well, my two years are up.
i COSed. which is what we call finishing (Close of Service) last Friday.
Leaving Okahitua was hard, but some how I wasn’t has much of a crying mess as I thought I would be. I think it’s because the past few months I was preparing to leave so I knew what was coming. My last week at school was also shorted to four days because we had a Fun Day.
This year at Fun Day we had a Moon Bounce with a slip n slide, and a real above ground pool! Things were much more high quality than our hole in the ground pool last year. I also made 4 pinatas, one for grades 4, 5, 6 and 7, instead of the one that I made the year before. it was great., it was so much fun and a perfect goodbye to my school. (Pictures to come when i get back to the US and have my computer again)
My last Saturday in my village the teachers hosted a Farewell party at the school for me. Teachers and community members gave speeches in English and Otjiherero, myself included.I dressed in a casual herero dress, complete with otjikaiva (the horns hat) that the teachers made for me, and that I promised I would wear again when I was back in the US. I was described as “strong”, “persistent” and “a woman of steel against corporal punishment” . Ha, I guess these are all nicer ways of saying i was stubborn, but I agree with them. I held a no tolerance policy for corporal punishment, and tried to get the teachers to adapt to it as well. Unfortunately I failed, and they all still hit kids, but now because of me i think they at least feel pretty guilty about it and know that there are other more successful options out there. Now it’s a problem for my replacement PCV.
That’s right folks, Okahitua and Ludwig Ndinda Primary school have received a fourth Peace Corps Volunteer, but with a twist. This PCV is the first English teacher to come to the school. He stayed in Okahitua my last two weeks at site, so I would say we got to know each other pretty well. I think he’ll do some amazing things at the school, and being and English teacher will be able to take full advantage of the library in his lessons. While I tried to use books in math, it was much more difficult to incorporate them into my daily lessons.
So now, I’m finished. i flex out of Namibia on Friday, and am now in Istanbul. I will travel with a couple other Peace Corps Volunteers the next two months and make it back to the US before Christmas time. I don’t have a computer and am terrible at updated, so I will not be posting on this blog. However, one of the girls I am traveling with for parts of the journey has created a blog for our travels, so if you want to know where I am or what I’ up to you can always look at that. Right now she’s in Tanzania and I’m in Istanbul, but we will be together in Morocco, India, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Where am I going?
Barcelona, Spain (guest appearance from Patty Sheehan)
India (guest appearance from Julie T Bujnowski)
So far Istanbul is great. I’m with another PCV, Laine, and we are staying with her friend from home. We were warned that people can be pretty persistent and harass you at the Grand Bazaar, but compared to Namibia sellers at the craft market the men trying to sell us scarves just seemed friendly. They’d make a comment, call you an angel from heaven, try to sell you a scarf, and when you said no they would back away. in Namibia they don’t back away so easily. i don’t know where they’ve convinced themselves that you need what they are selling or what, but it made the sellers in the Grand Bazaar seem pleasant and friendly rather than aggressive. With that said, I’m now convinced Namibia has prepared me for anything, i guess I now just have to test my theory in all these countries!
Fun Facts about Istanbul:
It’s the second largest city in the world population wise.
It spans over two continents
There are cats everywhere.
Till next time,