Social Work Study Tour to Namibia

The University of Minnesota School of Social Work is studying in Namibia during May 2010.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Swakopmund Day One

We arrived in Swakopmund, a sunny, German-African beach town, late on Thursday night. We are staying in the Swakopmund Municipal Rest Camp in six-person A frames.

Municipal A-Frames

We got in late, and went to the nearby Tiger Reef Beach restaurant for dinner. They were just closing, but opened back up for our large group. It was nice to see the ocean and eat some Hake & Chips, even if we were freezing.

Tiger Reef had a table large enough that it could fit two groups our size!

We woke up early the next morning to do our last formal visits of our trip. We met Amanda (former student of Ndii & Liz), our escort from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and she took us to the DRC Community Project. The DRC Project is in the informal settlement of Swakopmund. They provide a bridging school (like Hope Initiative in Windhoek), to help children who are not attending school to catch up so they are allowed back into school. This project is funded through the Pitt-Jolie Foundation, and is housed in old containers that were used in the production of the movie, Flight of the Phoenix.

Amanda and the volunteer at DRC

Across the street from the DRC

After DRC, we drove 30 kilometers south to Walvis Bay. Between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, the desert sand dunes come right to the ocean.

In Walvis Bay we visited a faith-based organization called Healing Ministries, which works with women who have worked as Adult Service Providers and their children. They run various shelters for women and children, such as Hope House Refuge for Teens.

After our NGO visits in Swakopmund & Walvis Bay, the Ministry of Health and Social Services provided us a light lunch. After lunch, we had a whole day off, where everyone scattered to relax, shop and do laundry. At dinner, we were all reflecting on how the Study Tour has seemed both really long (we can't remember all that we have done), and really short (we can't believe the end is in sight).

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