Deep down I think I knew what the blank envelope meant for my placement in Oshakati.  I can’t speculate on things here though, because there is so much about the culture I don’t understand.  Human behavior is no longer as predictable.  So I lived in the moment, threw my heart and soul into learning Oshiwambo language and culture, only to have it taken away.  There was/is a political power struggle at Oshakati hospital, and my paperwork was involved somehow.

The Peace Corps staff drew a map of Namibia in the sand.  Then they blindfolded us and walked everyone to their site.  They presented us with an envelope describing the job and housing, but mine was empty.  Now I’m changing sites late in the game, but it’s just a different place in the sand.

This is not the first big change since I’ve been here.  I had to leave my first host family after about a month of training.  Alcoholism, the American ex pat who was my host father, and a cattle prod were the driving factors that pushed me out of my last host family’s house.  He turned the cattle prod on and started to stumble towards me, trying to kick my host sister out of the house.  I was evacuated that same night and given a bigger room, better internet, and a peaceful loving environment. (Shout out to meme Kalipi who is the coolest).  Maybe Oshakati was the violent alcoholic host father I couldn’t avoid the first time around.

New Address:

Christine Callahan

P.O. Box 194

Outjo, 9000


Meet the author / weens


  • Barbara Damon

    It’s July 25, 2015 and I just noticed your new address. Will send a letter. Sorry to hear of your rough experience. Hope you are now settled in a better situation.

  • Mimi

    I just heard about the cattle-prod incident! What’s going on? Are you safe?

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