Friday, April 12, 2013

Are We Really Talking About This?

Here's a list of the seemingly ridiculous things we spend way too much valuable staff meeting time discussing:
1. How we are going to celebrate staff birthdays-- seriously, we've discussed this on multiple occasions and have yet to come to a consensus.

2. Whether the school's Independence Day celebration should be the day before or the day after the actual Namibian Independence Day-- they're were some very strong opinions on the matter. Some thought we couldn't possibly do it before because we wouldn't know what the President was going to talk about in his speech, so we wouldn't know what the theme should be. Others thought that celebrating after the fact was completely pointless.

3. Why some of the backs of the staff chairs are coming unscrewed-- one idea thrown out there was that the cluster principles broke them during their meeting because they weren't accustomed to this type of chair. It was then reiterated the next day.

4. Knock-off time on the day before Easter Break-- because 12:30 isn't early enough since that's normal end-of-week-exam knock-off time, not day-before-holiday-exam knock-off time.

5. Use of study time-- there is much confusion about whether teachers are required to teach extra lessons during study even though the answer has clearly been given as 'no, but you can if you want to'.

6. Should teachers not on study duty be allowed to knock-off at 3:15-- while everyone wants to say yes, the problem arises that many teachers get rides with other teachers and don't want their ride leaving without them/don't want to wait around for the other teachers to finish study duty. Therefore the answer was set as no, everyone must stay till 4 to be fair, but everyone complained.

7. Where the exams we are proctoring (or, to use the British term, invigilating) will be placed for pick up-- they were on a bench outside the office, but too many people walked past them, so then they were put on the floor in the staff room. However that requires bending down to get them, which is unacceptable due to the energy required/restrictions offered by some staff member's outfit choices.

Here's how staff meetings usually work: the principal asks for an opinion on something, we sit in silence for awhile, he asks again, finally someone says something, everyone else disagrees but no one proposes an alternate solution, we sit in silence some more, principles reiterates previous point, everyone argues, we run out of time and table it till later. Lather, rinse, repeat. We need to learn the phrase "executive decision".

What doesn't get discussed at staff meetings:
1. What is actually supposed to happen during study?

2. Maybe the fact that the kids aren't doing well in English has to do with the fact that all communication outside the classroom (and quite a bit inside as well) is done in Oshikwanyama.

3. What is the schedule for after exams? Are we really doing lessons or this just a "let's not and say we did" situation? If we are, what schedule are we following? What period is this??? CAN SOMEONE JUST TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING?!

4. What time we're knocking-off on Friday's during exams. Instead, I was expecting to see my grade 9 math class when a learner told me "No, Miss, we're going home. It's Friday so we're getting out at 12:30." Well no one told me...

Saturday, April 6, 2013


This morning, my grade 8s took their Physical Science End of Term Exam. I just took a look at them. They're awful. Terrible. Absolutely abysmal. And that's my good class. Sure, one or two students got maybe an 80%, but those are the kids that would have done just as well with no teacher at all. I don't even want to look at the other class's exams. I feel like a complete and utter failure.

It's not a complete surprise-- their grades were none too stellar even before the exam, but after our review session yesterday where kids were shouting out (correct) answers, I had hope that they might pull some decent marks. Guess not. I'm wonder how the scores would be different if they had had the test read aloud to them. I have a feeling (or at least a hope) that the marks would be significantly higher. But alas, that's not how it works.

I feel terrible. I am sad and dejected beyond belief. I am no longer sure that I am really serving a purpose here. Clearly my kids aren't learning anything from me, so wouldn't they be better off with a teacher they can at least understand? We found out earlier this week that our school has 5 more teachers than we should have based on student population, which from what I can tell, means that 5 teachers will have to be transferred  Part of WorldTeach's deal with the Ministry is that a volunteer should not be taking a position away from another teacher, we are supposed to be placed in schools where there is a position that cannot be filled. With five teachers having to be transferred  in my mind, that means that one teacher that should be staying here will not be, because of me. A teacher who can't reach her students. So again I ask, why am I here?

Now I know you all will say that they *are* learning from me, that just the exposure to more English is helping more than I can tell, that being part of a more student-centered classroom is extremely beneficial to them, and that I shouldn't expect miracles overnight. You may be right. But that doesn't change the fact that two thirds of my learners will fail term one-- and that's by Namibian standards, where failing means getting less than 30%. It doesn't change the fact that I feel awful.

I am tired. I am tired of giving my all to these learners and having them blatantly disrespect me in return. They do not listen, they do not pay attention, and they have told me they don't respect me like other teachers because they know I won't beat them. well they're right, so what do I do with that? Although I have never seen another teacher use corporal punishment, they do assign mis-behaving learners to do physical labor that I am not comfortable using as punishment  I was bad enough at discipline when a fair, school-wide system was in place, now, I'm at a loss. I don't even know who to talk to about it because I don't know how to tell other teachers that I refuse to make a learner sit with holding a chair over their head as punishment for not standing when giving an answer (yes, this is a real example). I don't have any ideas.

I am frustrated because I know that although I still am far from being considered a good teacher,I know that my approach is much more beneficial than the traditional Namibian style of covering a chalkboard with the summary, having the learners copy it down, and calling it a day, I am seeing that because the learners aren't used to my style, they are having a hard time learning from it, or at least retaining the information for very long. I haven't had to defend my teaching style yet, but I fee like I do have to, and wouldn't be able to, because it's not really working very well.

Ok. Well, the preceding paragraphs were written literally moments after looking at the exams, while still at school. Obviously those emotions are pretty raw. I've calmed down a bit. I emailed my Field Director, who told me those results are TOTALLY normal for first term, particularly for volunteers. He reminded me that I'm still figuring out the system and the kids are still figuring me out. They will improve, but it's a slow process. He also reminded me that it's not my job to work miracles.

I am glad that we have a break coming up, I need some time to get refreshed and re-energized  I'm planning on spending these next few weeks of exams brainstorming new ideas for next semester and trying find some classroom structure/routine that will be a bit of a common ground between the learners and me. Upon reflection, I was definitely pretty unorganized coming into this year. I didn't really know what to expect, so I don't think my expectations for them were as clear as they needed to be. Students need clear expectations, and this is multiplied ten-fold when you add in a language barrier and a completely new teaching style. I know that for the most part, my students like me, so I think that once I figure out what I want the class to look like, they will meet those expectations. (Particularly if they have the incentive of an end-of-term movie night!)

While I am still disappointed in myself for not having a more successful first term (anyone who knows me knows that I was secretly expecting near-miracles of myself), I am feeling a little bit more optimistic about the remainder of the year. I am still happy hear and loving what I am doing, despite all the challenges. I am placed at a great school, with a great living situation, and have made great friends. So the teaching is hard. Duh. Teaching is always hard, but it's what I've dedicated my life to and I still can't imagine doing anything else.

Break is coming up soon, I will be reunited with the fellow volunteers for mid-service training where I am fully expecting some rant sessions, followed by some team brainstorming to help conquer our various challenges. Then I will have a few weeks of traveling Southern Africa with my friends, and then I will be meeting my mom who is coming to visit for a couple of weeks. I CANNOT wait.

Much love to you all, especially if you stuck through and read this whole post. I really hate writing things like this where I admit I'm having a hard time, especially if it seems like I'm complaining, so thanks for listening. Getting it out into the world helped a lot. =)

Friday, April 5, 2013

From the Snow to the Sand

What did you do this Easter? I went sandboarding-- or put another way, I strapped a snowboard on my feet and went down a sand dune. Yup.

We woke up early on Sunday excited for the day's adventure and hopeful that the still dreary weather was not going to put a damper on the activity that I for one was most looking forward to. It was still drizzling outside so I called the lady at Alter-Action, but she told me it was supposed to clear up, and that the damp sand would not interfere with the boarding. Since she's the expert, we decided to trust her and at 9:30 we met her outside our hostel along with two other girls from our hostel that happened to be coming too! We drove out to the dunes and Beth, the guide, explain that while normally when the sand is dry, they use snowboards that they have refinished the bottoms of, when the sand is wet, it turns out that normal snowboards work really well because  you know, snow is wet too. We would just need lots and lots of wax.

The one to the left of the girls is the dune we boarded down.
Or, attempted to board down.

 We pulled up to the dunes and I'm pretty sure we were all speechless. It was absolutely gorgeous out there-- we were back on Mars. After taking copious pictures, we were gathered and fitted for our boots and boards, then we began the long trek up the dune. Lucky for us, the wet sand made for a bit of easier hike up than the dry sand would have. We got to the top and broke into our groups, the lay-down boarders, and those of us crazy enough to try standing up. The lay-down group was given large pieces of plywood that they would be sliding down on their bellies. We would be joining them for a few runs later on, but for now, the stand-up group hiked up one more hill to the top of our dune where we were given a super brief introduction of what we were supposed to do. I made the mistake of mentioning that I had snowboarded before which meant that my and Erika's introduction was even shorter than the rest. I strapped on my board, gathered my courage, stood up, and went.

View from the top.
Needless to say, the trip down was pretty disastrous  but hilarious to watch. I wobbly started going down the hill, bending over and touching the sand every three seconds or so, when I finally thought I had the hang of it, it stood up a little straighter and started up picking up speed. Then more. Then even more. Pretty soon I was going what felt like way to fast down this sand hill and I had no idea how to slow down. I lost my balance and ended up tumbling into the sand. Well that's one way to stop. (Actually that's the only way I managed to stop all day...) By the time I reached the bottom, I had spent most of the trip down the hill rolling in the sand, but it was the coolest thing I had ever done. I unstrapped by feet, picked up my board and began the long hike back up the dune to try it again.

 I wish I could say I became an expert sandboarder by the end of the day, but alas, I improved only marginally. I guess I'm just a girl that likes to have two boards strapped to her feet rather than one. I did get a little more confident though and even tried going off the jump! We took a brief break from stand up boarding to join the other group on the fastest lay-down run, which we got to try twice. It's basically like tobogganing on snow, and I managed to get up to 72km/h on both runs! When we had tried our couple of runs, I strapped my board back on my feet, and prepared for one more run. I went off the jump again and sort of landed on my feet-ish before immediately falling and rolling in the sand. I got back up and finished the run with a decent amount of success. I was able to make it almost to the bottom without falling again! By the time I reached the bottom I was bumped, bruised, exhausted, and COVERED in sand from head to toe but I was beaming from ear to ear. We walked back to the vans where Beth had started setting up the tables for the lunch they provided us. Fixings for sandwiches  soda, and beer. Awesome. We scarfed the food, took a couple more group shots, and then piled back into the vans to head back. Definitely a wicked awesome way to spend Easter.

After a quick pit stop at the grocery store for snacks for the ride home and food for the week back in our villages we went back to the hostel to de-sand ourselves. We took another walk along the beach and then had to go back to the Alter-Action office for a screening of our video. Oh, yeah, the whole thing was filmed/photographed and we each got a free copy of the DVD, and could purchase still shots for N$20 (about USD$2.50) each. We had a great time laughing at each of our wipe outs and picking out shots we wanted to buy, then we walked down the street to the restaurant where we met Ashley and Mailin and their friends for dinner. We enjoyed another fantastic meal at a little German pub and then headed back to the hostel since many of us had Easter Skype dates with our families.

On Monday, we spent the whole day traveling, but as usual in Namibia, even that provides a story. We had gotten the numeber of the combi driver that drove us to Swakop and had called to ask him if he would be going back to Oshakati Monday morning. He was, and we arranged to meet him at the service station at 7:30AM. Elizabeth, the manager of the hostel was gracious enough to offer to drive us there, but we couldn't all fit in her car, so we had to take two trips. I was waiting with the second group when the first came back, got out of the car, and announced that all taxi and combi drivers were going on strike and there would be no rides out of Swakop until the next day. Uh what?! APRIL FOOLS! Good one guys, you really had us for a minute (although I think we were more upset to find out it was a joke and we didn't have a legit reason to stay in Swakop another day.) Nope, the reason they were back is that the driver had called us and said he was running a few minutes late but would pick us up at the hostel. Ok, great. Well an hour later, he still wasn't there-- despite telling us he was pulling in, he actually hadn't left Walvis Bay yet. So we again piled into the car and went to the hike point to find another ride. We got another combi that was supposedly leaving shortly, but of course, it was another hour before we finally left. At 9:30, we pulled out of Swakop and were on the road. It was nice getting to see the scenery on the way back, since it had been dark most of the ride in, we hadn't seen any. A few hours into the ride, we even saw a giraffe on the side of the road!! But  I didn't have my camera out, so no pics, sorry. I'm pretty sure we scared the other riders though when we all shouted and jumped up at once...whoops. The ride back was much more comfortable that the ride there; the seats were a bit wider and the music wasn't up quite as high. We were treated to an African remix of Gangnam Style (even worse than the original) and a remix of N*Sync's "This I Promise You". The seven of us performed a full on sing-along in the combi and at this point everyone else on the ride was convinced we were crazy. Whatevs, they're just jealous. We got back into town around 8:30, and luckily for me, TK had been in town and because he is the best housemate ever, he waited for me to drive me back home since there is no way I would have gotten a hike that late. Note to self: make sure you get back earlier next time.

Well folks, that's all for the Swakop adventures! I'll probably have another post soon about the craziness that is End of Term Exams. Till then,

For the full Swakop album, click here.

Cold and Wet in Africa

Now, I've never been to Mars, but I imagine it looks like a
slightly redder version of this...
Saturday morning we woke up early because we were heading to Walvis Bay, another town about a half hour out of Swakop, for a dolphin and seal cruise around the harbor. We got in the taxis and drove out of town, where I swear we were transported onto Mars. The sheer vastness of the desert and dunes was beyond anything I have ever seen, or could even imagine. Even though it was a dreary, rainy, morning, the view of the ocean on one side and towering dunes on the other is something that will forever be burned into my memory.

After another stressful cab ride to the wrong location, we finally made it to the boat that would take us out on the harbor. Now, I was expecting a large, whale-watching type boat, but what we found was a much smaller speedboat that we were cramming 20 people on. It had started to rain and the tarp creating a roof was not large enough for all of us. I was seated in the back of the boat which meant I was also receiving all of the spray back. I had forgotten my rain jacket in Onmutai, so needless today, I was soaked through my jeans in a matter of minutes. It was a pretty cold and miserable ride that we ended up cutting short because of the weather, but we did see some pelicans and some seals. 

Oh hai!
One of the seals even came right up into the boat so we could pet it and take pictures while our guide told us a bit about them (did you know they descended from bears?). We dubbed him Namibia's Next Seal Model and became best friends. We also got to see an old shipwreck on the beach, and on the way back in, a thunderstorm started moving in over the water, so I got to see some spectacular sights of lightning striking the ocean near the shipwreck. Unfortunately my camera was buried in my (sort of) still dry pocket, so I didn't even attempt to catch that photo.

Once back on (not-so-dry) land, we were treated to a snack of various meat-filled puff pastries, oysters, crackers, and champagne. After a bit of a wait and another case of mis-communication, we got a ride back to Swakop where we all took much needed hot showers and changed into dry clothes before heading out to get a bit more food and do some more exploring of the city.
There's a reason it's called the Skeleton Coast

There is a tower in Swakop that offers amazing views of the city, dunes, and ocean that had been closed on Good Friday that we were anxious to check out. We headed to the supermarket to get some food, and on the way walked through this little pedestrian area where I actually literally forgot I was in Africa for a bit. There was a bookstore with an outdoor cafe, a German bierhaus  boutiques, and even a movie theatre! With a quick check of the showtimes, we decided to come back for a movie (probably out only one of the year) after dinner. We  found an adorable little Italian cafe with delicious coffee and ate a light lunch. At this point, I had started to really not feel well, so I left the group to head back and try to shake whatever I had before dinner. The rest of the group was going to check out the tower, but it turned out to be closed and they returned to the hostel not long after I did. We all ended up climbing under the covers and napping until dinner time. I still wasn't feeling great so I decided to stay in for the night to try to get better before sandboarding the next day. As much as I would have liked to join the girls for dinner and a movie, it was nice to stay curled up in bed with the wonderful cast of The West Wing and get some much needed rest.

Swakop-- aka "Is this still Africa?"

Because Namibia is a very religious country, Good Friday and Easter Monday are official holidays, which for us meant no school! We decided this would be a perfect time to visit Swakopmund, a cute little city on the coast. We had heard it can be a bit of a money pit, so by giving ourselves three days there, we would limit the amount of money we could spend. We met up after school on Thursday in Ondangwa and after a bit of confusion, managed to get a combi that would take us all the way to Swakop that night. It was supposed to leave at 3:30, and given an 8 hour drive, we figured we'd be in around midnight. A little late, but at least we would have all of Friday to spend in Swakop and not on the road. Well as with most things here, things did not go exactly as planned. We didn't leave Ondangwa until about 6:30, and with all the pit stops we made along the way, we didn't get in until about four in the morning. Yup. You did that math right, nine and a half hours in a combi. Woof. The seats were about 3/4 as wide as a normal seat should be which made for a very tight squeeze. Add to this the Oshiwambo hip hop that was playing at ear splitting volume the whole ride, and what you have is pretty akin to torture. Oh well- all part of the adventure. We made it to Swakop at 4 AM and someone said, "well at least we made it here!" We shushed her, saying that we weren't done yet, we still had to find two taxis to take us to the hostel, and at 4 in the morning, Swakop wasn't exactly bustling. We managed to find two taxis to take us pretty quickly, but moments after pulling out of the petrol station, our drivers announced that although they had just told us they knew where the hostel was, they in fact didn't. We had an address, but knowing nothing about the city, we were all pretty lost. After an eventful cab ride which almost included a roadside baby delivery, we made it to the Skeleton Coast Backpakers. The woman there was extremely sweet and met us at the door despite the fact that we woke her up in the middle of the night. We were let into our room where we climbed into our beds and snuggled under the down comforters. Yes, in Swakop, it was actually cold enough for a comforter. My New England heart was happy!
Wait, is this Maine?
State house
We awoke the next morning after only 5 hours of sleep excited to explore the new city. After a nice breakfast, we headed out to walk around and enjoy the gorgeous weather. Swakopmund is a small city on the coast where the German influence is still very strong.
The architecture is a fascinating juxtaposition of modern, geometric homes, and old Bavarian style architecture. The coastline is pretty rocky, and very reminiscent of the Maine coastline I am so accustomed to, but then the streets are lined with cement brick pathways and palm trees that looks much more like what I would expect to see in Venice Beach. Our eyes were constantly beholding new sights and I greatly enjoyed all the juxtapositions. We could hardly believe that this surreal little town was located in the same country as our homes in the north. There were some times when I would have to stop and consciously remind myself that I was still in Africa and had not Apparated to a seaside European village., it's Germany!
Looking down the pier
We walked along the beach to the center of town and enjoyed the smell of the ocean air-- I had forgotten how much I missed that smell. It was amazing to put my feet in the water and know that it was the same body of water that I swim in back home, except this time, instead of knowing that the Spanish shore lay far over the horizon, it was the Brazilian shore that was on the other side.

Could have come from Maine
After getting our beach fix, we made our way to the Swakopmund Museum, which had lots of cool artifacts showcasing the history of the city. Once again, the German influence was extremely evident. Most of the exhibits featured the history of the German colonists, and any mention of the "native peoples" were in separate exhibits. We checked out the gift shop and purchased a few postcards to send back home (I even managed to find one single postcard of Ovamboland-- two palm trees next to an oshana. We got a kick out of this, so I of course bought it.) We left the museum and after a bit more exploring, found a cute little cafe to eat lunch in where I had a Hawaiian Quesadilla. Mmmm, Mexican, how I've missed you. Downtown Swakop was exactly like a little German village complete with shops and cafes (even a Starbucks impostor) but at the end of the street, you could see out to the sand dunes in the desert beyond.
You're not fooling us, fake Starbucks!

We walked to the end of long pier to get a clearer view of the sand dunes and go into full tourist mode and take more pictures. We were stopped by a bunch of random people who wanted to take their picture with us. We almost expect this in Oshakati where we are pretty much the only white people, but it was a surprise to get it here too where not only are there a lot of white Afrikaners, but a lot of tourists too.
Dunes from the pier.
After stopping in a restaurant to make dinner reservations, we headed back to the hostel and grabbed a blanket and some speakers to go lay out on the beach for a while. It was the perfect temperature in the sun and none of us wanted to get up, but we had a reservation to make.

Oh wait, no, it's Venice Beach.
We got a little dressed up and headed to dinner, where I had the largest plate of BBQ ribs I have ever seen (I needed quite a bit of help to finish it!) and then we did a little bar hopping. I think the strangest part of the whole evening was the sheer amount of white people we were surrounded by. We're used to being the only white people around in the north, but here, we were back in the majority again. It was nice going out in the city, and we met up with a few of the other volunteers from the Kunene Region that we hadn't seen since our Epupa trip. We headed back around midnight to once again snuggle in our beds and get a good night's sleep before our early morning harbor cruise the next morning!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Camping on the Kunene

Ok, it's been another busy couple of weeks so I'll post a few blogs about them, starting with two weekends ago when we went camping along the Kunene River on the Angolan boarder. So here goes:

View from the pool. How cool is that?!
A friend of the one of the volunteers has a house on the Kunene River up near Ruacana Falls, so on Friday, we all met in Ongwediva at their house there, packed up all our gear into their bakkies and headed out for the two hour drive to the river. It was a nice ride (we were in the king cab of the roomy, air conditioned truck-- luxury!) and the landscapes were beautiful. There was one moment where you go up a hill and on the other side, instantly, the entire landscape changes from mostly flat with the occasional tree to hills and hills of greenery. It was really quite spectacular.

Anyway, we got to Jan's house on the river and then drove up a very steep hill (making your driveway look like a bunny slope Christina!) the ridge of the mountain where we were able to enjoy the amazing view from the POOL! On the ledge. Wicked awesome. When it started to get cooler (and our stomachs started to grumble) we went back down to the house to start the braai. Of course, braaiing takes about 4 hours, so we didn't actually eat until almost midnight, but it was well worth the way because it was, as usual, delicious. We passed the time while the guys cooked by playing a travel version of Apples to Apples where you actually have to come up with the nouns/adjectives that start with the letter of the die that you rolled instead of getting them on cards. It was a lot harder than it sounds. We did help with dinner a little-- if you were ever wondering how many Americans it takes to make a Greek salad, the answer is 6. When dinner was over, we set up out mattresses out on the huge porch which overhangs the river, hunted for crocs in the water with a giant spotlight (we could see their eyes shining on the opposite bank, but no actually sightings) and then fell asleep under the stars.

I've decided to transport this
bathroom back home with me

The next morning, we had a nice breakfast, again cooked for us by the guys (they really do spoil us) and then we began to pack up our things and drive a little ways up the river to Johnny's camp where we would drop off some things, and pack up others for our hike. The camp was beautiful, and as odd as this sounds, I fell in love with the bathrooms. They had a really cool outdoor-shower-y feel (probably because they were...) and I took a picture because I sort of want the bathroom in my future home to look like it. There was also a really cool bar area made out of really large tree trunks. The area around the camp was a striking mix between desert and jungle.
Lots of tall trees with twisting branches and vines hosted a handful of monkeys that were swinging around the campsite, doing their best to hide from our view, yet the dry sand and thorny brambles were a vivid reminder of just how dry this country is. We relaxed for a bit at the camp, killing time until the hottest part of the day had passed. After divvying up the supplies, we hoisted our packs on our backs, were handed homemade walking sticks from Johnny's crew, and we embarked on our 4 hour hike along the river.

At first we were walking through lots of open fields in the hot sun, but eventually this gave way to more of a rocky gorge along the river. It was scorching hot, and the footing was a little precarious  but it felt sooo nice to be getting some exercise and enjoying the views that we didn't mind at all. Pretty soon our water bottles were empty, so we stopped at a place a long the river with some swift moving water to fill our bottles and take a dip without worrying about the crocodiles. We had to anchor ourselves on some rocks so as not to be swept away by the current, but the water was nice and refreshing, and I was reminded of swimming up at Livermore.
Our camp site.

We eventually had to get out, dry off, and move on so that we could make it to our camp site before sunset. After another couple of hours hiking, we found a little beach-y area along the river that we thought would make a perfect resting place. We filled up our water bottles again and began to gather firewood and set up our sleeping gear.
Mosquito nets + rope = perfect sleeping
under the stars
Instead of bringing tents, we each brought our mosquito nets and we tied a long piece of rope between two trees to hang them from. We cooked another delicious braai over the fire and then spent another night sleeping under the stars and listening to the rushing of the water over the rocks.

It was so cool to wake up the next morning, on a beach, looking out over river to the Angolan mountains on the other side.

This is what I woke up to.
After a nice breakfast of fruit, coffee, and left over meat, we packed up the campsite and headed out for the last (short) leg of the hike to where we would meet one of Johnny's workers who was bringing the truck to drive us back to the camp site.

Oh hai there little guy!
As much as we enjoyed the hike, we were all thankful not to have to hike back in the midday sun. We arrived back and Johnny's camp and explored a little while the guys cooked lunch. I got to snap some photos of the monkeys and Kristin decided to be adventurous and take the little kayak (with a broken rake as a paddle) into the croc infested waters.
After another amazing meal, we packed up the trucks one last time and drove back to Oshakati to prepare for the week ahead. Luckily, it was going to be a short week due to the long Easter weekend and we all had our Swakop adventure to look forward to. That's all for this post. Check back soon for "Swakopmund-- aka: "Is this still Africa""

Love from Namibz,

Also, for more pictures, check out the whole album here.