Peace Corps, Ponders
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Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is International Woman’s Day. What a day.

Here’s my Women’s Day Anthem (viewer discretion advised, note: heavy sarcasm).

I know I haven’t updated in a while, but what a day to get the ball rolling again!

Instead of blog posts, I’ve been sending out monthly email updates (let me know if you’d like to be included!). I send them at the end of each month, and they generally cover my project work, my mental well-being, and my rants about our world.

I think I’d stopped blogging because it felt like I was just putting updates and information out into space, with no one receiving them. I know there are readers, but there was a general lack of dialogue about my work (minus Rachel, thanks for being mean and cynical, girl), so I sent out emails that garnered more personal responses instead.

However, Goal 3 of Peace Corps is to ‘help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans’ and I do believe it’d be a shame if I didn’t do a bit more to meet Goal 3 during service.

So to get things started again, here’s a little ode to women, especially my mama, and some pictures.

As you know, my work revolves around women’s empowerment and girls’ education. I always knew I had a deep appreciation for women.

My mom was superwoman. She personified The Giving Tree. Remember that book?

Basically the tree gives up all of herself until there’s barely anything left, yet she’s perfectly happy because her little boy has come back to her.

My mother gave everything to my siblings and me – without uttering a single complaint. She epitomized joy and selflessness.

Now that she’s gone, however, I’ve begun to realize that many of the traits I admired in her are present in most women. Women really are super freaking incredible.

Bar the mothers that weren’t around or left, etc, I’ve found that the average mother does so much more for her children than we give them credit for, really.

I’ll have a follow-up post on how bad ass women are, but for now, here are some pics of service since I last updated!

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I was a guest awards presenter at Sauyema Combined School’s Awards Ceremony. I’ve done talks with the girls here, so they’d interacted with me before. Girls are on the left (clamoring around me) – there’s a policy for all female learners to have shaved heads as to not be distractions to boys. Sigh.

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That’s me! I collaborated with a volunteer in Okahandja to do a girls’ empowerment talk with her girls’ club. Most of these girls live in the location. (Location = unofficial settlement / ghetto)

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Some of the most resistant girls I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to. They live way in the bush, pregnancy rates are crazy high, but by the end of the talk, I like to think they warmed up to me just a bit. 

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My neighbors’ kids! They come over for homework help and/or to talk about America every Tuesday and Thursday. 

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One of the coolest ‘talks’ I’d done — these are deaf learners! Everything I said had to be translated to ASL. They even gave me my own Namibian Sign Language name (:

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Some of my girls after a talk I did. They have quite an affinity for ‘Brazilian’ hair, which is just any hair that’s not natural black hair. 

 

So that’s a general gist of the work I’ve been doing since I last updated you!

I also took a trip to Morocco and it was a completely different world. Here I am with the sweetest girl Jamila –

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One of the sweetest girls I’d met in Morocco. She lives with her mom, sister, and little brother in a Berber cave near the desert. Her dad passed after her mom gave birth to her little brother. She doesn’t go to school, but helps her mom tend to goats, which is how they make their living.

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This was their home ! A cave!

Needless to say, it was quite the experience. I also met the beautiful Oumaima in Marrakech – she works with Project Soar Morocco in Girls Education, and is quite the artist. She’s all about girls’ equality and empowerment, so I feel super lucky to have met her acquaintance. I’m with her on the left and I’m with one of her students on the right.

 

I’m in awe of women and their strength and perseverance every day.

I’m so lucky to have met the wonderful women I have.

Now, if only the US administration and 45 will realize how wonderful women are and protect and respect our rights, too.

Til next time!

Kimmi

PS. If you want to receive my (more personal) monthly email updates, sign up belowww!

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kimmi loves that you've perused her blog! feel free to let her know what you liked (or maybe didn't like) about her posts. she hopes you've found her posts helpful in some way, shape or form. she also hopes that in sharing her growth through wanders, ponders, eats, and reads, you'll be inspired or nudged to travel more, reflect more, eat more and read more -- all things she holds near and dear to her heart. happy reading!

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