January 22, 2011

Counting down the hours

Once the university officially closed for the holidays, it was eerily quiet on campus. There were very few people staying at our apartments. Most had left for reunions with family elsewhere in Namibia or more distant locales. The parking lots were completely empty.

Most days, it was just the few folks left in the apartments and the security guards on campus. The professor and I started walking every morning at 6AM before it got murderously hot. The days were routinely getting up into the 90s but as the rainy season was just getting underway, it was fun to see the plants blossoming out and the neighborhood landscapes respond by turning a bright tropical green.


The professor spent some time getting ready for next semester’s courses and we spent the balance of the days running errands in preparation for our camping trip,

baking favorite cookies,

getting everything ready at the apartment, and counting the hours until the kids’ plane finally touched down in Namibia. And we took our usual share of sunset and beautiful night sky photos.

It seems that the majority of people leave Windhoek for the holidays. Builders usually stop working on projects about the 18th or 19th of December and other skilled trades people usually close for the holidays about the same time. The city grew more and more quiet in the days leading up to Christmas.

Christmas was really hot here – in the mid-90s. The streets were deserted.

We spent the day fairly close to the fan, trying to stay cool despite the elevated temperatures, making dessert for a Christmas potluck

and later, savoring a beautiful dinner with friends at a big table on a patio under the stars. Our first summer Christmas!

As we started out the door for Christmas dinner that night, our kids were just getting on an early morning Christmas  flight out of Albuquerque for their 28+ hour journey to Namibia.

Their flight was due here just before 9PM on the 26th.

We spent the 26th getting the last of the details taken care of and wishing the clock would run faster. As we excitedly left for the airport that night, another gorgeous African sunset painted the sky,

and then, at four minutes past 9PM, the best of all possible Christmas presents walked through the airport doors.

Our son-in-law’s flight didn’t arrive until the next day but once we picked him up, the family was complete again and ready for our big Namibian camping adventure together.