Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Break Part Two: Mid-service and getting Amanda

Mid-service was a blast. Imagine walking in late to your mandatory meeting with your boss. Just feeding the complex here. During breaks we were able to answer the tough questions, such as will Coke and Menthos react violently? Can you do man/man vs. woman/woman chicken fighting and jousting in the pool? Issues Dante and Nietche pondered all of their existence. A braai from the Greier’s owners and killing two poisonous scorpions. Who couldn’t ask for more! Finding out that there’s a connection between Amanda’s family and someone in my group - it's a small world in southern Minnesota.

On the day Amanda was supposed to arrive, I decided to be prudent and secure a ride to the airport early and then read my book in the park nearby. I thought I’d gotten a great hike to the airport with a guy, but apparently he left. Yeah, it ticked me off as I spent the whole morning reading “The Infinite Universe” in the park and then found out I had no ride to the airport.

Looking for an excuse for starting another paragraph about how I got a ride to the airport, and as it turns out, I got a ride from a guy from a Nama guy from the south, which is why I was able to get catch a break in the $$$ realm. Midway through our convo, he was telling me that I wasn’t really an American, but a Nama.

After waiting at THE gate in Windhoek International Airport for a couple hours, I finally got to see Amanda! I was so happy! Then she broke it to me that she couldn’t get through customs until she had an address were she was staying at during her time in contrasting, beautiful Namibia. I don’t have a street address here, by the way. The Namibian government seems to overlook important things like that - your exact location. In fact, most places outside of Windhoek don’t have street addresses.

**A quick aside: For my Emergency Action Plan, the plan of evacuation if something catastrophic should happen and we need to be spirited away, I drew a picture with the B1 (the road from South Africa to Angola) and the exit to Tses. I wrote down - drive to the yellow church (can see it from the B1), get out and yell. Seriously, I’m not joking. All you need to do here is ask where the white guy is at and you’ll find me.

Anyways, we got dropped off by Windhoek High School, a good 10-15 minute walk uphill to Jason‘s pad. Couldn’t believe how much Amanda’s pack weighted, that is until I weighed my pack on the way back to Namibia. I tried to carry hers, but she insisted to carry it.

Took her around town. Well, it’s the largest town in Namibia, at 200,000 people but doesn‘t feel that big when compared to a US city of the same population. Was fun that she got to meet two of my friends the night before we left. Now she should recognize the mental disorders it takes to join Peace Corps. I tried to cook her one of my specialties - grilled cheese. I ended up eating her food. My bad.

We took the train to Tses, as she’s taken a combi (called a dali dali in Tanzania). It’s listed as leaving at 7:40pm, but we took bets when it was really leaving. She was closer to the actual time, 9pm. Hate getting showed up like that in my own country. My second guess was spot on. It’s not like she’s a Doubles Champion of the World, unlike Gillam and I :) She did get to feel the speed of the rail service, going 420km in close to 10 hours. 420 divided by 10 = 42 km per hour. 42 kph * 0.62 miles in a km = about 26 mph. Namibia railways, moving slower than the speed of sloth!

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