Friday, June 22, 2012

The Drive to the North

Well we made it. We left Windhoek at 8am, and pulled into the ELCIN Guest house a little after 6pm. Our bus driver Joey was a complete rock star in getting us through security, and across almost have of the entire country in one day!

The landscape is simply stunning here. The land is relatively flat, but is still scattered with mountains that seem to pop out of nowhere. There are miles and miles of tall grass, and more varieties of trees for me to list here. We did not have many animal sightings, but that was to be expected with it being the dry season. We did however, see our fair share of warthogs. Apparently, they’re the “raccoons” of the Namibia.

What is truly remarkable about the drive from Windhoek to the North is the people. The farther you head north, the more people you see walking along the highway. Once we made it to Ovamboland (which is where we’re staying) I had a hard time counting all the people walking. I saw many young people with backpacks, whom I would assume, were walking home after school. What is so striking to me is that I’m not really sure where they were walking. Settlements are few and far apart in this portion of the country, and when you finally reach one you miss it if you blink. It truly is farm country here, and I have a hard time believing 800,000 people live up here. Driving through it and to it, you wouldn’t know where everybody lives. But I know they’re here. They show up for church.

When we reached the ELCIN Guest House a hot dinner was waiting for us. Bless these Namibians! Klaudia is the cook for the entire guest house, and she cooks just like my dear grandmother on the farm. She had prepared fried chicken, rice, gravy, cooked vegetables, and a nice salad for us all. As we finished, my aunt Carol, uncle Gary, and I offered to help her with dishes. She gladly took us up on our offer, and she soon was stacking a substantial pile of dishes for us to wash and dry. As we were working Klaudia begin to tell us about herself, and we soon found out that she was in the church choir. Seconds later she had their CD (how many church choirs have CD’s?) to show us. I quickly made a deal with her to exchange a CD I had for one of hers. Score. J

As we finished for the night I went over to Klaudia to thank her for the dinner one last time. As I was leaving she asked me to remind her of my name. I told her that my name is Ethan, and that I was very pleased to meet her. She then said, “Oh Ethan, I will remember your name in my heart.”

You too, Klaudia. 

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