enarangje owami Maureena!

Hwenda! (good evening in Otjiherero) 

It has been a wonderful week and a half in Namibia! I’m sorry to keep this so short, but  I am meeting my host family in ten minutes!

So far in Namibia I have been to a Heroes Day festival (look it up, its awesome), participated in a parade, climbed a mountain with some local kids, tried all sorts of food, eaten a crunchie bar (yay!) and learned part of a new language.

I will be learning Otjiheraro, one of the Bantu languages (also, look it up, i have limited time right now)

The other volunteers and the trainers are incredible. I love everything about my job and this country so far. Aannnnnnnd the water is drinkable! Nawa tjinene! (pronounced nawa shinaynay meaning very good)

Time to go meet my host family! I will try to post more later

Karee Nawa (goodbye all)

Love,

Mo

Philly today, gone Tomorrow

The day has finally come! Staging started today in Philadephia. I’m not sure the exact count, but I wanna say there are about 40 people in training class #34, serving either as teachers or small business enterprise volunteers.

Leaving tomorrow at about 1:30 from Philly I will take a bus to JFK and then fly to Frankfurt and arrive Windhoek, the capitol of Namibia, early Wednesday morning. To put it in perspective- I could listen to all of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone on Audiobook on planes alone (yes dad, even the final tape that we lost on our way back from Glen Arbor). I could probably cover most of hte Chamber of Secrets in the time I wait in airports as well. It’s going to be a long few days, but at the end I’ll be in NAMIBIA!

At first I will live with other PCVs in a hostel near our training site and then Sept 1 move in with a host family for the rest of Pre-Service Training. I’m so excited! All the people I’ve met so far seem really amazing. I cannot wait to get to know them and adventure with them in the next two years.

Within a few days of my arrival I will be able to get an international calling card and call someone to let the US of A know I’m alive.

 

Can you tell that I’m basically copying things from a packet I got in an email? It’s been a long day.

 

My past few weeks in the US were wonderful. It was great to reunite with family and friends, and be able to give proper goodbyes. Thank you for your love in support, knowing that I have such wonderful people back home I’m sure will help me get through some of the harder times in the next few years.

Till next time,

Mo

Where is that again? What will you be doing? How long?

Yes, its true. I accepted an invitation to join the Peace Corps and on August 21 will be leaving the country to start my service. I start off in Philadelphia where, with a group of  Peace Corps Namibia volunteers, I will go through basic orientation, be given many shots, and board a bus to JFK,  beginning the long journey to Namibia.

Upon arrival in Windhoek, the capitol city,  (pronounced Vint-hook if I’m not mistaken) I will start a three-month training period.  From what I understand, it is within this training period where I will find out my placement for the next two years.
While in Namibia I hope to write on this blog as a way to answer the question What has Mo been up to?
 I know that I won’t have access to a blog about each one of your lives, so please send me updates as well! Emails, letters, comments, phone calls (i will have a phone, whether I have reception is yet to be determined.) etc.

 Namibia you say? Where is that? 
Namibia might sound familiar to you because Shiloh Jolie-Pitt was born there, or because the adorable African baby from the documentary Babies was from Namibia, but what isn’t familiar to you is the actual location. That’s where I (cough cough Wikipedia) can help you out!  Namibia is north of South Africa along the Atlantic Coast. The main land borders Angola and Botswana, and the the Caprivi Strip that goes out to the Zambezi river borders Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as Angola and Botswana.
What will you be doing over there? 
You may have the assumption that my volunteer duties will be building bridges and doing civil engineering work, and that assumption would be incorrect. I, Maureen Mathias, struggler among many in Notre Dame calculus classes, will be teaching math.
According to my invitation, my title is Math Teacher: upper primary through secondary, which could be anything from fourth through twelfth grades. I’m hoping to teach some of the middle levels, allowing me to use the Math Bible according to my six grade teacher Mr Diaz. During training I will find out more and as I find out I will post it on this here blog.
2 years is a long time, you think you can handle it? 
Well, it’s actually two years and three months. I do not technically swear in as a volunteer until I pass language tests and they deem me an adequate teacher during the three-month training period. And yes, I think I’m up to it. From what I’m read about Namibia it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Etosha National Park is regarded as one of the best, according to National Geographic. Its my belief that if there was a character about it in the Lion King, I will find that species in Namibia. That seems to me to be about 2 years of cool things to distract myself with. I know these next two years will be difficult, but I’m ready for the challenge. It will certainly be easier if you write me/email me/ skype me/ send me goodies in the mail , just sayin.