Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm coming now

It’s Monday 2 am GMT, and I am currently sitting in the Dubai airport, waiting for my flight to New York. My body is so confused with what time it is, because I haven’t really slept, it’s 3 am in Oshakati, the sun is rising here, and I’m about to adjust to EST, where it is still Sunday night. I left my home of 2 months on Friday morning with a tearful goodbye. I spent most of that day traveling to Windhoek, and the next day with the WorldTeach staff in Windhoek. Sunday and Monday are 41 hours of travel.

As bewildered as my body is with the exiting-Africa process, my mind and emotions are even more so. It is so hard to process the whole experience, really appreciate what I’ve done, and come to terms with leaving. While I cannot wait for the familiarity of home, I am also leaving behind a home that I have established in Oshakati. No more, “Miss, miss, miss.” No more learners. No more green and white uniforms. No more roosters crowing. No more cooking for myself. No more letting the daylight control my life. No more walking to school. No more classes of 49. No more driving on the left side of the road. No more locking up the house everyday. No more African porridge. No more Namlish. No more riding in the back of backies.

I can’t believe my time here is over. Two months seemed like so long. Where did it go? What did I accomplish?

I taught. I danced. I sang. I invigilated exams. I traveled. I lived on my own. I made a home. I established a routine. I explored. I thought about new things. I befriended a blonde, animal-loving, cheerleading California girl. I laughed. I cried. I ate copious amounts of meat. I got comfortable. I baked. I drank tea. I missed my family. I loved my learners. I listened to Podcasts. I solved a 1000 piece puzzle. I pounded muhangu. I ate mupani worms. I made fat cakes.

I arrived here to the Internet not working. I am leaving here with the Internet not working. I came here with no stove and lived off peanut butter and jelly. I am leaving here with no gas for the stove, living off oranges and bread. I couldn’t sleep on my last night. I couldn’t sleep on my first night.

I definitely believe that this trip was full of blessings, many still undiscovered. I cannot completely wrap my mind around everything that I’ve done, but I’m trying. Thank you to all of you who have prayed for me during this experience- I will be back soon.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nearing the End

As the end of my time here is approaching, I am trying my best to make sure I am not going to leave with any regrets about living in Namibia. Of course I’ve been trying to do this the whole time, but when your days are numbered it is a lot easier to see the things you want to do before you leave. There are few things I still want/need to do (buy a traditional dress, eat Mopani worms, bake for my colleagues, etc), but it is quite satisfying to think of all the things I have done already. Since my last post about weekends, I have had three more a-typical weekends. Here we go:

Weekend 7: Caught up on Galatians, made chocolate drop cookies, did laundry, went to the open market, cleaned the flat, explored a new shopping center, went to the fabric stores, went for a run, read, rode in the back of a truck, bought groceries for a colleague’s family, visited said family at the village, pounded muhangu, sifted muhangu flour, made porridge from said flour, ate said porridge, held a baby chicken, took photos.

Weekend 8: Caught a taxi to Okalongo, rode in the back of a truck again, set up a tent in the backyard of another volunteer’s house, went to dinner, went to a club, left the club because a drunk learner was bothering us, went to a bar, saw a dance party, went to Raucana Falls, put my hand in Angola, was rejected from a border patrol station, went to a market, went with Americans to a birthday braii, took a taxi back to Oshakati, went to a Namibians house-warming braii, went to the Miss Erundu pageant, went to a charismatic church with Meme Koko, made caramel corn, read about the Appalachian Trail, talked to my Granny on the phone, and marked homework

Weekend 9: Read, finished puzzle, participated in my schools Big Fun Walk 10K from the neighboring town to our school, sold Mary’s chili and Rice Krispie treats at the school exhibition, rested at home for a bit, read, went back to the exhibition, went to student “dance club,” had mini-dance party outside, cleaned out my suitcase, went to church, had lunch at Koko’s, cleaned my room, marked papers

This upcoming weekend will be spent traveling to and in Windhoek, debriefing with the other volunteers about our Namibian experiences, going to the airport, getting on a plane and flying and flying and more flying, and then I will be back in America this time next week.