Arrival in the Kalahari Dessert

14 Sep

Hello all! I have officially in Ghanzi, which is in the heart of the Kalahari Dessert. After a 5-hour drive (uneventful except for all the ostriches on the roads!) we came to Gantsi Craft Trust, my place of work for the next 8 months.

Gantsi Craft Trust is a not for profit organization that seeks to empower San people through the production and sales of crafts.

My job responsibilities include:

  • Organize Product Development workshops (new product designs)
  • Ensure that craft produced is up to standard
  • Participate in craft purchasing in the office and in the settlements
  • Organize gender and natural resource workshops for craft producers
  • Compile natural resource data from settlements and organize the mapping of natural resources
  • Write reports on all above activities and assist with proposals

All of my coworkers have been very welcoming and I am excited to get started! They have just received some new funding for gender projects, which is one of my main interests (obviously, if you have ever read my blog before), so hopefully I will have lots of opportunities to contribute there.

And of course, since I’m in the field of development, everything was going too smoothly so far, so I had to get a curve ball! My accommodations were supposed to be the same as Sara and Dana’s last year, but the landlord never gave my organization confirmation and was seeming very unreliable. So, as of now I am living with a host family. I have some mixed feelings about this, as you can imagine. I was really looking forward to having more independence and having my own space by living on my own, but I am also excited to be able to blend into the community more smoothly in this set up. There are also 2 children living there, which of course I always love, so I can’t wait to meet them soon!

This will be temporary. I still think that I would prefer to be on my own, so I will live with this host family for a month while I look for other options, with help from my coworkers and another nearby Canadian.
All for now!

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6 Responses to “Arrival in the Kalahari Dessert”

  1. grainne ryder September 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Hi Kyla – I am glad you have the chance to stay with a host family just for the first little while then I’m sure you’ll be able to find something in Gantzi with help from your coworkers. Glad to hear Gantzi has received some gender funding – this makes me think that your on-paper responsibility for mapping and natural resource data etc is way overambitious as you’ll be plenty busy with the shop side of things and gender training. Great adventures ahead!

    I’ll see you in November. If you have’t visited Shakawe by then you’re welcome to come with me for a visit.

    all the best
    Grainne

  2. Niall Whelan September 15, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Hi Kyla.

    Anna has a question: Why did the ostrich cross the road?
    We are glad you are doing well and hope you sort out your accomodation uncertainty soon.

    Love from East York

  3. marnie rice September 15, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Kyla– So glad to hear you arrived safe & sound. I hope the host family works out and helps get oriented, and then I hope you get your own place. I’m looking forward to living vicariously through the blog of your adventure!
    Love
    Aunt Marnie

  4. Declan Whelan September 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Glad yo hear you are safely in Ghanzi. Thanks for the blog update and keep them coming.

  5. Jennifer September 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Glad you made it safely Kyla–although you may not like your living arrangements I am sure your Mom feels better knowing you are not on your own–I do!

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