Friday, September 16, 2011

settling into Namibia

We’ve been trying to navigate our way through the city these past few days, and there is just way too much to talk about! We also have the difficult task of trying to figure out who is being friendly (lots of Namibians are very friendly) and who is trying to scam us (our guesthouse sign reminds us that this country has a 40% unemployment rate, so some folks have to be creative about earning cash). Our experiences so far have been quite positive. We’ve also met up with some of the folks we’ll be working with at our organization, including a British guy D and a German woman E. Last night we went back to that NICE restaurant. Allison and I had gone to the adjoining bar the night before and were excited to try out the main cuisine. It’s definitely one of the fancier places in town (without getting to country club level fancy) but I really enjoyed the fact that you could try some great game dishes, even if they were served on fancy white square plates. E had the leg of springbok; I had oryx loin, which, yes, I ordered solely for its name.

oryx loin with delicious accompaniments whose names i don't know

But let’s be fair. You don’t want to hear about the fancy restaurants. You want to see pictures! Of Namibia!

there is a lot of desert here, as you might imagine.

Zoo park

There is an interesting monument here erected by the Germans, celebrating their defeat (read: massacre) of the Herero people who had tried to fight the colonialists. Interesting.

more of Zoo Park

I basically chose Namibia for its size. It’s bigger than the state of Texas, yet it has a population of only 2 million, with approximately 300 000 of them in the capital city, Windhoek. This makes Namibia the second least populated country in the world (after Mongolia). I’m fascinated with the idea of so much space. I was also interested in living in a city that had a fairly small population and yet served as the cultural, social, and political centre of the whole big country. It makes for an interesting looking downtown, one that is clearly lively and busy without being annoyingly crowded.

So far the only American chain store that I recognize here is not McDonalds, not Starbucks, but KFC. which is giant here. there are so many jokes I can make about this, but won't.

beautiful Windhoek...and KFC.

This is where I am going to be working:

more pictures will follow once i figure out how to not pay for internet!

I found this store in downtown Windhoek. It makes me miss home, a little.