Flat Stanley Visits Namibia!

My friend and former coworker’s daughter sent me a Flat Stanley. If you didn’t know, Flat Stanley was flattened in a book and now travels all around because it’s easy for him to go from place to place because he is, well, Flat. We had fun showing Flat the coolness of Nam!

What is the name of your community that you live in? Rundu, Kavango, Namibia. Flat also visited the village of Nyondo, Kavango, Namibia and Swakopmund, Namibia.

What state and country is your community located in? Rundu is the name of the town. Nyondo is the village. Kavango is the region (state). Swakopmund is a town on the coast. All of these places are in the country of Namibia.

Briefly describe your community. Rundu, Namibia is a town of 70,000 people. Nyondo Village has a population of 1,800. Rundu has grocery stores, clothing shops, and restaurants. Nyondo does not have any of these things, but it does have one restaurant.

What do you do for recreation in or around your community?

Learners here (students are called learners) like to swim in the nearby Kavango River. But as you can see from below, this can be dangerous, because hippos and crocodiles live in the river. Unfortunately there are no parks here. There is a small public library that has about 300 children’s picture books. At some schools there are one or two sports teams, and so some learners participate in sports. Kids like to walk around for fun. Most kids do not have toys , so they make up their own games or create objects out of things they find lying around. The few that do have toys play with them (some lucky kids even have Xboxes here!)

Flat had quite the adventure in Namibia, Africa! First Flat visited Hakusembe Lodge and learned about the importance of malaria prevention. Malaria is a disease you get from mosquitos here. It affects mostly the very young and very old because their immune systems are not as strong. In order to prevent the mosquitoes from biting you, you need to cover your bed in a mosquito net and sleep under it. This way the bugs stay outside.

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Flat Stanley went on a boat ride and got to see some crocodiles and hippos!

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Thanks to a very generous hostess, our PC daughter Mary Grace allowed Flat Stanley to visit the village of Nyondo. He got to sleep in a mud hut! This mud hut has a bed, oven with stove and a refrigerator! It takes about 3 days to build a mud hut. Learners made this hut for their teacher and Peace Corps volunteer, my friend and our PC daughter, Mary Grace. They had to fetch special mud from the Kavango River to make the hut. In Nyondo most people are subsistence farmers. The main crop they grow is Maize meal. Maize meal is a food that many Namibians eat for breakfast (if they eat that), lunch (if they eat that) and dinner. Maize looks a bit like cream of wheat if you’ve ever eaten that. Namibians LOVE meat. Many herd cattle and they eat meat for special occasions.

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Flat Stanley sat in on one of my English classes at school. In Namibia there is a shortage of teachers, which is one of the reasons I am here as a Peace Corps volunteer. The Peace Corps is a program of our government and is designed to help developing countries in need. Here you can see me with my class. You can see a person’s thumb in the photo. Iphones are not very common in Namibia, so some are still learning how to use them. 🙂

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Namibia is a very diverse country. It has mountains, lakes, beaches, “bush” or forest, as well as desert! Namibia has black people, white people, Asian people and people of mixed race. Namibia has modern and traditional. There are people who live in houses in towns, there are people who live in mud huts in villages. There are over 13 different tribes each with its own language in Namibia. To say “Good Morning” in Rukwangali, a language spoken here, you’d say “Morokeni.”

Flat Stanley got to take a trip to the beach and see the coast. He dipped his toes into the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean touches the East Coast of America, as well as the West Coast of Africa. Swakopmund is very nice, and if you visited you would think it felt like America there. There are big sidewalks, playgrounds, running trails and lots of restaurants.

Flat Stanley really enjoyed visiting Namibia, Africa. I hope you get to visit Africa one day, too! It’s the place where humans originated, it’s why it is called “The Motherland.” It is a very special place.

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