Well our time here in this fair country is almost up; in fact, this is our last email typed from Ekulo. We leave our school on December 5th and head down to Windhoek for a week, then go on to Cape Town and on Dec 19th we land in North Carolina. We hope that you have enjoyed the many emails from Sera and the precious few from me. Hopefully we were able to bring a bit of our lives here to your inbox. The third goal of the Peace Corps is to bring back to the USA knowledge about the host country. It turns out that this third goal isn’t just a goal, it’s a good source of emails as well. Here we are on the other side of the planet subjecting ourselves to all manner of rummy situations in order to do our part to fix the worlds’ problems and we hope you have learned some things along with us. Our time here has been quite an experience in a whole raft of different ways and it would be impossible to boil down two years of living and working in a completely different culture into one succinct email finale. It turns out that to comprehensively convey the essence of the volunteer experience, one needs at least 67 finely crafted emails. It is true that this is a lot of mail and, quite frankly, we aren’t even convinced you read it all.
Since we ARE teachers we’re going to do what teachers do best… That’s right, POP QUIZ time. Answer the following questions to see how much you know about the life and times of Zac and Sera during their stay in Tanzania.
1. What country have Sera and Zac been in for the last two years?
2. What region of the world is this country in?A. Eastern Europe
3. The Capital of our country of service is…A. Mogadishu
4. Sera and Zac have spent roughly what percent of their lives in Africa?A. 1%
5. Z&S had in their house…(I) Hot Water (II) Electricity (III) TV
True or False
10. What is Oshithema?A. An Industrial Glue
11. Namibians generally prefer which type of meat (hint: Sera barfed this on her first night in the village)A. Chicken
12. Where do chickens prefer to sleep?A. On their nests
13. What ethnic group did Z&S live amongst?A. the Owambo
14. Sera was the coordinator for the …A. English club
15. S & Z had as their main mode of transportation…A. Hiking, as in hitchhiking
16. The nearest ATM to S & Z’s site was…A. 5 km away
17. The nearest McDonalds to S & Z’s site was this many km away…A. less than 100km
18. Sera’s favorite thing about teaching in Namibia was…A. Marking Papers
19. Zac got the following afflictions while living in Africa(I) Malaria (II) Ebola (III) intestinal parasites
20. Which of the following was NOT the name of one of Z or S’s learners?A. Wilbard Wilbard
21. The official language of Namibia is…A. Oshiwambo
22. Which of the following has not been seen within the school grounds?A. A spitting Cobra
23. S & Z have been…(I) mugged (II) hit up for a bribe by an official (III) offered weed
24. Which of the following is most difficult for S & Z to acquire?A. Chocolate Chips
25. In Namibia it is impolite to …A. urinate in public
26. Which bad habit is rare in NamibiaA. smoking
27. Since Independence in 1990, Namibia has had how many Presidents?A. None, Namibia is a dictatorship
28. In Namibia, December and January are the:A. Coldest months of the year
29. Learners at Ekulo are the most adept inA. Opening Paragraphs
30. How many percent does a learner need to pass a class.A. 75%
*1-5 correct. At some point in the past some people named Zac and Sera accidentally added you to their email list. They spent two years teaching at a rural high school in Africa. They apologize for making you skim through and delete so many soporific emails.
*6-10 It must be nice to have a job that you like so much that you don’t waste company time carefully reading our letters. We are going to China in March (not that you knew it!) so maybe you can do better with those emails.
*11-15 You pass! Good for you. 11 out of 30 is good enough for a “G” symbol (pronounced “gee simebowl”) here in Namibia. Work a little harder in the future and you might earn yourself an F or an E.
*16-20 Not too bad. Though we would recommend that you join the Peace Corps yourself in order to round out your knowledge.
*21-25 Pretty Good. You qualify for a “1” symbol on the HIGCSE grading scale.
*26-30 Excellent. You are quite the fan; we hope that you enjoyed sharing our experience.
PS: The story behind these photos is that we took a long walk through the bush until we got to the plain that precedes the Etosha pan. We’ve had good rains in the last week or two, so everything was quite green and beautiful. We felt quite proud of ourselves for walking way out in the middle of nowhere in Africa, until we saw some cattle grazing and found a pair of abandoned Nike sneakers (perhaps the child was eaten by lions). On the way back, closer to Ekulo, we also found the remnants of an abandoned homestead, complete with an empty macaroni bag and cattle skulls in the trees and grass surrounding the homestead.