Connections

I've joined a Blog Challenge late so here's my first try:

Challenge #8 = Details It's time to go micro! Hone in on one particular detail of your life abroad, in pictures and/or words.

Connections…that are what is making this adventure so rich. My world has expanded with the introduction of this beautiful Namibian experience, but it’s really the people who are making it all worthwhile…here are some of the people I’ve met, some are a part of my daily life and some I saw only once but they made an impact on me.

Matlida- A Grade 6 learner who lives in the location. She was the first student I met in June and she makes me smile every single day. She calls me her ‘Ouma” which is Afrikaans for Grandmom!

This was taken at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Peace Corps in Namibia. I am in a traditional Nama dress that three of the ladies at the clinic had made for me!

This was taken at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Peace Corps in Namibia. I am in a traditional Nama dress that three of the ladies at the clinic had made for me!

Auntie Martha- My language teacher during training. She taught me that even if learning a foreign language is hard for me, I can be successful as a volunteer. She is one of the most loving and caring individuals I have ever encountered in my life!

Maureen sitting in front of the main building at Klein Aus Vista.

Maureen sitting in front of the main building at Klein Aus Vista.

Maureen-A fellow volunteer who helped me survive training…I think we helped each other a bit. She was my first visitor to Aus and we spent a glorious day out at Klein Aus Vista, a resort 2km from my flat. Maureen eventually went home, I think the Peace Corps and Namibia would have benefited if she had stayed. We used to text every single day…I miss her.

Little Boy-He came to the clinic during the winter (It was VERY cold-it snows in AUS) without shoes on. His presence made me begin a shoe drive for the children of AUS. 

Jacob Watkins-A student at my old school (Rocky Mount Academy) in Rocky Mount, NC who singlehandedly gathered shoes for the children of AUS. I brought back a HUGE suitcase after I went home for my son’s wedding. More shoes are on the way. Kudo's to Jacob for taking on this project...he's made many, many children happy in AUS.

Karin and Steve(And Siska and Pokles, their furry children)- The couple I met in Aus who have taken me under their wings. They have included me in family functions, given me a place to take a hot shower (heavenly) and to sleep over occasionally, helped me find rides to Windhoek for meetings and the list goes on and on!

Little Girl at Farm-I met this little girl while on outreach one day and quickly understood that happiness has nothing to do with material possessions or even minimum daily comforts. Happiness is a state of mind when you are thankful for what you have, not bitter about what you don’t. She is a happy child!

Jessica(and her son)-One of the nurses at the clinic. She is kind and caring and has welcomed me from the moment we met in June! She works hard and expects others to work hard as well. She cares about the patients who come to the clinic and it shows.

Abed-One of the HIV Counselors at the clinic. He is Oshiwambo and I’ve learned that he likes to give the opposing point of view just to get a rise out of those in the conversation. At least I hope that’’s what he’s doing when he says some of the things he says.

Berta (and her daughter Kayla and daughter's friend Celestine)-The cleaner at the clinic and also my Afrikaans tutor. She smiles, laughs, pushes me to study, and generally makes the world around her a nicer place to be. She brings joy to my life every single day.

Three Boys-These three boys were left to live at home alone while their parents moved to the farm for work. The oldest boy is 11 and he makes sure there is something for the younger boys to eat every day. They made an enormous impression on me because I hadn’t realized before just how many children are fending for themselves. Interventions have been taken and the boys lives have improved. 

Naughty little boy-This boy is one of the first kids I met in AUS and he is generally into EVERYTHING! I caught this picture during the Marmer Primary School Beauty Pageant and he looks angelic. Even naughty little boys can be angelic sometimes. Nobody’s all good or all bad.

Another picture from the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Peace Corps in Namibia.

Another picture from the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Peace Corps in Namibia.

Stephanie- A fellow PCV who lives in Swakopmund where she can buy any kind of groceries she wants! ( I am envious of that) We just connect! She is one of the nicest people I think I’ve ever known and she helps me stay sane.

Kevin, Gail, Stephanie, Catherine, Michael, Sinthu and me. (All PCV's)

Kevin, Gail, Stephanie, Catherine, Michael, Sinthu and me. (All PCV's)

Gail-Another PCV (who's second from the left above). She texts every day so I don’t feel as isolated from Americans as I am. She has an uncanny sense of humor and might just hold the record for number of housing/host family issues experienced since entering Namibia. She makes me laugh. 

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” Dr. Brené Brown

Thanks for reading!  Suggestions are always welcome!

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