Sometime in November, my fab Peace Corps boss Linda phoned and requested a favour: could I bear a roommate for a few months? PC volunteer H. needed a new work site due to some security concerns at her location, and the transition would require some time, during which Linda wanted H. to live and work in my town. I'd do a lot for Linda, but H. is delightful and the house is plenty big enough for two, so it was no hardship to say yes, of course.
And then take off for permagardening workshop, and then H. went to Windhoek, and then we both started traveling for the festive season, and what with all these various things, we barely saw each other until the end of January. A few weeks later, she was packing up and getting ready to go. Her new site is a good bit north of us, and in between is volunteer A. in Khorixas, so H. decided she'd spend a weekend there on her journey, and I decided I could use another dose of Khorixas, so off we went.
|Serious water outside Outjo|
A. had a site mate in Khorixas, and he had a girlfriend a region or two east, and H. had two future site mates in Opuwo, and all seven of us PCVs converged on this small town on more-or-less Friday evening. H. and I hiked to Otjiwarongo without too much difficulty, bought the groceries and connected with a Namibian friend of A's who had offered to chauffeur us to her place. Ka ching! and boo-ya! We scooped up D. and N. in Outjo or thereabouts, and drove through a streaming, mind-blowing downpour. After four or five years of drought, Namibia had a decent rainy season in 2017, and this was one of the more remarkable bits of it. We had to stop at one point and carefully negotiate a short stretch of flooded roadway, so we chatted briefly with a farmer out inspecting the damage the water had done his fencing. He told us they'd had about five centimeters of rain fall in an hour, washing away some of the post-holes.
|Not even a river, just a flood. A very temporary one.|
The rain stopped completely about 20 kilometers from Khorixas, and our driver, B., who is a geologist working to identify likely locations for mining of rare-earth minerals, laughed as he related tales of Khorixas's continuing drought being attributed to the poor morals of its residents. "People say it's because of all the fornication there," he said. Later I heard someone else blame the high prevalence of lying and drinking in the town's people.
|No imminent danger of flooding in the 'xas, but they held|
their phones and wallets up crossing the riverbed, just in case.
Pity the livestock, but clear skies do make a braai easier, and that's how we started the weekend. As PC volunteers, we're never really not working - we try to serve as good role models for financial and physical health, and lifelong learning, and anytime I'm out in a community, I'm probably doing some kind of English teaching, and trying to create a good, and accurate, impression of the USA and her people with anyone I meet. However, we didn't have any formal work to do this time. So we cooked, and walked about, and played ridiculous games like Paranoia and King's Cup or Elevenses or whatever it's called. And when the sun got fierce, we stretched out at the lodge and napped a bit.
|And tourist-gawked at the adorable donkey carts.|
Donkey is also a popular entree in this area.
We also talked about ridiculous things, in ridiculous shorthands, like A's crazy cat Clementine, who is a mighty hunter and has killed scorpions, bats and many rodents and birds -- many of them in A's flat. And the poop toilet -- her toilet doesn't flush well, so she and guests used to have to cross the Ministry complex's courtyard to the public toilets when the urge to poop came upon them. However, her next-door neighbor had recently moved out, and on this visit we got to use the toilet right next door instead! And it contained the murder mattress where H. and D. slept -- no need to ask, right? Also Khorixas sauce. I dunno about that one.
|Working up an appetite for dinner.|
|Feast in the 'xas. With sauce.|
|An enthralling, even bedazzling, game. I don't recall which one.|
A. snagged me a free ride back to Otjiwarongo, and from there I hiked home with a businessman from Swakop, who warned me a bit too often about the dangers of hiking, but was otherwise safe and sane. Score!