Yesterday was basically a driving day to make up for the time when the truck broke down. We did stop at a little place where on one side of the road was a brand-new Shell gas station and a café, and on the other side of the street was a scary craft market. The people were desperately begging us to buy their handicrafts.
I got to ride up front with Almon because Joseph was in Chuck, which was limping along with us to Windhoek to get repaired. Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, looked green and modern enough and even though a number of us thought it was cocktail hour, we instead went on a rainy tour of the city. It was interesting and we really couldn’t go anywhere because both trucks were at the repair shop.
Our guide told us about his life and the situation there in Namibia. It’s not too good for almost anyone there. The country has few natural resources and those that they do, like oil and diamonds, are still owned by South African companies, so all the benefit leaves the country. Historically, the tribes of Namibia got along pretty well. Then for centuries they were invaded and pushed around by Westerners. Namibia became a colony of Germany and taught everyone to bake streudel. I think that was the only positive thing Germany did for Namibia. After WWII, Namibia became part of South Africa and was called South West Africa. They imposed apartheid. The Germans and the South Africans specialized in isolating and alienating the tribes from one another so they were less likely to band together to overthrow the colonizers. After a bloody war, Namibia gained independence in 1990. The country is basically in tatters still with an appallingly bad education system and very little infrastructure outside of Windhoek and Swakopmund. The bad blood between the tribes continues to this day. Read more about Namibia here.
Finally, we got to our hotel about 10 miles out of town. The Heja Game Lodge was really nice but as usual, we arrived after dark. Our room was nice and basic. Think Motel 6, but it was sparkling clean and had a cable TV so we were not complaining. We had a delicious dinner in the restaurant and we all got to order off the menu, which was a treat. I had my fav fish called Kingklip, Jen had a steak and many others ordered game. The portions were huge! Our main was served with potatoes and veggies. We had a sendoff for Sven and Diana who would be leaving us the next day. We all loved them. They were so cute and loving. They called each other, “Amor!”