Thursday, July 22, 2010

First Email Accounts and Messages

The last couple of weeks I have worked to set up email addresses for the teachers that do not yet have them. I’m have signed up 10 total, and it has hands down been one of the highlights of my experience. It is pretty unreal to watch someone receive their very first email – the excitement, shock, and smiles can hardly be contained! They are astonished by the speed with which you can send and receive an email, and how much fun it can be.

So what is even more fun than watching them receive their first email? Being the first one to send that inaugural message, and to be the first person they send an email to. I have saved the emails they have sent me as they are priceless.

I have posted them below (no editing) in case you are interested in reading them! The message from Mr. Kamati, the principal, was extremely touching and brought tears to my eyes.

In addition, my mom requested a pen pal from Namibia! This is an amazing idea and I wish I had thought of this sooner. Now that they have email, they all need more people to write to! I set her up with Ms. Mufwinda and she was ecstatic. So excited to send and receive emails from someone in the USA. If you are interested and read this soon, let me know and I can try to set you up with a teacher here at Shaanika.

First emails ever sent by the teachers:

Ms. Mufwinda:

Hi Dana. i m so excited to use my email for the first time and especially with you.This is great. I love it. Thanks a lot Dana.

Ms. Uushona:

Thank u Ms Dana for assissting me on how to sent an E-mail.
I will enjoy it.Thank u once more.Ok.

Mr. Hamatumwa:

Am really excited to have ma lovely e-mail. we will keep in touch yaaaaaaah.

Mrs. Kamati:

It mazing to met u around and connect us to world wide tecnology. Almigth God bless u ever .Will miss u alot !!!

Mr. Kamati:

It will take our school community so millions of words and countless thoughts to express our sincere gratitude over the services rendered both to our learners and teachers while with us just over a period of almost two moths. Your servises contributions has indeed made a great and tangible impact to the targeted group. I am so happy that you have attained your goal in the light that all our teaching staff have acquired some basic computer skills. Your departure will be surelry another vacuum in our journery for ICT learning and we will miss you.

But however , though leaving , you have made an unerassable record in the persuit of ICT adventure and teaching and leaning in general, in our lovely institution.So, God bless and be ahead of your trip back to Portland-USA.

With sincere appreciatios

Mr. E.I.Kamati : Head master

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kapana, Fat Cakes, and a Cool Drink

As we approach the open market, the smell of kapana pungent, my mouth begins to water. The bodies of raw cattle are hanging about, flies buzzing and moving from stand to stand. Some of the meat is in the process of being prepared to be grilled – sliced into smaller pieces with a machete. We walk up to our favorite stand owner, who already has some of the kapana grilled and ready to eat. We look in his pot of meat, and pick out our favorite pieces. We negotiate a price and quantity, and he throws it back on the grill to warm up. When it is nice and hot, he brings it back out and slices it into bite-sized chunks of deliciousness.

He prepares our plate – a cheap metal saucer – and haphazardly throws the tasty seasoning on our plate of kapana. He adds the sauce – chopped tomatoes, onions, chili and spices. Then, it is time to grab some fat cakes. They are as fatty as their name foreshadows – a round, doughy, fried combination of sunflower oil, yeast, and flour. Fat cakes are quite the fitting name for the delectable treats that are found at every open market, and are the perfect compliment to the kapana.

We grab our kapana and fat cakes, and head over to the Meme who sells cool drinks. A two liter Coca-Cola to share will complete the trifecta – kapana, fat cakes, and Coca-Cola.

We sit down in the heat of the Namibian afternoon to enjoy our meal. As they say, “In Africa, we share”, and one plate is shared by many. The key to the best bite is to grab a piece of kapana to your liking, tear off a chunk of the fat cake, and soak up some sauce and tomatoes and onions. This savory bite can hardly be described in words – a flavorful blend of seasoning, tender meat, and fresh vegetables. The zesty taste makes my mouth burn with delight, and I’m pleasantly relieved by a large swig from the glass bottle of ice cold Coca-Cola.

In this moment, I can forget the stress of the tiring day of teaching, or the complicated and frustrating cultural differences. Moments like these, spent with good food and friends in Namibia, make this experience unforgettable. It is now that I can look around, absorb where I am, and the work that I’m doing at my school. These experiences serve as a reminder of how blessed I am to be in the beautiful and diverse country that is Namibia. I’ve learned here that often even the most simple of things in life can be the most satisfying – even just an afternoon walk, a stop at the open market, and enjoyment of kapana, fat cakes, and a cool drink.