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.