December 26, 2002 - Blue Springs Examiner: Daily routine often seems familiar to Namibia Peace Corps volunteer

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By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, December 26, 2002 - 2:07 pm: Edit Post

Daily routine often seems familiar to Namibia Peace Corps volunteer

Read and comment on this story from the Blue Springs Examiner on former reporter Robert Hite on how his daily life has not really changed much since he became a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia. Really, it hasn't.

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Daily routine often seems familiar to Peace Corps volunteer*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Daily routine often seems familiar to Peace Corps volunteer

Robert Hite

Special to The Examiner

Editor's note: Former Examiner reporter Robert Hite has been in Namibia, in southwest Africa, since August as a Peace Corps volunteer. He is sending periodic dispatches about his experiences there.

My life has not changed much since I became a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia. Really, it hasn't.

I wake up in the morning with a "to do" list written out or in my head. My breakfast is usually cereal and milk. The first duty of the day is a staff meeting with the teachers and administrators.

Some tasks on my "to do" list, just as in any other time in my life, are more enjoyable than others. Being a volunteer does not mean I am doing what I want on any given day.

I still get bored and frustrated when I don't have anything to do. Idleness drives me crazy.

What has changed is where and how I am applying my skills.

I have been assigned to the Parents and Communities for Education project. It has three goals:

1. Primary and combined educators will improve the professional development in the school environment.

2. Schools and communities will have greater access to human and material resources.

3. Parents, out-of-school youth and other community members will participate in more educational programs.

So, instead of interviewing City Council candidates about why the heck they want to become elected officials, I might critique a teacher about how they taught a class that morning. Instead of interviewing someone about their interest in birds, I might help some ladies who want to start a bakery business.

These examples actually happened.

At the first place I was assigned, the women who wanted to start a bakery also had kids enrolled at the private kindergarten. The problem is they cannot pay the monthly fee. I made a deal with them that if I help them, that they will use the profits to pay the kindergarten fee. In turn, the teacher would use that money to buy books, games and other educational materials.

In Witvlei, where I am permanently assigned, my big project is finding internships for students at the police station, post office, medical clinic and local businesses. The idea is to teach the students responsibility and maybe even a skill.

The amount of parental involvement in school here is almost nil compared with what I am used to.

Just as I did in Eastern Jackson County, I am working with people, meeting people and trying to create and increase awareness of an issue or idea. I talk with people and try to put people and ideas together. How can this student, parent and community benefit from each other?

Life, reporting, and volunteering are all a big challenge. And each comes with a reward.
Read more about Peace Corps Volunteers in Namibia

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Namibia; Special Interests - Education; Humor



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