Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'm on the road (email from Amy)

OK this is a quick note because I'm in an Internet cafe and I'm paying by the minute. Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm on my way. I cleaned out and defrosted my fridge (can't afford to leave it on for a month while I'm gone) I spread lovely toxic roach killer all over the kitchen (not that I think it will kill the roaches, everyone knows that cockroaches are unkillable, I'm just hoping that it will keep them from breeding into giant mutated roaches the size of tennis balls in my absence.)

I packed up my stuff and then I left to make the 400K trip here on the back of an open bakkie (small pickup) at noon yesterday. The teacher I was going with lent me her head wrap and I covered my face and neck, but I still got a whopper of a sunburn, and I got stared at by a lot of tourists (this road is the main corridor from Otjiwarongo to Etosha or Opuwo, so there are always giant land rovers with South African plates passing you, and whenever they see me packed neatly on top of a couple of suitcases with a black man and a small boy, they do a double take).

Anyway, I made it safe and in one piece to O-warongo and I'll be here until tomorrow. Then a bunch of us hike down to Windhoek and from there I go to the Mid-service conference, and then home. It feels really strange to be travelling with so much luggage. I've gotten really good at packing everything into my hiking pack with everything squished down to a little larger than an average backpack, and now I have a full hiking pack, large unwieldy suitcase, and my laptop bag. I feel like I''m another person.

The last leg of the Principal's farewell ceremony went well. At one point Mr. !Narubeb insisted that I must learn a Bushman dance (He's San-otherwise known as bushman.) I did and it mostly consisted of complicated stomping patterns accompanied by a sort of high pitched coughing sound syncopated to the rhythm of the music. Unfortunately it then descended into a discussion of whether the Damara stole the Bushman''s land (The Damara are the second oldest immigrants to Namibia, and it's my personal opinion that if the stealing happened more than 2000 years ago, and if the land has subsequently been stolen by every other immigrant to this nation in the mean time, then maybe it would be wise to just let it slide.)

That led to a complicated discussion of whether Mr. !Narebeb was really San, Bushman, or Ju'/Hosan (a clan of the San. From what I can figure there are two main clans--the other is the Xun-- and they are about as different as the Nama and Damara, with similar, sometimes violent tensions. The Ju'/Hosan look more like the Damara than what you typically think of as San--more black Bantu features.) It was quite a discussion. After that I snuck off to find a bedroom to sleep in and was awoken an hour later because there was a big Bull elephant nearby and they wanted to make sure I hadn't wandered off. Then I headed home.

Overall a fun time, although, of course, very sad to be saying goodbye. Well, I'll be seeing you all very soon. Lots and lots of love

Take care

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