During the past six weeks I’ve finished working at RMA, traveled to Alabama to see my friend Beth, spent time at the beach with my cousin(s) Lucinda (& Jan), enjoyed the company of my brother Andy, been honored at more than one party (thank you everyone!) and have checked off my “to do” list as quickly as possible even though it seems to continue to grow. Two weeks from today I will be on the first leg of this journey at “staging” in Philadelphia for one night then off to Namibia the next morning (April 14th-my brother Andy’s birthday).
This past Thursday, I participated in a conference call with other volunteers in my group (there are 32 of us) as well as some of the staff in Namibia. They offered lots of information and answered questions that we all had. My group consists of Health Volunteers and Economic Volunteers. My area of “Youth Development” falls under the Health sector. It was confirming to hear the staff in Namibia laugh and talk about everything, I can’t wait to meet them. It was also fun listening to some of my fellow “trainees”…we are embarking on this incredible adventure together so hearing their voices for the first time and imagining all of these new friendships added to my excitement!
A few days later we received an email with our mailing address (get those cards and packages flowing!). Apparently packages and mail can take several + weeks to arrive so if you want to send something now, I’d love it and thank you in advance. If you send Flat mail or US Postal Service packages the address is: Allison Daniel, c/o Peace Corps Namibia, PO Box 6862, Windhoek, Namibia, 9000. If you use FedEx or DHL or other services that require a physical address use: Allison Daniel, c/o Peace Corps Namibia, 19 Nachtigal Street, Ausspannplatz, Windhoek, Namibia. I’ve posted the address to the “Contact” page of this website as well.
The first 2 months of my experience will be PST (pre-service training) in the city of Okahandja where we will live with a host family after the first 6 days. In the beginning we will be with other trainees in a hostel like situation. Sometime during that first week I will find out what language I get to learn and that will give me an idea of what region I will be assigned to. We will have training in safety, security, technology, health, language, and culture to help our adjustment and effectiveness.
On May 20th (my son Alan’s birthday) I will be given my site assignment. Training will continue with all kinds of tests in language, culture, safety etc. until final evaluations on June 15th (my daughter Abby’s birthday). The official “swearing in” ceremony is scheduled for June 18th. That is the point when I will become a Peace Corps Volunteer provided I can pass all those assessments! That same day I will move to my permanent site to begin my 2 years of service.
It might be difficult to communicate, particularly in the beginning so if I go “off grid” for a while, don’t fret, I’ll be back…maybe intermittently but I’ll be back!