Namibia: Whirlwind Week: A Catch-Up Post

(There was so much happening since Luderitz that this post will only hit the high points. I hope you don’t mind.)

I had just gotten back from Luderitz and had no time to rest. Market Day was the next big event and it was scheduled the following Saturday. More language studies, seminars, and other PCV stuff filled the week.

And, of course, I got sick. I don’t mean, “Geez, ya know, I don’t quite feel myself” sick. No! I mean losing my breakfast, lunch and dinner over the span of 6 horrible ‘get personal with porcelain’ hours sick! I threw up so much I may have hurled a lunch I ate two years ago. At 2 AM I was still hugging the commode and my host mother was sure I was dying. I wasn’t so sure I was not. By 3 AM I called the Peace Corps Medical Office. They suggested a few things, but I decided to ride it out. Luckily “out” was one last upchuck away and things settled down. As per PC instructions I took my temperature and was dismayed to find it hovering around 100 degrees. It was a low grade fever and prolly a side effect of the earlier sickness, but PC suggested I take the day off. That suggestion I took and slept the whole day. When I woke my little fever had broken and I was mildly hungry.

What made me sick? That’s still a head scratcher. A few others also got sick to varying degrees that week. Might have been a stomach virus, who knows. I just don’t want it again.

Because of my illness I missed a talk given by the U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton. My group mates said it was an excellent talk and that the ambassador will be at our swearing in ceremony. Sorry I missed it, but it couldn’t be helped.

I didn’t miss Market Day.

Market Day is where we showcase our small business partners who we’ve been mentoring for several weeks. It’s also a celebration of small businesses in Okahandja. It has a fair-like atmosphere with music, bounce house and face painting for the kids, and lots of food.

Kids and everyone else had a blast at Market Day

My small business partner was Dominic, proprietor of a graphics design business. His display highlighted some of his work and gave him a chance for others to not just see what he does, but talk to him for possible business in the future. He gave out business cards and got several leads. In fact, many of the small businesses that our group coached expressed delight with the Market Day turnout and exposure their businesses saw.

Dominic in front of his display

The food vendors and some of the other vendors sold out, the kids had fun and by all accounts Market Day was a great success.

But we didn’t get a chance to rest on our laurels, with Market Day behind us we then had to focus on the end of training interviews and language tests. Yes, a very stressful period. I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say that all 14 of us passed and will become card carrying Peace Corp Volunteers on June 15, 2017.

That’s where we are right now, prepping for one final presentation to our new Namibian site managers, packing, and trying not to get too anxious.

To that end, several of us decided to take a hike to Pride Rock, a small peak to the north of Okahandja. I’m sure there’s a Namibian name for the peak, but Pride Rock seems to fit.

Many of the other volunteers had climbed it before, but this was my first opportunity. I’m glad I went.

I have to say that sitting on my butt for 8 weeks took its toll, when we got to the steep part I had to stop once. (I gotta get back in shape!) Once at the top, however, I could not help but be awe struck. Take a look at the photo and you’ll understand what I mean.

5040 ft up on Pride Rock!

After chillin and wallowing in awe we returned to more mundane pursuits. I had laundry to do.

This will likely be my last post as a Peace Corps Trainee. Next stop, swearing in and the start of my assignment in Arandis, Namibia.

Yes, I am VERY excited.

The adventure continues.

Stay tuned.


One thought on “Namibia: Whirlwind Week: A Catch-Up Post

  1. Hi Vern
    Glad you’re feeling better, I’m so proud of you for completing your training. The pictures are beautiful and when you went fishing the water was a color I’ve never seen before wow stunning. Everyone is doing well at home. Take care love you.


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