3 months left. Where did the time go? Last week my return flight to Canada was confirmed and it really hit me; it’s ending soon. Looking back on my time here in Windhoek, Namibia, it’s easiest to split it into a few broad segments; the rain, the games, the cold, the car and the visitors.
THE RAIN: When I first arrived, it was hot, it rained almost every day, and everything was brand new. I began playing soccer with a men’s team, I was trying to hail taxis and not look too out of place, and I was generally learning about the way of life here. It was an enjoyable time and I was too busy to really realize that I was living alone in Africa and didn’t even know the equivalent of ‘911’.
THE GAMES: Before I knew it, the three major games were upon me (African Youth Games, Commonwealth Games, and Youth Olympics). Life consisted of the Zeus management system, obtaining and writing out passport information, meetings with National Sport Federations, clothing procurement, and generally trying not to confuse the three games and its participants. Sometimes the hours ran late in the office and I found myself working on weekends to meet deadlines.
I managed to take a break and do some scuba diving in Zanzibar, Tanzania with some friends in the midst of all this. All the CSO’s were able to experience part of the African Youth Games in Botswana as well and this allowed us to experience the fruits of our labour firsthand.
THE COLD: Somewhere during this hectic time, the cold began. This meant I was forced to wear pants (the horror), it was freezing in my house at night, and my Skype conversations usually began with someone questioning why I was wearing fleece in Africa.
My time was spent inside on the computer and I wore a jacket to the office, in the office, and then again home at the end of the day. Interestingly enough, others living here in Windhoek experienced a completely different winter. Those who spent time outside experienced 2 degrees in the morning, 22 degrees at midday, and then cold again at night. Once I started coaching the Girls Youth Olympic Football Team, I was able to enjoy the sun’s rays as well and this changed my whole view on the winter here.
THE CAR: Towards the end of winter I made the decision to purchase a car, things got monumentally easier, and I still can’t believe I didn’t do this six months ago! The biggest changes are in the little things you wouldn’t even think about when living at home; now I can get groceries after dark and go to the gym when I want. The experience of purchasing one’s first car (especially while abroad) is a lengthy and unforgiving task and I am quite proud to say I accomplished this all on my own.
|La Digue, Seychelles|
THE VISITORS: I have recently entered a new phase; the visitors. I was fortunate to have my family visit after Easter, but now the friends are beginning to come. Technically the visitors started almost two weeks ago when the bats and others that were hibernating in my ceiling over winter woke up! Since then, I’ve met up with my former boss from CGC who was here on business, some university friends are currently here with me, tonight my fellow CSO from Lesotho arrives and I am looking forward to receiving more people soon.
As I have less than three months left in my placement and things are beginning to wrap up in the office, I have had time to plan some exciting travels with friends. This past weekend we drove to the German coastal town of Swakopmund where we kayaked with seals and tried our hands at sandboarding. On Thursday we will be leaving for a two week vacation to the Seychelles and Cape Town. Once my placement wraps up in early December, I’ll embark on a few more adventures before returning to Canada just in time to celebrate New Years!