Saturday, March 31, 2007

Recent Nam 25 PCV blogs, news and information for the month of March

Pages I've updated lately:
A video about Namibia
Where is Amy?
Namibia Links
Namibia Maps
KhoeKhoegowab language lesson videos
More about the Damara People

Other web pages to check out:
Namibian Library Projects (search by country or name)

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

(Nam 26 bloggers)

Some thoughts (3/10)
Drought Prayer (3/10)
Baby baboon and some people in Anker photos (3/10)
Anker, Namibia on Google Earth (2/28)

team nuukate (3/16)
long time (3/13)
Amber's library project (search by name)

Notes after teaching (3/30) NEW

March 29 - (3/31) NEW
March 28- (3/31) NEW
March 26 (3/31) NEW
Mar 16- followup to car accident (3/17)
March 12 - a Nam 25 PCV in a car accident and two Nam 25 PCV's leaving Namibia (3/17)
Angie's library project (search by name)
Listening to the Fray (3/9)
Please, readers, send stickers - feb 22 -(3/3)
Long time since I wrote - feb 21 - (3/3)

Supporting holistic HIV and AIDS education (3/8)
Welcome to Hoachanas (3/8)
Kalahari Plaas visits (3/5)
Sponsor a kid for Camp GLOW (3/5)
Want to donate books (3/5)
Track and Field Day in Mariental (3/4)


Back Home (3/31) NEW
Surgery (3/23)
Hiking (3/15)
Free Vacation (3/9)

A Family Affair (3/19)
Pictures by Cindy (3/8)
This Life is Lekker, by Cindy (3/6)



Chris's library project (search by name)


Proud (3/18)
Time (3/18)
Setting up the exhibit in Windhoek (3/1)



Don't ask (3/6)

To the North,,, Finally (3/24) NEW
Tech Squad goes south (3/24) NEW
Gazza visits Hage Geingob (3/13)
Tech Squad hits Epikuro (3/12)
Tech Squad Visits Aminuis (3/7)
Tech Squad Activities (3/5)
This is Tech Jeopardy (3/5)
Trip to Otjimbingwe (3/5)
Updates from the past (3/5)



Break Pictures - Soss to Waterberg (3/27) NEW
Break Pictures - Up to Brukaros (3/27) NEW
Break Pictures - Up to Greiters (3/27) NEW
Break Part One - School's out for summer and Group 26 training (3/27) NEW
Break Part Two- Mid-service training and picking up Amanda (3/27) NEW
Break Part Three - The Road to Jo'burg (3/27) NEW
Break Part Four - Out of Africa/Coming to America (3/27) NEW
Break Part Five - Back in Africa on holiday (3/27) NEW
I've got a phone again (3/26) NEW


Trip to the farm and photos (3/26) NEW





Nam 26 bloggers active lately:

Link to previous list of recent blogs (February 2007)

Recent news from Namibia

Todays Front Page from "The Namibian"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A video about Namibia

From Google Video: "Namibia 2007: an African Odyssey" (27 min).

The part about Damaraland (9:53-13:27) is near where Amy lives right now.

At 10:22 on the video the road sign says:

C 35 Kamanjab --->

<--- C 39 Khorixas Amy is about 50 km (30 mi) from that spot. If video doesn't work click here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fall begins tomorrow (tonight) in Namibia

The autumnal equinox

The same date (March 21 [March 20 in the USA]) and time (12:07 AM UTC, 2:07 AM Namibia [7:07 PM March 20 Central Daylight Time - see this web page about time zones and daylight savings time]) that spring begins in the northern hemisphere, fall begins in the southern hemisphere. That means that the days start getting shorter than the nights in Namibia.

Fall in Namibia (March 21 through June 21), generally means slightly lower average temperatures and much less rainfall. Though, like anywhere, daily temperatures and rainfall vary widely.

Since this past summer (the wet season) in Namibia was without much rain in so many places it is likely the drought will deepen and times will get even tougher for most people. See Amy's "Drought Prayer".

Namibian Climate

  • Namibia has a dry climate typical of a semi-desert country, where droughts are a regular occurrence.

  • Days are generally warm to very hot, while nights are generally cool.

  • Midsummer temperature can rise to over 40ºC (104ºF)

  • Winter days are warm but dawn temperatures can drop to freezing.

  • Along the coast the cold Benguela current is also the prime determinant of the climate of the Namib, as it reduces rainfall and causes the omnipresent fog typical of the coast.

  • The rainy season lasts from October to April. The rest of the year is dry and cloudless.


namibia climate chart

All areas of Namibia average more than 300 days of sunshine a year!

Click to convert mm to inches

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Some thoughts

I wrote this three weeks ago, but I my internet went out, so I thought I'd send it now.

So there we were, 60 kids and a half dozen adults on the back of an open cattle lorry (large cattle truck) with all of our luggage and food and with enough space that only about half of us could sit down at any one time. Then it started to rain. Doing our best to shield ourselves from the rain, we huddled under our blankets until they became so thoroughly soaked that they made us wetter rather than dryer. Looking around I couldn't help but think that we looked so pitiful and bedraggled that we would fit perfectly in some television special hosted by Bono on aid to African nations. I can hardly think of a time in my life when I _should_ have been more miserable but, here's the funny thing, I wasn't miserable at all. I would have admitted that I was cold or tired, but not miserable. In fact, as I listened to the kids belting out hymns and huddling together like nests of baby rabbits, I really thought that there was no place in the world that I would rather be than right there on that cattle lorry. Why is that? Why can I be so incredibly happy when I'm soaking wet and cramped in the back of a cattle lorry knowing that dinner that night will be bread and margarine (although, as it turned out, goat liver was also on the menu.) The truth is, I don't know why that is. I just know that it's true.

I am often floored by the generosity of Namibians. After that harrowing lorry ride I went to the house of Miss Julianne's family. They went out just to buy bread for our meal and they emptied out one of the kids rooms for me to sleep in. And remember that to these people I was, for all practical purposes, a stranger who they had no idea was coming to stay. People often attribute bravery or kindheartedness to me,"because of what I do. On the contrary, most of the time I feel like I'm doing a job these people could do almost as well or better and the rest of the time I'm trying out crazy ideas that probably won't work. It is the Namibians who have shown themselves to be incredibly, unbelievably kindhearted towards me. In fact, it's almost always those who can least afford it who are the most generous. The grandmother who is supporting
her five grandkids on a pension of $30 a month plus the $2 a day she can earn by cutting firewood offers me a hearty meal, the most beat up car in the petrol station offers me a free lift, and I am welcomed with open arms by people living in shacks made of plastic bags and corrugated tin.

And I think I have it sort of figured out. Poor people aren't happy because they're poor or in spite of it or whatever. They're happy because they're sitting in that cattle lorry next to a friend who will treat them like a sister or brother. And somehow, in our isolated American houses, on our isolated American blocks we're insulated ourselves from the possibilities of hospitality and real, un-self-conscious joy. That's what I think.

Funny teaching stories: A kid in the library held out one of the copies of Lord of the Rings and told me matter of factly that it smelled like cooked porcupine. All of the other learners agreed, so apparently cooked porcupine smells a little like book glue and dust. One of the learners was looking at a book put out by Popular Science and could not believe that three babies in the picture were triplets and had been born at the same time. "Miss," she said, "Is the mother out to here?" and she held her hands as far in front of her stomach as she could.

As for the rains, they still haven't come. It was obvious as we drove from Kamanjab into Anker; the grass went from thick green lawns,full of yellow wildflowers, to thick brown-green grass, to brown, to the ghostly overgrazed velds where the trees stick up awkwardly out of bare ground. Even Kamanjab got a good rain while we were gone, but Anker got almost nothing.

For those keeping track: I've been mostly reading Anna Karinina (I'm about halfway through) but I did take a little break to read a kids book by Terry Brooks. It wasn't that great, but it wasn't that bad either. Greek is going along well. My classes are fine. Life is pretty much going OK. Hope you are all fine.

Just in case you want to read it, I'm including a prayer that I wrote about drought for my Book of Common Prayers. I liked it so I thought I'd share.

Link to photos taken recently.

Take care

Drought Prayer

Because the land is overgrazed

and the goats are thin

and the children are thin

and the hope (especially the hope) is thin.

Because the animals know

and you can see the quiet regret in their eyes.

Because we are without power

and our hands can’t move in those extraordinary ways

pulling the invisible strings of the clouds.

Because we see the clouds.

Because we hear the thunder

and because it breaks a little piece of the heart

when they move on

still carrying their water.

Because the mealies grow dry

and small on the stalk.

Because You are the bread of life.

Because we are Your children.

Because we hunger.

Baby baboon and people in Anker

Esegiel and a baby baboon
So, I saw a whole bunch of kids all crowded together shouting and
screaming. I came over and this was what I saw. Apparently a whole
herd of baboons ran through the village and somehow this baby got stuck
behind. Esegiel was feeding it with bits of biscuit. The baby is
holding him just like he's its mama.

More baby baboon

The whole school

Hostel Matrons

Another of Baby Gwennie

Kids under the sun shade

Woman and a baby