Over two months late is better than never!
For the month of March, schools went on a two week break that encompassed both Namibia’s Independence Day and Easter (My break ended up extending to three weeks due to doctors appointments and tests, but this will just be about the two weeks of actual break and no school).
Before schools broke out for the two weeks, my school held a small Independence Day celebration a few days ahead of the actual day on March 21st. The teachers shared the history behind Namibian Independence, a lot of which I wasn’t fully aware of. So, it was a great learning experience both for the learners and for me.
After the celebration and a weekend with my host family, I headed to Windhoek for the week to go to doctors appointments and hang out with other volunteers in town. I thought that being in the capital city during Independence Day would be a really cool experience, but the city was actually quiet…dead is a better word. All of the celebrations actually took place in a different town in Namibia, so if I didn’t know that March 21st was Independence Day, I would not have known from being in Windhoek.
At the end of the week, I headed away from the capital to the coast for a seven day vacation during which I got to spend time with my grandparents! I was really happy that we were able to find this time to spend together, and I was excited that I got to show them a small piece of my new home.
We took a catamaran cruise around Walvis Bay to see flamingoes and seals, and then headed into the desert for the afternoon to drive the dunes and witness the phenomenon of the desert literally backing into the ocean.
For the rest of the time, we took it easy in town, having great food. We even celebrated my grandpa’s birthday – the first we have ever been able to spend together!
Unfortunately, the week ran out really fast and it was time to say goodbye. My grandparents headed down to South Africa while I headed back to Windhoek for a doctors appointment as well as to get ready for Wellness Weekend, a weekend during which several volunteers gathered at the Cheetah Conservation to practice wellness and enjoy a nice weekend together.
When we got back, I wasn’t able to go back to site like I had planned. I had to stay for blood tests since I was sick and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong (the eventual conclusion was that I needed my gallbladder out).
But while I was stuck in Windhoek my friend Kenzie, who is currently studying abroad in Cape Town, got to come up to visit for the week! I wasn’t able to show her my new home as planned, but we had fun!
It was an enjoyable break, even though it was very prolonged. But it ended with me rested, happy, and ready to finish out the term.