Back from Vacation!
Ok my friends, sorry to be so long since my last blog entry, but I’ve been exploring a bit the last few weeks. I spent the first few days of my travels back in Omaruru to visit my host family. They are doing well. I had a lot of fun hanging out with my host brothers….they now call me “Oci Pamela” which means older sister Pamela. They are so cute! One day we decided to hike the Omaruru mountain, and luckily there was one clear and beautiful day, as all the previous days had been very cold and rainy. The sun was shining, and they boys and I were in high spirits. Once we got to the base of the mountain, we spotted a pack, family, whatever they are called…of baboons! They were very far away from us, but as soon as we started up the mountain, they started getting closer to us! The next thing we see is the large baboon climb up a small tree and start to shake it like crazy. At this point, Nikolas started screaming like a little girl and running down the mountain. (he’s 14) The other boys and I just stood there for a second until it appeared the baboons were now coming DOWN the mountain towards us. Then we all started running back down. We decided to just hike around the mountain and head home. Perhaps we’ll try again sometime to get to the top.
The next 10 days were spent just outside of Windhoek at a lodge in the mountains. We had a conference for our Peace Corps group. It was great to see everyone, hear stories, and vent a bit about our concerns.
From Windhoek, my friends Erikka, Courtney and I hitch-hiked (we call it hiking here) down to Rehoboth for the night. I wanted to check out where Courtney lives….plus it was easy enough to find a ride to avoid paying for a place to stay in Windhoek. We’re all really glad we went there, because Courtney’s house was broken into! It ended up being 2 kids who climbed through the burglar bars!! I think she ended up getting most of her things back, because they found out who it was and the kids came over and apologized.
The next day Courtney, Coppelia, Erikka and I caught the Intercape bus from Windhoek all the way to Zambia. 20 hours later……geez, the longest busride ever! We ended up meeting a hilarious boy from NYC who was traveling alone. We adopted him into our lil Peace Corps group, as we were all staying at the same hostel in Livingstone, Zambia.
Livingstone is a cute little town. It’s much more of what I envisioned when I thought about Africa before I came….there are women walking with bags of maize meal on their head and a baby on their back. Men selling bracelets, watches, CD’s, you name it…they have it for you. There were so many people everywhere. There was a huge “crusade” going on right outside our hostel, so we were serenaded by really really bad Jesus music for 4 hours every night.
The first full day, we rode out to Victoria Falls. I was armed with my raincoat and quick-drying pants. Yeah…..I still got soaked to the bone. There was no stopping that water! It is a MASSIVE waterfall that no amount of waterproof gear you have, it’s bound to get wet! After hiking around a bit and seeing the gorge filled with rainbows, we walked over to the bridge to Zimbabwe. Erikka, Courtney, and our friend Jesse bungi jumped off that thing. Nope, not me. I took the pictures and cheered them on.
That night we did a sunset “booze cruise.” It was fun and fabulous, and yes, we were those obnoxious people we always make fun of.
Then following day we were off to Botswana for a day safari trip. I’ll post pictures so you can see all the animals we saw. It was amazing!
The final day Coppelia and I went on a microlight flight. I’ll post that pic as well. Later that day we went on a jet boat cruise, which was not my jam. It’s like a speedboat that goes on the Zambezi River. It goes right into and over the rapids, then spins around really hard and fast. I don’t know if it was the white-knuckle hold, the constant pounding for 30 minutes, or the smelly cable car ride down from the top of the gorge that made me sick. I was not feeling it. I was also dehydrated at that point. All of that equals yuck. The drive to the river was beautiful though, as we drove through 3 very traditional villages with mud and grass huts. The little kids all came running out as we drove by waving and smiling. It was incredibly sweet.
I’m now safe and sound back in Swakopmund. Appearently, I’ve missed Angelina by just minutes on a few occasions. Oh well! I’m perfectly happy to be home, even though I’m terribly broke!! I’m back to exercising and eating healthy, and I feel great. This term is looking like it will be very busy, but I’ll try my best to keep you updated. Hope everyone is doing well!