Wednesday 23 October 2019

A life less ordinary: from a classroom in Wexford to the deserts of Namibia

OYLEGATE woman Susan Somers was basking in temperatures above 30 degrees while the folks back home were marking Saint Patrick's Day.

And while her compatriots were toasting the man who banished the snakes Ireland, she was busy celebrating twenty years of Namibian independence.

'I'm currently on a career break as a primary school teacher from Scoil Mhuire in Coolcotts and I'll return there in September,' confirmed Susan in a message from south west Africa. She may be a long way away but she has not been forgotten back at base in Coolcotts where the students have been holding a no uniform day and cake sale in aid of Voluntary Service Overseas. It was V.S.O. that arranged her placement in a little town called Okahandja where she works preparing teachers for work in Namibian schools.

The country, which is part desert, may be twelve times the size of Ireland but it has less than half the population here. Susan Somers, familiar on Wexford stages with the Enniscorthy Musical Society and the Bridge Drama Group in Castlebridge, reported that it is a beautiful place famous for the wildlife at the Etosha National Park.

'Life here, as in all of Africa, is very different from Ireland,' observed the exile. 'Sometimes my job gets bogged in bureaucracy but then other times I get to run a workshop and see teachers getting excited when I show them a simple game or strategy to use in their teaching and it all feels worthwhile.'

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