Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Camp GLOW and Term 1 Travels

My break started of with a much needed injection of energy, helping out with Camp GLOW. It's a camp for the “top” learners at PCV sites. A breath of fresh air. The day I helped plan was teamwork day and decided it should be a competition, sort of a teamwork Olympics with certain scored events. Well, Amber and I took it to the extreme, having the teams make flags (team signs in reality), march around the block and into the hall to John Williams Summon the Heroes, a torch relay culminating with the lighting of the flame (a big candle on a bench). Things were going great through the 4x4 relay, water balloon relay (the balloons were breaking, just as we'd hoped) and the jigsaw puzzle until ...

Amber put together a panel of people from various backgrounds – soccer, art, tv, radio and print media to discuss how they use (apply) teamwork in real life, not just in games. Not even five minutes into the discussion many started tuning them out. By the ten minute mark, the level was up to most. It didn't help that we volunteers weren't modeling the right behaviour. Long story longer, after some discussion my idea prevailed and we cut out one of the events as a punishment, the spider web, the event group 26er Brian and I spent over two hours setting up the previous afternoon and the event the learners wanted to do the most. It sent the right message and the day went well, topped off by a surprise visit from the Brave Warriors, Namibia's national soccer team.


Other GLOW highlights:
Watching learners go crazy over Akeelah and the Bee (we put the English subtitles on. amazing to actually hear the learners spelling along with the movie), a "surprise" visit by Gazza (Namibia's musical artist of the year) to talk about leadership and goals, going to parliament (many of them have never traveled to Windhoek) and just getting to see many of the group 25ers from the way north. (It seems that people only come down to Keets when on their way to South Africa, Mozam, Fish River and such)


AfterGLOW:
Windhoek-Watched the remainder of the Dr. Who 2006 season. Got in some good runs. Met most of the group 26ers doin Naukluft Trail – all survived. Gained a sweet pair of running socks from a gracious group 26er. Played guitar a lot.

Next I did a 14 hour hike from Windhoek to Opuwo to visit a volunteer, riding on dirt roads with dust caking everything even things I enclosed inside my backpack. A home visit of a Himba family. Read 11 books. Did Frisbee golf. Hiked the plateau.

On to Outapi! A couple days with another volunteer and her German roommate. Going on a food delivery (World Food Program) out in the bush - about 1.5 hours of driving to get back to the nearest paved road. More guitar. Celebratory goat meat dinners. Bushwacking. Sidewalk hockey.

The Ministry of Education deciding to start term two a week later, trying to hike to the highest mountain in Windhoek but camping in a riverbed instead, doing the four day Waterburg Trail, learning how to “safely” dodge a charging rhino and getting in a better mood for this term.


The hardest part about break was that I truly did want to be around people, but I didn't really feel like talking. If I hadn't promised earlier to visit my friends up in the North, I probably would've been sitting in the park reading beneath one of the palm trees. Was good because the people I visited did understand how I felt, as they've had similar experiences. But then I gave up the simple pleasure of spreading out on grass reading my books in Zoo Park. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I forced myself to travel. It was the break I needed.

I'm looking through the pics from this year and deciding which to upload. I'll have them up shortly, along with updates about Southern Girls Conference, the history club we formed, the National History competition last weekend and some other musings.

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