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Fiestas Novembrinas

Posted by WTTech in Colombia

WorldTeach Colombia volunteer Rebecca shares some of the Colombian celebrations that take place throughout the month of November. When I arrived in Cartagena in August people were already talking about the November festivities. The best thing about the November festivities is that they start in October. If there is one thing people in Colombia (and specifically on the coast) do well, it’s celebrate!   It had taken me since August to actually figure out what we were celebrating in November because most of the time the people here just refer to it as “fiestas novembrinas” or “festivales de noviembre”…basically the November festivities. And then their explanation of what it was included some explanation of “people throwing water,” “firecrackers in the…

Being an Island of Excellence in a Sea of No Competition

Posted by WTTech in Tanzania

Days in Tanzania are long; they’re hot and humid and they are busy and boring. They start at the break of dawn and continue long past the sun is set – which, might I add, happens at the same exact time every day, offering predictability but also monotony. The days drag on, yet the weeks seem to fly by and the months move so fast you can barely see them.   As I’m sure is true in any corner of the world, putting your nose to the grindstone day after day is exhausting. Some mornings you wake up more tired than you were when you went to sleep. Some days the tasks ahead of you before you can climb back…

What a Difference a Year Makes

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

WorldTeach alumna Chaundra returned to American Samoa a year after her WorldTeach service ended. Now, she’s working for the Samoan department of education. I’m back for round two of this crazy island life, only this time I work for the Department of Education in American Samoa. I hadn’t fully planned on returning after my stint here during the last school year, but as the time came closer for me to head back to the mainland, I wasn’t ready to go. I put in my application to get hired by DOE at the end of the school year, and because this is Samoa, they lost my application. I patiently waited to here the exciting news that I would be able to…

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

WorldTeach alumna Jackie reflects on her first year as a teacher, spent in American Samoa.   My first year as a teacher is over. The end of my time in American Samoa is rapidly approaching. We leave Manu’a any day now, sail to Tutuila, and wait for our flight Friday night. I land in Chicago Sunday morning. In less than a week I will be home. I can’t wait to see my family, spend time with my friends, play with my dog, and enjoy the wide selection of fruits and vegetables found in every supermarket. But leaving is hard. This has been one of the best years of my life. I got to live the dream. I spent a year…

A Girls’ Club in Namibia

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

WorldTeach volunteer Jordon has created a girls’ club to help some of her students learn more about women’s issues in Namibia.   Finally, after many trials, tribulations, delays, and some lack of interest I finally had my first official girls’ club meeting, with not just one additional teacher helping me but two.   I really wanted to get this club going because the kinds of issues I hope to tackle in the girls club have always been issues close to my heart; things I have struggled with in my own life. I have found these issues, such as self-esteem and feeling empowered to be huge problems not only in Aroab, but in Namibia as a whole. Namibia errs on the…

Meet Taa

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

WorldTeach Namibia volunteer Elizabeth profiles one of her young learners:  Meet Taausuverue, another one of my sweet grade 5 girls with a completely unpronounceable first name. I know her simply as Taa. My first week at school, Taa showed up at the library and stood quietly beside my desk, smiling shyly at me every so often. I asked her how she was and what she did over the holiday, but she just gave me soft, one-word answers and then just stand there silently, watching me as I worked. Every day, though, she would come to the library and stand by my desk. I continued to ask her questions and, eventually, her answers became longer and more detailed. Now, Taa is…

New Technology in Namibia

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

WorldTeach volunteer Patrick Donovan introduces simple technology and opens up endless possibilities for his learners in Namibia. Over the August holiday, I got my hands on a cool technology put together by a colleague, Joris Komen, who I met during my struggle to get information about the state of education technology in Namibia. Joris is working with a team of talented hardware and software folks who more or less hacked a wireless router so that it could transmit the content of a USB stick (also specially formatted for this purpose) to up to/over 40 wifi-enabled devices at once.  So you need no internet whatsoever. You simply turn on this little router (about the size of a smart phone, which is…

‘Wanafunzi’ – Students

Posted by WTTech in Tanzania

WorldTeach volunteer Emily Auer describes a typical school day in Tanzania. A school day starts with a call from my headmaster saying “Twende!” or “Let’s go!” between 7:10 and 7:30 am. We then drive the 15 minutes to school where he drops me in front of the administration block. After shaking the 5 to 10 hands between me and the staff room, I sign into the teachers book. Meanwhile, the students have been on campus “cleaning the environment” since  7 or 7:15. This entails sweeping all of the pathways, sweeping and mopping the administration block, arranging the desks and chairs in the staff room, watering the plants, and generally making the school grounds look as immaculate as possible. Now you…

Context

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

WorldTeach Namibia volunteer, Brian Park sets the stage for the yearlong Namibia program.    Picture the continent of Africa in your head.   Picture the bottom tip of Africa, and right to the northwest of the tip (South Africa), there is Namibia.   Namibia is a diverse, yet sparsely populated country, where each of the regions has a distinct geography and tribal majority. For example, in the central-western portion of Namibia, the people are predominantly Herero and Damara, and the landscape is rocky and mountainous desert that gives way to sand dunes at the coast. In the northeast, we have the Caprivi, who live on a lush and tropical strip of land that lines the Caprivi river. And then, in…

Spanish Lessons

Posted by WTTech in Uncategorized

WorldTeach volunteer Gaby McKay gives readers back home a lesson in Costa Rican slang.   The month of September is probably the most chaotic, or so I’m told. Independence Day is the 15th and Dia del nino (kid’s day) is somewhere in September also. This month the students are practicing a baile tipico and we even have a band now. Okay the band is more like a really large drum line with just snare drums. But whatever, they’re loving it. I promise pictures or videos after Independence Day.   On the flip side of all this chaos and patriotic activity is where I stand, waiting for September to end so my teaching schedule might get back to normal. So instead…