Archive for November, 2009

Election Fever

November 30, 2009

It was Namibia’s fourth post-independence Presidential and National Assembly elections last week with voting taking place on Friday and Saturday.

Although there had been a few very unfortunate incidents in the run-up the polling seems to have taken place smoothly and the votes are now being tallied with a result due some time this week.

Because of the pre-match troubles the Peace Corps are all getting free holiday from work and mobile calling credit. I’m also pretty certain I’ve seen a few black helicopters circling.

VSO just sent an email asking us to please refrain from stirring up trouble, participating in any activities that could be viewed as treason or trying to run our own political parties. They had obviously heard about the Dave for President campaign that was receiving wide popular support if only from myself.

Opuwo just went about its sleepy business. There were a few tattered “polling station” banners around the place but no queues outside or rowdy mobs.

Obviously once Dave for President was folded on VSO orders there was nothing much to fight about and just a general feeling of disappointment in the town.

As for any other comment, as befits my status as a guest in Namibia and a politically neutral observer, I shall say nothing. Other than, naturally, that I would have been an ace president. Maybe next time.


A Quick Update

November 23, 2009

No posts for quite some time so… time for a (very) quick update.


We’re in the midst of a Measles outbreak here in Kunene. It originally came over the (porous) border from Angola.

Although we have now setup (I say we, I mean of course the very dedicated healthcare staff who have worked whilst I’ve mainly sat around scratching myself) the Measles Treatment and Isolation Unit (tented camp) and people are responding well to treatment it is continuing to spread.

More accurate coverage is available on Anika’s blog where she has some actual figures. I do write them down in the meetings but then promptly loose the piece of paper.

One of the big problems is lack of immunisation (both for the children and adults). We have begun an emergency selective immunisation program of children ages 9 months to 5 years. Although the initial spike of cases was in the adult population it has now returned (as is normal with Measles) to affecting predominantly children.


As part of the immunisation program I’ve been on two crazy adventures into the deepest darkest Namibian bush, over mountains and through deserts (literally) to take nurses and other health staff out to do health education and immunisations.

The first of these was a four day jaunt to a place called Serra Cafema right up on the edge of the Skeleton Coast park and the Angolan border. Following on I spent a week living in the bush (where often there was not even a very bad road) in the Etanga area.

More on these in detail if I ever get around to it (don’t hold your breath).


We’ve had a dedicated pipe put in by NamWater. Promptly afterwards the water went off for a week.

Not wanting to say anything bad I will hold my tongue on the subject.

Hopes are high that the water situation will improve, permanently, soon. Other people’s hopes that is. I’ve lost all hope.

Computers and Stuff

Some IT training plods along. Some of that with actual mediocre success.

Occasionally managed to fix a computer or two. Well, plugged the one that wouldn’t power up back in which I could as “fixed”.

That’s About It

Well there is more but I’d better go and prod something with a screwdriver. Maybe a cat.