extra year - you have no excuse!!) :)

p.p.s. My sister and her boyfriend are racing in the IronMan in Lake Placid, NY today!!! I am so incredibly proud of her - this is her second one! As of right now, she is #17 in her age category!!! Go Cortney!! You are a true inspiration to never, never, NEVER giving up and continuing to push yourself to become better and better everyday! Love you lots!! <3

**Update- even through thunderstorms and lightning and the mountains, she came in at #16 in her age category!!!!**



27 July, 2014

RPCVs and job interviews......

And this is what I have to look forward to at some point....or, I should say,
the interviewer will have to sit through...
:)

Enjoy!







06 July, 2014

Video fun....??

Here is a beautiful picture of me, attempting to be interviewed, and speak into a camera,
for a video I'm creating to help promote my big
Court & Field Project, here in the village....

Yesterday, things were going great! I was putting together music, pictures, videos, etc....


And this is how it's going now....





Please cross your fingers this all works out in the end....lol
:)




01 July, 2014

Happy Tuesday

I know I have sooooo soooo much I need to say and write. The truth is, I have ups and downs, and many times, no real workspace, and I run out of motivation, when who knows if the internet is going to work, or when I might get to some good wifi.....

I thought I could keep up this motivation for the blog, but unfortunately, it's not going how I'd like. 

So...one of the things I've learned here, is when you fail or mess up (at least in your own eyes), you must forgive yourself, come up with a plan to make it better, learn, and move on. And do the best that you can do, with what you're given. And I'm tired of stressing over internet, etc. I've even slowly started giving up on facebook (my friends would be shocked!). I try to load the page, and it takes 10-15 minutes for it to load. Then, if I want to actually update my status, or heaven-forbid I want to upload a photo, it can take another 15-45 minutes. 

And that's another thing. I realized how much I relied on the internet before I came here! And I still try. I have downloaded (when in a good wifi area) so many resources to learn more about everything I'm doing here. I want to research everything on the net! I want to research NGOs and other organizations - trying to figure out my next step in life. I want to search and plan for my birthday trip in January - somewhere around Africa. 

But I've learned to have patience. And this kind of surfing may only be able to happen twice a month (maybe).

So, I've decided, when I log onto my blog to write an update, I'm not going to stress myself out about trying to write about what happened 2 months ago. Instead - it's all about right NOW. And who knows - maybe I'll write a book someday - and so you'll get to hear all of the details....Of course, I guess I always have the rest of my life to update this blog and tell different stories....

So - today. I'm getting prepared to finally have a Girls' Club meeting. My AIDS Awareness Club did an amazing job on Friday with AIDS Awareness Day, and yesterday we met, and will begin Grassroots Soccer on Monday! I also brought them sweets (they say this, instead of "treats"), and so they were happy. 

Saturday, I am hoping to have another meeting with the Committee for a project - a Sports Field - we are trying to have here in the village. I don't think I've said much about it, here on the blog. I didn't want to jinx myself, but things are slowly happening. Though it's keeping me busy - with trying to meet with the contractor, drawing up the plans for the field, trying to find funding, etc. And most importantly, I'm putting together a video to help show what this is all about. We are in need of 12-24 Americans to commit to coming over HERE to Namibia...to MY village next summer (northern hemisphere-summer). As soon as I get this video finished, I'll post it, and if you're interested, we would LOVE your help! Until then, the organization I'm working with is called Courts For Kids. If you read this, and before even see the video, jump off your couch, excited by the opportunity to come here, and hang out with me, and build a court, contact me and I can send you details and get you in touch with the organization!

Also - my parents are coming here!!!!!!! They are spending their wedding anniversary HERE, in Namibia, with me. I am so so so so so excited to see them, and tour Namibia with them, as well as hang out in Cape Town for a few days! They will be experiencing a true Owambo wedding, here in my village. It's going to be a fabulous time! 

I really didn't realize how much I would miss family and friends...but I do. I miss your faces. And Skype doesn't cut it, sometimes. You must come visit me :)

Oh, and one last piece of fun - my (Namibian) brother got accepted into Camp GLOW and my (Namibian) niece was accepted for the Diversity Tour!!!!! All 3 of us are super excited. These kids finally have been given an opportunity to get out of the village, see Namibia, meet other kids from all over Namibia, and have fun, and maybe even learn something along the way.....
If you want to still make a donation to Camp GLOW, click HERE.


Well, I guess I must be running....
Hope you are all well and Happy Tuesday!!!

Ondi ku hole,
Ndapandula


p.s. I started back with an Oshikwanyama language tutor - and apparently I know more than I thought I did! Oshi li! Nawa nawa!!!!