Second Thursday evening in my new home town. Although the clocks are definitely ticking somewhat different here I am surprised about thinks I’ve done so far. The first day Markus and I spent some time (and gas) to have fly-screens installed at my small house. Just to give you an idea of how simple such a task is:
- driving one hour to the ‘Benz’ (I’ll give that hardware store its own thread:-) close to Oshakati (without killing a donkey or goat – another thread…)
- finding standardised fly-screens (without getting killed by Benz employee falling down from a high rack – SUVA would love it) and ensuring that also the small parts are coming with.
- driving back (without getting killed by a cattle)
- getting a saw (we wouldn’t make thinks to easy). After we lost 50 NAM$ for a 10min job (a lot of people make just 500 NAM$ per month here) at a local ‘tire repair shop’ my neighbour Alex (a policeman) was able to find a saw at some other ‘repair shop’ a bit out of town.
- customizing and installing the fly-screens. That took Alex, Markus and me another two hours.
- next day – service in return: I gave Alex a ride to his home village, ’10Km’ out of Outapi (the GPS V tracked down 35km for one way – half of it real off-road terrain:-).
Between step 2 und 3 I was also able to have Markus SUV stuffed with a lot of the things needed to build up a household from scratch. At the ‘Game’ store in Oshakati (only two exists in Namibia – the other one can be found in Windhoek) you’ll find a lot of things a westerner needs. For food the Namibian branch of ‘Spar’ is the place to be. On last Wednesday I attended one day of the annual review conference of my Ministry where I had been officially introduced by the director Ms. Nghipondoka – lunch break and small talk with some of the staff included. Markus then left Outapi on Friday. I did another supply run to Oshakati with a stop over at the UNAM Ogongo Campus (faculty of agriculture and natural resources) where I bought a couple of trees. Thanks to my neighbour two of them have already been planted. Damn, the name escapes me, fruit trees for sure. Other milestones reached are: I got a P.O Box and have a Debit/Visa card from Bank Windhoek.
My small house is located in a newly build up neighbourhood. The house is nice and clean – but probably to small for three years in Outapi. Well, Outapi: locals told me that – thanks to the ’08 decentralisation directive – a lot has changed. It now has three ‘supermarkets’, a ‘furnmart’ (furniture store chain), countless ‘mini-bars’ and one hotel (80’s communistic party style). More a ‘functional’ Africa than a ‘fancy-exotic’ one: a somewhat monotonous landscape (of course there are exceptions, e.g. Ruacana), a dense population and a lack of infrastructure. Due to that just a few foreigners can be found in the Omusati region, all of them working for NPO/NGO’s in Namibia or Angola. In Outapi it’s Penny O’Brien (VSO UK / Ministry of Education – unfortunately she is going back home next week) and Kei Ogata (Japan International Cooperation Agency / Ministry of Youth). A (Another?) Peace Corps volunteer is coming into town next week. Tourists are virtually non-existent.