Kirsty Scott – Final Footprinter Report from Otjikondo

faustinus' wedding

In my last report I mentioned the school drama ‘Scheherazade’. This was performed on Parent’s Day (in July) along with us displaying the learner’s work in the art room and selling handmade crafts to their friends and families! Despite Parent’s Day being the focal point of the term, it certainly wasn’t 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!

Mrs Alice Stommel

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 other’s work’ so me and Alice decided it was about time this was pencilled back into the school calendar. Hostel staff, teachers, Stommel’s and GAPs all pulled names out of a hat and then had to take on that person’s job from 6am-6pm. It was a fantastic day; I taught the G5’s, Alice chugged up to assembly on Gilly’s quad bike and Faustinus ended up in the laundry!

Becca, Kirsty & Alice Ride to Tanigu

Two ex-GAPs visited us in our final term, Becca and Ottilie. It was great to have them around as   we didn’t 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 Parent’s Day. I think GAPs will always get along no matter how different they may be because we’ll always have Otjikondo in common!

Parent’s 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! It’s fair to say I’m 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 can’t describe how much I enjoyed doing the drama!

Craft Stall

Often I’m 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!

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