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New Year’s Eve, and our return January 8, 2007

Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Namibia, Out of the city, Peculiarities, Raaah!, VSO.
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Grey, cold and rainy. In Africa? ‘fraid so (it’s rainy season). After a lazy brekkie with all of our crew, we set off to see the real reason for visiting Livingstone… Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World no less! Despite no sun to reflect rainbows, and some saying that the water is quite low at this time of year, it was incredible. The geology of the area is actually fascinating, creating the falls through a series of fault lines, which present themselves as a series of zigzagging gorges (like the one I’d jumped into the day before). We had a good wander around, viewing it from different angles (not the Zimbabwean side though – too pricey!), including some time admiring the brave/stupid bungee-jumpers. Back in the car park, we had a baboon jump in the car and steal a bag of rubbish, which startled those who were present.
Back in town, I went for lunch (which I suspect could’ve been the cause of my poisoning), and then it was time to get ready for the festivities (amazingly some of the girls spent two hours doing this – even as a girl, I’m still not really sure what takes so long about washing and putting on clothes).
4.30pm: our party congregated at Alexa’s place, where a bus took us off to the shores of the Zambezi. Finally the sun had come out for us, heating up the already humid waters. After a quick drink on land, we board our private cruise for the evening: a perfectly-sized, floating deck, full with (free!) bar and braai. Our little party had volunteers from Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and of course Namibia, as well as some local friends of Alexa’s, and two lovely Aussies we met in the hostel who are volunteering in Tanzania; about 25 in total! Our cruise took us up and down the Zambezi, where we spotted lots of lovely squidgy hippos and a token crocodile. It was so great to catch up with everyone and meet some locals and new people.
We docked around 8pm, where the party got started at the Taonga bar. [Sadly this was also where my salmonella started up, so I started on the water, whilst others were knocking back shots and Mosi – and I was still the most ill the next morning!]. However I still got involved in the party, which was split between the thatch hut bar and next door stage with a live performing band, both packed with locals and tourists alike. The band was a great hit with us, playing lots of Mr Marley, and even allowed us to sing along. I was invited up to sing back-up to ‘In The Jungle’, doing the ‘a-wum-a-way, a-wum-a-way….oooohhhh’ bit (get me!!) – various others got involved in other renditions too. By then the rain had started, but no one really cared, as we danced away on the sand, under the palm trees. Later on, a group of 5 acrobats broke out in the most dazzling performance of balance, strength and bendiness, causing quite a stir amongst the female members of the audience.
Midnight was celebrated dancing in the tropical rain, with much hugging and jumping around, followed by a fumbled attempt at Auld Lang Syne, which no one knew the words too.
Around 1am, the bus took us back to the hostel (where I bailed), and the party continued on to a nightclub, where the fun and frolics continued. I tried the club a while later, but lasted about 10 minutes, before returning to my bed.
(I think I lasted pretty well considering I spent much of my evening emptying my stomach)

New Year’s Day was highly unpleasant, and involved a trip to the doctor. We left on the 2nd, with Ant (a VSO from northern Namibia), and crossed back to our homeland of Namibia. We spent the night at Rose’s, another VSO, house in Rundu, who we’d bumped into in Livingstone (small world!). We got back to Windhoek in good time on the 3rd.

And that’s the end of our adventure.
No car-jackings. No kidnapping. No violent attacks.
Only one serious illness, and one robbery (it wouldn’t be a complete trip for me without it!). I wouldn’t say Southern Africa is much more dangerous than any other place I have visited – it gets a really bad rap. But it certainly has the beauty, charm and life that you would expect of it. And some.

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