Monday, November 21, 2005

Day 14

Day 14 (Written 21-Nov 19h30)

Finally a day to ourselves! As if we were afraid to forget it, we constantly reminded ourselves all day with greetings of “Enjoying your day off?” and random transactions starting with “I’m so glad we’ve got the day off”. Needless to say, it was a good day.

Activities ranged from hikes to the large mountain that’s somewhat close to camp (perhaps 10 kilos), morning runs, many went to Church, treks into town (mostly to the Sand Dragon, but others went to the store and ATM), football, soccer, many card games, and one group even took to making their own Risk game board and pieces from scratch; they used rice as armies, very cleaver. There was, of course, lots of laundry and cleaning. Some even formed study groups for language lessons (not I). But most, joyfully waddled around camp and town, joining whatever activity that seemed the most interesting at the time. It was a wonderful day.

Stories of note: A group of ten went into the location (location=inner-city that’s outside the city) for Church. They were asked to come up before the congregation to introduce themselves. The patrons of this church were mainly Darma-speaking, a smaller language group, so most of the volunteers introduced themselves in either English or Afrikaans. One, Mike, is studying Kwai-Kwai (Darma, with the clicks) and introduced himself in that language. The congregation were said to be visibly and audibly impressed with this, many releasing gasps of delight and excitement. Afterwards, the group was asked personally by patrons to “please return every Sunday!” What an experience.

I also got the Internet Café going again. It ran for four hours of the day, and I ended up making $20 from the deal. In the past, I gave the extra to the camp, which they put in the donation jar at the front. This time I kept it, figuring that four hours of my day off was worth at least $20.

I rounded the day off with a night walk out of town to see the stars. Several other groups had reported that this was quite an experience, and so it was. A small group of us walked the half-mile down the main road which quickly turned and lead away from the lights of Omaruru. Soon enough, stars could be seen in multitudes, however few constellations were recognizable. Mars and Venus were easy to pick out, but the real show was the huge thunder storms hundreds of miles off, flashing chains of light across a quarter of the landscape. Several large meteorites paid us a visit before we had our fill and returned to camp.

Site supervisors arrived Sunday night as well. These are our counterparts for the assignments we will be working on over the next two years, but we won’t meet them until Monday.

No comments: