Thursday, November 18, 2010

where exactly are you going?

i can now answer the question above, and i must say, it feels nice. i was getting used to giving the canned, vague reply of "somewhere in namibia", but now i can give all the juicy details. instead of telling you each about my placement individually, i thought i would give some details here:

i will be working at Ogongo Combined School in the village of, you guessed it, Ogongo. Ogongo is located in north-central Namibia, in the Omusati Region, home to the Oshiwambo-speaking people. luckily, i have a wonderful connection here in chicago who has provided me with materials to help me learn at least a little bit of the local language before i leave. the school is called a "Combined School" because it teaches both primary and high school aged kids. this is a really cool feature since i couldn't really decide what age group i wanted to work with. the classes i will be teaching are subject to change, but will be something like this:

*math to grade 8 learners
*ICT (kind of like basic technology) to grades 5-12
*basic information science (library, reading, etc) to grades 1-7

obviously, the language used to describe classes is much different than what we are used to here and i will learn more about what these class titles really mean in the near future. there is a volunteer at the school currently who will be sending me a letter with some inside information on the school and the village. she was a volunteer in 08-09 and then decided to extend her stay another year to work for the school. she seems like she is really awesome and has done some amazing things for the school...i will have some massive shoes to fill!

a little more on the is about 10km from the main, or tar, road which means it is pretty remote. there are some shops in the village to get very basic items. most people in the area are subsistence farmers and don't really need to venture out of the area to survive. however, i will easily be able to find rides (or possibly purchase a bicycle) to the main road where there are more shops and taxis that will take me the 30 minutes to Oshakati. Oshakati is much larger and i will be able to get anything i need there.

i will be living in a new teacher house across from the school that i will share with two other Namibian teachers. this will be really nice since i was worrying about living completely alone and isolated from the rest of the community. i will have my own room, but we will share a kitchen and other living spaces. it seems like this current volunteer has internet in her house so it is likely that i will as well. this will be amazing since i will be able to keep in touch regularly.

obviously, i am just soaking in all of this information and don't know every single detail yet, but i will share more as i know more. for now, i just wanted everyone to get a taste for where i will be and what i will be up to. for those of you keeping up with my fundraising progress, you might notice that i am kicking ass. every update i get about donations both excites me for my trip and gives me "heavy boots" about leaving all of you wonderful people for 11 months! all i can say over and over is thank you thank you thank you.

happy thanksgiving to everyone! more soon.

cheers for now,


  1. wow hannah, sounds like you are really going to have a lot of work ahead of you.
    It takes alot of gumption to do what you are doing and i have mad respect for you
    hope all goes well and you gain some experiences you'll remember for the rest of your life!

    Randy Blanchette

  2. randy! so good to hear from you...and what a nice comment! i really appreciate the support and kind words :) i will continue to post while i am over there so keep checking in! keep in touch!