Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nearing the end...

Exactly two weeks from today I will be on a plane heading back to the United States of America.

The past month or so has been a whirlwind of trying to fit in everything that we possibly can in Windhoek and the surrounding areas, a short travel seminar on sustainability and community based natural resource management in the southern part of the country, and hitting up every type of restaurant possible! There have been a few really amazing moments in the past month, and I think I'll focus on those for this post. They may be out of order chronologically and not the most sensical, but bear with me.

Last week, a few of us CGEers went to Parliament Gardens to do some reading, which really just turned in to us talking about random stuff. So, we're laying in the grass talking, when all of a sudden this guy walks up to us carrying a guitar. Now, in Namibia, a lot a lot of people ask you for money during your everyday lives, so my immediate thought was that this guy was going to ask us for some money. He comes over to us and starts talking about the word of God and all of these amazing religious words, and then asks if he can play a song for us. He proceeds to play us two beautiful songs. He had this amazing voice, and because he had no teeth, a very interesting way of speaking and singing. He then talks to us for a little bit longer and heads off, smiling as he walks away. After this interaction, we continue talking when all of a sudden this guy comes up to us wearing an awesome red sweatshirt suit, and asks us if we are going to the tai chi class on the grounds. Another fun fact was that he was our speaker the week before! We weren't planning originally on going to the tai chi class (because we had no idea that it even existed!), but we decided to join in! I have never done tai chi before, but it was so much fun. It is all about centering yourself, balance, and protection, and I loved every minute of it! Following the class, we walked up the hill about to walk to dinner, when the same man asked us where we were headed. We were going to Primi's for dinner, a place that is basically Italian mall food. He offered us a ride, and when we got in the car told us that in no way was he allowing us to eat at Primi, and that he was taking is to an authentic African restaurant. He took us to this place called La Marmite, a delicious deliciou Cameroonian restaurant. The food was amazing, there was beautiful art on the walls, and it was the perfect dinner! It was an awesome time.

Another awesome thing that we have done for the past couple of weeks was go to the Franco Namibian Cultural Center in town, where on Wednesday nights they show movies on a big screen. We have watched two really interesting movies, the last one about baby elephants in the Namib Desert.

The last thing that I'll talk about here is our now frequent trips to this restaurant called Paul's in the Craft Market in town. Paul's is a DELICIOUS restaurant with a great artistic atmosphere that hires disabled people from around Windhoek to cook food and serve food there. In a country like Namibia, where the unemployment rate hovers around fifty percent, it is incredibly difficult for the average young person to find a job, let alone anybody with a disability. However, Paul's seeks out disabled people to work there, which I think is an awesome message. Not only was the service great, but the food was delicious and relatively inexpensive. It is now one of our favorite places to go, and we are all really sad that we've only just found it.

We are leaving Namibia in less than a week now, and I am getting really nervous about what it's going to be like when I get home. I can image in the culture shock is going to be insane, and I don't know how much people are going to want to hear about my semester. And if people are interested, I don't even know how I would describe the semester. I think we're all preparing short, 2 minute speeches about our program, but there's no way I could possibly convey the time that I've had here.

BAH. I guess that's all. I may or may not write another blog entry. We head to Cape Town next Saturday for a week, our final travel seminar of the semester, and from Cape Town leave for Dulles in D.C. We're all planning trips to our favorite restaurants and locations. I'm going to miss Namibia so much. I know that people always say your semester abroad flies by, but I never really thought it would go by this quickly!

Ta ta for now.