The Big City

This week I’ve been in Windhoek the capital of Namibia.

My time here has mainly consisted of driving around, screaming in sheer fear and horror at the four and five lane monstrosities, getting lost (many times over) and managing upwards of 20 minutes in a shopping mall before having to go and sit in a darkened room and recover from over-stimulation.

I’ve also been “orienting” myself at the Ministry of Health and Social Services head office so meeting and chatting with various IT bods. It’s good to see life is the same the world over, offices full of semi-functional kit only the technician knows the status of, servers that nobody dares reboot and having to take circuitous routes around the office avoiding certain hot spots where the inevitable shrill cry of “eyeee-teeee” will go out as users stampede complaining of “go slow”.

In between I have also been transporting various (much more senior than me) people here and there (getting lost many times over in the process) and calling into the VSO office (where I am now in a secluded corner leeching their internet).

It turns out here in the big city people don’t always greet each other walking along and you’re regarded as a bit strange if you stop and say “Hello, how are you?” to nearly everyone you pass on the street. Tsk these city folk.

Back to donkey carts and dust on Friday. I’m also looking forward to being back somewhere there the direction “the green house” really is enough as you can just climb the hill and look for a green house (small hint to my colleagues – in Windhoek it is not enough to just give me the colour of the house, I need turn-by-turn directions and ideally someone standing on the roof with a flare or signal rocket).

Did get a chance to see a couple of local vols though and catch up with my good friend H who is settling in nicely at Katatura and loving every minute (“What do you mean you can buy fruit every day? What witchcraft is this!”). We also (thanks to the Namibian approach to Health and Safety) climbed up onto the roof of Katatura Hospital last night and saw electric lights stretching to the horizon. Crazy.

Oh and also caught up with VSO staff and received a parcel from home – the very first one sent back in February, dated through customs this month – which I had given up on.


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