Still alive and well in Windhoek! So much has happened this past week- but I’ll do my best to catch you all up. As mentioned, the week before last, we had a series of engagements with people in Windhoek that Jan knows through her time here as a Fulbright Scholar. On Thursday, we had pizza and watermelon at a beautiful home in Ludwigsdorf , a posh neighborhood. Jan made the dough and a friend and colleague of hers fixed up a variety of toppings. The best part of that evening though, was watching the sunset from above the house. Many pictures were taken.
Then, Friday night, we attended a braai with another of Jan’s friends and colleagues and their family who live very near UNAM, and also have a lovely home complete with a pool and a dog named Lucy. We very much enjoyed the water (a couple girls bought large squirt guns in preparation) and playing with the dog since many of us have been missing animals back at home.
My favorite part of this outing was likely the food. Jan’s friend had emphasized that this would be a small braai, and we were all getting hungry from our exertions in the pool. Never to fear- once burgers (and veggi burgers!) got started, the toppings and side dishes kept appearing on the counter of the thatched-roof, outside cooking area that has a particular name beginning with an L that escapes me at the moment. Anyhow, between burgers, grilled pineapple, veggie kabobs, salad, and chocolate chip cookies (brought by Jan), we were all very happy campers. Both events also included a number of very friendly and welcoming individuals that I hope we interact with again throughout our time here.
Saturday and Sunday were predominantly rest days for me (nearly over my cold now!!) but on Sunday evening, we had a lovely picnic dinner at Daan Viljoen Game Park and discovered that evening is a MUCH better time to try to see animals. Couldn’t quite catch everything on camera, but here’s a small piece. I also had some fun editing these with the new fancy phone (first smart device as a Christmas gift). We saw many animals this time around including wildebeest, zebra, oryx, red hartebeest, and kudu, but our highlight of the evening was our first giraffe, first a group of four and then one alone and very close to the road where we were driving.
Overall, it was a pretty chill weekend with some fantastic animals at the end. Sometimes walking on campus (especially when I was carrying a couple large boxes of recycling from Emona to large bins on campus on Wednesday) I tell myself that I’m a giraffe. They are tall and super bizarre looking, but they just mosey along gracefully and do their thing without a second thought as to whether anyone else things they look or walk funny (also relatively carefree at Daan Viljoen as there are no predators there…).
Anyhow, that’s all for the moment- I’ll write soon about my crazy week of REU applications, nurses starting clinicals (surprise!), not quite applying for classes, and a wonderful weekend on the coast.