Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nine Days

(I know I promised a new post as soon as I found out my placement, but I'm afraid I'm a week late. What can I say, it's been a busy week.)

Last Tuesday, I got the email that I had been waiting for for months. I will be teaching...drumroll please...8-9th grade math and science in a small village called Onamutai in northern Namibia! (Click on the village name for a map!) While the village itself is quite small, I am only about a half hour away from three large towns where I can easily go to buy anything I need. I am also within about 45 minutes of five other volunteers, so I won't be completely isolated for the year. I still don't know exactly what my housing situation will be, it's possible that I'll be staying with a community member and his family, or I could be in teaching housing, which is an apartment with 3-4 local teachers. Either way, I'll have my own bedroom, electricity, running water (though not hot), and a fridge. My school is small-grades 8-12 with around 430 learners and 22 teachers. Within the last year, they received a computer lab with 35 new laptops, internet, and a smartboard! I'm excited to have the opportunity bring some technology into my lessons, and to increase the use of technology at the school as a whole.

With only nine days left until I leave for Namibia via NYC, I am back at home in NH to begin packing. I had a whirlwind last few days at THS and had a hard time saying goodbye to both my amazing coworkers and my students. Leaving MA also meant that I had to say goodbye to many of my friends for the year. But now I am home, ready for one last round of goodbye visits, and the impossible task of packing a years worth of my life into two suitcases. If anyone has any suggestions for this, I'm all ears!

Many people have asked me recently for ideas of things they can could get me for Christmas to use on my trip. I greatly appreciate everyone's thoughtfulness and I will let you all know if I think of anything, but at this point, it seems most of the things that I will need to buy, I will buy there so as to not have to pack them. Therefore, as unexciting at it is, if you would like to help out with my preparations  money is the most useful thing. I have paid my volunteer fee, but my bank account took quite a hit, and I would be extremely grateful for any contributions that people can make.

I think that's all for now, I'll try to post one more time before leaving and then again as soon as I can once we land. If anyone has questions about my upcoming adventure that I didn't answer, feel free to post them in the comments and I'd be happy to answer! Also, if you want to get emails when I update my blog, be sure to enter your email address where it says "Follow by Email" at the left of this post.

Once again, thank you SO MUCH to everyone for your continued support, it means more than you could know!


  1. Jamie, that all sounds so exciting! I checked out the place on the map but unfortunately no street views yet (work on that). I'm sure you will bring so much joy and knowledge to the students and be an inspiring teacher, just like you're an inspiring friend (AND ROOMMATE!!!!). Love you and can't wait to hear more from you! One more skype before you leave??

  2. Nooooooo T^T
    It's not to late to come back,

    I hope you have fun~