WorldTeach volunteer Michael Hart is spending his summer teaching in Namibia. Graduating with a major in secondary education, Michael is undoubtedly passionate about teaching. In a recent blog post, Michael notes that besides teaching, volunteering offers many other opportunities - including the chance to bond with others who hold similar passions. Michael shows us that volunteering with WorldTeach offers so much more than just an opportunity to educate, but also a chance to see the world, meet new people, and make a difference. So even if a week of teaching becomes frustrating, the WorldTeach experience as a whole makes everything worthwhile. See what Michael has to say about his weekend experience with fellow volunteers below!
My first full weekend being in the village was a great one! It started on Friday when I attempted my laundry for the first time. Of course I had help, Joseph and another grade 9 learner named Asser came and showed me how to do it, and ended up doing a lot of it for me despite my efforts to try and do it myself. After a short time, dozens of kids gathered around to watch us wash our clothes. Apparently, my daily life here is just so exciting that it must be observed 24/7 by all the kids. After my clothes were cleaned and dried they turn into a hard almost cardboard like feel. It’s not the best. I will definitely wear my clothes a few more times before I wash them next time.
The rest of my Friday was pretty relaxed, I made dinner and watched The Aviator in my bed. I was so excited that I could stay up late for once since I didn’t have to be up early on Saturday. Unfortunately this week took its toll on me and I was asleep in my bed by 10PM anyways. What a crazy night life I have here in Ongenga!
Saturday was a nice easy day. I read for quite a while in the afternoon and then at about 2:30, I left to go to Omungwelume again where the Year-Long WorldTeach volunteers were having a Braii. I met a lot of the Year Longs and even a Peace Corp guy who’s going to be living here for 27 months. (Makes my 2 seem like absolutely nothing!) and 3 of my fellow summer volunteers met there as well. We had a great night cooking, drinking and sharing all of our experiences thus far. It was nice to get some insight from people who have been through this all before and have been here since January. We all stayed there at Jason and Bret’s house they share. It was so nice to have a sink again, among other amenities I don’t have at my house. I also heard stories of some places that are even worse than my house though so that helped to put it into perspective for me. This was our best attempt at a self timered group shot!
This morning we made a delicious breakfast of French toast and eggs. It was so good to eat some different things this weekend. We also all went to the grocery store today in Oshakati. I got a lot of stuff and I’m hoping this week will be a little more exciting for meals. I even bought some steak and Boerewors (which is this really good sausage we had last night) to cook for myself this week!
The Year-Longs put a lot of emphasis on how important the weekends are. It is just a great time to see people you can relate to and just relax. They try and meet up as much as possible. We even planned a few weekend trips to take in the next few weeks. I thought that it would be good to stay in Ongenga for a weekend, but I have found out there really isn’t much if anything at all to do. Almost all of the teachers go out of town to somewhere during the weekend and besides that most people I have talked to basically just sit around and do nothing. So I am hoping we will find something to do most if not all of the weekend I am here.
Coming back to Ongenga today, I had a much more positive outlook and felt more ready to take on the week. We already have next weekend’s trip planned, so I will be back with everyone in just 5 days. It really helps to have that to look forward to as the week gets a little monotonous and boring at times. I’m feeling the best I have felt in a week and I can only hope this is a reflection on the next 7 weeks!
We hope that Michael continues to have an awesome experience in Namibia. If you're interested in volunteering for a summer like Michael, and meeting some incredible volunteers, check out our programs in China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Namibia, Poland and South Africa at www.worldteach.org. Apply today!