May 26, 2002 - Horizons: Katie Myers will work within the education system, training teachers

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Namibia: Peace Corps Namibia : The Peace Corps in Namibia: May 26, 2002 - Horizons: Katie Myers will work within the education system, training teachers

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 9:21 am: Edit Post

Katie Myers will work within the education system, training teachers

Katie Myers will work within the education system, training teachers

Often they end up in places where they don't speak the language, know a soul or understand the culture. Some call them idealistic. Others call them naive. Rarely do you hear them called heroes. Instead, we call them Peace Corps volunteers.

Vacaville's Katie Myers is one of them.

Myers, 23, officially joined the ranks on Monday when her plane landed on the continent of Africa.

"A lot of people have the assumption that the Peace Corps is just something you sign up for, that they put flowers in your hair and send you off," said Myers. "It's very career-oriented, yet you have to be a little bit optimistic to decide to do something like this. Not to sound naive, I just want to help out. I want to be able to do something - do my part."

Myers left the U.S. on May 15, after three days in Washington, D.C. for orientation and shots. Her final destination - Namibia. She is spending three months in the country's capital, Windhoek, before being dispatched to parts unknown. Namibia, a sparsely-populated country, shares borders with Botswana, South Africa and the ever-volatile Angola.

She will receive a monthly stipend of $24 - the average Namibian income.

"I am excited," said Myers from her parents' home in north Vacaville before leaving. "Nervous, but excited."

Once established in Namibia, Myers will work within the education system, training teachers, developing a curriculum and helping to implement community projects. Namibia will be her home for 27 months.

Left behind are her parents, Jim and Diane Myers, a sister, Kelli, 21, a brother, Kyle, 16, and her tabby cat, Niesa.

"She's my adventure girl," said Diane Myers.

The new Peace Corp worker called earlier this week from Windhoek, she said.

"I guess when they arrived at the Windhoek airport there were a lot of school children there to greet them by singing songs. Katie said they (Namibians) were very poor, but she sounded really happy and has met a lot of nice people."

Myers, a December graduate of California State University, Chico, with a major in political science, described herself as "a crazy, fast-talking lady." That's because there's a river of enthusiasm chugging through her veins. Combine that with her infectious laugh and sense of humor, and she should be able to overcome any difficulties she encounters while living thousands of miles from home.

"For me, I'm going over with the mindset that this is a different culture, an obstacle to overcome. I know it's going to be tough. I won't know anybody. I won't know the language. I have so much to learn, and I have to keep an open mind," she said.
Destination: Namibia
Peace Corps worker wants 'to help out'

By Greg Trott/Features Writer

Cast about like seeds in the wind, there are people out there trying to make a difference.

The 1997 Vacaville High School graduate understands why her parents are nervous about her leaving, but it's a path they've tread before.

"It's always something I wanted to do. I got it in my blood when I was an exchange student in high school. My mom is anxious about it, and she's having the most difficulty. They're going to miss me, but they're proud of me," said Myers.

To be sure, Diane Myers will miss her daughter. "I probably won't sleep for 27 months," she said with a sigh. "I've had a lot of people say, 'How could you let her do that the way the world is? What a bad mom you are.' But she's 23. I'm not going to stand in the way of her dreams."

At the age of 16, Myers spent a year in Denmark as a Rotary Club exchange student. That experience opened up an exciting new world.

"When I was in Denmark I met the most awesome people. I got so involved in their culture. I was very proud I had lived in a different country, learned a different language. I achieved something. Growing up, my parents had always been there for me, helping with homework...(but) it was the first time I was able to do something on my own. It was something that nobody could take from me."

Now it's off to Namibia. An adventure that dwarfs her Denmark experience. Myers knows very little about Namibia, only that it's a recent republic (1990), and that the government is stable and similar to that of South Africa.

"I think it'll be OK," said Jim Myers, 52, the principal at Vaca Pena Middle School. "It's a little nerve-wracking, given the world situation. I'm very proud of her. She's seen more of the world than I have. She's always had a mind of her own and knows what direction she wants go in."

He said his daughter got the adventure genes from her mother, who had the urge to join the Peace Corps when she was her daughter's age.

Instead, said Diane Myers, "I met her dad and got married."

But nothing held daughter Katie back.

"There's no reason why I can't go," she said. "I'm ready to go. There always fear, but this is something I want. I'm not giving up on my dreams."

Namibia, beware. A determined young woman now walks on your earth - prepared to make a difference.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Horizons

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Namibia; Teacher Training



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.