Tuesday, June 19, 2007
This is Africa
We had a great week in Namibia although we wondered why the plane was landingout in the desert without any civilization in sight. Our flight got us intoNamibia on Sunday afternoon. We breezed past the passport checks, picked up our luggage without delay and only had a problem when we got to the Avis rental car desk. They had given away our scheduled car because we weren't there to pick itup at 8 am. Well, our flight didn't even get in until after 2 pm so how could we have picked it up in the morning?? We have a popular saying over here whenever something goes a little haywire, "This is Africa!" It was appropriatefor this moment. We eventually were given a little green Nissan to drive and we were off toWindhoek...47 kilometers away. I think they want the city to grow towards the airport some day.Namibia is a desert country reminding us a bit of Utah...instead of scrub oak it had plenty of small thorny trees all over the hills and valleys. Our trip upto the northernmost border was fun because we had to slow down for wart hogs running across the street and children walking on the roadside going home from school. We got many smiles and waves. We saw ostriches, springbok, gemsbok andmany colorful birds. There were hundreds, possibly thousands, of termite mounds all along the way, the picture shows how tall they can be. Sorry to say your dad killed two birds, two spiders (not so sorry) and about five jokes on this trip! We were taken to one of the bore holes sites that will be drilled next month. Two pictures were taken in this area, the one with your dad, Mr. Mpareke and Mr.Livingi, and a curious villager and the other with the lady carrying water intwo containers. Those poor women have to walk so far to get that dirty water out of the river and then they also have to be careful because there are crocodiles and hippos in it. The site for the borehole is surrounded by many little villages with huts built of sticks and grass. The remainder of our trip was spent in Windhoek visiting government leaders and non-profit organizations to see if we can be of assistance to the people ofNamibia. Our best contact was with the manager of the hotel where we were staying the last three nights. Once she found out what we were up to, she offered the hotel's used blankets, bedspreads, curtains and bags of soap that could be used for children's homes or the poor. We have put our Public Affairs Person onto the task. The last picture shows some of the circumstances that thousands of people live in...the structure to the right is an out house and this one is in better shape than most we saw. It absolutely breaks your heart to see the humble conditions of these people. Give everyone our best, tell Ashton that we wish we could hear his talk Sunday and we are proud of his decision to serve as we are of Cade.