Well, it was actually last Friday and it wasn’t very much of a paycheck. It was, though, still more than $1 billion Zim dollars (read “I’m a Billionaire” post).
I am a full-time volunteer. As such, my pay should not be likened to a real salary, but a sustainable living stipend. I make less than $400 US per month and I’d been here for over four months before receiving my first allowance.
Despite my dramatic “pay cut,” my super-delayed pay-day, and my continued delay in pay, life has been manageable because I receive other types of assistance from the government (AND I came with my own money). As I may have mentioned before, I do not really have any steady bills here and I did not come to Namibia with any type or amount of outstanding debt (credit card, loans, etc). I also lead a fairly simple life.
As a WorldTeach Volunteer, my house is provided by the Ministry of Education, which also pays for the utilities. In addition, I receive phone allowances from the Ministry of Education, which help me manage my work responsibilities. I have a monthly allowance for my office phone and monthly credit is provided for my mobile phone. Such allowances are not available to all Volunteers; but, the government recognizes them as critical to my project.
I have recently added a few additional expenses. Last month, my housemate bought a satellite dish and had it installed. We agreed to share the monthly cable bill, which amounts to about $15 US each. It’s not a bad deal; but, I do find myself watching wwaaaayyyyyy too much television. (and now I’m confused about why Adam did not win on American Idol).
I had to wait four months before receiving my first check, but during my recent time in Windhoek, I was able to speak with the right people. They took care of the problem and I should be all caught-up with my due stipends soon.