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Life at a WorldTeach Site: Omatjete, Namibia

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

With WorldTeach volunteers serving in 16 countries around the world, the sites that volunteers live and work in vary widely. While each WorldTeach volunteer site and experience is unique, all volunteers have the chance to challenge themselves and engage with new people, a new culture, and a new place. Elizabeth Skurdahl has been serving in Namibia since December 2013 and has been placed in the town of Omatjete. Read on to learn about her unique site in Namibia… Omatjete is a moderately big village, being that it is on the main road to Omaruru and only an hour or so away by bakkie. It is also a hike point for some of the more outlying villages, so a lot of…

Updates from a WorldTeach American Samoa Volunteer

Posted by WorldTeach in American Samoa

WorldTeach volunteer Jackie Rakers has been in American Samoa for nearly a year. Read on to hear about her daily life filled with the fun and excitement of neighborhood children, care packages, dances, holidays, and unique moments like viewing the blood moon lunar eclipse… If you give the adorable village children each a marshmallow, they will ask for another. Once you give them another, they will ask if they can come inside for a drink of water. Once you let them inside for a drink, they will ask to clean your house. After they have done the dishes and swept the floor, they will ask to climb trees until it rains and they are called home. But seriously, I may…

Settling into a Host Community in Chile

Posted by WorldTeach in Chile

In February, new WorldTeach volunteers arrived in Chile where they were quickly immersed in orientation and teacher training. Read on to hear about David Hanna’s experience settling into his host family and his first week of teaching in Chile… I feel like I am connected to the world again!  I have a permanent internet solution.   Who knew that trying to figure out cell phones and internet would be such a task?  But I have a phone again and internet on my laptop, which is a pay as you go plan.  I have to go to the local mini-market or liquor store to put more money on my phone or internet stick.  While getting my internet fix, one of the…

Former WorldTeach Namibia Volunteer to Run Boston Marathon and Fundraise for Host Community

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

Griffin Gaffney, WorldTeach Namibia Summer ’10, has been busy since the end of his service. Over the past 4 years, he has graduated from Harvard, run five marathons, spent some time working in Korea for Samsung Electronics and now lives in San Francisco where he works for LinkedIn. Despite the time that has passed, he is still involved with his Namibian community and school. With the support of Scott Karrel, fellow WorldTeach Namibia ’10 volunteer and his Unlock Foundation, Griffin is running the 2014 Boston Marathon to raise funds to build a library at his host school, Erkki Tauya Junior Secondary School. Read on to learn about his time in Namibia and his motivations for running the Boston Marathon to…

WorldTeach Rwanda Volunteer Fundraises for Former Student

Posted by WorldTeach in Uncategorized

As teachers in developing countries, WorldTeach volunteers often work with talented and inspiring students who have overcome enormous challenges. One WorldTeach volunteer in Rwanda, Emma Eck, taught one of these students, Samson Ndindiriyimana, and was able to help him acquire a scholarship to study in the United States. Now, Emma is organizing a fundraiser to help Samson obtain a surgery that will help restore his hearing; Samson has had to surmount great odds as a deaf student and this surgery will allow him to hear again for the first time in 19 years. Read on to learn about Emma’s experience working with Samson in Rwanda and her current fundraising campaign… I am currently organizing a fundraising campaign to benefit a…

Classroom Creativity in Tanzania

Posted by WorldTeach in Tanzania

Last week’s blog showed how a WorldTeach Namibia volunteer used a pen pal program to foster learning in Namibia. In a different region of Africa, a WorldTeach Tanzania volunteer has also found creative ways to encourage learning in a school with limited resources. Read on to learn about Katie’s creative techniques in Tanzania… At orientation nine months ago (yikes!) we had a session(s) about teaching in a classroom with limited resources and the possibility for encountering this situation in our schools. That first day of school seems ages ago, but I remember my first time going into the classroom armed with a handful of chalk and a lesson plan I’d put together based on where they’d left off at the…

Your New American Friends – Pen Pals

Posted by Heather Tang in Namibia

With limited resources at their teaching sites, WorldTeach volunteers come up with creative ways to teach their students and create a positive learning environment. Read on to hear how WorldTeach volunteer Kate Piniewski is using a pen pal program to help her students practice English and foster cultural exchange…   I’ve mentioned that my Grade 9s are a little lost. Their English is all over the place; their grammar is appalling at best, but their vocabulary is strong. Some could pass their exams right now; some won’t pass them in December. Some are halfway through their notebook; some have not passed page three. But whatever their level, this was their golden week. Each and every one of them far exceeded…

Celebrating Mashramani in Guyana

Posted by Heather Tang in Guyana

Guyana WorldTeach volunteer Mariah Parker recently celebrated Mashramani to celebrate the formation of the Republic of Guyana. Read on to learn about the fun festivities associated with this unique holiday in Guyana…   I don’t even know where to begin with the Mash weekend! It was Mashramani, which is the celebration of the formation of the Republic of Guyana. Fun Fact: it took about 4 years for the Guyanese to set up the republic after the British left. BUT Mash is a major celebration and holiday here! For a month now, we have been decorating and having competitions in preparation for the lovely day, February 23! We were lucky because this year it fell on a Sunday causing the entire…

Spear Fishing in American Samoa

Posted by Heather Tang in American Samoa

WorldTeach volunteers get the opportunity to try many new activities in their host communities. In American Samoa, WorldTeach volunteer Matt Hoffman has spent some of his free time outside of teaching learning how to spear fish. Read on to hear about one of Matt’s experiences going spear fishing with fellow community members…       My life on Ta’u is split into two parts – school and home. The divide is geographic; we have to walk up half a mountain to go to school, whereas home is just off the beach. At school, I usually wear an aloha shirt and ie faitaga (so, a manskirt). At home I wear, at most, shorts. That’s really not too different from the states….

Carnival Festivities at a Colombian School

Posted by Heather Tang in Colombia

Living abroad with WorldTeach, volunteers have many chances to participate in new cultural traditions. Sometimes these celebrations happen at school and WorldTeach volunteers learn to be flexible and open to new experiences. In Colombia, WorldTeach volunteer Jena Ladenburg recently had the chance to take part in Carnival festivities at her school. Read on to hear about her experience and to see how she adapted quickly to the changes in her schedule brought about by the celebrations…     Okay, so I was going to update you all on what I’ve been doing the past few weeks, and maybe I still will. The beach, corner tiendas, salsa dancing, and trying to figure out this whole teaching thing have been adventures in…