Windhoek Strategic Planning Meeting (and skydiving)

May was consumed with travel. On May 8th, I left Maun to travel to Namibia, specifically Windhoek, for SAREP’s Second-Phase Strategic Planning Meeting and Workshop. To give this a little context, SAREP is a five-year project that had to be approved at the half way mark in order to proceed. We passed with flying colors, and so SAREP staff and partners (as well as myself and my PCV successor, Becky) participated in this gathering to brainstorm and create structure, solve existing problems, unify the team, and bring everyone to the same page as we move forward. We also did a fair bit of schmoozing.

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Karine Nuulimba from one of our partners, the Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation of Namibia (IRDNC).

All of our partners (like IRDNC shown above) presented their work from the last two years. Additionally, the SAREP technical team presented the work of the various components, which opened up discussion on how to further collaborate with each other. Being a member of this technical team I also presented a snapshot of the year the HIV/AIDS component took off and “became a thing,” and received great feedback from our partners of ideas and suggestions for integrating the HIV/AIDS component into the other biodiversity, water and sanitation and livelihood components.

All in all, it was an excellent way to see Namibia and Windhoek and interact with my colleagues outside the office. Before leaving for the trip, my supervisor suggested I take a detour either before or after the workshop to visit Swakopmund, a tiny, affluent beach town directly west of Windhoek on the Namibian coast. So, I did. Took a few days before the planning meeting and ended up going skydiving! It was a much needed break  and an incredible experience!