Originally posted 1/10/18
This morning, our first speaker was Friedel Dausau, the director at Out-Right Namibia. ORN is an organization that works for LGBTIQ+ rights here in Namibia. It was so interesting and enlightening to hear what ORN does for the Namibian queer population and about the advocacy work they've been doing to change the laws to improve human rights, not only for their target group, but for other Namibian minority groups such as women and the disabled.
After that, we went to a legal assistance center, where a man named Gabe talked to us about the services they provide for Namibian people, and also the laws and policies that are causing problems for people. The government has been very slow to change oppressive laws since apartheid ended and Namibia gained independence in 1990. It takes a long time for legal recourse to proceed. There are a lot of issues with domestic violence and inheritance issues, as well as medical negligence, and the center provides legal aid and advice for people in need.
After lunch, our speaker was Jennifer Gatsi, the director of Namibia Women's Health Network. She spoke to us about their work in advocating for educating women in Namibia about their sexual and reproductive rights, health issues, maternal and prenatal health, and other issues. It was awesome to hear from a woman who works so hard to empower other women.
We had a few free hours this afternoon, so the majority of us went out to a local mall and market for snacks and shopping. It was fun to walk around and hang out. I bought a couple of souvenirs and some more summery clothes to beat the heat with.
The ice cream here in Namibia and South Africa is tastier than US ice cream. I can't really describe why or how, it just is.
After dinner, we watched a documentary about race in America after World War Two. After learning what he have about South Africa and Namibia's history, the documentary helped us to draw parallels between our country and the countries we've visited.
A lot of girls bought meat for lunch from the outdoor market in Katutura I mentioned yesterday. Today, several of them have been having stomach and GI issues. Over half of our group is nursing students, so aside from being uncomfortable, they're not too fazed by their predicament and most everyone has been in reasonably good spirits. As I don't eat meat, I've been spared their fate, but I'm still sympathetic, as I remember clearly my bout with stomach flu in one of the last weeks of December. Hopefully, everyone will be recovered by tomorrow.
Tomorrow we'll be hearing more speakers and having a discussion based on some of the readings we've done so far. Stay tuned!