Sunday, July 01, 2007

This week ( email from Amy)

I've been invited to go to a Peace Corps conference in Ondongwa next week. I head out on Wednesday and I come back on Sunday or Monday. It's exciting for me. Ondongwa is in the far north and, other than the Caprivi strip (the small strip that extends from the north east corner of Namibia) it's pretty much the only part of the country that I've never been to. Plus, it means that I'll have good cell coverage for the 4th of July so I can talk to my family.

see map of some locations around Namibia

I've been sick this week but don't worry, I'm OK now. I had a fever and a sore throat (I lost my voice for a couple of days.) I didn't miss any school though. I don't know if there's anything quite so bad as waking up and feeling sick and knowing that you still have to go to work that day. (I mean, I don't HAVE to, but there aren't any substitute teachers in this country so if I don't then three to six classes will sit and do nothing for the period and will probably steal the textbooks or rip down the posters and when I come back they will have forgotten everything we talked about for the last month and a half.) Still, everyone took good care of me - a bunch of them visited me and suggested good remedys. And part of growing up is that you have to take responsibility even when you feel sick. I mean, if you're a parent you don't get to take sick days.

We got the window glass from Otjiwarongo on Friday, and we just hit a cold snap so it was not a moment too soon. We'll put them in over the next few weeks. While we were in Otjiwarongo I got a bunch of Lost episodes from Megan, so I've been watching them a little obsessively. It's such a good show. I also managed to get some fabric scraps for the quilt I'm making. It's a crazy quilt.

This week I finished Moby Dick, but I haven't started anything new just yet. Moby Dick was one of two books that I was supposed to have read in college and never finished (Middlemarch was the other) so I'm halfway to catching up.

Actual conversation I had with a traffic officer on a hike:

Him: "Can you drive?"

Me: "Yes, but I'm not allowed to here."

Him: "Why not?"

Me: "Well, I don't have a Namibian license and the Peace Corps is afraid that I'll get into an accident and they'll get in trouble for it."

Then there was a long pause where he looked confused for a bit and then his face cleared, like he figured something out.

Him: "Oh, you are having a chief in America and he says you cannot drive because you will be destroying things."

Me: "Yes, exactly, we are having a chief and he doesn't want our families to get angry at him if we get hurt so we must hike instead."

Anyway, I'm doing well. Not much else to report. Hope everyone there is fine.

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