A Namibian Desert Awaits

I usually am late when it comes to posting about adventures that has happened whilst I take this journey into self awakening and manifestation.

One of the lands I have dreamed about growing up thinking of the vast continent of Africa as a little girl were the coastal countries influenced by colonialism that plagued their history and their independence and finally the local charisma and culture that still thrives into its future.

Namibia was one of those countries that caught my eye that survived with a third of Zambia’s population in a desert location that is also coastal with incredible game parks and safaris. Animals here are the animals you think of when you think of Africa, coasting desert skylines, bare watering holes that have a  season of its own, and sleeping under bushes and trees to escape the heat and sun.

It was an adventure seeing it for ourselves as we walked around Windhoek for the first few days. As Volunteers, we have more confidence as travelers hoping for local culture and exposure, not really wanting any luxury or tourist locations unless we have a craving for treat yo self kind of mentality. So we searched out local  talent and music shows that is present in this capital city. I was expecting a lot more nightlife but this city turned quiet and unsafe as soon as the sun went down. We expected more from this city but the great finds we encountered were a surprise.

Singers of the area sang of freedom, representation, and the beauty that surrounds them. It was powerful being surrounded by people of color from all areas of the world listening to lyrics that show the strength of people still trying to recognize their own voice and their own beauty.

Driving was the next challenge. Driving around in a small car was not smart, i agree but for two people who decides to rent out lodges or camp spaces on a cheap way. We stocked up on food and meat as well as snacks for hours of driving on sandy roads and gravel while we played music.

Traveling up north we passed Omaruru where we spent time at wood carvings and souvenirs. We slept at Uis and then drove the wrong way for an hour, delaying our whole day. We went to the petrified forest and saw mica, iron oxide, and silicone replace every living cell in fallen trees making them last over thousands of years. Later that evening, we got a flat tire causing us to be strong and realize we may be stranded with low gas in the heat with no strength. Luckily, immediately a car came by and saved us. We had it in the bag with just time but hey, they did it due time. We race to Twlfyontein and we were late but with some rushing and begging, we joined the last tour guide. In some beautiful landscapes, we saw incredible engravings with deep symbolic meaning to the people of the area.

The heat of the entire day soaked in. I was sick for four days already and nothing in my body told me I was truly enjoying everything. Except the beauty that surrounded us all day. Except the chance to breathe in an air that was different even though it is a neighbor to Zambia.

Come to Africa, because in one breathless week, Namibia has taken away my words. Wonder what the entire continent would do for you?

 

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Malawi Travels

Malawi is a beautiful vacation spot for many volunteers. After training however, we decided to hitch a ride all the way to Chipata and stay there for a night before we take a cab to the border and then a minibus for the eleven of us all the way to Nkhata Bay.

That’s the plan at least.

Except to hitch a ride you have to wake extra early for the distance you want to travel.

So we woke up at 5. Even though we were packing and working till four.

We reserved a minibus for eleven of us to get us to the edge of the city and hitch a ride from there.

We arrived all tired and exhausted and we took a spot on the road and spaced out. Unluckily we got a truck to give us a ride but we would have to sit on the bed outside.

A good idea. Wrong execution.

Fast winds dreading my hair.

Rain and stupid tarp not solving any of our problems.

Driver who agreed to 150 for all of us actually used the excuse that since my friends are white, they should pay 150 per person.

We got him to seriously see how rude that was to six girls who have been living in Zambia for way too long to be tricked or confused or even pushed like this. Volunteers have hitched from one corner to the other for free.

Then we reached the Eastern house where we all collapsed into a nice shower and a comatose state until we woke up again at night for a cab. There we set off again. With more people asking for money just because of how we look.

But we got to the border and safe to say, we got out passports stamped. Unluckily, it went not the way I expected but let’s not hash that story.

But we got into a minibus and sang christmas songs to our driver as we pulled up to white sand beaches and Lake Malawi larger than the country it was named after.

Beautiful.

We slept the whole day. What do you expect?

Second day: we went to the town and enjoyed not being harassed and wearing American clothes. What a border changes between countries is astonishing.

Third day:

I went swimming with everyone on this deep lake. And we fed fish eagles with fish we bought and they dove down and picked them from the sea.

Fish eagles live in families but also mate for life. So they always live relatively close to each other. Especially nuclear families. We got to see a father or mother teach four of their chicks how to dive and fish.

Then we went snorkeling and I can’t swim. But I got my goggles and dove under with rocks to hold onto and there I saw a big gray blue fish. It opened its mouth at me and dozens of baby fish swam past me. I was so surprised I didn’t realize my snorkel went under the water. It was beautiful and I swam quickly up only to return.

The lake was full of life and incredibly beaming of blue green clear water and you can see way far in the distance even underneath. The day ended with sunbathing and crystal water soothing my feet.

We ate Morrocan food with couscous and lamb as well as fried banana with cilantro and vanilla ice cream. Yes, I said cilantro.

Our Christmas was filled with food that tasted too amazing and filling. I can’t even begin to start talking about this feast cause it was good.

Our Malawi trip ended after a few more days of sun and heat and water when our embassy friends told us they will give us a ride ALL the way from Malawi to the capital.

I’ve never had an unsnowy christmas but this Christmas. This Christmas showed me how much of this world I might be able to visit, witness, and experience in the next two years of service.

Zanzibar, Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique?

Who knows.