the trouble with being an expat in a faraway country is that the friends you make come and go all the time. It's kind of the Eurofriends mentality that Douglas Coupland spoke of, so maybe that makes it a bit easier to deal with the people constantly appearing and disappearing and reappearing in your life, but it still takes a lot of adjustments, and reminding yourself that you can see the friends you've made as little dots moving all over a world map, which is kind of neat to envision.
Last night we said good-bye to Tshuka, our friend from the Congo, who is moving to Paris for his post-graduate studies in mining law. He's a recent law school graduate from UNAM and he's kind of amazingly brilliant. He has his own radio show, runs his own law magazine as the editor-in-chief, and his thesis on the introduction of jury trials will be published in the Namibian Law Reports because it was deemed to be the best thesis of the year. And he's only 22! I certainly was not that accomplished by that age. I can't wait to see what he gets up to in Paris. Besides being cold and seeing snow for the first time, that is, as we keep teasing him about his first trip out of Africa. We gave him our bittersweet farewell by cooking him a Thai curry noodle dish at my place. It was his first time trying Thai food, and he seemed to like it. It's nice that no one seems to have gotten food poisoning from my food yet. He told us we're not allowed to have any parties after he leaves.
Sunday was K's last night in town. K is one of the coolest gals I've ever met. She's younger than my fiance, but she was a pilot in the US military and flew in Iraq and Afghanistan for six years before deciding to do a masters at Georgetown and then get into the prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship Program and come to Namibia on behalf of the Pentagon. Really, there's nothing you can say to her that would be impressive, because she could easily respond with, "Child, I flew our boys into Iraq." She doesn't actually say that, of course, because she's modest, sincere, and seems like a perfectly normal girl. But she could say that.
Anyway, for her last day, we decided to join the Hashers on their hike to the Waldorf School area just outside Windhoek. Although once we got there, we found out that K still hadn't packed yet, so she was going to skip out on the hike and join us for drinks aferwards. Oh well. It was a lovely hike. I'm not sure why it's referred to as the Waldorf School area though, because I never actually saw the school. Just a lot of wilderness.
a view of the Waldorf school area. with no school.
just a dog, running into my shot to do his business right there.
This was an interesting route because it took us through the wilderness that is Namibia but also through parts of Auasblik, one of the small neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Windhoek that is under construction. The juxtaposition of suburb and wilderness (and construction junk) was a pretty neat sight.
auasblik, off in the distance
auasblik under construction
the route also took us to a couple of serious looking fences, but you know that never stops me.
note the sign.
I love the exercise and socializing that I get from these Hashes, but i especially love one particular Hash tradition: sake stops.
enjoying Hector's homemade sake
I also enjoy the post-hike rituals of Hash tradition: car bars.
Afterwards, we went back to Hector's place in Ludwigsdorf for more beers, pork, and of course, one last Hash ritual for the Hashers who would be leaving us: chugging beer from pisspots (I am not making this up)
A final Hash tradition was to give our departing members a Hash name. A number of inside jokes we had made us want to give K a bunch of crude names that I won't repeat here since my relatives read this blog, but we ended up giving her the name Savanna Dry, after the delicious Southern African cider and another inside joke.
i'm not good with good-byes, but I'm sad to see K go, as she goes back to the States to go work for the Senate (because she's awesome like that). I feel like after you get together to fight a horde of angry baboons with nothing but your bare fists and a rock,* you really share a bond with someone. I'm going to miss that girl.
*some exaggerations may have been made