A few weeks ago, the other Oshana girls and I decided to go visit the three volunteers in the Kunene region, in a town called Opuwo. I was really looking forward to a trip out of Oshana and to seeing the other volunteers, especially after a tough week at school. Friday came and I was anxiously counting down the hours until school ended so I could hitch a ride into town and meet up with the girls. We still didn't know how we were getting to Opuwo (about a two and a half hour drive) but just as school was ending, I got a text from one of the girls saying that if we could all get to Oshakati by 3:30, we had a free ride! It turns out a friend of Ashley's was driving back that way and offered to wait and take us in his bakkie. Cue the start of our incredible luck. We all made it to Oshakati on time, Louis pulled in, and we piled in his truck (along with the cement mixer he was transporting back- is this real life?).
|Kristin in the back of the|
bakkie with the cement mixer.
|View driving into Opuwo.|
We had a lovely meal and chatted about all that had happened since we had departed to our sites. The girls told us that although they had hoped to take us to Epupa Falls the next day, our ride had to work, so it looked like we wouldn't be going. We were bummed, but knew it just meant we would have to come back. After eating, we walked through Opuwo to the Abba guest house where we would be spending the night. The guest house was really nice, and also owned by friends of Ashley, Taylor, and Mailin, and they gave us a great rate on our rooms. We dropped our stuff off and got changed, and then piled back into Louie's bakkie to go to the Opuwo Country Lodge for drinks. The lodge was incredible; situated on top of a hill that over looked the mountains, it had an infinity pool that offered a fantastic view. We had a great time hanging out, and got to know a few more friends that the girls had made in Opuwo, as well as a Peace Corp volunteer that knew another PCV that had come with us. We also found out that Louis had offered to take us all to Epupa the next day. Our good luck strikes again! We had a few drinks, looked at the most incredible night sky I have ever seen, including a full view of the Milky Way, and then went to bed.
The next morning, we got up early and went to the grocery store to get supplies for the weekend. We bought some food, and had breakfast back at the restaurant, including the first real cup of coffee I've had in over a month. (This shouldn't make it as high up on my highlights of the weekend list as it does, but I know at least some of you understand!) We loaded all of our camping supplies into the truck and piled in once again for another bakkie ride.
|About to embark on the ride out to|
|Our beautiful campsite. See those mountains?|
There really are not words to describe how absolutely incredibly beautiful they are. Not even the pictures can do it justice. Kids were washing clothes and playing in the pools that gathered off to the side, the blue sky, red sand, and green grass created a gorgeous backdrop to the sound of the water roaring over the rocks.
We climbed around, snapping pictures and just soaking it all in. I sat on a rock in the middle of the falls, with mist spraying my hot skin, just looking and listening to everything around me, and once again had to ask "is this real life?" I could have stayed there forever.
Eventually I removed myself from my perch and walked back toward where the kids were playing. Erica had met some and was busy taking pictures of them at their request. I walked over and said hi and started talking to some of the girls. Then they were pointing to my hair and asked me to take it out of the ponytail. I did, squatted down, and immediately was encircled by a flock of hands who all wanted to braid my hair. I sat there laughing as 6 pairs of tiny African hands pulled my hair into random braids. Soon, everyone started heading back to the campsite, so I managed to get my head away from their hands, thank them for their handiwork, and walk back, sporting quite the 'do.
|The line of falls from the lookout point.|
Once I felt my plans for the next day were solid enough, I collapsed into bed, exhausted, but also energized for the week from the fantastic weekend. It's amazing what a good weekend can do for your spirit, and we decided that we would try to do something fun like that at least once a month if we could. It was so nice to seem some of the other volunteers again, and to see a new part of Namibia. This country is so beautiful and diverse and this weekend just made me more excited to see the rest of it! I wish that I could bring you all out here and show you, but I guess the pictures will have to do.
Hope everyone is enjoying the snow (you have no idea how jealous I am) and any days off it may have given you! Till next time,
Lots of love,