December 20, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Shannon's Coral Pink Sands in Namibia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Namibia: Peace Corps Namibia : The Peace Corps in Namibia: December 20, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Shannon's Coral Pink Sands in Namibia

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, December 20, 2003 - 1:12 pm: Edit Post

Shannon's Coral Pink Sands in Namibia

Shannon's Coral Pink Sands in Namibia

December 9, 2003 in the evening

Lately I've had the chance to have very good one-on-one conversations with fellow volunteers and feed the need for much needed "real" discussions about this whole experience. I'm finding it fascinating and quite insightful to learn about those I'm working/living so closely with. So many times in life we spend so much time with people in such a superficial manner and never get to really know the person underneath that protective shell. Due to the amount of time we have all spent together by this point our true colors, or the African version, are beginning to show through. This group is like one big family, as we are here to offer love and support to one another yet we don't necessarily have to be friends. Intense, that best describes so much of thisâ¦the sun, the emotions, survival, safety, and desires. Many times I catch myself pondering reality and just how "true" all of this is due to my skewed perceptions. What I have come to find true for me is reality is defined moment to moment and thus I'm living up every high and low of it all.

TRC, teacher resource center, or a teacher trainer, that is my role here and that sounds so very crazy at times. Last week, 5 of us were able to finally jump in and create and facilitate our first workshop. It was quite humorous when my colleague, Jonathan, pointed out that due to the situation, we suddenly became the authorities on "classroom management" as we prepared for our presentation and our only resources were our own brainsâ¦just a bit scary. Things did go well though and I'm happy to have such great people to work with in carrying out this first task.

posted by Shannon @ 6:40 AM


Life is good back in Otjiwarango. It's amazing how comfortable and welcoming it feels to return to a place you already know a bit. I'm enjoying my family so much this time since I know what to expect and how things work around here to some degree. This place now feels somewhat like home due to my familiarity with the town. I can equate this all to returning back to Fort Mill, SC in other words returning to a drum corps "everydays" site. I've come to appreciate children so much more. They have this amazing spirit and pure smiles that seem to have the ability to melt away all the ills of the day just by looking at you. I often spend time playing with the neighborhood kids in the evenings to wash away the frustrations of the day.

My host mother is teaching me lots of things about life here. When I cook I never add enough oil, if eating fish you must also have some sausage, you sleep after eating, you can live on pap (grits/porridge) only for at least 5 days, don't walk at night anywhere take a taxi, don't ever walk through the bush, children can run the house by age 10, when washing dishes soap is a luxury and all of this is true because "This is Africa". Ingrid, another volunteer, and I always laugh at this and have found its a great reply when things are odd...and it is so so true.

Be sure to check out the latest links as there are pictures for you to check out! Love you all.

posted by Shannon @ 8:23 AM


It has happened I've finally set eyes upon the city I'll be living in for 2 years.....Mariental, the Dusty City. Luckily I'm sending this message directly from the Teacher Resource Center, TRC, that I'll be working at starting January 10th! I'll fill you in eventually about this town and its workings but do know there are 3 markets, 3 banks a police station and a need to worry in other words. At the moment one my newest friends, Nevilline, is sitting next to me and I'd like to take the time to share thoughts about her. She is now 10 years old, as she celebrated her birthday yesterday and fortunately I was able to play apart in the festivities. To explain just how wonderful she is I'll share a quick tale. Yesterday her uncle gave her some money to go and buy a cool drink (remember, we are on the edge of the Kalahari Desert here) and she came to find me and take me to the store with her only to insist on buying ME a drink too! As you can see although it is very, very warm here in Namibia so are the people :)

posted by Shannon @ 9:45 AM


Air conditioning...ahhhhhhh. I never realized how much I missed this precious extravegence until I was able to sit in it for the first time in weeks. Today the 6 TRC's, Alicia, Marti, Jonathan, Dani, Ingrid and I set off to Tsumeb to visit a teacher resource center and receive a little more insight about what our jobs will be like eventually. The town we were in was beautiful and very GREEN, much different than the towns south of it that we have seen thus far. It was nice to get out and about a bit more, see some hills (I call them mountains) and experience what will be a permanent site for one of us. We were able to visit the home of the lucky PCV that ends up there and its really nice......3 bedrooms, bathtub, shower and a toilet on top of a large kitchen and sitting rooms. All of us are begining to gather momentum as we learn more and more about our roles as teacher trainers working out of a Teacher Resource Center. The game we are all playing now is where each of us will end up, we basically know the 6 locations but no idea who will end up where. Oh the games!

Writing workshop, if you can believe this, I attended one consiting of fellow PST here in Otjiwarango and actually shared some writing, only a journal entry of course. The response was encouraging and I think this could be a new venture for me here in Africa. The most important aspect of all of this is that I had some potent material to share due to my experiences thus far that are not all flowers...I have had some challenges adjusting to the lifestyle in the my host family's home. I'll share more later.

Miss you all!

posted by Shannon @ 9:22 AM


I'm finally starting to adjust to the African lifestyle and enjoying it. The moon was absolutely gorgeous last night as I was sitting on the porch eating dinner with family and friends. Although I've been here only a short while I can remember the evening we arrived looking diligently for the moon yet none was to be found. Last night it shone silver, grey and white and is nearing full already...just one more way to show how warped time is here. My host family is wonderful. I now have two sisters and two brothers of ages: 10, 9,4 and 2...the house is a bit wild at times. My oldest brother is the most help with learning the language and in return I teach him card games, go fish really helps with learning your numbers in another language!

People are very hospitable here and I'm learning even more so the joy of simple human conversation and communication, when it actually occurs. Today I co-taught 6th grade math which was fun and not that much different except that I spoke very slowly...this is a challenge for me!

Looking for some funny stories yet can't think of any at the moment. On Saturday I'm hoping to go to the farm with my father and siblings which means horse back riding while seeing cattle, goats, chickens, cheetahs, rhinos, spring bok and the such. On the drive from Okahandja to my new home, Otjiwarango, I learned why skirts are a beautiful thing for women...when there is no rest stops along a long drive it is much easier to squat on the side of the road amongst 1 meter tall bush and get away with it! Yes, myself and 3 other women did this 4 meters or so from the main road.......gotta love it!

posted by Shannon @ 6:37 AM


Hallo from Okahandja, Namibia! I've arrived safely after a 14 hour flight and then another 2 hour one. Our drive to our current residence included watching a group of baboons cross the road, not something I'm used to seeing. So far life is quite easy since we are staying in a good size town and there are 46 of us at the moment. On Saturday I will be departing to Otjiwarango where I will be living with a host family of 6. Unfortunately they speak Oshiherero as their first language and I'll be studying Afrikaans, I which I've already learned a bit of dankie! Time is in a definite warp right now yet I'm enjoying it all the same. We've been on a very tight schedule with workshops so haven't really had too much time to sleep. The other PCT are amazing people with so many talents and stories. In the evening after dinner there are lots of activities: we have a trained Yoga instructor for class on the lawn, jogging group (which is always sight for the locals running through town), writing group and always someone strumming a guitar and cards being played. Life is good at the moment yet much will change very soon when we dispearse to our 2 weeks of community based training. I'll send more stories as I can, I luckily am in a large city for my CBT. Feel free to send letters :) Phone calls cost N$10 a minute so don't expect me to reach you that way.


posted by Shannon @ 10:21 AM


Down to just 2 weeks and the "last times" of many things has begun. After a wonderful bar-b-que bash with some friends on Saturday I realize once again how lucky I am to have so many amazing people in my life. In case you would like to keep up with me via the wriitten word I can be reached at :

PO Box 6862


Windhoek, Namibia

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Namibia; PCVs in the Field - Namibia; Blog



By Heazel ( - on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 1:32 pm: Edit Post

Hey Shannon!

I am not sure if I have the right person. We went to high school together. Saw your write up on and I wanted to say hello! That is GREAT that you are a involved with the Peace Corps. My email is

If this is not Shannon Russell, well I am sorry for bugging you and I hope you are well too.

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