I have officially made it through two weeks in the Land of the Brave!
So much has happened in the past couple of weeks. It has all very overwhelming, but that’s part of the experience!
Getting here took around 35 hours: We left Philly at 2am on August 13 and arrived at JFK around 5am. We sat in the check-in area for a couple of hours and then checked in (after a lot of stress about carry-on weight) and hung out for another few hours at the gate. I ate sushi for breakfast, mainly because I could. We boarded the flight and took off at 11:15am and then settled in for a 15-hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. We were in the JoBurg airport for six hours and then boarded a two-hour flight to Windhoek, where a few staff members and current volunteers greeted us. We hung out there for around two hours (a couple of people lost their baggage in transit) and then took a 2.5-hour bus ride to the town where we are having all of our training.
All of the trainees stayed together for a full week at a hostel/conference center just a stones throw from the training center. It was nice that we were eased into everything, even though sometimes I wanted to go out and start teaching and doing work right away, even though I would be absolutely clueless. We had a lot of sessions introducing us to concepts we will cover in training as well as beginning our cross-cultural training, which will mainly take place while we do our language training.
One of our first sessions was learning how to hand wash our clothes and how to bucket bathe, since we will all be doing our own laundry and many of us won’t have access to reliable showers and/or running hot water. The Namibian staff members stepped in a few times to show us how hand washing is supposed to be (we’re supposed to make a sort of squirt noise as we rub the clothes against our wrists) since the current volunteers weren’t doing it right.
Tuesday, August 22, was a huge day for us because it was the day we received our language assignments and met our host families for the first time. I was assigned to learn Khoekhoegowab (Koi-koi-go-vab), or KKG for short. It is a very difficult language because this is the one that includes clicks!
So, tita ge khoekhoegowab ra //kha//kha sen! (I am learning KKG!) (Much cooler when it’s spoken!)
I also really like my host family. It is a mother, her two kids (son, 12, and daughter, 14) and her auntie’s son (14). Over the weekend, we also hosted their two cousins who were visiting from up north. However, next week, my host sister will move back to school, so then it’ll just be me, Mama, and two little bros.
I’ve never had any siblings, so this is an experience for me!
So much has happened so far, I didn’t even include half of it in this post. But hopefully I will have access to wifi enough that I can try to post as regularly as I can about my experience as a Peace Corps Trainee!
Gangans!!! (Thank you!)