Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ondihole......I love.......

Ogongo sunsets

Punya punya (red wine and coke)

Laughing in English

Grade 6 learners

Ovambo chicken


The milky way

Africa Staudt Haus

My roommate's laughter

African magic

My cat Zizi

Riding in the back of pick ups


Genuine, yet ridiculous inquires

Baboon sightings

My learners' serenades

My Kuku (grandmother)

Meme mumu dresses

I miss......

Mexican food

Having my own car

Take away sushi

Bedi's stories and shenanigans

Spontaneous plans


Snow (believe it or not)



Everything bagels with hummus

Meme Heidi

Spotted Cow


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I want a girlfriend, but I don't know how. Can you help me?
How does a person get the homosexuality?
Can a girl fall pregnant if she makes sex with a very young boy?
Will a person go crazy if they do not make the sex?

- Anonymous questions submitted by my Grade 9 Life Skills class. These are the days I cannot imagine leaving this place.

Hairstyles lead to failing grades

There are many days where the following runs through my head – Wow, this school is really progressing. I am so proud of these teachers and learners. I am so blessed to be here. The teachers are making changes. I love it here. Life is nawa!

And then there are those down days – What are these people thinking? These learners are not understanding anything. The teachers don't care. This place is mass chaos. What am I doing here? Someone just give me a chili relleno with extra guac and a Reese's blizzard.....and a strong margarita! Today was one of those days. To set the preface I will rewind...last week during one of our insufferably long staff meetings we spent an hour discussing the failure rate of our learners and what we are going to do about it. Sounds productive right? Not when 45 minutes of that discussion is spent deciding whether or not shaving the hair of all of the girls who failed is an appropriate punishment. One teacher even tried to argue that these “crazy new hairstyles” are leading to failing. A logical question followed. “If we cut the girls hair, what will we do to the boys.” And the discussion continues....It was not until I spoke up that they realized that the removal of hair was a ridiculously inappropriate form of punishment and will in no way improve their academic achievement. They nodded in agreement when I proposed the solution of helping these failing learners, rather than punishing them.

That was 6 days ago. Today I arrive at school to find a large mass of my learners exiting the gate with backpacks on. When asked where they are going, I get the following replies, “Kegumbo” (to home), “We failed the exams,” “We did not bring N$10 for the teachers.” I make a detour from my normal beeline to the library to enter the office and get some answers. I quickly find out that the decision was made to require all failing learners to bring Engeeshu (ground nuts) or N$10.00 as a punishment. All learners that failed to do so were sent home. Brilliant idea.....lets help these struggling learners by not teaching them. It seems that my obvious solution was lost in translation......

P.S. I have to give them credit for choosing an alternative to corporal punishment (baby steps, baby steps)