26 November, 2014

Poor Economics

Happy Happy Thanksgiving!! Onda pandula! (I am thankful!) 
I almost forgot it was Thanksgiving - but I'll be celebrating next week...with Owambo chicken instead of turkey...

Now, back to business....

I assume all of you have completed your homework,
and read "Dead Aid", written by Dambisa Moyo.
If not, click HERE to get it :)
(AND - if you know any country leaders or politicians, 
please pass this book along to them...)

Now, for your next assignment, 
read "Poor Economics"

Click below:




There are MANY books on this topic, and now you can consider me 
your guide to these Aid books...
It's a very interesting topic, and one that can open your eyes 
to developing countries, specifically Africa, 
and all you thought you knew...

Yours truly,
Ndapandula

20 November, 2014

Holidays and Rain...

Hi all! I know it's been awhile....
After my amazing vacation with my parents, I headed back to the village. I had been gone for a month! I had a few meetings, including our HIV/AIDS Technical Group, here for PC in Nam. We are working on a few things, to help volunteers sort thru all of the information we're given, and find the best programs/activities to use - as well as ones which we can report to PEPFAR. See, every quarter, we have to send in a report to headquarters in Washington, on our activities at our sites. Well, some of this reporting also goes to PEPFAR - since they help fund the PC and our programs here in Namibia. They've recently changed some things, so our group is trying to put it all in laymen's terms for the volunteers, and make life and reporting a bit easier...We'll see if we will succeed....

I have also been talking with our new Country Director and APCD, and we are working on moving me to Windhoek to begin my third year of service early, helping in the PC office! Although we thought it might be December when I begin, it looks as though it may be closer to February...I hope, at least. School, here in the village and all of Namibia, is about to finish their academic year. For most PCVs, this means a lack of work...

So, I was hoping to get to Windhoek soon, to start working there, but until I do actually leave, I've already come up with some ideas for next school year:

  • Continue with Grassroots Soccer - at my school, as well as area villages' schools
  • Continue to try to get more interest in gardening and my NAWA program
  • Bring my counterpart, Daniel, on any other workshops/trainings - he loves learning and is always willing to keep trying and using the ideas we've been taught (even though he struggles with English, I believe it's getting better!)
  • And here's the newest....Start a Chess Club at school in January!! I bought a small chess board, and decided to teach my brother. Well, my older brother asked me to teach him, and as we were playing (from what I remember!) he told me that especially here in the villages, kids don't know how to play - and mostly because they think that only white people can play chess. Well, I'm about to change that thinking! I want both boys and girls to join the club, and we'll even make our own boards and pieces out of different color bottle caps, if we must. I'd like to also have a tournament halfway thru the year - and maybe give the winner his/her own chess board & pieces. 
And of course, I'm still working on my Court&Field Project...which will happen sometime next year. We are in the works of an American group coming here and also collaborating with a Namibian group at a college in Windhoek. Let's hear it for Namibians helping Namibians! But I will keep you updated as I get more info and plans become more concrete....(literally!).

But yes, I do look forward to moving up to the next level, and working at the PC office. I want to learn all I can about management, admin, and technical training. And who knows where this will lead..... :)

And so, until January and the start of the next school season, I have a few trips I'll be taking...
First, we are celebrating Thanksgiving the week AFTER because on November 28, Namibia is having its national elections for President, as well as Parliament. Volunteers are not allowed to leave site for about 5 days surrounding this time. They don't expect any problems - Namibia is a very safe, calm country. But just to make sure all volunteers are safe, we must stay in our villages during the time. So, the following week, we are going to try to find a turkey (though turkey is not a huge item in the supermarkets here) and attempt to make our own Thanksgiving feast, in Opuwo, with a few volunteers who stay there. After that, we are going camping at Epupa Falls! It's now the beginning of the rainy season, so we are hoping the levels are high enough to see some nice water falls...

And then the big trip: Around the New Year's Eve time, my friend Crystal and I are headed to Victoria Falls to meet up with my sister and her boyfriend! We'll be there for about a week and a half. Some things we're planning on is a 2 day/2 night camping safari in Botswana at Chobe National Park, a lion, cheetah and elephant walk, rafting on the Zambezi (!), a traditional Zambian dinner, checking out the local markets, volunteering at nearby schools/villages, seeing Victoria Falls, viewing the Lunar Rainbow over the falls, and possibly trying out the gorge swing and zipline! This will be my Christmas/Birthday trip to myself! I can't wait to see this part of Africa, and share the experience with my sister as well!


Well, that's about all for now...but all is good here....
Penny, the dog is not pregnant again. I had my hair braided for the first time (and will probably do it again! I really thought people in my village would laugh, but instead, they shook my hand and said "Thank you!"). I can open a can of tuna with a knife - therefore, it's official that I can survive anywhere! It's hott hott hott here, but it's also the beginning of the rainy season - which means cooler temperatures after the rain. My little nephew (2 years old) is learning how to speak some English - which is the cutest thing ever to hear.

Peace & Potatoes,
Ndapandula


Here's picture of me with braids:


Speaking of Opuwo - 
here's a nice story about the Himbas - who live in the Opuwo area!
Click on the picture below:



And my mother finished making LOTS of videos of our trip! 
If you want to see all the fun you missed out on, click on the link below: