Saturday, June 30, 2012

More from the North of Namibia

Hello from Swakopmund! I'm really sorry for the long delay in posting. Internet connection was a no-go for a few days, and then each day seemed to be too full for me to sit down and do some writing. Rest assure though, I will catch up and fill you in on our safari in Etosha National Park, and our past day in Swakopmund. First however, I have to talk about last Friday. I just can't get seem to get that day out of my head. As Ann wrote earlier, we had the best time at Oshigambo Lutheran High School. Being able too see those learners again, coupled with seeing the computers and books being used was really special. It was a moment I will never forget.

Before we reached Oshigambo however, we did make two brief stops. We spent about two hours at two different kindergarten schools on our way to Oshigambo. The first kindergarten school was about a five minute walk from the ELCIN Guest House (where we were staying). This school has two rooms, and also couples as a daycare for infants. It serves about 40 learners. Now, 12 Americans don't walk into kindergarten schools everyday in the North of Namibia, so you can guess that we  caused quite a stir when we entered. You would be amazed however with how quiet and patient this young students were. My mom (a 2nd grade teacher) was simply floored with how well behaved these students were. After some brief introductions I handed over some toys for the students and then the head teacher, Miss Hinya had all the children sing. It was wonderful, and I didn't stop smiling once.

Our second stop was at Pastor Philippus Henok's Kindergarten, which is a school that Empowering Learners main contact in Namibia and good friend Pastor Henok helped fund. I would post photos from both of these schools, but Google is not having any of that today. When I do put up some photos you will see that the "school" is more like a tin hut. The teacher, Miss Helena has virtually no resources for teaching. She had collected pop bottles to use as math manipulatives. The school did just have an outside bathroom built for them by Orv and Kathy Johnson (great people). I used it. It's pretty nice! Even with substandard facilities and limited resources Miss Helena has these students learning. The girl in this video started learning English about 5 months ago.

Now, obviously this is not the only school in the world that is like this. Students everywhere learn in conditions even worse than this everyday. But Empowering Learners is invested in making a difference one step at a time. You can bet we won't forget about these students.

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