Sunday, September 25, 2011

Term 3!

Hello!! Whew, how time flies. I seem to have to greatest intentions about keeping up on this blog, and the next time I think about it, 3 weeks have gone by, then 5 weeks, then…well, you get the picture! Needless to say, I apologize for not keeping everyone better informed…some things just seem so hard to explain via blog. Anyway, I intend to give you the abridged version of the last few months.

Ok, so as you know I have started a newspaper club at my school. It has been going well, but I have been struggling a bit with how to make it more sustainable after I leave in just a few short months. It seems like something I am interested in and that people like, but doesn’t seem like I am going to be able to find someone to hand it over to when I go. My intentions have always been to do things that are sustainable so that being a volunteer doesn’t become such an outside role – rather a means of helping develop what is already there. I have some wonderful grade 10 learners who I think would do a great job working on the paper next year, but unfortunately we are losing grade 11 next year, so they will not be around. I will continue to brainstorm how to keep this going because it seems to be a good, fun thing for the school. Also, I have the September issue ready, just have been unable to upload it. For some reason my internet connection has not been strong enough to upload the files onto the website. I will continue to work on it because this is a special issue. Tomorrow starts the Namibian National Readathon Week. It is an entire week devoted to celebrating literacy in all forms. To commemorate this week, I had my kids in my computer classes (grades 7-12) write stories on this year’s topic: The Namibian environment, our flora and fauna. I got some really creative, special stories and was so excited to be able to involve some of the younger kids. They really got into it! Hopefully I will get it online soon so you guys can participate in Readathon as well!

Other news…we had holiday #2 a few weeks back and I had a lovely visitor, my mom! How crazy it was to have my two, seemingly opposite worlds collide. It was a nice mix of vacation and showing mom around my village and daily routines. Overall, it was an incredibly refreshing, special time for the two of us. I am so grateful she made the trip.

Term 3 is in full swing and I am feeling really good about it. I feel really good about my computer classes and feel like I am finally getting in the groove – of course, with only one term left! I am struggling with the end of this experience approaching…though I am happy to see that my school will be replacing their volunteer position with a full-time, Namibian teacher. That is the whole point of World Teach – to bring in people with new ideas and skills until the posts can be filled by local teachers. I think it is a great step for my school, but ending this experience will definitely be bittersweet. Anyway, enough of that.

Two major things happening with school lately are as follows:

1. 1. Denny – my mom’s wonderful fiancĂ©, coordinated a bunch of people at home to donate money for soccer uniforms for my school. Ah-mazing. They have not arrived yet, but believe me, I will be posting pictures of the school team proudly wearing their new jerseys. If any of the donors are reading this now, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My entire school, teachers and learners, are incredibly grateful, so, tangi.

2. 2. Ever since our term 2 exams, I have made it my personal mission to find some organization somewhere that could help supply my school with calculators. I was invigilating (proctoring) some math exams and was struggling to watch 5, 6, or even 7 kids sharing the same calculator. Many of these exams are really long and kids struggle to finish within the allotted time. This problem is fueled when kids are waiting in line to use a calculator. After some research, I happened upon an incredible organization called Charitable Calculators. This organization is out of the states and collects old calculators from people no longer using them and then donates them to schools in need. I filled out their application and heard back from a phenomenal woman named Marian (same as my mom…good sign, right?). She told me that the organization unanimously approved my application and had 45 graphing (!) calculators to send to me, free of charge! This woman is so incredible, she is even paying for the incredibly expensive shipping out of her own pocket. She was willing to fly them out here herself to ensure they made it, but could not get here in time for the November exams (the time when the kids really need them). Anyway, they should be getting here by the end of the week and I couldn’t be more excited. How awesome that there are organizations like that and people like Marian in the world.

Other than school, I have been hanging with my friends, playing some badminton (schooling everyone of course), cooking, trying to remain calm as the heat gets more and more overwhelming, and hanging with my learners. I have gotten to know some of them so much more over the past term and really love their company. I’ve learned some traditional dances, tasted some incredible traditional food, been given the sweetest gifts of palm fruits, flowers, and cards, and gotten some pretty amazing hairstyles from these kids. They really are incredible.

Village life is pretty slow and really quiet here, but I really do love it. Besides, when it is 95 degrees outside, what can you really do?

Ok, I am sure there are more things I could share, but I will end for now. I hope the beautiful fall weather is beginning…make sure you do all of the wonderful activities fall brings (in my honor of course since it is my favorite season!)

Love you all,



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