This is a very weird feeling that we are having, returning to CICD. It’s like nothing changed since we left in May but, at the same time, it’s completely different. There are new people, new students, new teams, same spirit, same habits and same routine and same people also. Since the moment we came back we felt comfortable here, we know all the spaces and all the responsibilities and tasks that came with CICD life.
We also feel that we are different, something as changed during our period in Namibia. We still don’t know exactly what but, in fact, there is something different. And it’s very good to come to CICD and have some time with people that already experienced this and people that want to experience it in the future.
What we will miss most from our time in Namibia: the sun, the hot weather, the dog that was a big company for us but, most of all, the people. Without question, the people from there are the best part of Namibia. We miss already the kids screaming our names every time that we appear far away in the field, or the students laughing with us, or the huge amount of questions that they made us, or the very interesting conversations, etc… all of this human interaction is made in a different level of connection and that is what we will miss the most from this experience.
For us, it has been a life experience, in CICD and in Namibia. It made a big impact on us for sure. Starting in CICD with the community life where we sharing (almost) everything. The responsibilities that came with this kind of life and the consequences when you don’t do your part of the job. And, most of all, the acceptance that no one is perfect and the important thing is that you give the best of you.
This was a lesson that we also took with us to Namibia. It’s impossible to do everything that we would like to do when we are in the project and it’s completely impossible to help everyone that cross our path, so, in our opinion, one of the things that changed the most in us in this process was that we learned to accept that fact and to focus on the small things that we can actually can do for the others.
It’s completely different, the way we live in Europe compared to Namibia. The people in Namibia don’t have access to the basic things that in Europe are guaranteed for us. They believe in some things, that for us are absurd, but we respect and accept it. One thing that I admire in the Namibians is that they don’t have so much, but they always have a smile to give us. And this is one of the things we have to learn from them, we don’t need to much to be happy.
The most important achievement at the project in Namibia for us was the playground that we built, supported by money donated by our families and friends. We didn’t had any skills in construction, but with the help of one DAPP worker we could achieve our gold – to finish the playground. Before, the only thing that the children had to play with were the tyres, but now they are so “busy” playing with the playground that we built for them!
I (Adriana) have a lot of good memories that will stay with me for ever. With different people and different places. But there is one situation in our last week in the project that made me shake a bit. There was 3 sisters living next to us and I used to play with them, they are 8, 6 and 4 years old and in our last week the middle one (6 years old) came to me saying that I couldn’t go away now, that I needed to stay and play with them, it was too soon for the goodbye. She asked me to stay at least until Christmas, I needed to spend the Christmas with them and then I could came back. I could see that she was really meaning it and it was very difficult to me to go away. For sure they will be fine and they are 3 happy sisters, but I would like to stay with them too, until Christmas and more than that.
I (Ana) have a lot of good memories, to choose one is difficult, but we had one special neighbour, for me at least, that always make my days happier. Is a little girl with 2 years old that smile with her eyes, who don’t know how to speak English but understands a little. When I talked with her, she always answer in the local language (oshivambo), but in a way we understand each other. She has the most protective brothers, that I admired, they were amazing with her, wherever they go they take their sister with them. They take care of her like a mother, when she (the mother) wasn’t around, the brothers even washed the little sister’s clothes. They are amazing, I will never forget them.
For me, André, it’s very difficult to choose one single memory. The people, the country, it’s everything amazing and all of it will stay with me. But, definitely, something that will stay marked on me is the smile of the children of DAPP Kindergarten when we show them the playground and they could go and play on it. They were so happy and they waited for it for so many days. While we were building it the kids were always near the rope (that we put to create a secure area) looking at us and every single day they asked us when they could play on it. That day came and the smiles, the shining eyes, it’s just something that I cannot describe.
We have learned that small things can make a big difference. We have started to give importance to things that before had no meaning or we didn’t notice them.
We are always learning and we start to accept that we are not perfect. There is always something that we can take from the other to improve ourselves.
This was an experience that we will take with us for all our life. All the process. In CICD, in Namibia, everything. All the people that we meet during this time and all the moments will stay. It was not always easy but, for sure, everything that happened is worth it.