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Kristin's Blog as a PCV in Namibia
Kristin's Blog as a PCV in Namibia
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Hello My Friends,
One week has passed sinse I last wrote. I will try to write weekly in the future.
Teaching this past week has been wonderful. I am fortunate enough to be in a larger town at this moment. There are 18 PC Trainees here with me. Therefore, I have been able to receive feedback and advice from my fellow trainees and trainers. Although this can be a bit stressful, I find their help so beneficial, and I enjoy learning as well as teaching.
My host family is also doing well. Everyone is healthy and as silly and fun as ever. It is difficult for me to get enough sleep some nights because I simply enjoy being around the people here so much. I have to force myself into bed every night, but I am thankful for it when I am well rested the next morning.
Not much new to write. Time is up.
Posted by: Kristin / 4:34 AM
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
It has been quite some time sinse I last wrote in my blog. As I wrote before, my entire experience here has been a mixture of intensity, movement, and joy. There are days that seem to never end, where the minutes drag on and there is little to do. Then there are days where I never sit still and the night comes before I feel like I have even woke up. I like it like that.
So, what have I been doing over the past few weeks? I spent a few days in Bethanie. It is a cute town, and I'm sure I will find joy living there, but I also understand many of the struggles I will be facing. I have spoken with many of you about them, and although they are intimidating, I am excited about the opportunity to face them.
After visiting Bethanie, I met up with the other Group 22 Peace Corp Volunteers in Okahanjia. We were there for about a week, during which time we found out that three of our volunteers were choosing to return to America to pursue other paths in life. Along with those three, another volunteer became ill and had to be medically evacuated to the United States. I am sad to have lost these four people from this group. Each of them contributed to the spirit of Group 22. I am, however, happy and excited to hear that they are doing something that they want to do.
About a week ago I returned here, to Otjiwarongo. It felt so good to roll into town. My host family was waiting for me with warm hugs and thoughtful gifts. We sat around and shared silly stories over a nice dinner. My most interesting story was that I got locked into a bedroom for 9 hours while I was in Bethanie. The door lock broke, and there are burgler bars on all the windows. It happened around 11pm, so I had to wait until people were up so I could yell out the window and get someones attention. Then I had people pass tools through the window to me so I could take off the hinges and pry open the door. Quite an adventure, and more funny than anything. I had to stand on a little wire bed with a crow bar as my students watched and cheered for me from outside the window. Ask me for the full story at some point... very amusing.
I must take my leave now. I want you all to know how happy and healthy I have been here. The friends I have met here are amazing, and I hope you will all get a chance to meet them with time. I enjoy the teaching I have done, and I look forward to the next two years. You are all in my hearts daily... I can not wait to see you all again, give you hugs, laugh over wine (that's for you Bill and Carrie!), go sailing (Anita and Mary), run along the lake (TNT), go to Lange's and Rick and Ike's (Vince, Benson, everyone), sit in a hot tub with a bottle of wine (you know who you are), dance at the boys parties (Michelle), give my nephew a hug (Zan man), and many many other things that I long for daily.
Take care! kd
Posted by: Kristin / 6:27 AM
Friday, November 21, 2003
There are no words I could use to explain the past week of my life. One week ago I left my host family in Otjiwarongo. This is a family that welcomed me into their home and treated me as a member of the family. I was almost afraid to leave them because I did not think a situation could be any better. I knew from the beginning, however, that my family in Otjiwarongo was only a temporary placement. We are placed with families for the first few months of our service in the Peace Corp, but after the months are over we are usually given a completly different location to serve in for our final two years. After I left Otjiwarongo, I joined my fellow PCT's (Peace Corp Trainees) in Okahanjia. The plan for the week was to spend a few intense days training, and then on Wednesday to receive a name of a town. That name would be the town that would be our home for the next two years. I hate to admit how afraid I was of that name, but I think all of the PCT's were. This past Wednesday I received the name "Bethanie". All I knew was that it was located in the deep south. The south is very dry, very hot in the summer, and very cold in the winter. The other thing I knew was that there would not be another American anywhere near me.
Well, I will skip ahead to last night. My new supervisor (Peter) picked me up in Okahanjia. We left at about 2pm, and drove into the night until 10pm. As we drove, clouds rolled into the sky. Lightening danced around the car as we approached a storm. Then we hit the rain. It rained, and rained, and rained. Peter and I marveled at the strength of the storm and the distance it covered. It reminded me of many storms I had seen back home, but it was much different from Peter's experience with storms. In some way it felt like I was being welcomed into the country with this rain... something that is seen as a blessing in this part of the world.
As we approached Bethanie, the clouds disperssed and the stars came out. I have never seen such a beautiful sky. There are few artificial lights around this village, so each star shone brightly. The town here is small. We drove through its quiet streets and found Peter's home. His wife was up waiting for us, and there were two dogs at the gate to greet us. I found a bed and collapsed from exhaustion.
This morning I woke up early and well rested. I put on my jogging shoes and went for a run around the town. I can not tell you how beautiful it is here. The road ends not far from Peter's house and then the space is limitless. My eyes were able to stretch to their limits as I looked at the distant hills and plateus. I ran and ran and ran, and smiled. I went through the town and talked to some people, I went into the country and felt the earth under my feet. The freedom was unreal.
After my run I met the children who live here and then headed to the school. is a beautiful little school, and my home will be almost right next door. I will live with three other teachers in a very nice little home. I met my new roommates, and was very happy. They have such wonderful senses of humor.
After seeing the school,we drove around the location a bit. There was a funeral for a child passing by as we stopped. The reality of life and death is such a part of the existance here. I was warned that even though this is a small town (about 2000 people) I will probably see a funeral every week. I can not write how that makes me feel, but I am sure you understand. Next, I met some of the people who work on the farms around here, and then headed back to Peter's family. I will stay here for a short time and then go to the hostel where I will sleep for the next few nights. This town feels good to me. There is a lot here, a lot of good and a lot of need. I am fortunate and I only hope that in some way my presence here will bring more goodness to this lovely place.
I miss all of you very much. Even though I see a lot here, my heart is still in many ways with you, and you are all here with me. Thank you for helping me get here, my life is so very full. Smile and look at the sky at some point today. Remember why it is that we are here, and live as such. That is my thought.
Posted by: Kristin / 11:19 PM
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Good Afternoon Everyone,
It is a beautiful Wednesday afternoon here in Namibia (although a tad warm). My experience up to this point has been quite positive. There have been a wide range of emotions up to this point, but they are all welcome. It feels good to be alive, to be learning every day, to be growing.
I realize that I am a bit shy about this blog. I realize that many people can read it, therefore I find myself tentative to write freely. I hope that with time I will relax that tension a bit so you can enjoy Namibia through my eyes as well as my heart.
Today I taught my first Science class. I was up a lot of last night getting ready and being nervous, but I think it was worth it. Every time I step into a class room I feel a bit more comfortable. Have you ever had the feeling that what you are doing is somehow just the right thing to do? I hope that everyone gets that feeling at some point in their lives. I am working hard, but there is something so rewarding about it.
I only have a couple minutes left, so I have to end today on that note. I hope to get to a computer sometime this weekend so I can share more stories. The most important thing I want you guys to know is how happy I am here. My host family is wonderful and the volunteers continue to amaze me. I have never had so many beautiful conversations in one week. I am thankful for everything I am experiencing.
Posted by: Kristin / 6:17 AM
Friday, November 07, 2003
Hi everyone. I wanted to let you know that my first teaching experience went well. I got the chance to teach a 6th grade math class, and the topic was ratios. Most of the other American's had pretty short classes to teach (anywhere from 15 minutes to 40 minutes). My class, however, was a double period, so it lasted 80 minutes! By the end of the class we were having a lot of fun, and I think the students really understood the topic.
I know there are a lot of challenges on the horizon, and I am very excited about them. My two host sisters are sitting here with me... Here they are...
Sharifa: Kritin is really slick and she's, uh, uh, uh, interesting and fun to be with and sweet and a really cool older sister.
Megan: I've got a lot to say. Kristin is the best American I've ever met. She taught me a lot of cool words and I enjoy her a lot. She taught me the word skillet, neat, pony-tail holder, slick, etc. She's fun. You should all come to Namibia. It's very warm here, but it is enjoyable. I think Kristin enjoys it a lot. I can see it. She is smiling :-) I want to see Kristin's mom, she must be a wonderful lady. I talked to her on the phone. And her dad, he has a nice voice. I met Shannon and many other Peace Corp Volunteers. They're cool. Hi Vaibhavi, we love your name, we'd love to meet you. We have seen pictures of Chicago and it is a lot different than Otjiwarongo. It's big, it's huge. Kristin made fajitas for us the other day and this peanut butter and chocolate dessert and she said she will make other types of desserts. Aren't they wonderful! bye!
Posted by: Kristin / 6:42 AM
This is my first entry. I hope you all enjoy. Not much time to write now, but check back in the future for interesting info.
I love ya all,