camp o-yeah.

Camp YEAH (Youth Exploring & Achieving in Health) is a health camp hosted by Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts in Namibia. Each year, in-school youth apply and are then invited to a week-long camp to engage in topic discussions and activities that will empower them in making healthy choices regarding their health and the health of their communities.

This was the inaugural year of Camp O-YEAH (the ‘O’ stands for O-Land) which was hosted in Oshakati. 18 youth from across the four regions of O-land (Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati, and Ohangwena regions) gathered for a week of activities involving teamwork, goal setting, and of course, health awareness and education.

Victoria’s very first time in a swimming pool.

This year, I was able to bring Victoria as a camper to Camp O-YEAH. Victoria is a grade 12 learner in my village. Although quiet and soft-spoken she always has a way to light up a room. She wakes up early each morning to walk 3k to school. She spends hours studying under a torch or lantern, because there is no electricity at her home. As the winter days have become shorter, this gives her less and less daylight to not only get home from school each day, but to complete her chores while continuing to make time to prioritize her studies. Victoria wants to become a tour guide when grows up and has determined the path to get there.

During my service, I have asked myself many times, “Am I doing the right things the wrong way?” I’ve struggle with community “buy-in.” I’ve struggled with finding counterparts who see the bigger picture and realize it begins with smalll daily actions. Victoria has been one who sees the bigger picture.

Camp O-Yeah opened up a world of possibilities for Victoria.

On day 1 of Camp O-Yeah, each camper was given a dream book. They were told to decorate their books anyway they wanted to. Within their dream books, they could write anything they wanted inside— thoughts on life, studies, draw pictures or write poems— anything. Their books were for their eyes only, and campers could choose to share the contents of their books if they wished.

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On a few ocassions, Victoria shared a few entries of her dream book with me. The content she shared with me made me realize even moreso how beautiful and courageous this young lady is. Each day she battles many obstacles to receive an education, change her fate, and have a voice in her future.

So, whether or not I ever find out if I am doing anything right during my last year of service, there is one thing I know: Victoria came into my Peace Corps service at the right time, and if in any way I am able to impact her life in a positive way, that will make all of this worth it.

❤ Krystal

dnf

The three dreadful letters which when combined together will cause any athlete on hang one’s head in shame. DNF. Did Not FInish.

This year for me has been a year of DNFs. Some by choice, some by default. I signed up for one 5k this year, and didn’t show up for the race. I found myself beginning several blog post, I didn’t have the heart to share. This year has been one that I finally looked up and wondered where all the year has gone. Gone, really, right in front of my eyes. Quite honestly, I haven’t blogged much because I really didn’t have much to say.

Returning to school as an adult has been tough. I still for the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone with a family, full-time job, and other commitments are able to suck it up and do it. Several times this year I made the comment, “Everyday to me is a Monday,” and I meant it. Monday to Sunday was filled with school, work, internships, meetings, and minimal sleep. It has been very difficult the majority of the time.

Lots of tears and questioning this current chapter I am in.

“Behind every success story are people helping to make it happen.”

When all is said and done, I completed yet another year of school and I only have 2 classes and one 150-hour rotation left after next Spring.

I need to continue to remind myself that this is a journey, which includes the living, giggling, and the dnfs in-between.

Thank you all for the continuing support, love, hugs, listening ears, and constant everyday reminders to stick with it.

A DNF does not impact your whole life. Sometimes it can help you focus on the main chapters of your story.

❤ Krystal

do then feel.

I’ll just be upfront and admit it now. Some days I really don’t feel like doing anything. The last few days I’ve had so much on my mind concerning school, personal goals, and all that jazz. I haven’t slept well. I have a crick in my neck and my back hurts. My last few lifting days have SUCKED. It’s now past noon, and I haven’t even attempted to make it to the gym.

I’ve come to realize sometimes you just need to get up, get dressed, and go- “Do then Feel.” I’ve encountered many days when I just don’t feel like working out at all. And you know what? That’s alright. Giving your body a little break is alright. But, I need to remember feelings are fleeting. In the course of an hour (and sometimes less than that) I can feel like running, then feel like eating healthy, then feel like reading a good book, and then feel like doing nothing at all. Geez, feelings are exhausting. Since, feelings are ever-changing when you “feel then do,” you usually end up not far from the starting line.

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So, by creating a paradigm shift in my mind I’m more likely to get moving. So, when I just go for a run, or eat healthy, or dive into a good book, I don’t give myself time to respond to feelings. By doing first, I always end up feeling accomplished in the end. I learn more about myself and the world around me. Be forgiving, take it one step at a time. So, with that being said, I’m outta here.

it’s my half birthday.

I am pretty sure only girls know when their half birthdays are. Mine just happens to be today.

I celebrated by getting my school ID, parking pass, and getting in a great workout. I’ve been very anxious about getting back into my pre-injury condition.

On my 26th birthday I ran a whopping 16-miles. And today, at 26 1/2 years old, I am no where near that type of running shape. Today, my goal was a 5k. Which felt like 16-miles to me. I actually split it up between my warm-up and cool down.

I tend to go a little overboard on lower body day, just because I hate being injured, and I know that getting and maintaining strong lower body muscles will help avoid future injuries and reduce the discomfort of current ones.

After my 1.50-mile warm-up in 13:12, what, what!!! I preceded to my workout.

Lunges, Goblet Squats, Leg Press, Calf Raises, Cable Kickbacks, Leg Raises, Leg Extensions, and Leg Curls. Whoo! Followed by a 1.61-mile run in less than 15 minutes. Pretty dang impressive for coming off the pine.

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Makes me feel a little my confident in my Fall training. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to get back on the pavement.

Good luck in races and weekend training runs!

i’m back.

It has been such an exciting week for me. Made a big trek to Texas on Sunday!!! Can’t believe I’m really here. So glad I was able to spend some time with friends before I left. Ate way too much and stayed up way too late. But, had a blast making memories and reminiscing on my last eight years in Oklahoma. So blessed to have so many friends in my life.

Now, back to business. I’ve spent the last few days lifting, loading, and unloading boxes and even though I still have work to do, I just counted that as my lifting days. 🙂 My new abode is right down the road from the YMCA, so I’ll have to find a new bike route to get there. I’m going to find the most creative ways to get to the gym since it’s really only a mile and a half down the road.

Other than that, I’m just getting really antsy for school to start. I think I’m going to blend back in DFW just fine. I have a few friends, my family, and hopefully will be able to connect with more people as I go. Can’t wait to share my life in Texas with you all. y’all!!!

More reviews and giveaways coming. Texas style 🙂