When passing the eastern border of Etosha National Park one is more likely to see the larger animals that have reached the fences along the roadside. On the way home yesterday I saw a large oryx with its head up so that the horns touched its back. Beautiful creature!
Barbara and I are guests of Bill at the Ondangwa Branch of the COSDEC Vocational Schools. Young learners who are ambitious and ready to hone their skills in one of seven disciplines attend these schools. Bill is helping to manage this facility and his current success has to do with Olute Foods, which processes and sells a type of millet that is widely consumed in Namibia. Bill has been a very gracious host. Here he is preparing the coals on his front porch to make rooste brood (roasted bread). Not only did he design and make the fireplace; he is also an excellent cook! Thank you, Sir William.
Barbara yesterday in Bill’s office (where I sit now to compose this post).
My new buddy……or “when a PCT gets creative (bored) with junk.”
Well it was only a 6 hour ride in a kombie (large van for hire) with about 18 other folks all sitting in 10″-wide seats. It was okay, but my butt was not so happy. Saw giraffes, antelope, pea-hens, lots of goats, wart hogs, cattle and a baboon sitting atop a 12-foot termite mound.
Our host is Bill Brumfield and we are enjoying his kind hospitality, conversation and camaraderie. Last night we sat around the fire while Bill tended to the braai and kept the good South African wine flowing!
Packing tonight for 5-6AM departure to Ondangwa which is an 8-hour ride. Returning to Okahandja Sunday afternoon. We will be hosted by a PCV who is also in the Community Economic Development sector. He has been there for over a year. Looking forward to seeing more of Namibia…and possibly more animals as we will pass the eastern edge of Etosha.
There is no shortage of woodworking talent around here, but the shipping costs make export to broader markets impossible. A downside to fine – heavy – hardwoods.
Yesterday all 47 of us learned where we will be serving (we were a group of 49, but a couple of younger PCTs were sent home due to behaviors that did not respect the Namibian peoples nor represent the Peace Corps in a positive way). After successful completion of four more weeks of training we will be living and working in Keetmanshoop! That is about a 5-hour drive south of Okahandja and about 3-hours north of South Africa. Barbara will be working with women and girls who have family members with HIV/AIDS or single mothers. She will help them develop their business knowledge and expand markets for income generating projects including crafts. I will be working in partnership with the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (in their branch office) developing and supporting businesses through the Enterprise Development Program. We are told we will be in a four bedroom house on the grounds of the State Hospital where other PCVs have stayed, but the roommate situation is not clear and we will try to get info on that next week.
Next Weds we will depart for 5 days of shadowing a PCV in Ondangwa north of Etosha. He is a CED volunteer who has been there a year now and we will watch what his days are like and then find our way back to Okahandja via public transportation …part of the training “How to Get Around on Your Own in the Land of the Brave.” We are looking forward to being “shown the ropes” by Bill Brumfield whom we met last week when he came down to present a class for us.
Yesterday (Weds) we conducted our workshop segment: Barbara and Sarah Rosen began with Marketing and Promotions followed by me and Janet Hoffman presenting Selling. Everyone seemed pleased with the interactive learning and we are happy it went so well…and relieved to have our first teaching test behind us. Barbara received many compliments on her presentation! The pic is from todays Finance workshop with Chris Sohn left, Imanuel Neib center and Amy Pennybacker on the right. Imanuel is the owner of IMOTIN Paints, a local paint manufacturer, and my assigned business. I am working with Imanuel and the NCCI (Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) to help get his business healthy again. He has a very sunny disposition and quick smile and he is respected in the community. This week he is learning by participating along with 30 other attendees.
As you can see below, our “mud hut” is the modern version. No telling how our final site will compare, but for training we are very comfortable indeed! (can you spot UCONN Barbie?)