1. Namibia Mother Bear

    Many Namibian volunteers take advantage of Mother Bear Project, an organization that sends hand knit bears to children affected by HIV/AIDS in developing countries.  Providing bears to kids is a fun and simple project that brings a smile to everyone's face.  I had the opportunity to distribute bears to the graduating preschool students in my town.  This photo was taken at Msen's Preschool as the students prepared to parade through town in celebration of their graduation.  

  2. Namibia A delicacy by any other name

    During training we all came together; volunteers, trainers, and host families to participate in a cultural day.  This day allowed the Namibians to show the newly arrived Americans many aspects of their diverse culture, namely food.  While many volunteers had partaken in these delicacies with their host families they had not helped in the preparation.  As many can tell you, eating a goat and slaughtering a goat are two very different things.  Unfortunately this goat and I had bonded in the com...

  3. Namibia Good Girls Go To Heaven But Vegetarians Go To Hell

    Vegetarians are an anomaly in Namibia and meat is generally considered the only food group.  Therefore it is understandable that people who voluntarily do not eat meat perplex them.  Upon announcing to my host family that I was a vegetarian they looked at me with mystified expressions and said, “Do you eat fish and chicken?” Laughingly, I said “No.  In America chicken and fish are considered meat.” and proceeded to explain the ethical, moral, and environmental ideals that do not match with e...

  4. Namibia I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good

    According to the United States government I am officially a Peace Corps volunteer.  I don’t think they knew what they were getting themselves into for the next two years. The swearing in ceremony included the expected speeches from the Peace Corps Country Director, the Namibian Health Minister, and the U.S. Ambassador.  I understand Obama was planning to officiate but Air Force One was delayed.  Bummer.  I know he really wanted to be there to see us get sworn in. Soon it would be my moment t...

  5. Namibia Smokey The Bear Says Only You Can Prevent Snakebites

    Everyone has a phobia.  The fact that I made it through life immune to childhood fears gave me an overblown sense of victory.  That was before I moved to Namibia and realized that poisonous snakes don’t live behind thick walls of glass at the zoo they live in nature. As in the tall brush that I walk through every day.  Fortunately Namibians share my fear of snakes and are prone to taking any means necessary to kill a snake regardless if it’s a black mamba or a garden snake.  One morning I l...

  6. Namibia Peace Corps Narnia

    “Namibia, huh.  You sure it’s not Nambia? I’m pretty sure it’s Nambia.  Or Narnia.  Is Peace Corps sending you to Narnia? I bet Africa is full of lions, witches, and centaurs.  Will you bring me back a centaur?” While my friends and family are geographically and fictionally challenged at times they supported my decision to quit my job, sublet my condo, uproot my life, and move to another continent.  In all truthfulness, they knew protesting my decision was futile as I had set my mind on movi...

  7. Namibia Winning at Life

    Anyone who knows me also knows that I am most at home curled up reading a good book.  I was not one to tromp through nature and the closest I ever came to camping was a drafty wood cabin for a Girl Scout weekend retreat at the age of ten.  However, anyone who knows me will also say I’m not one to back down from a challenge.  For me, Africa was that challenge.  When I first found out about my placement to Namibia I emailed a friend in South Africa to share the news.  It went a little something...

  8. Mongolia Towering Over

    Horse riders were able to get a great view of the Naadam horse race this July.

  9. Mongolia Huushuur

    During Naadam, Mongolia's national summer festival, it's traditional to eat huushuur, a fried pastry with meat inside. Here are some ladies mixing the meat and pressing the dough, while the hot Mongolian butter (not oil!) waits.

  10. Mongolia Basketball

    At our aimag (province) children's camp, the kids couldn't get enough of playing basketball. Most of the boys knew much more about American basketball than I did.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.