This is my last weekend in Namibia and in the midst of packing and organizing, I have had a bunch of female learners over to visit and taken some of my clothes and stuff I have collected over the year.  We played cards, ate, gossiped and laughed.

Yesterday I made breakfast for the leaders of Girl’s Group.  It was their first time having pancakes and they weren’t too sure how to eat them.  Namibian’s usually eat with their hands, so using cutlery is a novelty (especially a knife!) and it was hilarious watching them try to maneuver the knife and fork.  Eveline gave up and resorted to using her fingers!

Kalina and Eveline (who never gives me a nice smile for the camera!)

There are a bunch of girls that I am really going to miss.  One of them, Ritha, a grade 10, has a special place in my heart.  Unfortunately, she has had a difficult year as she faced a traumatic event in earlier in and confided in me.  We’ve written letters back and forth, she has come to visit many times; we’ve gotten very close.  Months ago, in an emotional and honest letter, she told me she was pregnant and was very, very upset with herself for letting it happen.  Since then, her boyfriend has left her, her father has kicked her out of the house and she is now living with her unemployed, alcoholic mother.   Naturally, she is terrified to become a mother, especially when she cannot support this child.  They have virtually no income – her mother gets a monthly government check equivalent to $45 CDN.  And she is worried that she won’t be able to become a nurse, which is her dream.  She wrote her grade 10 exams, fingers crossed she passed, and then she hopes to go back to school in 2013.  And she faces all of this with a huge, gorgeous smile!


Ritha and her cousin... look at those smiles!

With some of the donated funds I received before coming to Namibia, I have been able to buy her food monthly, provide her basic toiletries and today she left with bagfuls of stuff (something that is a huge no-no in the world of sustainable development, but I couldn’t let her suffer!).  Watching her walk away today was extremely difficult as I have no idea how she will manage, although I know she will.  I can’t help but wonder what more I could have done to help her, to help them all.

Anyways, it was a wonderful weekend and I have to say, I think I  am ready to leave Namibia!