Die gedruckte Version der OutapiTimes wird voraussichtlich erst Ende Januar in den Briefkästen der ‘Abonnenten’ landen. Für Ungeduldige gibt es sie daher schon jetzt als PDF. Die Redaktion wünscht viel Spass beim Lesen.
Usually it’s Ethosa for the bigger animals apart from donkey, cattle and goat. For reptiles it seems I am living in a pretty good spot. At least two geckos are part of the house (cleaning) inventory for quite a while. Outside after the rain the small guys definitely have taken over. Unfortunately the same goes for their bigger, legless counterparts. Fortunately they are camera-shy and gone a few seconds after you have encountered them.
During the last two nights Outapi received quite some heavy showers. I’ve been talking to people and everyone says that it is quite unusual to have such intense rain during the ‘small rainy’ season. Hopefully the thing stops soon otherwise we will have a tough next year: as mentioned in one of the previous posts many Oshanas are still filled with water which means that the capacity of the terrain to absorb new water is still limited. The same goes for the drainage system that had been installed last year at our parking space outside the office: basically not working at all as the picture shows.
On the way back from Oshakati Saturday night I realized that the Hilux’s odometer reached 260’000km. Would have been time to celebrate. Neither the vehicle nor the driver are drinking alcohol. Therefore we skipped the party at night. Instead the Hilux got a special treat Sunday evening from me: five liter of Toyota’s finest 75w-90 oil for the gearbox assembly.On the way back from Oshakati Saturday night I realized that the Hilux’s odometer reached 260’000km. Would have been time to celebrate. Neither the vehicle nor the driver are drinking alcohol. Therefore we skipped the party at night. Instead the Hilux got a special treat Sunday evening from me: five liter of Toyota’s finest 75w-90 oil for the gearbox assembly.
Although I am really happy with the Raider and did not have any major problems for the last 30’000km I drove the maintenance is time consuming and becomes more expensive the older the car gets. Biggest issue in the North is the lack of reliable mechanics: the only garage I trust is based in Ongwediva. Bringing or leaving the car there is always a hassle. Doing the maintenance on your own with a good manual is not rocked science and queuing up at Cymot has become my favorite Saturday morning activity. But the trouble comes in when you’re back at the monastery and a special tool or spare part is missing.
…you don’t expect both of them. Last week the North received some heavy rain and a sharp drop of the temperature after months of drought and heat. Some say that this is already the beginning of the ‘small’ rainy season which usually starts by the end of November. Although happy for the clean, cool air and a whole day without sun it brings back flooding memories from this years rainy season – you still find Oshanas filled with water which is exceptional at this time of the year.
The other surprise came in shape of an Siemens ISDN handset with a working display to our office. Thanks to a new PBX which made one of the few ISDN phones at the reception redundant.
Happy like Xmas: as it is NOT common for a caller within the government to tell the name when calling I always had to play a ‘guess game’. Unfortunately our Director and her Deputy had also been in – due to that I had them on the line several times without realizing it, ouch.
One on of the first lessons you’ve to learn when entering the Namibian Government service is about stamp & signatures. No matter what kind of paper you intend to sent within the Government (physically; for the paperless office visit this blog again in a century) don’t forget the right stamp and your signature or the signature of a person who is sitting behind a even bigger desk. If you don’t do so your paper will simply be ignored by most of the recipients. Rumor has it that this could even lead to a misconduct. Due to the lack of our own (and to spice up the outgoing mail) we used to put the stamp of the Director’s office on our documents. Last Friday I found a small present from our senior accountant on my table. At least on the stamp the ICT function is already there where it should be on the official organizational chart in all thirteen Directorates in the near future: a Division on its own.
High concentrated DEET based insect repellent do work best (more precise: longer) without a doubt. Unfortunately that comes at a price: besides possible damage to your health the liquid is quite aggressive to plastics. Some pieces of my hiking equipment already has made the experience. A few days ago the center console of the Toyota Hilux took a load of 100% DEET from a leaking bottle. What the stuff, time and the sun have done shows the picture. It is worth to say that the piece of plastic survived 15 years in the Namibian sun before.
The ‘famous’ Ombalantu (old name for Outapi) Baobab tree is just 100m from our office premises away (should cut the barbed wire fence some day, as you have to take a kilometer detour to get there). Usually I grab some lunch at GOMA food service and have a siesta under the tree on my camping mattress or in the car. From today I will stick to the car, well…all right I better walk. Gebhard who is running the site told me that a Canadian couple had been mugged today at 6.a.m. Someone climbed over the wall and took their bags out of the tent when they went to the showers.