Sunday, March 12, 2006

We spoke to Amy!!

Well we finally got to talk to Amy after 3 months of not hearing her voice. She called about 11 AM and left a message on our message machine with a phone #. We got home from church and lunch about 1:30 PM and tried calling the number. It apparently was missing a number but after many tries, I finally got through at about 2:30 PM. We talked about an hour.

She stayed in Otjiwarongo again today because she had some diarrhea and the Peace Corps nurse, Clara, wanted her to stay there another day. She says she will go back to Anker tomorrow if they let her. They still think it is "the tonsillitis" and maybe a virus. She got sick on Tuesday evening and I think she said she missed W,Th, and F (though maybe it was just Th F). Her fever was low grade but was up to 101 at one time. She thinks she may still have a little fever and her throat still hurts. She said she is doing fine though. She isn't sure if she can find a ride all the way to Anker tomorrow, so may stay in Kamanjab with Clementine. It didn't sound like she knew what the school was going to do, maybe just have the kids sit in class.

A summary of some of the things Amy said on the phone:

-- She really likes Anker. She said teaching is hard because she is new at it and doesn't have lesson plans. Discipline can be challenging sometimes but she thinks that is going okay. She doesn't dislike teaching, but likes the other things better, like library stuff. The other teachers are supportive of each other and it seems they work together. Our impressions of a more organized school seems right.

--She really wants to get out and see other PCVs more often and may just visit nearby ones despite the "rule". She said they really won't mind much and they are far away. Because she missed getting groceries last week, she was really low and ran out of alot of things. She will return with about 6 bags of groceries tomorrow. She is eating well but mostly has canned stuff, pastas or breads. She said there is a community garden and she might be able to get some fresh stuff soon.

--Her washer woman and her don't always understand each other, but she is helpful and even does her dishes when she lets them pile up.

--She has received some regular mail but didn't get a package we sent on Jan 9 yet. She just sent letters to the publishing companies today because she hasn't been able to get to a printer.

--She seemed to think that she could connect the Internet now that she has a phone card. She would have to go to the Geiseb's and connect to their phone line to download and send stuff. She loves getting email and liked all the blogs I sent, but hadn't read some of the most recent ones. She laughs at Matt's from the town near her. She has just missed seeing him both times she came to Otji. She is trying to talk the computer guys in coming up by enticing them with the prospect of seeing some wild animals and going to Etosha NP. Patrick O (at the house she is staying) says he thinks she is getting a real PC experience as opposed to some others in Namibia.

--There is a 4 day weekend next weekend and there is a party in Okakara (have to look it up) at another PCVs house and she and others will be there. She's looking forward to that. She does keep in contact with some of the PCV by email.

--She really likes her language, Khoekhoegowab, and gets brownie points for reading and speaking it. Most adults can't read KKG because apartheid discouraged that. It is mostly a spoken language. The pastor points it out to everyone in church when she sings from the KKG hymnal. Church is a long affair and begins with singing until everyone arrives. The sermon, testimonies and other things for a couple of hours. She said she likes it though.

--There are times when she just doesn't want to go out because of everyone looking at her. She said everyone knows at all times what she is doing and where she is going. Kids are always saying "Hello, hello, hello Miss Amy" often repeating it over and over because they know those words. The hostel kids are so bored that they sit and stare at her when she reads because that is more exciting than being back at the hostel. Kids used to look through the window and say, "Miss, we're hungry" or "give us money" but now they seem to know her rule of no food or money giveaways. This week when she was sick, some kids were making noise outside on her front porch so she came out and sternly said, "What!". Turns out they had made her a bottlecap necklace because they knew she was sick. She felt very bad about that. They also offered her a "mopane worm" but she said those are not real safe to eat, so she turned them down.

--She will get us the Geiseb's phone and we can call there on the weekends. They won't mind sending a kid down to get her and we can then call back in ten minutes. All the teachers live next to each other. She seems to like the Geiseb's best. Her friend, Rob is sending her instructions on making a homemade cell phone antenna from wire and tin foil. Then we could call her more often.

--She said that she often comes over to help a kid with something in class and feels them touching her hair or her arm. They really like it's color and texture. She takes a shower only in the afternoon after the sun has warmed up the water. She doesn't nap much but doesn't mind "lying" to the kids to tell them she is sleeping in order for them to leave her alone some.

There was much more and, of course we filled her in on stuff happening here. But, we started to wind things up at about 3:30 PM (10:30 PM her time) and then we got cut off. I tried calling back but couldn't get through. I guess you have to be ready to say goodbye at any time. It was a great feeling to hear her voice and to get instant response and feedback instead of waiting for an email to return.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Well, the antenna plans entail a bit more than wire and tin foil, but close.