Sunday, December 11, 2011

my first namibian house party

I threw my first Namibian house party on Friday. Nobody hurt themselves or broke any of my furniture or got involved in a fist fight, so I would consider it a successful party, although some might consider vandalism and brawls to be an indication of a successful party.

I wasn’t sure how everyone would get along, because it was a very mixed crowd of blacks and whites, straight and gay, foreigners and locals, coworkers and random friends I’ve met at bars. To my relief, everyone was really friendly with each other and eager to chat with new people. Wendelinus showed up and was in great spirits, considering that he’d been assaulted and robbed shortly after being crowned Mr Gay Namibia. The male winner of the Ministry of Health beauty pageant I’d attended last week was there too, so really we were in no short supply of beautiful people at the party.

wendelinus posing with me and leio, looking much better than I am

Pinehas, posing with Mr. Ministry of Health and Freida

Pinehas, not posing with Mr. Ministry of Health and Freida

My friends from the Ministry of Health showed up, all dressed in white because they had just come from a White Party (nobody appreciated the humour of this but me). Once again, they tried to teach me how to dance, but I still sucked.

I’ve noticed that most Namibian house parties start really early – like four PM – and usually serve a delicious dinner. I tried really hard to impose my Canadian tradition, telling folks to show up any time after eight o clock, and that I’d be serving snacks. Namibian customs stuck, though, and people still started coming by at three o’ clock. Luckily I had enough food in my cupboard to whip together a Korean mapo tofu dish to feed folks. I may be Canadian, but I’m also Korean, and we never let our guests go hungry.

For the party, I also attempted to make sushi maki rolls for the first time. I’ve made kimbap with my mother before, but I’d never tried hand rolling this stuff on my own, so they came out looking rather irregular, but everyone assured me that it tasted fine. Luckily, this was the first time many of my Namibian friends were trying sushi rolls so they had no comparative basis to know whether they were good or bad, so I will take these compliments gladly.

sad sushi

The party went on till late in the night. We brought my speakers out to Dean’s porch and had our own dance party under the full moon and the street light. I discovered that a shocking number of my friends can lift their legs behind their heads. My coworkers pulled out a giant hookah pipe and smoked seesha in the corner of the terrace. we considered, but resisted the urge to hop the fence and go skinny-dipping in our neighbour's pool.

Soon as people left or passed out in the apartment, it was just me and a girl named Wi11bed0ne, sharing a glass of wine under my palm tree. She told me the incredible story behind her unusual name. During Namibia's war, her parents feared it was too dangerous for her so when she was a baby, they sent her away. She was smuggled out of the country on the back of a woman, who was traveling with another woman carrying a baby. As they were fleeing, a helicopter appeared overhead and shot the woman carrying Wi11bed0ne as well as the other baby. the other surviving woman picked up Wi11bed0ne and ran off. Wi11bed0ne was then sent to Germany, where she was raised by foster parents until the war was over and Namibia's independence from colonialist apartheid rule was won, and when she was twelve, she was brought back to her biological parents again (of whom she had very little memory). Her parents considered it to be a miracle that she was still alive, and thus gave her the name Will Be Done.

By the time Wi11bed0ne finished her story, everyone else had fallen asleep. She was picked up by her ride, and the party finally closed down around 3AM. We’d partied for a full twelve hours.