Panel Discussion on Teaching in Africa- Sept. 26, 7pm

September 25th, 2007

Have you ever wanted to…

Teach abroad?
Live or travel in Africa?

Learn more about all these topics firsthand from Bay Area residents who have taught in Namibia.

What: Panel Discussion on Teaching in Africa

When: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at 7pm

Where: The Poetry Center, HUM 512 SF State

Get your questions answered. Learn more about volunteering opportunities and the politics and culture of this unique African country. For more info contact

Panelists include:

Ami Ehrlich volunteered in Namibia with the United State Peace Corps ( from 1999-2001. She taught English at Ebenhaezer Primary School in Karibib, a small town in the central region of Namibia. While there, she also facilitated an after school life skills program and developed a partnership with a local church library to provide the school children regular access to books. Ami is currently a Global Program Officer at Room to Read (, an international non-profit organization in San Francisco that establishes school, libraries and other educational infrastructure in developing countries.

Mira Foster is currently a librarian at SF State, and volunteered in Namibia with the United State Peace Corps ( ). Mira taught English, health education and library skills from 1999-2001 at Onayena Junior Secondary School in the northern Owambo region of the country. While there she lived with a host family of fourteen and developed the school’s new library into a learning center utilized by local schools.

Timothy Foster, originally from the United Kingdom, taught in Namibia from 1998-2001 with Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO) ( In his first year he taught mathematics and developed a campus computing lab at Ponhofi Secondary School, located along the Angolan border. During his second year he was evacuated from Ponhofi because of spillover fighting from Angola’s civil war, and moved to Nehale Senior Secondary School in Onayena village, also in the Owambo region. While at Nehale he taught mathematics, tutored teachers in mathematics instruction, and developed computing and Internet facilities at two local schools. Timothy now lives in San Francisco and works as a computer engineer for AT&T.

Eileen O’Neill Guerard, a volunteer with World Teach (, taught English, writing, and some P.E. to ninth and eleventh grade students at Oshigambo High School (OHS), a private school established in the 1960s by Finnish Lutheran missionaries in northern Namibia. The school itself is famous for having schooled some of SWAPO’s freedom fighters. When Eileen worked there in 1999, OHS educated about 300 pupils in grades 8 – 12, mostly from the northern areas and primarily from the Ovambo tribes. It counted among its staff about 20 teachers, hailing from Namibia, Ghana, Burundi, Egypt, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria as well as two from the United States. Eileen’s major claim to fame at OHS was teaching her ninth graders to sing “Shiny Happy People,” and moderating the eleventh-graders in some impromptu sex-education that probably would have gotten her fired in the U.S.

Peter Orner was a Worldteach volunteer ( in Namibia in 1991-1992 and taught at three primary schools, Rehoboth and Klien Aub in the south, and Karibib in the west central part of the country. He taught various courses, including 4th grade English, 7th grade English, History, Physical Education, Woodworking, as well as a course for teachers. His novel, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, although fiction, is based in part on his memories of Namibia. The book is currently being translated into French, Italian, and German. Winner of a 2006 Guggenheim fellowship, Orner is an associate professor at San Francisco State.

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