Meeting and interacting with local people is always an important addition to the overall impressions of the country. In case of Namibia I'll have wonderful memories. I didn't have a chance to make friends or spend time discussing some important issues, but those short moments of exchanging a few kind words and smiles were very frequent and I managed to record some of them on my camera.
I hardly ever take pictures of people without their permission. It should be a point of each traveller's etiquette - people are not part of the landscape. When you ask them they usually agree, at least in Namibia.
Photo one - that young girl holding a baby was standing with a group of friends next to a shop in Bethanie. We started talking to them and it turned out she was a young mother. She looks so beautiful with her baby daughter.
Photo two - We met this young woman with her son also in Bethanie. The boy looked so cute in his wollen cap that we asked them to pose for a picture.
Photo three - We bumped into this lady several times while walking around Swakopmund. So when we met again in the supermarket we burst into laughter and I asked her for a picture.
Just a few smiles and words, but I will remember those people for a long time.
Meeting children is one of the things I love. Perhaps my teacher's soul doesn't leave me even when I'm on holidays? Besides, children are so easy to approach. They have no inhibitions and are curious to get to know someone from a foreign country, even if verbal communication is very limited.
So here are the photo recollections of some of the kids met in Namibia:
Photo one - the boys from Bethanie. What made us curious was a very simple car toy the boys were playing with. When we expressed our interest, the boys proudly posed for a photo.
Photo two - school kids in Swakopmund. When talking to them I remembered the school children I met in Cambodia. The ones here, in their clean uniforms and with fashionable school bags, look much more lucky.
Photo three - the little boy met at the Herero stall proudly showed the big sun glasses presented to him by some tourists
Photo four - Himba kid. The kids we visited in their village seemed to enjoy playing pranks on us - like leaving traces of their ochre-coloured hands on our clothes.
I love to learn and under the different cultures and try to act as they do in the country. Not only does it gives the Namibian a sense of pride for their culture but also it breaks down walls that they know you are trying to be like them.
I try to blend in, but not doing a good job though.... I wonder why?
We visited the black township of Mondesa, while in Swakopmund. Most of the following info is from their brochure, which is accurate!
Hata Angu Cultural Tours, operated by Michelle Lewis
To contact, call Michelle at
+264 081 1246111,
+264 064 462721 (FAX)
The tour starts with a visit to either the late Damara Chiefs' family, or to Naftalene, who teaches about Herero culture and tradition. You continue on foot through Mondesa, to chat with the locals.
IF Mr Stanley Witbooi is available (note...he WAS for our visit), we are welcomed into his home to learn about herbal medicine.
Then, we hope back into the car and drive out to the Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC). The DRC itself is known of as "the reception area", where people live in temporary shelter, waiting for houses to be constructed. However, DRC residence is unfortunately becoming more permanent.
On daytime trips, a local creche (kindergarten) is visited.
On evenings, we share a cup of tea at the home of Ernst and Elsie. Ernst is an eccentric artist/engineer/entertainer. He is self-employed and paints t-shirts, mostly for children.
Next, it's time for a drink. You stop at a local shebeen (unlicensed bar) for a beer. (see "off the beaten trail") Next, you move to a traditional Ovambo hut for a local meal of mopane worms (not so great, truthfully..), mahango (millet), ekaka (wild spinach), omaluvu (traditional millet beer), amakundu (beans) and last but not least, Tasha's spicy BBQ chook (chicken). (GREAT!!)
Lastly, you are honored with the presence of the dance troup, the OBS street girls. They perform traditional dances. They are wonderful young ladies and very talented.
(Please see the attached photo)
At this point, you'll be returned to your hotel.
Fondest memory: The entire tour was great, but I especially enjoyed the time we spent with Ernst the artist.
We discussed everything from life to art to music. He was, among other things, a big Bob Marley fan. We all spent a lot of time singing Marley songs and sipping mint tea.
Favorite thing: What I will never forget of our visit to Namibia is HIMBAS village trip. What a charm and extraordinary people!