11 November 2008


Here is an excerpt from my placement letter from the field director in Namibia. I'm so pumped!

Dear James,

Greetings from Windhoek! I hope you are getting excited for you year in Namibia. As you know, after much consideration, I have decided to place you at Mangetti Combined School. Mangetti CS is a combined school teaching grades 1-10 with about 360 learners and 14 teachers. It is located in the southern part of the Kavango Region in north-east Namibia. The local language of the area is Rukwangali and you will learn a bit during orientation to get you started. You will be the first WorldTeach volunteer at the school.

Currently, you are slated to be accommodated in teacher housing on school property. I did talk to the principal today, though, and indicated again that you are very interested in becoming involved with the community, which he was happy to hear. In fact, the school is overjoyed to receive a volunteer and the principal even said that the staff "jumped from excitement" when he told them. Mangetti is a very rural school, quite far from other towns. Therefore, it seems that the school and community feel somewhat marginalized. I think that your presence will do a lot to lift the morale of the school and community.

The two closest major towns are Grootfontein and Rundu. The principal says that many of the staff go to Rundu on the weekends and so it should not be a problem for you to get there for grocery shopping, etc. (There will be four WorldTeach volunteers in Rundu next year.) There is also a small shop at the NDC where you can find some basic needs. As I indicated, there is not electricity connected to the school at this time, though the wiring is in place and, this being Namibia, it could happen at any time or not at all.

Mangetti CS is interested in having a volunteer teach English and math Grades 8-10, and they say that your interests will be valued. I cannot emphasize enough that your assistance is greatly needed as they have difficulty attracting and retaining quality teachers due to the school's isolation. I am sure that you will be an amazing help and advantage to the school staff and be able to start many other projects and extracurricular activities that interest you.