Photos from our travels over Christmas break -- Reconnect (with other PCV's), Christmas weekend with other PCV's, relaxing at Swakopmund, and hiking at Spitzkoppe. We are now back home and are dogsitting for friends, thus the photo of me with Patches (who also appears in some of the other pictures).
Sadly, reconnect is already almost over! This week has gone really
fast. It was so much fun meeting everyone at the PC office in Windhoek
on Sunday – hugs all around and, in my case, lots of Happy Birthdays.
We were driven outside the city a bit to a conference center that is
up in the mountains. It’s a really beautiful place! It also has free
internet (albeit very slow), and HOT showers!
We have training sessions from 8:00 to 5:00, with breaks for tea and
lunch. The sessions have varied from medical review to gardening to
debriefing about our sites so far. The best session was probably the
one by the PCVLs (PCVs who have extended for a third year) about
classroom management and lesson planning. It's just so much more
helpful to hear actual stories and examples rather than theory.
The food's been impressively good although they bombed out tonight on
goat meat and cabbage. Mostly we've had chicken and rice or pasta and
some kind of veggie. They also always give us dessert, which is
basically unheard of in Namibia! Usually it's jello or fruit.
It rains every day and has stayed pretty cloudy and cool. It's a nice
change, especially as we don't have anywhere to go so we can just
enjoy being inside when it rains. It's so nice to be in the mountains!
There are definitely some interesting bugs here. We've seen some
spiders that we call tarantulas, although I'm not sure that's what
they are. They're just super big and black and hairy (although there's
also an albino one). There's also very large beetle like things that
fly and crawl (I'm getting jumpy writing this) and big fat millipedes
everywhere and loads of crickets. Fortunately none of these have
really ventured into our room. A beetle just landed really close to me
though so I might have to move...
I've heard some very interesting stories from the people who live in
villages. Apparently one girl has mostly been eating mopane worms, a
bug that's kind of like a cicada, dried fish, and cow stomach. I no
longer wish I lived in a village. That’s not entirely true; they also
have some really cool stories, have been using their language a lot,
and everyone who lives on a homestead with a host family really loves
We’ll be leaving Windhoek tomorrow morning, going back to Tsumeb for
the night, and then going all the way to Swakopmund on Sunday (about a
7 hour drive, depending on what kinds of rides we get). It’s really
exciting to get to see another part of the country and to have a real
holiday with everyone – no sessions, no set time to wake up or sleep,
no schedule… =) Also there’s apparently Thai and Mexican food in
Swakop; everyone’s excited about the restaurants.
Internet’s too slow to post pictures here, but I’ll get some up
eventually. Thanks for your prayers for safe travel!
It was definitely an unusual birthday. We started celebrating on
Thursday when Allison and Kelly (two other Tsumeb volunteers)
surprised me with a carrot cake (organized by Dylan)! The cake was
delicious. Then on Friday, Dylan surprised me with a traditional
birthday treasure hunt leading to a sweet African wall hanging I'd
been wanting for our room (we immediately put it up, which involved
some sewing and finding a stick in our yard). Then on Saturday I was
treated to breakfast in bed (scrambled eggs and toast) and we had
apple crisp in the evening (along with lots of other good food, we
were trying to clean our fridge out). On Sunday (my actual birthday
now) we had oatmeal pancakes before we left to hike (hitchhike) to
Windhoek. We started hiking at 8:00 and arrived in Windhoek around
2:30...seemed like a pretty long trip. On the plus side, we then
joined the rest of our group at the Peace Corps office and got lots of
hugs and Happy Birthday's from them, as well as two packages my
parents had sent a while back! Then we were all driven to the
conference center where we'll be this week for training, and it is a
beautiful place! We're a little ways outside the city on top of a
mountain, so we have awesome views and it's very peaceful. Dylan and I
have our own room, which has its own bathroom, which has HOT water in
the shower! Fantastic. Also, free internet, as evidenced by this
email. We're pretty happy to be here!
So, good first birthday in Namibia. =)