Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hello again!

Hello!!! I finally have my computer back, sorry for slacking so much on the blog while I waited for repairs, and thanks to those of you who continued to check for updates! It has been a while so I will try to just do a quick catch up on the recent goings on around here!
Witch update
The regional director, education inspector, and several other people with intimidating titles came to the school this week and met with management, teachers, parents and learners to announce that no proof of witchcraft was found so the teacher in question will be reinstated. Obviously many parents are outraged and will probably be taking their kids out of school but from the government’s position, there’s not much they can do.
4th of July
For the fourth of July I went with Kristen, Jena, Wes and Kyle to visit Ari in the far far northeast. It was a chance to get to see yet another culture within Namibia and was a lot of fun. He lives right next to a beautiful river that forms the border with Angola in the only cement house for kilometers (also the only one with running water and electricity, so people were always coming and going). We cooked American foods, donned ridiculous party hats and masks, blew mini voovoozelias, and had a bonfire by the river. It was a pretty excellent weekend.
School and social
School has started to be quite a chore, to put it mildly. A combination of being short one teacher (so the kids are sitting un-taught for at least two periods each day, which breeds loneliness), demons interrupting class, and all sorts of goings on that have disrupted regular routines, the learner’s behavior has deteriorated. I put up with kids misbehaving, whining, talking, fighting, and blatantly refusing to do work almost every class. It doesn’t matter if I’m enthusiastic and far too excited about something like decimals or yelling at the top of my lungs. Good behavior rewards have been tried and worked for the first couple of days but have stopped having much influence (I actually had a class say “miss we were too naughty, don’t give anyone stars”- glad they know it!). I am really, really hoping that the other teacher returning will restore some sort of balance, but we will see.
Fortunately, life outside of school has started to be really great. Somehow, I actually have friends now (suddenly!) and between cooking with my “crew” of older white friends, playing games with my learners, exploring with the summer volunteers, or just hanging out and chatting with my neighbor and his friends, I have started to be busy. As much as I missed all of you, I think not having a computer helped to force me out into the real world! This past weekend included watching burn notice with Jen and her host brother and his friends, hiking to the reservoir, watching a religious dance performance, a braai (barbeque) for the world cup finals, tea at 10 PM with learners and friends, church, and soccer, just to give you an idea ☺
For some unknown reason, Jen and I have taken up baking, which is a bizarre hobby to acquire in Namibia. We have semi-successfully (tasted ok, even if it wasn’t the original plan) made rice crispies treats, cookies, and cheesecake.
Funny snippet from my life: Monday included a dance party on my back porch with some learners, a little boy (6 or 7 but could dance like a maniac) and my neighbor. I taught them line dances and how to bachata and they tried to tell me I could dance to hip hop but laughed at me nonetheless. After walking one girl home she turned to me and said “miss, I wish every day could be this fun!’ Adorable.

Anyway this is quite long enough, but look forward to (hopefully!) more regular updates now, and keep the questions/comments coming!

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