Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Funday Pictures are back! 13-November-2016

BIG NEWS I forgot to tell you. 2 of my learners applied to Camp GLOW (Girls and Guys Leading Our World) a special camp held by Peace Corps Volunteer in many serving countries. The attended the week long camp in August and absolutely LOVED it!! 

Every blue moon volunteers get to escape to the coast to get fancy and find fun crystals, stones, feathers and shells. 

 (Another PCV taught me how to make dream catchers!)

My latest collage. Reflection time/Down time is always good for the corazon. 

While I was on Med Evac an old friend gave me a new tattoo. Now I have learners drawing their own tatts as well. he he he :)

Broke into the hot cheetos stash!!!! OH YEAH!!!! 
 I just want to throw it out there that I'm almost out;
 Christmas is soon, 
for the most part I was a good girl this year. 

My host niece is such a little cutie. Its never too soon to introduce them to books. 
This girl is 2, and already smart as can be. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Goals of Peace Corps: The Bright Side

The past couple weeks have been rather, emotional, for me (as for many).
Don't worry; this is nothing political.

Lets just skip the past week in general shall we?

Peace Corps has 3 main goals, I'd like to highlight goals 2 and 3.

Goal 3:  To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Two weekends ago I received word that a good friend of mine back home had an accident and was in the ICU on life support. Monday morning (my time) I woke to news of his passing. Now if you've read My Story: The Reason you know, death is quite the heavy load for me. However, as The Lion King taught us, it's part of the circle of life. So for today I ask of you. whoever it is you pray to, say a little something for Gary Davenport. That guy, he was just a genuine soul and one heck of a jokester.

However, I did have a rather sweet moment. Later in the day I was sitting under the trees trying to cope, when one of the grade 2 learners came up to me. She noticed I was crying and asked what's wrong. So, I told her "a friend of mine from home died and my heart is broken." She looked at me for a moment, got up and said "Tani wiza" (I'm coming [back]). A couple minutes later she returned with a bag of ice and put it near my chest while she told me about the time she once broke a bone and so her grandma had her put ice on it. I melted. It was a reminder of just how pure and kind people can be. With that moment alone not only did this adorable girl with the sweetest jack-o-latern smile make me feel better, but she inspired me. It was the simplest moment of kindness, and yet I don't think she realizes how much that one moment impacted me. How in that moment, I needed something like that.

So, if there is one thing I want people to absolutely know about my host country Namibia (Speaking specifically of the Kavango region): For the majority, the locals are very kind. They're curious. They're welcoming and  yes, doing an entire greeting is mandatory every time you simply see each other. Overall, there is a astonishing sense of community community.

Rest In Peace Gary Davenport
September 17, 1988
October 30, 2016

Goal 2: To help promote a better understanding of Americans on part of the peoples served.

Let me tell you, being a teacher has some perks. The school year is coming to an end in just a couple weeks and I can guarantee you, the grade 8 and 9 learners learned 2 very important lessons!

1. Chicago is the best city in the whole entire world! Yes, that is indeed a fact.

2. In fact, to go along with that, the Chicago Cubs are the World Series Champions.

Time difference can really affect the news you wake up to, so when I woke up to find messages awaiting in all caps say " WE ARE THE WORLD SERIES CHAMPS", that set a tone for the day. My classes did have an exam scheduled, but being that I'm the teacher, I hold the power to decide to postpone the exam to teach a very valuable lesson to these children. I told them a story about how over 100 years ago a horrible horrible curse was placed on a great team known as the Chicago Cubs. Despite all of the Cubs great efforts the curse could not be broke, until now!! This great triumph was to show everyone not to give up on their dreams and it was basically a holiday, so exams were canceled because we had to all learn a very important song, and dance.

Seriously, this is a video you have to watch! Ms. Tena's very important World Series Champions, The Chicago Cubs Lesson ( )

A gofundme has been set up for the family of Gary. If you would like to donate visit Gary Davenport's Memorial Gofundme page

Monday, November 7, 2016

"Ms. Tena, you discriminate"

If you saw my blog post Days for Girls , then you already know about the Days for Girls kits that were supplied to every single Orphan and Vulnerable Child (OVC) girl who is known to have started her cycle, and all girls club members have also received a kit.

Well right around that same time, a group known as OYO came to do a performance at my school. LET ME TELL YOU, they were a really cool group. Its a local performance company who has invested their amazing dance skills to teach via dance and music about topics such as teen pregnancies, STI's, drinking, issues pressing too many. Their performance was super cool!! Along with teaching via dance performances they offer a 2 week after school class that learners can sign up for to learn more in depth information about these issues. Basically every single learner in grades 7-9 were involved. Well in these after school classes the learners learned to word "discriminate".

 Well one day after school a couple of the boys came up to me and said "Ms.Tena, you discriminate  against us." Confident in their remark.

The first thought that came to my mind was shoot, theres still so much about the culture I'm learning, I did something to offend someone; but like a duck even will my feet going wild beneath the surface, I kept my game face on and asked what they meant. They explained that it wasn't fair that the girls get special gifts and the boys don't. I tried to explain to them the kits would never be something they would use, they were something the girls really needed but not the boys. Thats when in the typical teenage fashion they argued that boys have stuff they need that the girls don't. So I asked for an example, and nothing. I told them to think about it, and then I would see what I could do.

A couple days later they came to me and explained they need ties so that they can go to job interviews one day. As much as I wanted to argue a clothing item like a tie isn't just a "boy's need", I was more so impressed that they thought of something they may actually need one day and a valid reason for it. Not to mention this was in English, their second/third languages. So I accepted.

Well while I was back in the good old USA for my surgery I told my mom the story and she then took it upon herself to tell the story to some of her co-workers and do a tie drive. With in 48hrs till I left back to complete my service in Namibia, they collected over 30 ties! I was really hoping for 17, enough for each of my boys club members and they passed that with flying colors. It took me a couple weeks to get back into my groove in Kasote but then we finally had a very special boys club meeting where each boy was able to tell me 1 thing he learned during boys club in exchange for a tie. Of coarse they were able to start wearing then whenever they wanted. They were  so excited! I wish you all could have seen them walking into school the next day in their ties like the were the coolest thing to ever walk Kasote School ground. I must admit, they looked rather dapper.

I owe a major major thank you to my dad, my mom and her co-workers for donating the ties. The boys rock their ties most days of the week. Yeah it may be simply a tie, but it has definitely added some confidence into the boys steps.

If you are interested in OYO coming to your school in Namibia, they are awesome and you won't regret it. An easy way to contact them is via their Facebook page OYO's facebook link

Is it too late now to say sorry?

It goes with out saying, I've been slacking! The past half year has flew by faster then I could blink, and boy oh boy was it eventful. From making it to mid-service, to being med evacuated for an operation, to wrapping up the school year, and not to mention the work for the committees I'm on. I intended to write multiple times and would just get side tracked. BUT, the radio silence stops now and I will get back to it. Sorry!!!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Funday Photos!

It may not be Sunday, but any day is a great day to share pictures, wouldn't you say?

The amount of cuteness the puppies bring to my homestead is to much to handle. They just makes me melt!!!!!

In Namibia many Learners who live in the village struggle with getting to town in order to get vaccinations. The Ministry of Health doesn't let that get in the way of getting Learners the medical attention they need to help them remain healthy. Since the families can't always get to the clinic, the Ministry brings the clinics to the school and gives every single learner their vaccination. 

I'm twice their age, and equally as scared of getting vaccinations! 

The official cultural dance competition was this past weekend. Unfortunately I was at resource volunteer training and couldn't make it. The great new is that their hard work payed off and the team proudly brought home THIRD PLACE!!!!
Way to go!!!!!

*disclaimer: permission has be asked and granted by any person(s) photos published.