Friday, August 16, 2013

Luderitz is No More :(

Last week, in the stress of getting 50 girls organized to go on our girls group camping trip, I was informed that I don't live in Luderitz anymore. Immediately I had to drop what I was doing and see what was going on, and while I understand the reasoning, I'm actually pretty saddened by what has happened! As many people who are familiar with Namibia know, there are still remnants of the colonial era all through this country, and it is something that the government is trying to get rid of actively. Luderitz [my town's name] and Caprivi [the region's name in the northeast of the country] are both the surnames of important German figures who played a role here when Namibia was a German Colony. So last week it was announced that the Caprivi Region will now be known as the Zambezi Region, the Kavango Region will now be split into two, Kavango East and Kavango West, the Karas Region [where I live], will now be the //Karas Region <-- those backslashes are a click, in the KKG, or Damara/Nama language, AND my beautiful Luderitz is now to be called !NamiNüs. WHAT?!?!?! Once again, the exclamation point and the equal sign represent two more of the clicks in KKG. Suddenly I couldn't even properly pronounce the name of the town I've been living in for two years! Well, if you can sense how upset I am about this, you can probably imagine the reaction of the rest of the people in this town, who've spent their lives here, Buchters to the core. They are NOT HAPPY, to put it lightly. I'm not sure what the future will bring in terms of adoption of this name, but at the present it's looking like people will still call this town Luderitz. At least once every morning this week in my staff meeting someone has clicked a stream of incorrect clicks and said 'Naminus' in a weird way to make fun of it, so the reception has not been great. 

Anyway, changing the name of this town is actually going to be a huge headache for everyone at the end of the day, changing the maps, road signs, all publications that include Luderitz... not to mention the fact that this town is geared to be a tourist destination, so all the hotels/tour operators have a lot of work in store for them. 

It seems that the biggest reason that people are unhappy is because they feel as if they didn't have a say at all in this change, nor did they see it coming so abruptly [although there have been some talks of it happening]. Some forewarning probably would have been wise, for people to have gotten used to the idea, and for practical purposes, as I would currently re-direct you to my post further down, where you can see the MASSIVE Luderitz Sign that was just set up a couple months ago... ay jure. 
One of oh-so-many signs that will need to be changed.

If you want to read more about the town's reaction to this change: Buchters In Revolt

We did it! Group 34's COS Conference

It wouldn't officially be over unless we got certificates! Group 34 on our last day together!

A couple weeks ago I headed up to Windhoek for my final Peace Corps Conference! It was our Close of Service Conference [or COS in the PC world of abbreviations], and the last time that our whole group will probably ever be together again. The two days were filled with sessions looking to the future in terms of job searching, networking, a career panel, and putting elements of our service on a resume [that's going to be difficult], in addition to standard admin and medical sessions. And since it was our last time together, PC had our group go the extra step and cross that line in knowing WAY too much about each other, in the form of the dreaded stool sample, which we received a detailed e-mail regarding prior to our arrival [one of the funnier e-mails I've ever read]. Each morning everyone hopped into the combi with a small brown paper bag... of their poop. Suffice it to say that this was a significant topic of conversation, as the office needed 3 samples from each person to make sure we aren't swarming with parasites/amoebas/any other thing like that. Apart from that experience, it was an awesome week and way to say goodbye to the amazing people I came to this country with 2 years ago. Out of 38 we still have 32 people here [and we only lost 4 of those 6 who left in the past few months!]. We are not only the oldest, but also the biggest group of Volunteers in Namibia! Well, not counting our replacements, who got here a few days after this conference ended. Time has gone by so fast! I still have some things to check off my list before I go, lots to do before I'm out of here in 6 weeks, let's finish this right NAM!

Our last night out in Windhoek. I'm going to miss these crazy people so much!!