Country Programs

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Namibia

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

As WT volunteer Elizabeth adjusted to Namibian culture, she learned proper hitchhiking technique, here demonstrated by three of her enthusiastic learners.   As I have often mentioned in previous posts, hitchhiking, known here colloquially as simply “hiking,” is the most common mode of transport in Namibia. In the village, few people own their own cars, so the only way to travel out of the village is to catch a ride with those who do.   But, I bet you are wondering, how do you even go about getting a hike? I thought I would show you by taking you on a virtual hike, from Omatjete to Omaruru! I can tell you are so excited; let’s go. First things first, you…

Celebrations in Tanzania

Posted by WTTech in Tanzania

This holiday season, WT volunteer Chelsea shares a story of a Tanzanian celebration.   Celebrations in Tanzania come in all shapes and sizes. Drumming coming from the village huts all night long, various high-pitched yell/screams, fake flower decorations, dancing, and LONG impromptu speeches are just some of the aspects of celebrations I have witnessed or have had personal involvement. Last weekend we had a celebration for one of our fellow teachers who got married in September. The day before we gave some money for a gift and we were told that the celebration would begin at 1 pm in the staff room the following day.   The next day at about 11 am we were called outside to begin the…

China Ed. 101

Posted by WTTech in China

WorldTeach volunteer Amanda deconstructs some common assumptions about the Chinese education system. I mentioned at the end of my previous vlog that I’d had a bit of an eye-opening encounter with the Chinese educational system. I’ve been wanting to expound on just what I meant by that, but it’s been quite the task finding a spare minute to do so. Wonderfully, we were given a random three days off from teaching for the middle and high schools’ sports days. Problem, solved. So, like I said in the video, I feel like the perception we Americans have of education in China is pretty flawed. Now, I hate to generalize, so for all of you enlightened Americans out there who already know…

Project: Dictionary

Posted by WTTech in Tanzania

WorldTeach volunteer Abby Skelton needs your help to get dictionaries to her students in Tanzania.    In the English Syllabus prescribed by the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, every form has a unit called “Using a Dictionary.” I happen to believe that this is a very important unit – especially when you are learning a second language. Whether it’s English or English-Swahili, dictionaries are instrumental in comprehension. Herein lies the problem: at a school of 131 students – and growing – we have two and a half standard English dictionaries and it seems like only three students per class of thirty to forty have an English-Swahili dictionary.   Maybe it was just my household, but growing up, there…

A Letter to My Pre-Namibian Self

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

WorldTeach alumna Elizabeth has some words of wisdom for her pre-WorldTeach self.     Dear Pre-Namibia Elizabeth,   I see you, packing your bags, saying goodbyes, freaking out, and above all, wondering just what this year will bring. Having just lived through it, I thought I would send you off with a few words of advice: First off, big bugs will dive bomb you while you lay in bed and read by the glowing light of your kindle. Try not to take it personally.   Your first few weeks at site will be your hardest, and you will question everything – your desire to come, you abilities, your ambition, your sanity. Push through. It will get easier and you will…

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…