Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Recent Nam 25 PCV blogs and Namibian news for the month of October

Recent blog posts from some of Amy's teammates (58 Peace Corps Volunteers known as NAM 25) all across the country of Namibia:

Jason's page of Nam 25 blogger photos and links

A new blogger I missed: Shonita of Keetmanshoop

Computer repair, spiders and a Cavongo orange (10/24) NEW
Packages, insects and and essay (10/14)
Birthday, depression and Windhoek (10/12)
Detailed satellite maps of Namibia (10/4)
Happy Birthday Amy! (9/27)
How to help my school with school supplies (updated10/9)

Photos (10/21)
October (10/21)
94 minus 32 (10/12)

Lucky Star Pilchards Marathon (10/23)
Sossusvlei (10/17)
Third term blues (10/16)

New pictures (10/22)
1 month in (10/15)

Just an update (10/20)

If you ever get worried about what I'm eating (10/31) NEW
New Photos uploaded (10/31) NEW
Mathematics (10/30) NEW
14-19 October (10/20)
6-9 October (10/20)

Witch one? (10/31) NEW
Cait's photos (10/16)
The long road home (10/13)




The long and short of it (10/31) NEW
Halloween (10/31) NEW
thomas (10/22)
Photos and Thank You (10/17)
Highlights and New Era newspaper article (10/16)
How cute (10/15)
An attempt to break a record (10/10)
Wow Time FLIES (10/10)
I have reached one of my goals (10/3)



PCV's get soaked ( 10/30) NEW
Talk Radio (10/29) NEW
Libraries and Swimming Pools (10/26)
Staying Busy (10/20)
Passing the torch (10/20)
Big city volunteer (10/18)
What a weekend (10/16)
The hills are alive (10/8)
Namibian Stress (10/5)
The Fair: Namibian Style (10/2)



The changing of the seasons (10/1)

Our first thunderstorm (10/13)
Installing the burner (10/10)
We're covered in sand (10/9)
Grade 10 last day (10/7)
Back home again :) (9/29)


Happy birthday to me (10/30) NEW
Life is great, despite (photos follow posting) (10/17)
What the !?!? (10/11)



October update (10/14)
Photos (newest photos are at the bottom of the page) (10/14)


Link to previous list of recent blogs (9/1-30)

Recent news from Namibia:
Opuwo girls find club refreshing (10/16) - New Era
Rural school to benefit from materials (10/16) -New Era
Who are the dead? (10/16) - New Era
World food day (10/16) - New Era
Etosha prepares of its 100th birthday in March (10/13) - New Era
Grisly find: another mass grave found (10/13) - New Era
Conservation without borders (10/12) - The Namibian
Heavy rains soak Opuwo (10/10) New Era
Time to do away with shacks (10/10) New Era
Freezing weekend ahead (10/5) - The Namibian
Teachers celebrate their day (10/4) - New Era

Namibia fares poorly in competitive rankings (10/2) - Namibian Economist
US increases AIDs funding (10/2) - The Namibian
Children's rights remain a challenge (9/29) - New Era

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Computer repair, spiders, and a Cavongo orange (email from Amy)

I know I haven't emailed you in a while. Last weekend my computer power cord broke and I attempted to fix it myself, which really didn't work. It wasn't that great, especially because my brother was going in to the doctor to see if he needed surgery and, because I couldn't charge the computer, I couldn't check my email. Anyway, on Friday I headed out to Otjiwarongo and actually got my cord fixed, surprisingly. I also had a great meal at the Wimpy Burger with a bunch of other volunteers, and had the chance to talk and catch up with some people.

I have a lot of work to catch up with this week, though. Lots of marking to do. Last Tuesday I killed a spider the size of my open palm in the library. I killed another one just today. I had found two similar spiders dead earlier in the week. The learners told me it was poisonous so I looked it up in my book about spiders. Apparently it was a violin spider, which is cytotoxic and although it won't kill you, it will make you really extremely unhappy for a while. So, in addition to the swarms of possibly malarial mosquitoes, the library is also apparently infested with enormous poisonous spiders. Yay!

Also, I thought that I had a mosquito bite on my arm, but it isn't going away and I'm starting to think that I might have ringworm. It doesn't surprise me too much—hygiene is not intensely practiced here and although I am pretty clean, it seems like it would be a lot easier to contract infectious diseases here. Among the diseases that other volunteers have been exposed to—one volunteer had a person from the Ministry of Health check out her learners and found that all but three had scabies, one volunteer from the Cavongo was telling me that her mattress has been infected by bedbugs several times, I know that my kids have head lice, and there are all sorts of worms and parasites that go around (one of my kids was out of school for a while because of a worm that's infects you when you walk around barefoot.)

Really I should be glad that it hasn't happened sooner. Anyway, I'm going to call the Peace Corps soon, but I really have a lot of work to do before the exam and I don't want them to pull me out to Otjiwarongo or anything until the weekend, so I have to be pretty sure that I need a prescription first. Ringworm won't kill me.

While I was away someone gave me a Cavongo orange. A Cavongo orange is the size of a baseball and as hard as a rock. In fact, to open a Cavongo orange you have to hit it against a rock. The inside of the fruit looks like a brown brain and it tastes a little like a sweetish grapefruit. It was pretty good. Other than that, not too much has happened. I'm doing OK.

Take care,

PO Box 90
Kamanjab, Namibia

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Packages, insects, and an essay (email from Amy)

I have been going through the packages that I got on Thursday. I am almost through sorting and entering the new books into the accession register (the kids are raring at the bit to get at them.) I'm still sorting out the school supplies. Someone sent multiplication flash cards which made Mr. Asser so happy and I'm trying to figure out how to sort the crayons evenly (I think the primary teachers will be really happy about that.)

For me, I got about 20 copies of the New Yorker and 20 copies of Time and Newsweek, they should keep me busy for a number of months. The volunteers in Gobabis will be happy about the New Yorker too. The last time I got New Yorkers I gave them to them when I had finished reading them. I also got a bunch of food-- 4th of July candy, good coffee (Thank You!- Nescafe with chicory doesn't do it for me), Crystal Light, granola bars, various food mixes, and Lasagna noodles. I also got some long pants (less useful now, but they'll be great in a few months), and a nice sundress.

The past week the seasons have suddenly changed. The heat has been a little ridiculous. On Sunday it poured for about 4 hours and then it rained again on Monday. The rain started out the biblical plague of insects that are now assaulting my house. It started with the assault of tiny tiny ants. If I put down food on my table for a few minutes it would be covered with ants. After Sunday there were a whole bunch of other things--black half-dollar sized white furred beetles that fly noisily around the room until they noisily hit the wall (they're really stupid), red winged grasshoppers, winged termites, anophales mosquitos rice sized brown beetles that attack in swarms, and a counle of other random insects that I have no way of keeping out of my house. I am very thankful for my mosquito net. Someone told me that they sort of hibernate until the first big rain of the season when they hatch. I can't wait until the 6-inch mopane butterflies hatch

Things are going OK with the pre-paid electricity meter. I've been keeping track of my electricity usage and I think I use about 4.5 kilowatt hours a day if I cook two meals on the range. It costs 50 cents a kilowatt hour, so I should spend between $60 and $80 a month.

This is an essay I got from one of my learners. The topic was "Who is your hero and why?"

My hero is Mrs. Amy. I like Miss Amy because she is speacing English with Mr. when I was visiting him at her home she gave me some food when I was helping him at home. I will be like Miss Amy. She was write people. I was go with Miss Amy to USA stand for Unitet stade of America

Oh, I've been getting messages from Amazon.com and they've been getting weirder and weirder. Before the Peace Corps I bought a pair of Birkenstocks online and a few days ago I got this message "Based on your past purchases in Apparel, we thought you might enjoy incredible savings on top designers like Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and more." Yeah, nice thinking Amazon. That's just what I need. Anyway, that's about it.

Take care,

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Birthday, depression, and Windhoek

Well, it's been a while since I wrote a long email and a lot has happened. I got two M-bags (from my parents) and three packages today (school supplies from my mom and dad, a package from the old PCV, and a box of stuff from one of my Wheaton Professors-- Professor Wright) Also today they changed my electricity box over to the pre-paid box. I was a little annoyed, but it's not as expensive as I was expecting. I think it'll be OK. I went to the shop and bought $20 worth of electricity (40 kilowatt hours--I think it'll last a little over a week if I don't use the oven too much.)

Last week on Wednesday it was my birthday. By the way, thank you to everyone who sent me birthday messages. My inbox was stuffed. It was wonderful. It was a good birthday and then a tough day. The village was really great about my birthday. They sang me the birthday song in English and in KhoeKhoe (!Gai !Gaxa !Gai Tses.) The learners made me cards with messages like "This flower is very niceful" and "May the Lord sunshine on you and give a big light" Some girls actually came to my door to sing me a song (Amisa America, Amisa ta ge a /nam "Amy is coming from America, we love Amy.") I made myself a chocolate cake and I watched a bunch of Daily Shows that my friend from south of Windhoek had sent me.

Unfortunatly the next day I went into a weird depression. It was probably the most depressed I've been since I came to Namibia. I was at the teacher meeting and I was trying very hard not to cry. The thing that scared me the most was that I wasn't crying about something. It was just culture shock, compounded by over-working and all of the emotions of my birthday just sort of pushed it over the edge. After the meeting I actually ducked into the library to cry. After my first class, Mr. Geiseb called me into his office and asked me if I was OK. I told him I was feeling a little homesick and he said that he thought that was the problem. We had been planning that I would go to Windhoek on Friday to get the new copier for the school and he said that he had rearranged his schedule so we could go a little early.

It was a very nice visit to Windhoek. I got to see Jason, Irene, and Dylan and Sandra. We ate Indian food for my birthday celebration. I got the copier and got it all the way back to Anker. I'll send pictures later. I also got to stare at tourists a lot. I think I just needed to see other Americans, especially other volunteers. It was nice, but I'm also glad to be back in Anker. Windhoek is too fast, with cars and people going every way so fast.

Anyway, I'm back and in the swing of things again. I was thinking about going to Otjiwarongo this weekend but I just couldn't handle another weekend away from Anker. Today I baked biscuits with Ms. Julianne. Ricardo came and cleaned my back yard, but when it came time to pay him something was wrong. I gave him a big bowl of porridge, but he didn't want any. I really don't know what was going on, but I'm a little concerned. He seemed really upset
about something. Anyway, that's about it. Not much to report.

I'm doing well. Hope you all are too.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Detailed satellite maps of Namibia

Google Maps and Google Earth just did a big update of their satellite maps including many new high definition views in Namibia. In many spots you can zoom in to street and house level and see details (trees, cars, even people) that you could never see before.The following links are all in Google Maps but if you download the free version of Google Earth, you get even better views, angles and even 3-D panoramas.

For example, Amy's shopping and post office are in:


(If you do not see detail, click the "satellite" button in the upper right corner of the map. Double click a spot or use the zoom bar on the left to get a closer view)

Unfortunately, the high definition satellite view ends about 8 miles east of Anker, where Amy lives.

(2/28/2007: updated high definition Google Maps now include Anker too)


Other towns are also now in high def. including the larger, nearby town of Otjiwarongo, where Amy has visited and shopped many times:


Swakopmund, where Amy has spent a couple of vacations:


The capital city and surroundings:


Where Jay and Shoni live:


Where her good friend Elizabeth lives:


Dylan and Sandra's town:


Beth and Megan are in this town that had the bad floods in January:


The town Amy did her orientation and where Caitlin and Wendy live:


The town Amy did her teacher training:


Several volunteers live in or near:




Many other towns and almost the whole coastline is in high definition. go exploring a bit on your own. Much of the USA is also now in good detail. Maybe you could find your own house