Hi everyone,

I’m doing great. I am still convinced that my adventure overseas is a worthwhile effort and everything is going super well. I don’t want to bother you with all the boring details, but I would like to give you an idea about what I’m doing here everyday and tell you about my most recent exciting adventures.

Let’s go back to the first week of November, when the heat hadn’t reached 40 degrees celsius yet and exams had already started at the Oligo Primary School. I spent that week going to school every day and giving P.E. lessons to the lower primary classes.

As usual, I trained my two groups of students at the Oanob Dam twice a week. Some of my students work really hard and are becoming advanced canoe polo players. I’m really proud of them.

From the 6th to the 10th of November, all 21 German volunteers (who came from the north, the coast and the capital), Aaron and I gathered at the African Sun Guest-house in Windhoek. We had our “ Zwischenseminar” which is a sort of camp, where we spent time together and cooked together too. We played a lot of outdoor and indoor games. Moreover, our project managers allowed us to go dancing in a bar in Windhoek and we had a really nice night out.

The main reason we met for these four days was to discuss and resolve the issues we have in our new guest country and with our projects. It was really interesting to listen to the other volunteers speak about their projects. It gave me the opportunity to learn about some new ideas for games and get some good suggestions. On Monday Aaron and I drove back to Rehoboth. 

I walked to school (20 minutes) every morning and I continued training at the dam every afternoon. I also went to the gym three times, where I trained a bit for the Sandman Triathlon in Swakopmund, where I was supposed to run 10 km.

Aaron spent the weekend in Windhoek, so I decided to spend some time at the dam and tidy all the boats and equipment at the boathouse while enjoying the fresh water and the warm sun too. I also spent some time with the Volunta Volunteers. On Sunday I went to my first Namibian Christmas party at the Volunta Volunteers’ school.

The next week was really similar to the former one. I went to school in the morning, ran a lot, brought the kids to the dam and discovered some new places all around Rehoboth.

I also had a new idea. During the last week I was in Rehoboth, I realised that only the 10% of children and teenagers who I’m training can swim. If they want to become great canoe polo players or canoe sprinters, they have to learn how to swim. The problem is that I’m training them at the dam which is a lake full of dirt and algae. Moreover, the ground is really irregular and full of worms. Therefore, it is not the best place for beginner swimmers.

That is why I decided to ask the manager of the public swimming pool in Rehoboth if I could bring my kids there once in a while to teach them how to swim, an important water sport to learn. I also asked him if we could have a better price to give this opportunity to every child, even the ones from the township. I couldn’t believe what he said! He told me that if I worked seriously with the children, I could start coming in January, twice a week, from 5 to 7 p.m, and the best thing is that we don’t have to pay! I’m so glad he understood what I want to do. I cannot wait to start next year!

On the 20th of November, I went with my project manager’s family to Walvis Bay. It’s a little fishing town on the Skeleton Coast. I spent ten days at the volunteers’ flat with other four really nice girls, Lena, Lea, Maxi and Julia. We had a really exciting week. Every morning at 8 a.m., from Monday to Friday, we drove to Pelican Point with a group of tourists and a kayak guide, and took a tour in our kayaks.

It was our morning job, but I think we enjoyed these trips as much as the tourists, who pay a lot of money for it. We saw lots of different types of animals: pelicans, flamingos, jackals and more than 30, 000 seals. I’m not kidding. It usually took us drove 45 minutes to get to Pelican Point and from there we kayaked for two hours. After kayaking, we made a little picnic lunch with the guide and we ate together.

By 1:00 p.m. we had returned home, so we had lunch and sometimes a nap. Kayaking is not as easy as it seems. In the afternoon, we did lots of different activities. On Monday we went the Mall to do some shopping. On Tuesday we visited Walvis Bay and for dinner we went to the Raft Restaurant where we had an awesome view and enjoyed Namibian sunset. On Wednesday we went on the Dune 7, from where we watched the sunset again. Actually, I love sunsets, but who doesn’t?

On Thursday we went to a travel agency to buy some postcards and on Friday we finally went to Swakopmund where we had a walk along the beach. At 7 p.m. a Zumba party at the Dome started. It was more exhausting than I expected, but it was really fun.

Every night we cooked something different. I tried to make some Italian Risotto and Spaghetti Carbonara which have been appreciated despite the lack of some ingredients.

On Saturday I went surfing in the Atlantic Ocean from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. with a guy from Walvis who taught me a lot, not only how to surf but also how to read the waves, which is not that easy. Amazing!

The 1st of December was a really important day, the day of the Sandman triathlon. It was a really unexpected competition for me because I trained for the 10 km race. Two days before the race, a friend of mine asked me if we could switch the running part I was supposed to do with the swimming part she was supposed to do. She wasn’t sure she could survive 1 km in the water. I wasn’t expecting this turn of event but I thought that an occasion like that wouldn’t happen again. I wasn’t so sure I could finish the race, but life would be so boring if everything went perfectly all the time.

So I swam 1 km in the Atlantic Ocean at 8 a.m. in the morning and, guess what, I’m still breathing! Even more incredible was the fact that there were dolphins swimming around us. I reached the finish line after 23 minutes and 40 seconds, quite good timing without training. My next race mate, Lea, rode the 40 km by bike faster than we could have ever expected and it was the same for Maxi who ran 10 km in 48 minutes. We finished the complete Sandman Triathlon in 3 hours. Good job girls!

On Monday I packed my bags and I went back to Rehoboth to pick up my horseback riding gear and other stuff. At 6 p.m I was at the farm where my next adventure was going to start.

I think it’s enough for today.      

I will write again as soon as I can.

Alice

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