July 19, 2010

Arrived, and still getting settled

Internet access has been intermittent to non-existent during our first 13 days here. That, in addition to trying to get job and home established, hasn’t afforded us much time to really sit down and compile our thoughts into a lively first post from Africa. There is still too much to talk about in one post but to quickly bring you up to date while we’re able to get internet access….
Since we have been gone,
We traded New Mexico summer for Namibian winter - mild as winters go – the lowest low is probably in the low 30’s but stays above freezing. However, our flat is unheated so come sundown at about 5:20PM and with a cloudless sky, it starts to get cold inside as well as out. Thankfully the bed has a fluffy duvet so retiring early is the surest way to stave off the cold.

The days are wonderfully sunny which literally means not a cloud in the sky all day long, not even a whisper − full sun from sunrise to sunset. Here’s a little photo essay from my kitchen window on the state of the sky over the past thirteen days:

I intended to take 13 different photos but eventually realized it was useless to do so since it looks this way every single day all day long. The only change is the angle of the sun as the day evolves. I feel like I’m living in a computer animation drawing, waiting until the animator learns to draw clouds. Someone really should look at solar power in a big way here in Namibia.
We have become accustomed to walking to the grocery store and city center mall which are about 1/4 mile away and making multiple trips to procure everything we need to outfit the flat. About 125 (non-recyclable) plastic shopping bags later, we pretty much have the flat outfitted.

We’ve mastered an entirely new approach to laundry and gratefully have
both a washer,

and a dryer.

Despite it being very different from home, we’re having a great time. The professor attended a meeting with the Polytechnic Rector and other dignitaries on the first day of classes during which the Rector said it was really cold that day because every winter, “we get these winds that shoot straight up from Antarctica”. Now, that’s a phrase we’re not ever going to hear in New Mexico!