9 Days In Country

After long days of traveling, we finally made it to Namibia. There are 31 of us in our group and 7 who are over 50! Whoop, whoop!  The Namibian people have been so welcoming and kind, they greeted us with song when we arrived where we are staying for the first six nights. The Peace Corps staff has been incredibly organized, informative and helpful. It was wonderful that all 31 of us stayed together the first six nights because it gave us a chance to get to know one another.  On Tuesday of this week we got to meet our host families for the first time. Then on Wednesday we moved in with them…

I have internet in my new home!  My host family consists of Wandie, Llewellyn, Waylin (7), and Gabby (3). There is also a brother-in-law who lives here. Wandie and Llewellyn have been married for 9 years. They have welcomed me into their home with open arms. I am their ninth Peace Corps Trainee so they have this system down pat!  Here's a picture of them...

This past Monday, I found out that I am learning Afrikaans. We started language lessons on Tuesday, my teacher is the sweetest lady and incredibly patient with me (and believe me, I need someone who is patient!). I actually answered a question in Afrikaans this afternoon while at the market.  And, when I got home, I told my host family “I am dead tired” in Afrikaans. You can only imagine how much they laughed about that!

Our days in training are long and information filled. We typically have language training in the morning, then different topical sessions the rest of the day. Today we watched films and talked about Malaria, then we discussed diarrhea for way too long!  The good news is, I know what to do when diarrhea hits…aren’t you glad you know that!  

With 31 people you can only imagine the different personalities present but so far it has been congenial.  I am quite sure that over time, tempers will flare and words will be exchanged…just hope I’m not a part of it.  It is an extremely stressful time, we are learning new languages (there are 7 different languages being taught), we are eating new foods, learning new cultures and adjusting to so many different things all at once. I’ve already cried twice. Most of you know that I don’t cry very often so it surprised me but I obviously needed it. 

Before I left the United States, I received an e-mail from the Mid-Atlantic Region Peace Corps Office asking me to answer some questions because they wanted to highlight my departure on their blog. The link to that is here:

I miss everyone but am so busy that I’m handling it pretty well. And, I’ve been able to talk with several people on the app “WhatsApp”.  If you get it and send me a message, I will get it when I’m home.…and respond.  I’d love the connection!