Namibian Reflections

I have created this blog so that friends and family around the world can be a part of my experience learning, teaching, and living in Namibia. I will be serving in the Peace Corps as a secondary science teacher from Jan. 7, 2007 - Dec. 15, 2008. (Postings to this blog are simply my own views and do not represent the ideas or opinions of the Peace Corps or the US Government.)

My Photo
Location: Namibia

Born and raised in California. Graduated with a degree in Biology from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo in 2005. Just completed my single subject teaching credential for the life sciences in June 2006. Extremely close to my family. A loyal friend. Love the ocean, the desert, the mountains. Enjoy being outdoors...rain or shine. Coffee keeps me ticking. Traveling and learning about the world and myself keeps me ambitious. I thrive on change.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

talk to me people

RELAX!!!! its only ~9000 miles away!

I guess it's kinda far actually, and because of this (and some other logistical issues) sending mail to Namibia can be a long process. Sometimes taking up to a month to reach its final destination. Considering that I may not have regular internet access however, this may be the best way to communicate with me.

During my two first months in country I will be undergoing intensive pre-service training (PST). My training group will be very busy during this time as well as very mobile: we will all live together for a week or so, spread out and live with individual host families for awhile, see a bit of the country, and reconvene for the last week. While we are traipsing around the country ALL of our belongings will be in-tow. All trainees will share a common mailing address during this time and Peace Corps reps will then bring us mail to our current location (like being at summer camp all over again, kinda).

Because I will not be settled at a permanent post at this time, and I will also be getting bogged down with lots of material and equipment from the Peace Corps, I would appreciate mail containing only your beautiful words...which are lacking in weight and size....but mean the most to me. Once I have been assigned my permanent post and set up (or find) a mail box I can use, I will then post that address.

Address during training:

Allison West
P.O Box 6862
Windhoek, Namibia

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hooray! I'm under the legal limit...

So, I have decided to post my packing list. While this is not the most exciting post ever, I do think it will be helpful for fellow or future volunteers serving in Northern Namibia. Then again, if I ended up packing all the wrong things...this could be the most worthless list of information ever (I think I did a pretty good job though). Furthermore, I am impressed with myself because I am UNDER the 80 pound limit!!! That is if you don't count my insanely heavy carry-on which has ALL of my electronics and books!

4 bras
2 sports bras
1 swim suit
8 pr socks
1 pr thick tights
10 pr underwear
1 light weight cordaroy jacket
1 wind breaker
3 sweaters
1 long sleeve shirt
1 warm zip-up fleece
2 sleep shirts
2 grubby T-shirts
7 short sleeved shirts for work
2 button up blouses
6 ribbed tank tops
3 camisoles
4 calf-length skirts
1 dress
black pant suit for meetings
1 pr jeans
2 pr khakis
1 pr khaki capris
1 pr black pants
2 pr pajama pants (one warm)
1 pr soccer shorts
1 pr warm-up pants
2 sarongs
1 beanie
1 wide-brimmed hat
1 pr gloves
1 scarf

1 pr running shoes
1 pr mid-ankle hiking boots (Keen)
black closed toe shoes (for work)
brown closed toe shoes (for work)
Chaco's (Teva-like sandels)

wash cloth
hair bands
head bands
small bottle castille soap
hand sanatizer
sunscreen/ bug repellent
2 deoderant sticks
3 razors
2 toothbrushes
1 travel tube of toothpaste
feminine products
medicine (IBuprofen, etc.)
nail clippers/file

Electronics, etc.
laptop and case
security cable for laptop
digital camera and case
30GB image saver
2 USB thumb drives
AA & AAA batteries
MP3 player
220V converter

2 novels
Namibian guide book
2007 weekly planner
black business notebook
copy of US Constitution
SW African Bird book
mini dictionary/thesaurus (in one)
2 journals
Life Sci. and Phys. Sci. textbooks on dvd

Everything else...
1 double flat sheet
sleeping bag
harmonica and music book
host gifts (CA calendars, SD hats, stickers, necklaces)
Melitta coffee filter
#2 coffee filters and coffee
coffee travel mug
small first aid kit
sewing kit
some ball point pens
some Sharpies
2 tupperware containers
blank CDs
travel mirror
small pocket knife
whet stone
razzor blades
battery alarm clock
can opener
safety pins
4 large rubberbands
head lamp w/ extra bulb
small flashlight
2 very small photo frames
lots of photos of family & friends
a few zip-ties
scissors/pencil sharpener
1 Nalgene bottle
2 compression bags
accordian document file
small saw
money belt
Peace Corps Handbook, etc.
laundry bag
spiral notebook
small day backpack
6 caribeaners (sp?)
10 ziplock bags
scotch/duct/electrical tape
address book and stationary
shortwave radio

Yes...all under 80 pounds. Amazing, yes, I agree.
(of course I have another 50 lbs of books and journals that will just have to be sent to me as needed)