Thursday, July 8, 2010

The fruits of our labor

Here are some updated pictures of the garden. It has come a long way since December (see January post). I was blessed with abundance of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, radishes, purple bell peppers, carrots, maize, sunflower seeds, flowers, and herbs. Baby papayas have even begun to grow...

No flowers yet...
Baby papaya
A few months later, fruit is starting to form!

The basil is ready to seed itself.

This variety of green bean is called "lazy housewife."
Two points for Namibia for political correctness.

Future pickles!
One of about a million jars of home grown and home-made pickles.

The flowers have bloomed and the papaya trees have quintupled in size!
Cherry tomatoes

Fresh :)
A burst of color.
Silly puppy

Another beautiful sunset...

Fish tanks, prayer calls, mosques, and mosquitos

Ed and I embarked on an incredible, month-long journey from Opuwo to Zanzibar. 433 pictures later...

and you can find our snorkeling pictures here:

Friday, May 7, 2010


"TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Going mobile?

Does this really work? I have no idea. But its a novel feelings can be recorded at any given minute. Currently its pouring rain, rara is barking like a dummy and the thunder is booming overhead. Loves it. Now its back to my book! Night night

Monday, April 12, 2010


I apologize for slacking on my blogging duties. I have gotten many emails in the last couple months asking about what I am doing and if I am still alive. To address these inquiries: YES I am alive and well. As to what I have been up to I will touch on the highlights...

1. The measles epidemic is now winding itself out. After a mass immunization campaign and a whole lot of madness, the end is in sight. Thank goodness.

2. Group 29 Mid-Service (yes I have been here longer than a year!) was awesome. I spent 2 days with my group at the Harmony Center outside of Windhoek. I was great to hear all of the awesome and exciting things my friends are working on, and the icing on the cake was being able to hang out by the POOL everyday! We talked a lot about COS (Close Of Service), and even got our COS packets, which was really strange. The general consensus is that the second year goes much faster than the first which means COS will essentially be the day after tomorrow. I have reached the point in my service where its time to start thinking about life after Peace Corps. Whaaaat? How is that possible???

3. I spent a week with the newest Health group (holla group 31) in Okahandja as their Resource PCV. They are truly a great group of people! It just so happens that one of my friends Lindsay is part of the new group, so it was extra special for me. Lindsay and I have only ever lived abroad together, which kind of boggles my mind. We both studied in Siena, and we traveled all over Europe together. She shares my gypsy, vagabond-esq spirit and I am so glad that her journey has brought her here.

4. While I was in Okahandja I went home to visit my family. As luck would have it, my Tate was home as well, and it was great to be wrapped in one of his bear hugs and hear all about the farm. Victoria's command of English has developed so much; the difference between Kinder and first grade is impressive. The boys are nearly eye level. My sister, ever the entrepreneur, has started a business selling perfumes. Mama is well, busy inspiring her students to a new level of success in Science. Turimuye is adorable as ever and regaled me with her entire repertoire of songs which she has recently learned at the Kinder. Virimuye, the little prince, is crawling and scooting around like a champ. During dinner, he carefully scooted himself between Victoria and Turi as they sat eating on the floor. They soon became engaged in a conversation about some silly thing, and while their attention was diverted Viri made his move. Checking to make sure neither was watching, he reached his little fist into Turi's bowl and promptly stuffed a handful of rice in his mouth. Needless to say, he was quickly discovered. The girls squealed and scooted further away from him, only to be stealthily attacked in the same manner just moments later. That went on for most of the meal, and I nearly passed out from laughing so hard.

5. I had a very unwelcome house guest. One quiet Saturday afternoon not too long ago I was walking to the bathroom and I saw something move under my extra bathroom door (my house is very weird in that I have two bathrooms: one which works and one which I use as storage). Realizing something strange was going on, I immediately stopped and took a step back. There, sliding blithely under the door, was a snake. Ed immediately sprang to action; he grabbed the broom and pushed the writhing serpent outside while I held the dog and kept her away from the action. After looking at the snake chart, I am fairly certain that it was either not harmful at all or mildly poisonous, but I did an extra thorough sweep and checked under all of the furniture just in case one of its buddies happened to be squatting as well. For the record, I will no longer be walking to the bathroom in the dark/barefoot.

6. While I was writing that last bit about the snake a GIANT spider just crawled across the floor heading straight for my desk. My office mate slapped it with her shoe and announced that it was only kind of poisonous. Apparently it makes your body break out in a weird rash. The adventures never end around here...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ongoing lessons....

One year in Namibia...

This past weekend marked my one year anniversary in Nam. As part of our volunteer quarterly report, there is a section which asks volunteers to highlight what they have learned. I wrote the first things which came to my mind, and I will share them here now.

I have learned....

that in Africa, things will never happen "on-time" but they will happen in their own time. That I must just be patient. That flexibility is key. That just because something doesn't happen the way I think it should does not mean it won't happen exactly the way it's supposed to. That sitting through 5 hour meetings is an excellent opportunity for personal growth through meditation. That this too shall pass. That an inherited copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (circa 1979) is a wonderful read, and an endless source of inspiration for my culinary growth. That grocery stores in America are ridiculous with their 20 types of cheese, 50 kinds of bread, and other endless packaged food choices (thats the jealousy talking). That I can make from scratch or grow almost everything I truly need. That my definition of "edible" has expanded greatly. That watching my dog run around, watching my garden grow, watching children play a pick-up game with rocks, watching a storm blow in, and watching the landscape change with the seasons are all exponentially cooler than watching television. That family is the greatest gift. That water should never be taken for granted. That I am fortunate, because whether the water is off for 8 hours or 8 days, it will eventually return; it may not come when I need or want it to, but eventually it will come. That I must trust in the has cared for me up to now, and I hope that it will continue to do so. That Peace Corps Volunteers are the greatest; they will come and beat-box original songs for you when you are too sick to move, share awesomely bad diarrhea stories, and are capable of devouring a giant tub of ice cream in a matter of seconds. That time moves incredibly fast. That I have so much still to learn...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mother Bear

I just wanted to share some photos of the Mother Bear distributions I recently facilitated. Mother Bear in a Non-profit in the USA which sends beautiful, hand-crafted bears to children in Africa who have been affected by HIV. Volunteers knit and crochet the bears in the States, then Mother Bear packages and ships them around the world, so that they can be distributed to children in need. Mother Bear asks that the bears not be associated with any religious or political messages, they simply want children to know that there are people in the world who love and care about them.

I learned about this program through the Peace Corps grape-vine, and about a month after contacting the coordinator, two huge boxes arrived full of beautiful bears. They were distributed to the children in the Omapitiro Weyuva OVC class in Opuwo, as well as to the Sunshine OVC orphanage in Khorixas. Participating in this project was wonderful. It was humbling to watch the children's faces light up. Some had never had a doll or toy to call their own...

Sunshine OVC Orphanage:

Omapitiro Weyuva After-School Class:

Special thanks to Folo and Ernst for assisting with the distributions, Dave, my awesome driver, and Amy from Mother Bear for making this all possible.

Cheers! :)