I think I’m definitely starting to feel the “African” Lifestyle finally catch up to me. I know that I usually do slack on my blogging, but its become apparent that the whole stress free, laid back way of living has really taken over most aspects of my life in Bots. At first the slowed down pace of things really was a major challenge not only in the workplace, but everywhere we went, and everything we did. The other day in the city, Shila and I especially commented on our movements, comparing ourselves to big elephants, sauntering through the grocery store. Taking 2 hours to get somewhere doesn’t really seem to affect my headspace anymore, it’s really just the way it is. It’s this type of living that is making me both a little nervous and excited to return to Canada’s fast, efficient pace. More importantly I’m interested to see if it will be particularly challenging, or if it will overwhelmingly wonderful, perhaps (or most definitely) it will be stressful.
This new adaptation of mine and grown patience really is a blessing. A couple weekends ago I embarked on a solo adventure to Namibia, which meant a whole 12 hours of driving! Schooling in the Nish I have become used to the annual (some times semi-annual) car trips back to the 613… however, we have the luxury of AC and didn’t suffer the risk of hitting ostriches, goats, or cattle…
YES my adventure was full of ostrich, goats, cattle, and amongst those – new places, new cultures, new friends and as with any travel adventure, full of challenges. Before leaving Botswana behind me, I participated in my first (of many I’m sure) couch surfing experience. For those of you who have never heard of this PLEASE PLEASE I urge you to check it out, and PARTICIPATE!! It is such an amazing online community, full of amazing people who are full of life and love – https://www.couchsurfing.org/ ….back to the post….
Oddly enough the beauty Milena and I stayed with, I had previously connected with over the site and then about a month later met in person through a friend of a friend, oh how small the world is! Dinah is absolutely brilliant. She has been nothing short of my guardian angel over the past couple of weeks. Not only did she provide Milena and I with a super great double bed and place to crash for a couple hours before our early rides came, she set me up with my ride to and from Gabs and even gave me contacts in the places I was heading. I owe her one major block of cheese and a couple bottles of wine.
Dinah’s friends picked me up at 3:30 am… yes AM. I understand the whole “we want to leave early so we can get there early” thing… but if you’re going to leave at 3:30 in the morning, should you not just go big and leave at 9 pm or something? It’s not like you’re getting much sleep in before that anyways. Anyways, no complaints here, I was lucky enough not to have my own seat in a beautiful, spacious car … so they picked me up and we were on our way. Through Dinah I’m pretty sure I met my Botswana family. In the car there was a couple who had 2 boys around my age and another woman with a couple kids my age as well. In Botswana it is very common to refer to elders (by blood or not) as Auntie and Uncle, and so these 3 people quickly became just that. After our original intro’s and some quick chit chat I dozed off… only to be awakened by Uncle Jackson yelling Africaans at me. Explaining to him multiple times that I in fact, do not speak Africaan’s, he thought it was hilarious to assume that I did anyways. Our first stop (at 6 in the morning) was at a gas station for coffee. Knowing I wanted more sleep stuck with my pear and rusks. When I got back to the car, Uncle jackson opens his trunk and offers me some hardboiled eggs, steak, chicken and some type of sandwich…. After a nice egg, a boarder crossing and some ten hours later we made it to Windhoek!
In Windhoek I met up with my second surfer Anna, who was amazing! She offered me my own room, AND a SHOWER!!! I was pretty wiped from the trip up when I got there, so after a beautiful shower, Anna and I bonded over some travel stories and spanish soaps – My heart beats for Lola…. man oh man, was this show addicting!! The next day Anna and her family took me around the city, to Zoo Park, where my heart fluttered the moment I saw green green green grass and massive trees!! I miss the Canadian woods SO much! After a short tour (too short really) I hopped on a combi to the Coast. During this four hour ride I met an interesting woman, a grade 2 teacher, a mother of two 20 years, and who was apparently, and enthusiastically, looking for a white daughter in law… The 4 hour ride was accompanied by her multiple attempts to set me up with her son. This involved taking my picture, sending it to him, texting my phone, constantly winking at me… The next few days involved me ignoring Pauline’s multiple attempts at getting me to talk to her son on the phone…and as such, this became my awkward story number 1.
Arriving in Windhoek, I was meeting up with another surfer… and shame on me for not doing my research here…. Somehow I had it in my head that the lady I would be staying with was a 31 year old mom of 2, from Britain and white….key word here being WHITE. Waiting for my ride after my arrival, and feeling a little sketched out by my surroundings, I reassured myself saying – its okay, Martha (a white mom) will be here soon… WELL imagine my surprise when Martha (who was… NOT white, NOT a mom, but a 30 year old Namibian party girl with a British accent) came strolling by in a taxi, yelling for me to get in. Note to self – pay a bit more attention to online profiles and realize they may not be 100% accurate.
Aside from all of that Martha was GREAT. She was super easy to talk to, really took me in like we’d been best friends for years… literally. All night was spent listening to Martha’s drama with this friend she was originally supposed to be spending time with in Swakop…I think I heard the SAME story, same argument and her defence, over 30 times from top to bottom (I am NOT exaggerating here.). While I am certainly grateful for Martha taking me in, showing me around the actual village community in Swakop, meeting her whole family, and sharing her bed with me…. each seemed to come with extra baggage. Meeting Martha’s family meant discussing the drama again another 10 times… sharing a bed with Martha meant that she slept diagonal (WHO SLEEPS DIAGONALLY IN A DOUBLE BED?) while I huddled in the corner, with little blankets, thankful for Martha’s body heat (her whole body was basically on top of mine most of the night). Waking up and not partaking in a bath, I got sassed hard by Martha. According to her, in Africa they shower everyday, and to not do so was just gross.. In a super hot climate, I honestly don’t know why they first thing they want to do is sit in a mega hot bath. With a little more talk about the drama between her and her friend, I was beyond ready to leave.
The rest of the weekend was full of ocean toe dips (anyone in nova see me waving on the other side of the ocean??), meeting other travellers, horse back rides through the desert, and my FAVOURITE part – sand surfing. Words can’t even describe, pictures do no justice, to just how beautiful the sand dunes are.
Some Memorable Moments:
-coming home to anna’s in windhoek and the lizard on the floor her cat, Sushi, had ripped in half…
-guinea fouls like to hang out way up in the trees
-my horse was the SLOWEST horse in the world.. but had the most badass face mask
-watching vultures pick apart a dead cow… not the greatest moments, but really cool to learn that the chief vulture will take out one eye before the rest of the pack can touch it (according to Jackson anyway…)
-the combi that literally broke down 4 times before we actually got back to windhoek
-ordering a beautiful chicken wrap where they drizzled (or drowned) the shell with balsamic… eating the whole thing, my face and hands covered in balsamic, THEN they bring me the knife and fork….oops
Here are some pictures from the trip… there are WAY more that are refusing to upload… i’ve been at it for almost a week now 😦
I do apologize for how long this post has taken me and how much is missing from it! This week Shila and I will be on an adventure to Cape Town to meet up with other Coady YIPPERS!! So the next blog will be wayyyy worth your while 😉