Thursday, July 14, 2005


There are many emotions floating around inside me right now:

  • Excitement: Just today there will have been three showings of my house.
  • Overwhelmed: I have a bunch of Peace Corps paperwork to fill out.
  • Excitement: This weekend I am going up North with my Dad; that will be fun.
  • Lonely: I miss my dog.
  • Excitement: I've made it into the Peace Corps!
  • Sad: The man I do hospice visits with has gotten much worse, and I think he is starting to die.
  • Excitement: Things are really moving again.
  • Overwhelmed: Things are really moving again.
  • Tired: I need to get more sleep -- I have too many ends burning.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pics of Namibia

A friend sent me this cool link to some great pictures of Namibia -- thanks for the link Doug!

Some pics of Namibia

The Program

In 1990, Namibia won its independance. Soon after, the new government began the process of rebuilding its education infrastructure.

The number of qualified teachers in Namibia has increased significantly over the last few years. Still, there is a shortage, especially in the areas of math and science. Some reasons for this particular shortage are:

  • Before Namibia's independence, math and science were not taught in many schools.
  • Certain ethnic groups were not allowed to further their studies in math and science.
  • These courses are often taught in English, which has added to the difficulty of finding teachers.

The goals of this program are to help (in a self-sustaining fashion) the Namibian Ministry of Education and Culture as it works to rebuild its education system.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Job

I have been invited to teach computer science at the secondary level. I am going to be assigned to a cluster of junior or secondary schools in Namibia. My responsibilites will include:

  • classroom teaching
  • peer coaching
  • resource material development

I will probably be working with grades 8 to 12. The schools will range in size from 300 to 1,000 students. I might also be assigned to a teacher resource center (TRC).

I will be a classroom teacher, and probably responsible for one or more computer labs. Teachers usually teach 30 to 40 periods per week (each period is 35 to 40 minutes). Classes can be as large as 50 to 65 students in the lower grades.

School in Namibia is divided into trimesters, separated by 2 to 5 week breaks. Even though there will be breaks, I will still be expected to work during them. I can only use my Peace Corps vacation days during breaks.

Besides teaching in the classroom, I'll also be expected to help other teachers upgrade their skills.

I will have to wear, dress shirts, dress slacks, dress shoes, and ties -- teachers are expected to be very professional (ouch to the ties part).

(I wonder what I will have to do with my hair...)

The Invite

The invite came! Here is an executive summary:
  • Country = Namibia
  • Program = Secondary and Upper Primary Education Project
  • Job = IT Support: Computer Science Teacher
  • Orientation Date = 11/7/05 (was moved up from 11/14/05)
I am going to describe each of the four items in their own post over the next couple of days (because I don't like big, hulking posts, and because it seems like more fun to stretch it out).