September 10, 2010


Of Air

There's a funny phenomenon associated with the haze over Windhoek. There is so much dust in the air these days, lights throughout the city literally twinkle every night, their light reflecting off dust particles – it’s like living in a Disney storybook animation. I keep expecting the most twinkly lights to develop faces and burst into little songs echoing out over the city. As spring has begun in earnest, the winds coming from the desert must fuel this ever present haze of suspended dust.

The haze wasn’t here when we arrived in July. The air was clear most every night and the city lights, a steady yellow. Last night, a windy (and rainless) front came through with high winds from late afternoon all the way through the night. It didn’t blow out the dust, just exchanged it for new dust. However, while it was barreling through, the dust was moving so fast, the lights couldn’t reflect off of it. You can’t tell from this photo, but the lights were still again just for a while.

City lights in Windhoek, September 9, 2010

The haze does suit photographers however as sunrises and sunsets can be stunning.

Sunrise over Windhoek, August 22, 2010
Sunrise over Windhoek, September 8, 2010

Sunset over Polytech, September 5, 2010

Of Earth

We were working on our laptops in late afternoon a couple of days ago. The only sounds in the flat were key clicks and jazz from the iPod. In the midst of our work, there was a short, very muted rumble and the building seemed to shudder a bit. We both looked up and said, “What was that?” The professor speculated that someone dropped a wheel barrow load of ceramic tile on a floor above us where tile is being installed. We didn’t think much of it until the next day when one of the professor’s students remarked that another professor told her there had been an earthquake about 45 miles north of Windhoek.

Of College Professors

Now that daylight saving time is in effect in Namibia, the professor is once again getting up in the 5AM darkness and into the shower before light. The other morning, just as he turned on the light to get into the shower, bees were buzzing around the light fixture adjacent to the shower. He tried to shoo them out of the same window they came in (no screens on any windows here) but there was no diverting them. As there is no second shower in this flat, he had no alternative but to go ahead and shower, bees and all. They ultimately deemed him uninteresting as compared to the light fixture so he was thankfully able to complete a stingless, but apprehension-filled shower. These are African bees after all.