Namibia (West Africa)

April 21, 2011 - Walvis Bay, Namibia

Before arriving in Walvis Bay, Namibia we had lectures describing this part of Africa which is about the least densely populated area in the world.  There is desert, dunes, sand and it is dry, dry, dry.  Some years they get no rainfall whatever and the average is less than 4" in a year.

During the night there was thunder and lightning - almost the first we've had.  Yesterday morning it began to rain.  We went off on our day trips - Bruce to a village that was built and occupied by the Germans (still is today to a large extent) with a Bavarian atmosphere;  I to a township -  to take a walk around the neighborhood then to visit the Chief of the tribe (86 year old woman), the Medicine Woman and then to have lunch in a "bar" which the local cook stayed up all the previous night preparing for us.

It rained.  It poured.  It was torrential.  It was the first time in 20 years they'd had so much rain.  It was coming into the houses through - of course - the cardboard roofs.  The dirt streets were mud.  It was pretty awful.  A lot of people left to come back to the ship but those of us who are intrepid stayed and did it all.  Yes, we had fried caterpillars for lunch.  Lisa asked what they taste like and I said "a lot like grasshoppers - crunchy".  The kids in the township were adorable, and without ever asking for or expecting any $$ they took our hands, wanted us to take their pictures, wanted to see their own images.  They were like kids everywhere playing games and being silly.

Last stop was at Dune #7 - the largest sand dune in the world.

Quite an amazing day and as one of the lecturers said, "once in a lifetime experience" - but Bruce said one visit to Namibia was enough for a lifetime.  Oh by the way in case it sounds familiar, it is where Brad and Angelina went to stay, to have their baby.  She made a movie there.

Next stop will be in 3 days :  Lome, Togo. We just had a presentation on the possible day trips there.  Voodoo ceremonies seem to top the list.  Interesting-sounding place.  We are back on our Malaria Pills, before Togo and Ghana.

Happy Easter everyone !

xox, C&B

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