Namibia: Quick Update

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DISCLAIMER
The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Namibian Government.

Hi all,

As I said, things here would get busy fast, and they did. This week our trainers had us meet local small business owners with whom we paired up with and now must use our “skills” to help them grow their business. It’s an exercise that is geared to train us in interacting with local business owners rather than to actually move a business along, but if that happens then it’s a gain for all involved.

We also had our eyes opened to Namibian political and social history and it wasn’t pretty. I don’t have time to go into it now, but to get an idea of where Namibia is today think about what America was like in the years immediately following the Revolutionary War and you may get a narrow view of what life is like here. This is a country full of raw natural beauty, people with centuries old traditions and whose eyes are focused on the future. I feel humbled and honored to be here and to offer whatever help I can to move them towards a brighter tomorrow.

But first I need to get trained in so much that I wonder if my old brain can hold it all. I am determined to try.

One way to help is to learn a language, and the language that was picked for me is Afrikaans, a German derivative with its own uniqueness. A large portion of the population speaks it, especially in the larger cities and towns, so it stands to reason that I will ultimately wind up in a larger town or city. This is my second week of classes and I feel somewhat comfortable with greetings, but that’s about it. We’ll get tested in a few weeks so that is what I’m studying for. So, practice, practice, …

I’m also in my second week with my host family. They are Nick and Kittie Mass and they are very nice people. They are also butchers. The day after I arrived I came home to a pile of meat in the kitchen. That pile happened to be the rough cut remains of a cow. Inside of 5 days they Mass’ , using a meat ban saw and other devices that would be at home in movies like Halloween of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, reduced nearly a thousand pounds of beef to steaks, sausage and other cuts of beef and beef byproducts. Nothing was wasted. They even make a Namibian version of beef jerky and SlimJIm. Tasty!!!

The saw I saw…


As you may imagine, I’ve got a lot to deal with here. I’ve got some work to do so I need to stop here. I’ll try to update more often even if it’s just a few paragraphs.

Stay tuned.

Vern

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