Saturday, 20-Sep Yesterday, Friday, our Group 40 was transported to the PC HQ in the capitol city for a tour then let loose for the reminder of the day to shop in Windhoek. We enjoyed the “downtime” but were still exhausted when we returned to Okahandja. We bought Hellman’s mayo for today’s coleslaw, which was our delicious contribution to a large gathering (about 150 people) to recognize and honor the families that have been hosting us for our 8-weeks of training. Group 40 divided into six U.S. regions and we chose Midwest (brats with mustard and sauerkraut… plus Barbara’s coleslaw). It was quite a feast of American cuisine and clearly a treat for the host families and training staff as well. (I plan to post more photos, but the internet is too slow here.)
We walked about a mile to find what is apparently the only store in Namibia that carries real cigars. They were priced about 50% higher than in Cinci, so I bought just two. Andy, a good friend in Cinci, is going to ship some sticks to me next month. I am guessing the shipping costs will bring the total close to 150% anyway!
We also visited the “smallest Anglican cathedral in the world” in Windhoek. It looked more like a chapel!
We saw the high school that Myles attends. We walked past the most photographed church in Namibia and the parliament building. We took two taxis after we tired of lugging stuff up and down the streets…for a total cost of US$4.00 (NAM$40). Would that get you half a block in the Bronx?
The mall is as upscale and substantial as any U.S. mall, so we relaxed over lunch at a fabulous Israeli owned café for smoothies, salad and sandwich.
Barbara bought a few “Afrikaans for Dummies” books at the mall, even though we both did well on our final language test Thursday. She scored Intermediate High + and I was graded Intermediate Medium. Most PCVs in our Group 40, including us, will be hiring tutors to expedite fluency when they are at their sites next month. The Peace Corps provides a separate allowance for that purpose.
So, in less than one week Barbara and I will be in Keetmanshoop readjusting to a new environment, new accommodations, a roommate, a harsher climate, the local people, business partners, new cultures, and work assignments. In summary, it will be a new way of life for the next 24 months of Peace Corps service. We are looking forward to the variety of learnings that will be required and the challenges we will certainly face in adjusting and eventually helping others. Last night upon returning from a day in the capital city we met Aaron and Megan, the married PC Volunteers who have been working in Keetmanshoop for a year now. Katie, our soon-to-be roommate, was with them. All three are wonderful, helpful, keen, positive folks and it was an informative meeting over a cold draft before we walked home and crashed!