I live in a Pickle

Yep. Thats right, my homestay house is bright green and looks like a pickle. Seriously. Pickle.

Well, its been a while since I’ve posted and So Much has happened!

I moved into my host family two weeks ago…kind of.

I moved into my host family’s house under the impression that it would be me, my host father, host mother, and “two to three little ones”. However, when we got to the house the only people there were my host father and a woman named Florence. Apparently the family lives at a farm out east when school is not in session. While they were there all the workers quit the farm, so my host mother and siblings stayed to find new workers. It was clear that no one had been living in the house because the only food around was a smidgen of butter and a few slices of bread.  I didn’t get dinner the first night because my host father went to sleep with a headache at 7:30 pm. I took a slice of bread and ate it with some of my emergency nutella jar and went to bed, having no idea who Florence was. In the morning it became clear that Florence was there so that I was not in the house alone with my host father. But tt didn’t explain who she was, or how she knew the family.

The first week of homestay went on like this. My host father and Florence were around some of the time, but most of the time I was by myself. One night  (last Monday)Florence actually didn’t come back, which became a big issue the next day. Flo and I had been getting along really well. She helped me with my language lessons, and we traded American and Namibian sweets. Unfortunately, because the rest of m host family still wasn’t back ad Flo could not guarantee that she could stay over for the rest of the week, I moved in with another family from Tuesday through to Saturday of last week. I stayed with my friend Sydney’s host family and they were wonderful.  Then last Saturday the rest of my family came back to town (yay!). I have two younger sisters 8 and 5, a younger brother who is 3, and a baby sister.

 

The two girls help me with my language practice. The 5-year-old quizzes me on colors daily. Bara, the 3-year-old boy doesn’t talk much, but he does copy my every move. One day he saw me with a water bottle, and the next day he had found a tiny water bottle and drank when I drank. Its adorable. He doesn’t really talk very much. Are three-year olds supposed to talk? I’ve gotten the feeling that Bara is a little different. And when I say that it’s because one time I walked outside and he was pooping in the yard. But I guess he’s too small to use the toilet.

We (peace corps volunteers) call my house the Pickle House, because it is bright green and looks like a giant pickle. All the houses in Veddersal, the location where I am staying, seem to resemble some type of food. We have identified the Planters Peanut house, the bubble gum house, the pickle house and the tiki house.

This past week I have been observing classes in a nearby combined school, grade 1 through 10. It has been really different from an American school. Some of the teachers use corporal punishment, and when a teacher is absent the students just sit in an empty classroom for that part of the day. I sat in on one of these classes today and decided to answer student questions about America rather than have them sit there the entire day. The most memorable were “Is everything in America like it is on TV, like the Kardashians?”  or “What do you use to color your hair? Can I have it” which was followed by me allowing 12 grade 9s to touch my head. They were a bit obsessed.

After training some of the  Veddersal volunteers have gotten into the habit of playing Frisbee and soccer after school. We start out playing by ourselves, and then it seems that out of nowhere millions of children show up! Today we played a soccer game of Peace Corps vs Namibia. As soon as we through in the ball there was a stampede of at least 40 kids chasing the ball. Hilarious. Hilarious. I couldn’t even run I was laughing so hard. I wish I would have gotten a picture.

Everything is so fun. Observing classes can be boring but I’m always learning something, whether it’s a good teaching technique or something to completely avoid. Getting to know the other volunteers and trainers is also really fun.

Still haven’t sited any really cool wildlife, although the kids at school today were playing with a snake. Some other volunteers saw giraffes and zebras when they were on a field trip so my hopes are up!

 

 

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The post I wrote a week ago

Wa uhara nawa? (how is your afternoon?)

I’m moving into a host family this evening and I am so excited! And right now I’m eating a peanut butter chocolate milkshake and it is delicious. I’m telling you, life in Namibia is hard.

just kidding. It’s amazing. Otjiheraro lessons are going really well. I can’t wait to practice with the kids in my family.

Last night we had a cultural fashion show. I dressed in a traditional Herero Mama outfit (look it up… it is supposed to resemble a cow) Pictures will be up soon. I will be getting a cell phone and hopefully an internet stick this weekend (did I say that in my last post? my bad..these things keep running together)

Here are a few paragraphs I wrote a week ago and just found:

8/28 One Week In

Well, I’ve been a Peace Corps trainee for exactly one week as of Sunday. This time last week I was getting on a bus to JFK, where the long adventure began. We (the 38 PC volunteers in group 34) spent a lot of time in airports on the way here, and finally reached Windhoek, the capitol of Namibia at 5:30 am.

So far, the few days I have spent in Africa have seemed like they’ve lasted a few years. That first day was filled with introductions, trainings, and a tour of the town where we are all staying for the time being. We are staying in a larger town , there are several stores and two craft markets. Spar, the grocery store closest to the combine where all volunteers are sleeping for the week, is surprisingly similar to a grocery store in the US. They even have Crunchies!

This Friday Aug 26, was Heroes Day, a huge day of celebration in Namibia. It combines when the chief of the Heraros was killed by the Germans as well as the beginning of the war of independence from South Africa. The Heraros are split up into three groups based on color which correlates to geographic locations. There are red, white and green Heraros and they celebrate by wearing these colors. The women dress up in beautiful dresses in the color of their tribe, and wear pointy hats that look like triangles but I think are supposed to symbolize cows. On Saturday we all went to a celebration in the area that is mostly