In my last report I mentioned the school drama Scheherazade. This was performed on Parents Day (in July) along with us displaying the learners work in the art room and selling handmade crafts to their friends and families! Despite Parents Day being the focal point of the term, it certainly wasnt the only thing that happened. Between talent shows, soccer games, music concerts and countless visitors we barely had time to stop. Right at the beginning of term I helped organise and attended Faustinus (the music teacher) wedding! It was a lovely celebration and chance for the whole Otjikondo community to spend time together.
At the beginning of June we held a talent show for the children and staff. With amazing performances from the children, Mr & Mrs Stommel and ourselves, it turned in to an amusing evening all round!
Following this, a few weeks later, we had Swap Day. This had been described to us by the staff as a day we used to all swap jobs to appreciate each others work so me and Alice decided it was about time this was pencilled back into the school calendar. Hostel staff, teachers, Stommels and GAPs all pulled names out of a hat and then had to take on that persons job from 6am-6pm. It was a fantastic day; I taught the G5s, Alice chugged up to assembly on Gillys quad bike and Faustinus ended up in the laundry!
Two ex-GAPs visited us in our final term, Becca and Ottilie. It was great to have them around as we didnt receive a third volunteer to help us during this busy time. Ottilie helped organise the Talent Show and Becca majorly supported us preparing the Art Room for Parents Day. I think GAPs will always get along no matter how different they may be because well always have Otjikondo in common!
Parents Day itself was at the end of July, almost at the end of our year. Art Room finished, craft set up and drama perfected; the morning started bright and early, as always, and I was straight in to sell craft to the eager Mums and Dads in the Art Room. At lunchtime we put on our second performance of Scheherazade (the first had been to the other learners the night before) and it was a success! Its fair to say Im very proud of the kids achieving what they did! Rehearsals were long, making props was time-consuming and of course the children could be annoying, but it was all worthwhile after three fabulous performances. I cant describe how much I enjoyed doing the drama!
Often Im asked about the challenges I faced when I was away and I would say gaining the relationship of teacher/friend with the children, trying to get our visas and the quantity of work and physical/mental stamina that I had to maintain. However, leaving Otjikondo was the hardest part of the whole year. I feel like we have become part of our own African family! A lot of people have also asked me for a highlight of the year or tried to get me to sum it up in a few words. As I reel off things like fabulous, brilliant, amazing all I can think is that there was no one highlight; it was all incredible.
Overall I think my confidence, independence and determination have been boosted during my year in Namibia and I would highly recommend taking a year out to anybody who would consider it!