Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Break Part Five: Back in Africa on Holiday

The flight back was a little more comfortable because I got to have two seats to sprawl out. I left snow-covered MSP at 8:15am on Jan 1st and landed in Jo’burg at 6pm on Jan 2nd. My Gregory Palisade pack weighed around 26kg (about 62lbs)! The bag limit was 50lbs on Delta but I think flashing my Peace Corps passport helped them look the other way. On the flight I finally got to see Little Miss Sunshine. It actually made me laugh out loud. The humor appeared to escape the people seated near me. Was able to sleep the remainder of the flight time.

After getting the shaft from Gemini Backpackers (the owner there must have a split personality disorder and I got the bad one) I chose to stay at a backpacker place near the airport. Met a guy and his girlfriend from Sweden, who correctly identified that I was from Minnesota. Apparently there are more Swedish immigrants living outside of Sweden than there are current Swedes in Sweden.

Flew out to Windhoek the next morning. As it happened I was on the same flight as Sandra’s brother Eric, aka Nerd or Version 2.0. I got kidnapped by them and forced to endure hiking Brukaros, Seseim Canyon and the sand dunes of Sossusvlei, spending some nights in Swakopmund, a stop at Omaruru Rest Camp (remodeled and sweet looking!) and camping at Waterburg Plateau. It was torture, I swear!

After a quick stay in Windhoek to pick up the school computer from Schoolnet and to catch up on the first six episodes of Lost Season Three, I took the train back home to Tses. Was lucky enough to snag a sleeper car. About 10k from Tses the train broke down … for FOUR hours. I woulda hoofed it but I had the server computer along with two backpacks.

Fortunately the parents kept their children in line so they weren’t running up and down the sleeper cars, screaming bloody murder. Then I awoke from that blissful dream to children screaming bloody murder up and down the sleeper car isle. A good book and an iPod helped me pass the time.

Finally at 10:00am the train got going again. On at 7:00pm Friday evening and off at 10:14am. Amanda thought her train experience was slow? I did text Waldo asking for them to send the PC helicopter to rescue me. Alas, it didn’t show.

Well, that was break for year one of PC. While at home I got a lot of questions about what I’m going to do after this year. I have few ideas but frankly I haven’t moved on any of them yet. We’ll see how the first few months go before starting anything.

Anyways, this should be an interesting start to year two. I’ve already been told that I might have a classroom this year. That’s strange as we had enough classrooms last year for me and we’re starting this year off one teacher short, waiting for the Ministry to assign a replacement. Something’s rather fishy here and we’re so far away from any body of water.

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I did not proof any of these postings, so please ignore any spelling or grammar mistakes!

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