Here’s what’s happening:
- Tomorrow we get to spend the day in Windhoek, shopping and taking a tour of the Peace Corps office.
- Thursday morning is our swearing in ceremony, which is broadcast on national TV by the way.
- Friday we will be arriving in Tsumeb and staying there for the next six solid weeks.
How do you plan 38 people living at 36 different houses cooking 8-10 different food items for 160 people? It’s not easy. Fortunately I did not volunteer myself for the planning committee on this one (nor did Dylan)! The wonderful people who were on the committee figured out the menu and who would cook what where. There was a lot of guesstimating involved but it somehow worked out! For snacks we had Pigs in a Blanket, Angel eggs (some people here won’t eat “deviled” eggs), and onion rings. For the main course we made Hamburgers and BBQ Chicken on the braai along with large quantities of mac and cheese. For dessert there was Apple Cobbler, Rice Krispie Treats, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. And Lemonade to drink. Sound American enough?
Dylan and I were actually with the team cooking in town at the training center – in charge of the braai and the mac and cheese. We cooked NINE kilos of macaroni, in four different pots simultaneously on two stoves. We shredded literally buckets of cheese to make sauce, and had three huge pots of mac and cheese at the end. HUGE POTS. It tasted really good when we first finished it, but then it sat around for about an hour during the ceremonies and it wasn’t so awesome after that. The braai turned out well, even though our BBQ sauce was somewhat questionable, manufactured as it was from ketchup, Worcester sauce, and brown sugar. Somehow, in spite of the popularity of braai here, which is basically a barbecue, they don’t have bbq sauce. It’s on my list of things I want from America, if you’re ever coming to Namibia!
As it turned out, there was plenty of food and most of the Namibians went back for seconds (or for take away boxes to eat later, give to friends and family, etc). The Rice Krispies were a big hit, as was the apple cobbler. Of course, all the desserts! Everyone said all the food was good though.
Other than the food, our PST group sang two of our morning “African” songs, Tula Pele and Dumela Kaufela. One of the guys in our group also actually wrote a song about our Peace Corps experience, which was really good, so he/we all performed that one too. There was also a speech from each language group, in our new languages, thanking the host families for all they’ve done the past two months. The whole thing was started off by Dylan giving the first half of the Afrikaans speech! He did a great job, as did the other speakers.
Overall, it was a fun and exhausting (cleaning out the mac and cheese pots afterwards…) day, which we and our host families all enjoyed.
We have now had our last weekend in our training town, and our last Sunday at church. The pastor and congregation prayed for us this past Sunday, which was really nice – they’ve sent us out. I’m guessing many of you at home have been praying for us too, because I’ve felt unaccountably much more positive since that last, somewhat cynical, blog I wrote!
The last news for now is that I would like to note that it is getting hotter here. It’s gotten to the point where I’m taking cool/lukewarm showers in the evening trying to cool off. The high today was 35 degrees Celsius (about 95 farenheit). It’ll keep getting hotter for the next two months. It occurs to me that we will essentially be in Egyptian temperatures, without the advantage of the AC that we enjoyed in Egypt. Bring on the fans!
Thanks again for following along with us, and for your thoughts and prayers. We’ve made it this far, now we start the real thing!