Settling down?

For the last month I’ve been travelling around Namibia visiting old friends and meeting new ones. I’ve reconnected with a lot of friends and met new Peace Corps volunteers. Namibia is a beautiful country with good people, and it has caught my attention again – I’m looking into staying around for a while.

The family where I stayed during Peace Corps service has welcomed me to stay with them again, and I’m finishing a room in an unfinished group of rooms in which to stay. This time it won’t be too Peace Corps-esque – I’m going to tile the floor, get a nice work desk, and install a solar system including panel, regulator, battery, inverter and lights. It’ll be all I need to get a solid 8 hours of internet work done every day. Of course, we can’t go too overboard – bathing will still be done with a bucket, washing by hand, bathroom by hole, and food of the traditional nature. But it’ll be enough.

I’ve also reconnected with my old girlfriend Helena. We’re currently visiting the capital, as previous to this trip she hadn’t been outside of 150 km from her house before. So the world of buildings with multiple floors, elevators, escalators, and movie theaters is all brand new for her, and thats made it a really fun week.

I’ll be looking for a job in Windhoek soon – and I am currently working on a proposal for the Ministry of Basic Educadtion to do statistical analysis of the current state of the education system – from learner’s grades to school, learner, family and teacher demographics. The results will tell what is working in the education system, and what isn’t. It’ll also be able to show where more money needs to be invested, and where some can be pulled from.

In terms of internet access, Namibia has it, but it’s comparatively expensive. You pay for the amount of information transferred, not for the time connected (except at internet cafés, of course). One thing it does have is 3G. 3G is internet via your mobile phone through which I’ve seen a max burst throughput of 46KB/s, with a commly sustained connection at 15KB/s (compared to 7KB/s and 5.5KB/s on GPRS). Needless to say, that is sufficient for my purposes, though I won’t be downloading any episodes of Lost 🙁 any time soon. Currently, 3G is available only in big towns, but they say by the end of May (which means in about 6 months) it’ll be available everywhere your mobile works.

Life goes on! If anyone wants to visit over here, you’re more than welcome. It’s peaceful and beautiful!

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