I have just started my fifth week of classes at UNAM, and I figured that it was about time I write another blog post (if only so that you all know that I have not been eaten by a lion or died from Ebola). (Also note that I say ‘you all’ as though more people than my parents are reading this.) Anyway, classes are going well here! I am taking Drug Discovery and Development, Medicinal Chemistry, Bioenergetics and Metabolism, and Immunology. Each of these courses has a practical session—aka prac, aka lab—and yesterday we got to make Acetaminophen! We are also isolating the serum in sheep’s blood for immunology to learn more about agglutination.
The courses are very interesting, but it is very difficult to motivate myself to get out of bed for class because the professors read word-for-word off the powerpoint slides, so going to class seems unnecessary. That being said, THE COURSE MATERIAL IS SO INTERESTING! Because this is Namibia, the professors usually let us out of class early, and sometimes they cancel class for no reason. (I don’t hate it.)
Outside of class, we have been very busy making friends and exploring Windhoek. One night, we went to a bar called Dylan’s and did karaoke! It was so much fun! Carly, Eslie, Megan, and I sang Party in the USA, Firework, and Bohemian Rhapsody. Fun was had by all. We also have spent a good amount of time at the clubs London and Vibe. London is a very American club (or so it has been explained to me, as I have never been to an American club), and Vibe plays ‘house music,’ which is more popular for most Namibians. The first night we were heading out to Vibe, we got stopped by a girl who lives on our floor, who told us that half of our group looked like they were going to church—not to a club—and she made them go change. (Don’t worry, I made the cut.) It was HILARIOUS.
In Namibia, Valentine’s Day is a very big deal. Our group went to the mall and everyone was dressed head-to-toe in red, pink, and white. (Also, while we were at the mall, we saw Fifty Shades of Grey. DON’T GO SEE IT.) After that, we went to London, which was very exciting because we got the whole group to come out!
Also, I am very surprised that many things that I consider ‘American’ are also present in Namibia. For example, there are KFC’s everywhere! I have also found M&Ms, kit-kats, mentos, pantene shampoo and conditioner, Dove soap, Doritos, Fanta, a Croc store, and many more name brands here. There are several cinemas in Windhoek, and they all have been playing movies at the same time they are released in the US (WHICH MEANS THAT WE CAN GO TO THE MIDNIGHT PREMIERE OF PITCH PERFECT 2 IN MAY!)
While Namibia is still shiny and new and magical, we have experienced a couple grievances. Firstly, Eslie and I are supposed to be doing research at the medical school, but we keep being sent back and forth between faculty members. We have now gone to about five meetings and none of the professors/deans have been able to give us access to the facilities to run tests on our samples yet. The other major struggle we are encountering is the internet. To no one’s surprise, wifi in Africa sucks. (However, I am kind of happy for this because I am spending more time in conversation with the people I’ve met here than posting pictures on Instagram.)
Last Friday, I went to my first rugby game! Namibia lost 53-3, but it was still a great time. Then, we went to Vibe (shocker), and when I was getting out of the back of our friend’s car, I sliced my finger open. (Like super open; I SAW MY FINGER BONE). I think it’ll be okay… My mom is not happy that I dealt with by washing it off with tap water and bandaging it with toilet paper and a hairtie, and then proceeding to stay at the club for four more hours while it bled. Oops!
On Sunday, we had a floor potluck! It was great to get to know the girls we live with a little bit better, and they made some AMAZING food. Also, the rainy season has finally begun, and it has been overcast and humid lately. It feels very home-y.
In exciting news, I will be spending another summer as a counselor at Rainbow Trail! I cannot wait for another three months of ministry and fun.
I’ll try to post more often (so that each blogpost isn’t just mental vomit of all the exciting things I’ve done in a month), but no promises.
I love and miss you all!