Friday, February 12, 2010

Skipping to the urban homestay...

So, don't hate me, but I'm going to skip the beginning of the Windhoek trip to what I am doing now, and I will start being more faithful to this blog. So basically I am in the middle of my urban homestay in Windhoek North right now, which is a wealthier part of the city. The first weekend that we were in it, last weekend, was really fun. My host family consists of a mother and father, both in their 50s, their 29 year old son, and a 29 year old man named Hosam who is from Egypt. They also have some other residents in the house behind their house, but I don't see them much.

On Friday, we went to a Namibian Premier League soccer game. GO BLACK AFRICA! My host father is a huge fan of Black Africa, a Katatura team, and my host mother is a fan of the Orlando Pirates, another Katatura team. It was really entertaining to go to a game! There were drunken people all around me, everyone decked out in black and red, Black Africa was awesome. The next day, they drove me around two different parts of town, Ludwigsdorf which is where all of the wealthy German people live, and then Katatura, the old all black township, and then the informal settlements within, where people have built their own shacks to live. The disparity in wealth here in Namibia is so drastic, especially because the population of the whole country is only about 2 million, so there are very few people and extreme differences in wealth. Later that day I got pretty sick and went to bed at seven, so not much else happened. The next day I went with my host mom to Chinatown in Windhoek. There is an interestingly large population of Chinese people in Namibia. My host mother loves Chinatown but makes odd comments about the actual Chinese people in Namibia, who are taking over by having lots of children. She predicts that the population will soon overrun that of whites. We also went to one of the German and Afrikaaner malls, Maerua Mall, which was huge, clean, and filled with white people. It was a very interesting comparison to the mall that we usually go to, which is Wernhill Park, which is less nice and mostly used by the black people in Windhoek. The rest of the day was spent doing homework and resting, but I was finally able to eat some food that night.

I don't want to talk about the whole week of the homestay, but a typical homestay weekday looks as follows:

Wake up around 8am and peek my head outside of my room to see if anyone is in the bathroom.
Take a bath. For both of the homestays that I've had so far, they do not have showers, but only baths.
Finish up some of my reading for my classes that day.
My mother drives me to the CGE house or to class, because she thinks that taxis are too dangerous in terms of people being robbed and their scary driving.
I either have class or work on my independent study.
Hang out with other CGEers until about 530.
Host mother picks me up.
Dinner with the host family.
Watch 7 de laan, the best soapie in Namibia/South Africa. Ask me about it.
Watch the news in Afrikaans, which I have to mute every few seconds to ask what's going on.
Watch the Namibian news.
Do my homework/read, etc.
Sleep super early, like 10 o'clock or 11 o'clock.
End up staying up even later because it is fiery hot in my room and I sweat to death, and stay up attempting to murder every mosquito in my room.
Finally fall asleep to the buzzing of mosquitoes in both ears.
Wake up and do it again!

So that's basically what it looks like! I'll give you all an update about what I do this weekend with my homestay family! The homestay ends on Sunday! We are having an anti-Valentine's Day celebration with pizza, beer, and the new Valentine's Day movie. Excellence.

Miss everyone at home!

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