Changing Paths: Life After WorldTeach

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

Soon after returning from WorldTeach Namibia, volunteer Taylor McLaughlin found herself working as a part of corporate America. After some time back in the States, she realized that she wasn’t as happy as she expected to be, and her heart wasn’t in her work. Read more to learn about Taylor’s change of heart and transition from a member of the corporate world to a future teacher.  When I first moved home and began looking for a job, I had a list of various job titles and companies I was interested in pursuing. Amongst that list, I classified a handful of the positions as “cool” jobs. You know, the career or position that makes others stop and think “wow, that sounds fun” or “I…

Contemplating the Difference in Namibia

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

The mission of WorldTeach is to partner with governments and other organizations in developing countries to provide volunteer teachers to meet local needs and promote responsible global citizenship. One of the most important parts of promoting global citizenship is facilitating cross-cultural exchange and changing traditional perspectives, including ours and that of the people who we encounter abroad.  Elizabeth Skurdahl, who is currently teaching in Namibia, relays her experience in Namibia as someone from a completely different cultural background. She tells us of her take on the process of changing traditional perspectives of race and creating a greater cultural understanding.    Well, the first week of term 2 is officially over! The kids came back on Tuesday (although we didn’t start…

Work Hard, Play Harder. End-of-Term Break Traveling Experience from a WorldTeach Namibia Volunteer

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

World Teach volunteer Brian Park has been in Namibia for half a year now. Read on to hear about his end-of-term vacation where he took advantage of his free time and embarked on numerous adventures which included traveling through Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia, and immersing himself in unique adventures after a long hard semester. Exams and end-of-term were rough, I’ll admit. There was a lot of disorganization and confusion about creating our own examinations, proctoring, and marking. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty stressed, on top of the already-present burnout that I was going through before exams.   SIDE NOTE: Lessons learned during Term 1.   1. Don’t ask for permission, just go ahead and do it….

Life at a WorldTeach Site: Omatjete, Namibia

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

With WorldTeach volunteers serving in 16 countries around the world, the sites that volunteers live and work in vary widely. While each WorldTeach volunteer site and experience is unique, all volunteers have the chance to challenge themselves and engage with new people, a new culture, and a new place. Elizabeth Skurdahl has been serving in Namibia since December 2013 and has been placed in the town of Omatjete. Read on to learn about her unique site in Namibia… Omatjete is a moderately big village, being that it is on the main road to Omaruru and only an hour or so away by bakkie. It is also a hike point for some of the more outlying villages, so a lot of…

Former WorldTeach Namibia Volunteer to Run Boston Marathon and Fundraise for Host Community

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

Griffin Gaffney, WorldTeach Namibia Summer ’10, has been busy since the end of his service. Over the past 4 years, he has graduated from Harvard, run five marathons, spent some time working in Korea for Samsung Electronics and now lives in San Francisco where he works for LinkedIn. Despite the time that has passed, he is still involved with his Namibian community and school. With the support of Scott Karrel, fellow WorldTeach Namibia ’10 volunteer and his Unlock Foundation, Griffin is running the 2014 Boston Marathon to raise funds to build a library at his host school, Erkki Tauya Junior Secondary School. Read on to learn about his time in Namibia and his motivations for running the Boston Marathon to…

Your New American Friends – Pen Pals

Posted by Heather Tang in Namibia

With limited resources at their teaching sites, WorldTeach volunteers come up with creative ways to teach their students and create a positive learning environment. Read on to hear how WorldTeach volunteer Kate Piniewski is using a pen pal program to help her students practice English and foster cultural exchange…   I’ve mentioned that my Grade 9s are a little lost. Their English is all over the place; their grammar is appalling at best, but their vocabulary is strong. Some could pass their exams right now; some won’t pass them in December. Some are halfway through their notebook; some have not passed page three. But whatever their level, this was their golden week. Each and every one of them far exceeded…

First Impressions of Namibia

Posted by Heather Tang in Namibia

In the past couple weeks, new WorldTeach volunteers in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Namibia finished up their orientation and headed out to their placements to begin teaching. The first weeks in a new country are always filled with exciting observations and intense emotions. Read on to hear about the first impressions of Brian Park who is a new WorldTeach volunteer in Namibia…     How do I even begin to explain how the past ten days have been? Since stepping out from the airplane onto the land that will, for all intents and purposes, be my home for the next eleven months, every day has been a flurry of learning about Namibian geography, culture, people, and of course, how to…

Reflections from an Alumnus

Posted by Heather Tang in Namibia

Wes Weston was a volunteer with WorldTeach in Namibia in 2010. He spent a year living and working in a rural village called Omungwelume where he taught English and math. Here he recounts the path he took leading up to his service with WorldTeach and about where that path has led him to now…     I truly believe that one of life’s greatest gifts is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Yet sometimes I have difficulty articulating exactly what it is that I do. Just over ten years ago, I graduated from university and still, to this day, balk at the very notion of considering myself as having a career. Like many college graduates nowadays, I…

A Fond Farewell Party

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

Emily Leazer’s WorldTeach year in Namibia ended with an uplifting goodbye party where Emily’s school showed their gratitude for her service. The farewell party was a great ending to Emily’s yearlong adventure in Namibia. Read on to hear about Emily’s farewells at the end of her WorldTeach service in Namibia…     Today was one of the best days of my life. It’s been almost a year exactly since my surprise farewell party back home as I prepared to leave for Namibia. I can still remember the emotions I felt that day after I got home from the party; how excited, blessed and grateful I was for the wonderful friends and family that love me and the incredible journey that…

Guess Who I Met on the Plane?

Posted by WTTech in Namibia, South Africa

Danica Shaw, Georgetown/WorldTeach Namibia Volunteer ’94 and WorldTeach Namibia Field Director ’96-’98, also recounts meeting Nelson Mandela on her way to Namibia to begin volunteer service.   I was sitting alone on the plane, having just met all the other volunteers at JFK. After they cleared dinner, I looked up and a man walked into the main section of the plane. I thought to myself, “Wow – he looks like Mandela.” A split-second later I realized it was him. At that moment I knew that I had made the absolute right choice in coming to work in Namibia, to contribute to this very young nation overcoming apartheid in any small way that I could. I went to high school with…