Sunday, 11 January 2015

Our First Weekend In Windhoek!

Wow! I cannot believe that I was in Seattle just a week ago. We are (kind of) settled in our dorm--although we will be moving to another dorm in a week or so--and everyday has been a new adventure.

On Friday, we went on a tour of the townships (called Katatura) in Windhoek. This is how the people of Namibia were separated by tribe and location. This was super helpful and contextualized our class lecture about Namibia's history since independence. After class, I took a stellar nap, and then Alice, Megan, Carly, Eslie, Kerry, and I went out in Windhoek. We started at Joe's Beer House (a super cute restaurant) and then went to a gorgeous lookout over Windhoek, and then to London club where we danced the night away.

On Saturday, I slept the whole day. It was fantastic. For dinner, Jan made us beer-can chicken. It was the best chicken I've ever had, and we are definitely going to get some good use out of the braais. 

Today, we went for a hike at Daan Viljoen Game Reserve. We saw two ostriches, a warthog, a wildebeast, a wildebeast carcass, lots of lizards, lots of birds, some oryx skulls, and a kulu. It was so cool! We are definitely going to go back to the game reserve to go on some of the longer hikes until we see the giraffes and zebras. When I got back to the hostel, I took a long, much needed shower. Unsurprisingly, I got ridiculously sunburned today, but it was totally worth it.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

And So It Begins

After 23 hours in the air and two days of travel, we (finally!) arrived in Namibia! We had a brief layover at London Heathrow, so we decided to go to Windsor. A very kind, intoxicated, old man showed us around Windsor, and we got to see the huge, beautiful Windsor Castle. I also tried fish n' chips for the first time! We then went back to the airport, and boarded our flight to Johannesburg. It was a very long flight, but we eventually made it to Windhoek, Namibia.

I have now been in Namibia for two days, and I still can't believe that I will be spending 5 months here. We are staying in the Emona Hostel (which is like a very nice dorm) at the University of Namibia and, so far, we are the only people living on campus. Last night we had a barbecue (called a Brai) which was very fun and tasty. We also went shopping yesterday, which was very exciting. The stores are similar to those in the US, and one store we went to was like a small Walmart. While shopping, I bought some Exotic fruit juice and Namibian Wheat Beer (my first alcohol purchase)!

For the month of January, we are taking a course on the history of Namibia. We had our first session yesterday, and it made me so excited to be here and learn about Namibia! Today was our first actual class, and we learned a quick outline of Namibian colonization, including German rule, tribal regions, and Namibian geography. Our professor is a very nice woman named Martha, and she is the chair of basically every humanities department at UNAM. I am so excited to keep learning about and experiencing Namibia! Tomorrow we plan to take a tour of Windhoek (led by our friend/tour guide Scoby) and learn more about the townships that comprise the city. We are also hoping to visit Cape Town, South Africa sometime this month. I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead!