I don’t worry about wearing a hoodie, or driving, or being perceived as threatening or dangerous, simply by my existence.
Being Asian-American, I experience a different kind of racism. The “wow, your English is really good” racism, the “you’re not really American – what are you really?” racism, the “you must be so good at math”, “teach me Chinese. Ching chang chong – what did I just say?”, “racist? But everyone loves Asians, they’re the model minority” racism.
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.
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.
In the spirit of full disclosure, Victoria has left her job here in Rundu and moved back to Windhoek with her abusive husband. He called a meeting with both families and she was basically coerced into staying with him. “It’s sinful to leave your husband” and “in sickness and in health”, they said. She left last night. I found out this morning. So much for a win.
I talk about how important education is, and how it’s a key that opens any door you want, how self-esteem is not needing anyone (especially men) to give you approval, to tell you you’re beautiful or important (because you already are), and how independence, financial, emotional and intellectual independence, allows you to make any decision you want about your body, your future and your life without worrying about any third party.
In sharing her encounter with me, she beamed and said he’d yelled, “The American must have said something to you. You’ve never talked back to me before. Let me talk to her! How has she changed you?”
An quick (picture) update on swearing in, becoming an official volunteer, and my first couple of weeks at site! More coming this week!
Cultural Cooking Day I killed a chicken. Swift, clean, and (hopefully) painless(ish). Elainey did a fabulous job holding the chicken still. (; This is said chicken and me before said kill. Chicken insides – there were eggs that we retrieved from the chicken! This is my language class! I’m learning Rumanyo/RuKwangali. From left: Mo, Danny, Dana, me and Shirrita (missing Amanda). We’ll all be going to the Kavango region. Warthog stew! I ate Puumba’s cousin, basically. Afrikaan bread on braai Aunty Martha and myself! She’s been teaching Afrikaans with Peace Corps for forever and is just the sweetest. Can be quite the sasstronaut…like me! History Field Trip to Windhoek Heroes’ Acre – monument commemorating those who died for Namibia’s freedom From left: Rachael, Elainey, me, Olivia A rather graphic depiction of some scenes from the fight for independence Msc. My host cousin and me Some volunteers at a little house gathering and myself I’m working with a small business partner in Okahandja, Zelda, and went to visit her catering business to …
Hello! I’m here! In Namibia! It is now Day 3 (when I wrote this entry) in Namibia, and things are actually going pretty swell thus far. Needless to say, we’ve all been pretty exhausted with the moving around. But alas, we’re here! And language training starts next week! Yesterday, we had our placement, medical, and training interviews, that’ll ultimately decide where are service is for the next two years. Monday, we’ll find out what language we’ll be learning, Tuesday, we’ll meet our host families, and Wednesday, we’ll move in with said families. I’m not sure it’s hit me that I’ll be living in this country for the next two years yet. I know I have a lot of training ahead, and that’s great, and I’m excited about it, but I think what I’m looking forward to most is settling down with a community. I’ll be in Okahandja until end of June, then I’ll be moving to my permanent site, but until then, I still technically won’t be settled. I’ve decided that beyond making …
I realized I never wrote an entry about Peace Corps! Since my Costa Rica trip, I’ve since left my job and traveled to the Philippines and Ghana (to, hopefully, be covered in later entries), but now I’m living in Namibia for the next 2.5 years as a Community Economic Development Volunteer. I’m very lucky to have been able to travel as much as I do, and I think that’s always been rooted in my belief that humans are humans are humans, and traveling is one of the best ways to witness that, live that, and spread that belief. Working in capital markets and digital media was a great learning experience and I’ve met some of my closest friends whilst doing so, but I’d always felt as though there was more out there for me to devote my life to. My free time was never spent perusing the Wall Street Journal, it was spent searching the New York Times, for any and all articles relating to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, ISIS tragedies, womens’ education rights, social …
Heading to Costa Rica this weekend — stops will (hopefully) include Mount Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. Add me on Snapchat (kimmivo) to follow along with the trip! Pictures on Instagram intermittently. I’ll have at least one entry to devote to Costa Rica and #puravida when I return, so stay tuned! Kimmi