The flight back to Windhoek was incredibly surreal. We were both extremely excited to go back to the country that we called home for a year, but also a little anxious as to what would await us there. It was funny to contrast the feelings of landing at the airport this time compared to the first time. In 2013, we were nervous, scared, and excited--not entirely sure what we had gotten ourselves into. Seeing the barren desert surrounding us had many of us wondering if we had made the right choice. This time though, Abby and I couldn't help but do a dance of excitement on the tarmac, squealing "we're back, we're back, we're back!" to the confusion of the other passengers I'm sure. We got our bags and rented our car. When the guy showed us which one was ours, we were very pleased at the souped up sporty car that awaited us. After driving very small, very temperamental cars for 6 months, Abby was excited to have something with a little more pickup and that shifted smoother than the others. We knew it would make a huge difference on the gravel roads.
We drove into Windhoek and tried to navigate to our friend Rachel's flat. We had an address that I had put into Google maps, but when we arrived, we weren't sure we had found the right place. Neither of us had internet access on our phones. so we had to use an old fashioned map (gasp!) to make sure we were at least on the right street. After confirming that, we drove up and down it looking for the right number. We found it and approached the gate, only to realize we didn't know what flat she was in. Wow, we really hadn't thought this thing through. We ended up buzzing the manager's flat and his son told us where were could find Rachel. We found her place and then commenced yet another round of squealing, along with lots of hugs. We had a brief catch up session before Rachel had to go tutor, so Abby and I decided to test our memory of Windhoek and head over the mall to get somethings that we needed. We made it their easily and felt an overwhelming sense of familiarity as we walked in. After wandering around feeling nostalgic for a bit, we got the things we needed and headed back to Rachel's where we enjoyed a glass of wine on her balcony that has an amazing view of the city. The night wasn't over yet however, as Rachel informed us that our friends at the backpacker's that was our home away from home whenever we were in Windhoek were having a braii, and the best part was they didn't realize we were in town! After getting some meat at the store, we drove over. Man, driving through that gate really did feel like coming home. Another round of very surprised hugs awaited us inside and got our braii on while reminiscing about our year in Namibia. It was good to be back.
Next up-- Spitzkoppe: Revisited