Posts Tagged ‘a to z of the nam’

A-Z of My Nam; part three

June 16, 2011

The thrilling final instalment of my self-indulgent and entirely unoriginal A-Z of my Nam experience:

S is for Serra Cafema, destination of a truly amazing adventure through mountain passes, crossing sun-scorched expanses of desert and navigating by dead reckoning and luck.

S could also be for sunsets – they are really rather spiffing here, especially in the dry season (9 months of the year) when the dust kicked up during the day means the whole sky turns purple and pink as the sun goes down.

T is for Travelling, something I’ve thankfully got to do quite a bit of – for work, for VSO or just for fun.

U is for Unbelievable, which is what it is anyone would offer me (me!) the chance to come here and get paid (me!!) for messing around with computers. It’s also half the stuff that happens (nobody will believe you about the bizarre stuff that happens in the Nam).

V is for VSO, the organisation that kindly decided to send me, despite my obvious shortcomings (as some sort of charitable act in itself I suppose or just to save the UK), to Namibia for a couple of years. The VSO staff in-country are great, tolerate me amazingly and even laugh at some of my jokes (another post on VSO Namibia staff later I feel).

V could also be for Victoria Falls, not really in Namibia but close enough you know, pretty impressive. Also V could be for Vastness. The country is vast, everything is vast; the landscapes, the sky, the temperature difference, the change from dry to wet season and back again to name but a select few.

W is for Winter, which though you wouldn’t expect it is bloody brass monkeys especially this year. Freezing my nads off in sub-Saharan Africa between the tropics! Ridiculous.

X is for X-Ray, the film used to fashion an anti-scratching collar for Mr Cat after half his head fell off (really). As you can imagine Mr Cat was anything but impressed with all these goings on but my scratch wounds have now almost healed.

Y is for Yanks, they’re bloody everywhere between the Peace Corps and numerous evangelical/missionary sorts. Neither group have managed to save my soul but I’m still holding out hope even if they’ve given up (quitters!).

Z is for Zebra, it’s like a horse but stripy. Oh and has a stripy mohican which is in the same black/white pattern as its body. Nice. They’re also, well, hung like Zebras which is pretty darn impressive and a source of much astonishment until an elephant whapped his out in the background. Made my eyes water for poor (or lucky?) Mrs Elephant. Also fun to tell the Yanks the correct pronunciation according to English. Proper English that is.

I am away. Or maybe just asleep. Either way not actually posting this now now. This p**s poor effort was pre-written and scheduled for publication during the NID period. Look at me all Raymond Chen but without the skills, followers, ability or human decency.

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A-Z of My Nam; part two

June 15, 2011

Continuing my poorly thought out and worse executed list-me-whatsit:

J is for Journey, a word used in the sick-inducing phrase “The Volunteer Journey”. A little bit of me just died within.

J could also be for John, a PCV IT vol who espouses only the best values of the Peace Corps and the USA. And also looses to me at poker. And Battlefield 1942. But an all round good egg with an interesting take on facial hair, hygiene and mattress sanitation.

K is for Kunene, the mighty, vast and diverse region which I roam over breaking computers hither, fither and yonder. We’ve got rivers, desert, trees, grass, animals, desolation and everything inbetween.

L is for Lion, the animal I failed to see for a long time here (over a year). Other new volunteers would turn up, go to Etosha two weeks in and see lions juggling their cubs whilst chasing a kudu down at the same time. Thankfully my luck changed eventually and I saw me some lions.

M is for Mountains, especially the ones I keep having to drive over or thread my way through on various Ministry of Health missions to far-flung corners. Pretty though, especially the Zebra ones in the north.

M could also be for Ministry of Health and Social Services, my erstwhile employer and curer of the sick.

N is for Namib, the huge desert stretching all the way up Namibia with all it’s different textures, landscapes and seasons. It is a ‘proper’ desert in that it’s how you’d imagine it (in fact a lot of filming is done in the Namib because it’s more like people imagine the Sahara than the Sahara actually is). Certainly it’s a damn sight more ‘proper deserty’ than the Kalahari.

O is for Opuwo, the dusty little frontier town I call home. It’s a funny funny little place but with a chaotic and dirty charm all of its own. Oh, Opuwo!

P is for Penny, sage guide in the ways of the Nam, quality shebeening compadre, good friend and jolly good fun.

P could also be for Peace Corps, the sworn enemies strategic partners and drinking buddies of VSOs.

Q is for Quartz, pretty much all we found on the supposedly diamond and agate encrusted beaches of Luderitz.

R is for Rhino, who have visited the waterhole at night each time I’ve been at Etosha. Yet to make a daytime appearance for me though. Impressive beasts.

I am away. Or maybe just asleep. Either way not actually posting this now now. This p**s poor effort was pre-written and scheduled for publication during the NID period. Look at me all Raymond Chen but without the skills, followers, ability or human decency.

A-Z of My Nam; part one

June 14, 2011

Yes that’s right I am going to rip off invent a totally new blog-meme of doing A-Z lists about something. Look at me awesomely experimenting with new media forms and all the possibilities of informal cross networking and social media. Comments remain disabled.

So here is the first of three thrilling instalments of A-Z of My Nam:

A is for Amalia, my amazing boss at the MoHSS and a good friend who has helped me endlessly, taught me loads about Namibia and the GRN and stopped me from making an utter fool of myself more times.

A could also be for: Anika or *A*W*E*S*O*M*E* (Peace Corps mantra)

B is for BOLLOCKS, the word I have probably used most often as I’ve messed up or electrocuted myself and luckily unknown by most people here as a swear word.

C is for Condor, my mighty steed which took me safely around the highways and byways of Namibia, Botswana and Zambia only eating one gearbox and catching fire only a single time.

D is for Dangerous, a favourite word and description of most situations/people/events by the Opuwo PMO and also my description of a large number of activities I’ve undertaken in Nam.

D could also be for Diane or Daniel (two other Opuwo Brits) or the Dutch (as in “run for the hills, the Dutch are coming”)

E is for Elephant, my favourite animal here and (so far) nearest cause of animal-related demise.

E could also be for Erwin my Dutch neighbour, all round good sport and first VSO to join me in Opuwo after a year on my own. He was only slightly put out by my traditional attire of a Himba lady.

F is for “F**k It!” my personal VSO mantra used in different circumstances and with different emphasis but most often as in “yeah it’s probably a stupid idea but f**k it, what’s the worst that can happen?”

F could also be for Fish River, a place where more than ever I used my personal mantra.

G is for Giraffe, one of the most graceful and common animals I’ve seen around these here parts.

H is for Harrison, my most excellent Kenyan brother and guide to the wonders of Opuwo.

I is for Internet which I would be lost without. Lolcats, Kitlers, Rick Astley videos, german grumble flicks, email, facebook and of course not least for work (I can only fix things that have a clear description of the solution in the first page of a google search of the error displayed – yes I am ace).

I am away. Or maybe just asleep. Either way not actually posting this now now. This p**s poor effort was pre-written and scheduled for publication during the NID period. Look at me all Raymond Chen but without the skills, followers, ability or human decency.