On the 26th – 29th June 2013 three members of the YTG Namibia group, along with our teacher, Mr Carsten Antoni, left Windhoek for Swakopmund to attend the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Seminar which we were invited to by Annemarie Mater, the head of the Swakopmund Primary Enviro Club. The whole seminar funding, including the education material, came from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
On Wednesday we all met at school at 3pm and started our 3-4 hour drive to Swakopmund. The drive was long, fun, musical and most important it was safe until we saw the fog and started freaking out a little but of course Mr. Antoni knew what he was doingJ. When we arrived we were introduced to our guest mother who happens to be the daughter of the events manager at our school Ms Reiff – a biology and Math teacher at NHS. She is a super friendly and hyper character which made us feel immediately at home. A few minutes after settling in she invited us to a delicious and stomach filling dinner at Ocean Basket which was followed by a beautiful and entertaining centurion dance at the Namib High school where we met very interesting students and teachers. Upon our return home, we had the coziest sleep ever and woke up feeling all fresh the next day.
We woke up to a slow morning in Ms. Reiff’s apartment and admired the scenery around us. We had a mini breakfast and then decided to play dress up cause it was too cold to dress up and walk around the foggy streets of swakop. There after we met up with Mr. Antoni and went to the Namib High School to set up for our presentation later that day. With the help of our guest mother and Annemarie Mater we were all set and ready to present to our crowd of 11. As this was just a pre-launch to the official seminar, we were quite chilled.
Our presentation covered about 3-4 hours in which we shared our field projects, namely the Damaraland Windmill project, the Mobility project, Green Basar, our advertising spots and a few other actions we did last year. Besides our projects, we also shared our experiences at the 1stWorld Youth Sustainability Summit in Berlin and showed our audience a couple of environmental videos and lectures
from internationally renown lecturers. Most importantly we showed them how to start inspiring movements of their own and how to be a leader who is not afraid to take risks. They were fascinated by our presentation because of our use of visual elements to send out the message. The most stimulating part of this presentation was that anyone could comment interrupt and ask questions.
By the time we had finished, dinner was ready and whilst eating dinner we got the shock of our lives. We were given certificates for attending the ESD Seminar and were the first 4 people to ever receive the Hummingbird Award. To understand the award you have to understand the story: There was once a huge forest that caught fire. As soon as the forest caught on the fire all the forest animals started panicking and wanted to escape. However, there was a little Hummingbird who flew to a river and collected water in its beak and flew back to the forest to try and extinguish the fire. The hummingbird went to and fro again and again, and all the animals thought it was crazy. The moral of the story is that if all the animals would have pitched in, the fire could have been extinguished. We are all hummingbirds and we will do the best we can to save the world.
What a lovely morning the next morning was. Our bike bus back in Windhoek had been successful and we were looking forward to a boat ride later that afternoon. In the early morning we decided to visit the Namib High School once more, as they were having one of their occasional events: “Entrepreneurship Day”.
In the afternoon we went to the Walvis Bay Harbor with the Namib High School Environmental Club and a few teachers to go on a Laramon boat ride. The view of the ocean was breathtaking and the best part of the boat ride was when we got to see a real life whale and an entire island of seals. Upon our return to the harbor one of the seals “Leppie” came on board for a snack.
Unfortunately we could not touch “Leppie” because he was unfriendly, and sadly that was the end of our lovely boat ride and trip.
This trip was unquestionably one to remember. Waking up to the smell and view of the ocean everyday was definitely amazing. Going out into nature makes one realize that there is more to everything than what meets the eye. Everything was just lovely.
None of this would have been possible without the funding and hard work of the inspiring and enthusiastic Annemarie Mater and her environmental club. We can’t thank you enough for your hospitality and we hope to see you again soon.
This report was written by the three YTG Namibia girls, Jennifer, Petelina and Tracy.
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