Thursday, January 18, 2007

Welcome back to Me (email from Amy)

Hey everyone,

Sorry I haven't written for a while. I was home for Christmas. It was good. I still haven't processed it though. I'll write more about it later. The first grade teacher who I know has a telephone didn't get here until yesterday (she had exams for her correspondence college courses- she's getting her bachelor's degree) and the school phone was broken.

It's the beginning of the year. I'm really hoping that we start with classes on Monday (I think they will.) I feel a lot more prepared this year. I think back to this time last year and I wonder what I was thinking. I was sort of flailing about for lessons. This year I sketched out a plan for the whole term. I'm going to try doing a vocab word each day with a theme for the week. My favourite is called "Gross Stuff" and has words like "boger" and "vomit." I set that one for the week after a five day break, when none of the kids will really want to be at school.

Here's how I got back to Anker after being home. First there was the 28 hour airplane ride. On the way to America I sat next to a guy who worked at the American Embassy and his family. We had a nice chat. On the way back, ironically, I was on the same plane with him from Washington to Jo-berg, and then, even more ironically, I sat next to him from Jo-berg to Windhoek. His wife came to pick them up and offered me a ride and then they took me out to eat at Nando's (it's a nice fast food-ish chicken place. Think P---) Not bad considering I was planning on begging for rides from tourists. They thankfully dropped me off at Jason's place with all my stuff (miraculously, nothing got lost.)

I stayed in Windhoek that night and two more nights (I just couldn't face trying to travel with all of my stuff.) Finally I called a Radio Taxi (a taxi that will pick you up where you ask them to and then drop you off for a flat N$40 fee) and then a combi (I had to pay extra because of all my stuff.) At the checkpoint outside of Windhoek they stopped our combi and asked for IDs from everyone (the first time that has happened to me) and then I got into a bit of trouble because my passport was in the trailer in back and I only had my Peace Corps ID (which should have been good enough.)

Finally we got out of there and into Otjiwarongo where I got a taxi to Megan's place. She had thankfully not moved yet (she will soon because at the moment she's living with a UN volunteer, her boyfriend, and their 1 month old infant.) Matt and Carl were there. Then came the part of the trip I had been dreading- trying to hike to Kamanjab and then into Anker with so much stuff. We lugged everything to the Wimpy Burger (which, by the way, now has highspeed (relatively) Wi-Fi, who'd have thunk it) and while we were waiting for the food I went to Pep to buy a new cell phone. There in PEP I saw Mr. #Guibeb and my problems were solved. I brought all my stuff to his car, bought some groceries and I was back in Anker that Saturday afternoon after a relatively painless 3 hour ride in the back of a bakkie with three other women and all my stuff.

This week has been quiet. There are still only about half the kids we expect to show up (by Monday it will be all but a few) and they're not getting into too much trouble yet. I have thoroughly cleaned and finished cataloging the library, something I am quite proud of (pictures are coming.) Finally, this weekend I'm going to get some more groceries. I got milk, eggs, plenty of fresh fruit and veggies—cabbage, carrots, apples, oranges and cucumbers—but for some reason I forgot to buy meat and bread when I shopped last week. I've had to make up for it with Herero bread from the store and lots of complimentary proteins.) Also, I'm in charge of showing a video on Saturday night (I think it will be Holes.)

That's all for now. I love you all lots. Thank you to everyone who I saw while I was home, it was a very refreshing and energizing time for me (even if I did spend an inordinate amount of time watching CSI and Mythbusters.) Take care.

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