Monday, May 28, 2012

Acceptance Verification for Namibia

I, Christina O'Keefe am accepting my invitation to serve as an English Teacher Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia, departing July 25th, 2012.

I hereby certify that I have read the Volunteer Assignment Description, Online Welcome Book, Core Expectations, and Pre-Departure Safety and Security Information included in the invitation packet and agree to abide by the policies therein.

Scariest e-mail I've ever had to send.  But it's going to be one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Well, after what seemed like the longest week ever, my invitation arrived late Friday afternoon.  In it was my invitation to serve as an English teacher in Namibia.  Completely surprised me.  Namibia wasn't even an option I was considering.  I kept thinking I would be going somewhere on the eastern coast of the continent.  But, the more I read about the country, the more excited I become.  Of course the first thing I did was tell my mother.  I'm not sure who was more excited to finally have news. 

That night, as the realities of my future set in, I started freaking out a bit.  Wow, 2 years in a small village in Namibia where I'm expected to be an expert teacher.  It finally became real for me.  And I was scared.  Can I do this?  Do I really want to live in a completely different culture for 2 years?  Will I be able to do my job?  Can I ever meet the expectations these people will have of me?  It's intimidating to think that these people are going to welcome me into their lives with open arms and expect me to change their worlds. 

Thankfully this weekend has been so busy that I didn't have much time to think.  My Swiss cousin, who has been living with us for the last year, is moving back home on Wednesday.  So, the entire family came down on Friday and we've been hanging out all weekend.  We also had a going away party yesterday, which kept me very busy.  Having family surround me during this time was great because it allowed me to soak in the news of where I am going and what I am doing without giving me too much time to overthink. 

I've been slowly reading the materials they sent me, as well as stories from returned Namibian volunteers over the last few days.  The information about health and safety were pretty heavy reading, but the images I've seen on Google make me so much more excited that I get the opportunity to live in a land so full of beauty. 

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