Country Programs

 

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…

New Neighbors in Namibia

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

WorldTeach volunteer Kate Piniewski talks about living in very close quarters with her learners in Namibia.   My 56 Grade 10 learners moved into school on Monday. In less than three weeks they will take their national exams, determining their eligibility to continue with their education through Grade 12. So in order to ensure proper study habits, a (medium) well-balanced diet, and a stronger sense of camaraderie—or misery, depending which learner you ask—they have packed their bags, tents, pencils, and calculators and become my neighbors for the next seven weeks. As one learner so gently put it, “Miss, you are our first parent now. We spend more hours a day with you than with our parents. They must come second.”…

How a Year in Namibia Influenced a Lifetime Career

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

Wendi Haugh’s year as a WorldTeach volunteer in Namibia helped her define her future career. Here, she shares her experience abroad and discusses how her research in Namibia led to her career in academia, and the eventual release of her recently published book. I served as an English resource teacher at Mariabronn Primary School outside Grootfontein in central Namibia in 1992, over twenty years ago now.  The school was home to about three hundred girls and boys.  My primary job – besides working with the teachers to improve their English – was to develop activities which would allow the students to practice their English outside the classroom.  Lacking any other organized programs once school was out, they seized these opportunities…

Celebrations of Life and Death in Costa Rica

Posted by WorldTeach in Costa Rica

At times, the cultural immersion process that volunteers face abroad is not always the celebration of life, but also of death. Samuel, a current WorldTeach Costa Rica volunteer, has been fortunate enough to be welcomed into his community, so much so that he took part in a traditional funeral. As many Latin cultures do, the community came together to honor the life that was lost, and in doing so showed Samuel a different definition of death, as understood in Costa Rica. And with a new definition of death, comes a redefined version of life.      Death is not something I would ever consider a welcome event; however, it did allow for me to experience one of the more interesting…

Meet the Students! WorldTeach Volunteer introduces some of her students.

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

WorldTeach Volunteer Elizabeth Skurdahl introduces us to a few of her students with her Learner Profiles. Read more to meet some of the students from WorldTeach Namibia… Double the pleasure, double the fun! That’s right, you lucky devils, today I bring you not one but TWO learner profiles in one, epic DOUBLE LEARNER PROFILE POST!! (Please, please! Hold your applause. Seriously, guys – stop, I’m blushing!) Today I would like to introduce you to Brucely and Mbaunguraiye (pronounced Bow-n-gur-ay-ye), two cool kids direct from my grade 6 English class. Brucely   Brucely is a total jokester. He has a wide, charming smile that will disarm even the sternest of foes, and the antics and hijinks he gets up to constantly…

Word from a WorldTeach Marshall Islands Volunteer

Posted by WorldTeach in Marshall Islands

This week on The Traveler Series meet Elayna Tekle, a travel-enthusiast who spent a year abroad teaching English in the Marshall Islands as part of a World Teach volunteer program. Here I interview Elayna on what inspired her to volunteer abroad, how she adapted to Marshallese culture and her best travel advice. What inspires you to travel?  Curiosity about the world, adventure, a want to understand different cultures. My dad didn’t grow up in the US so a big part of me has always been interested in different ways of living. It’s important to see other perspectives in the world.  If you see other cultures first hand, humans are more likely to be understanding in times of conflict. What is your favorite destination you’ve been to so…

You get a Holiday! You get a Holiday! WorldTeach Nepal Volunteer tries to get past the holiday confusion.

Posted by WorldTeach in Nepal

WorldTeach Volunteer Holly Liebl talks about getting used to a totally different calendar system and schools us a bit about holidays in Nepal… One of the most confusing and ambiguous parts of my journey here in Nepal is figuring out when there’s a holiday.  You might be saying, ‘duh!  Look at the calendar!’ And sure, you’re correct, but only about 50%, so it still doesn’t add up.  If you look at the Nepali calendar, which follows the Bikram Sambat calendar as the West follows the Gregorian calendar, you will find that Nepal’s calendar is approximately 56 years and 8.5 months ahead of the Gregorian calendar.  So they are in the year 2071.  While looking at a Nepali calendar, any days…