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So far, so confusing… September 15, 2006

Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Namibia, Uncategorized.

Rare sighting of an Isabelle in the veldOk, it’s not been long since I last wrote, but I can only access this level of technology from the city centre, and since I’m here, I thought I’d write.
And also I spent ages uploading my photos to my USB pen to find out that I messed it up, so no pictures for now, but I can tell you that it’s mostly dusty brown hills, speckled with greeny shrubs, with an expanse of bright blue skies.
The town, I mean, capital city is rather spread out and a real mix of German and African architecture, kind of hard to describe. And everything is surrounded by electric fences, barbwire or guards. Including my new home….

I moved in this morning and I must say, it isn’t what I expected. I’m living in a flat within a mansion, in the poshest part of the city, Ludwigsdorf. When we pulled up this morning, there was a luxury speedboat in the drive, which is odd, since I didn’t know there was any water around that would fit a boat (!?). Anyway, I have my own pad, with the biggest bed I have ever seen, a smart little kitchen and bathroom. It’s all new and clean, and I have a little garden too. The landlord is an incredibly well-off German chap called Arndt, who mentioned that there is a swimming pool around the back, which I am yet to see, or receive an invite to. Hardly what I expected for a placement in Africa.
The only draw-back is that it’s on the very edge of town. Getting around here is tricky, as taxis run like buses: they only do certain routes, you hail them down in the street, and you share them with whoever else want to go that way. So to get out, I need to walk down to the main street (about 15 minutes up and down hills) and wait for a taxi to come, and hope it is going that way. It took me 3 taxis and 30 minutes today, for a 10 minutes drive. I dread working my way home! And it isn’t safe to go out after dark either. Some of the other volunteers got mugged at machete point the other night, which was ironic since we had just had our security brief with the police that day! Oh my! (they are fine, and seemed to find more humour in it than fear!).

So all the other volunteers left for their placements this morning, many embarking on 8+ hours drives across the desert, to the hotter north. It is much more different up there apparently. An example is that in my Afrikaans language training, we learnt the basics you would expect; the oshavambo class learnt how to say ‘this is my first born, how many children do you have?’ and ‘who has taken the wooden spoon?’! Seems like I have to mug up my German, and balance that with Afrikaans, and learn pleasantries in whatever the local language is in the 3 regions I will be working in!

Tonight I’m off to the theatre with the other Windhoek-based volunteers to see the Vagina Monologues, and then on to a club. Again, not what I was expecting but I’m not complaining.

Better go, I have to get my shopping back to my house and then get myself back into town somehow before nightfall.
Oh and my contact details have been updated with address and mobile number. My new UK mobile doesn’t like being here and is refusing to cooperate, but do leave me messages here, or email or text my Namibian mobile if you want to say anything (absolutely anything).

Totsiens!! (afrikaans again!) xxx



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