Tuesday, January 4, 2011

thoughts

Hey guys. Today was a crazy day that is kind of hard to explain. We had some teaching time and some surreal time walking through a real life shanty town. I don’t really know how to explain it or how to express anything about it eloquently, so I thought I would share an excerpt from a free write that we were asked to complete post outing.

Poverty. Today I saw poverty. Teaching with 3 kids and trying to ensure each one succeeds. Little kids, big kids, tin roofs, cardboard walls, rocks to hold the roof. We complain of mosquitoes and moths while they smile and say Happy New Year! I don’t want to feel BAD for them. Sympathy. Us vs. Them. Black vs. White. Everyone says hello! Lucas comes to school in a clean shirt and jeans after waking up there. I was in a movie. Felt not really there. I could smell it, touch it, say hello to it, but was I really there? Why am I there? I don’t belong there. Do I walk into their yards and expect them to speak in English? Would that ever happen to me? I believe in education, but struggle with the American “I know best” complex. I want to be here. I KNOW that. I want to teach these kids and have them teach me in return. My soul is here. My body just doesn’t always know what to do. Awkward. Feeling guilty for being who I am and coming from where I do. We can’t help it, but we also can’t help those feelings. Save the world. What are we saving? Have we asked if they want saving?

Not sure what else to say about that…it is something that I will continue to process throughout my journey here.

On a lighter note, a truly Namibian thing happened to us today. We were all riding in our little mini bus to get to the shanty town I mentioned. Our field directors were in a rental car behind us since they weren’t sure of the directions and needed to follow the bus. At one point, a fellow volunteer received a phone call from our field director saying that she lost the bus and asked us to ask the driver to turn around and meet her back at the school. We promptly told the driver who said “ok” and continued on his merry way. We all said, “ we really need to go back NOW. Jocie is lost!” He continued to say “ok” and keep driving. At some point he realized that we were kind of freaking out and said “Oh!! You mean Now Now Now?” Silly us. We forgot that in Namlish (Namibian English), now means sometime in the future (or maybe never), where as Now Now means soon, and Now Now Now really means… well, now. Once we said “turn around now now now!” he whipped us back to the school.

Ok, enough for now. More teaching tomorrow. Love and miss you all!

h

3 comments:

  1. you are awesome.
    miss you now now now!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You will do a wonderful job, just by being who you are!

    ReplyDelete