Over the past couple weeks I have noticed that life here is easier.  The kids are more comfortable with me, the community seems more welcoming and less suspicious of me and I am having more good days than bad ones!

I feel much more at peace.  I can appreciate things that I just looked over before… like the morning sky, or the gorgeous double rainbows.

Moments I love:

  • The torrential rains when I have no where to go.
  • Walking in the early evening.
  • Greeting older ladies in Rukwangali and watching a big smile come to their face.
  • Watching the village kids come running when they see me outside.
  • Sitting by the river with my coffee on a cool Sunday morning.
  • Watching the kids go crazy when they see an airplane (very rare).
  • Learners fighting over the opportunity to help me:  carry my books, clean the chalkboard, hand out papers.
  • Nights that I need a blanket .
  • Kids dancing.
  • Spending time with other volunteers.
  • Opening my email to a full inbox
  • Having my class interrupted by the principal to be told that there is a crocodile on the banks of the river by the school!  How cool is that??!
  • Sunrises, sunsets, and clear night skies.

Moments I could do without:

  • The torrential rains while I am trying to teach.  The echo of the rain on the metal roof of the school makes teaching impossible while it is raining heavily!
  • Realizing there is a massive bug in the shower with me.
  • Lack of indirectness of Namibian men when trying to hit on me.  “Miss Tanya, do you want a friend?  Maybe you can take me to Canada with you?”
  • Staff meetings (usually pointless) that are scheduled during class times.
  • Power outages while cooking dinner.
  • Dealing with any government agencies – service is not a forte.

Realizations:

  • Namibians have NO idea where Canada is.  A taxi driver asked me if Canada was an Arab nation???
  • They eat two meals a day – both of them consisting of porridge and occasionally fish or chicken.  When I asked a learner why she doesn’t eat breakfast, she said it was because there wasn’t enough food.
  • Their chickens run free.  They don’t collect the eggs or eat them (They could eat them for breakfast!!!).
  • All cooking is done over a fire inside their mud huts.
  • Everyone is related.
  • Suicide is very popular here, especially among teens.  I saw a father carrying his teenage daughter along the road trying to hitch a ride to the hospital.  Apparently she had taken a bottle of pills.
  • They love Celine Deon and Dolly Parton.
  • The scars of apartheid run very deep here…more to come on this topic in a future blog.
  • They will never say that a relative or friend died of AIDS.  They will just say that they were ‘ill’.
  • The World Food Program (through the United Nations) supplies rural Namibian schools with bags of maize meal to be fed to the children.  The Namibian government labels every bag of maize meal to say “Namibian School Feeding Program”.
  • My principal has more than 10 children!
  • I am actually starting to like it here!
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