Friday, September 25, 2009

Do the Dune

It would have been very convenient for me end my travels after Ruacana since it it only about 90km away from my village, but this vast country has much to see! Four of us volunteers on the tour met up with a fifth friend in Windhoek, rented a car, stocked up on camp food, and set off towards the dunes of Sossusvlei. At times disastrous, our weekend getaway ended up being quite fulfilling. We weathered an exploded tire, a languid day of waiting for a replacement car, and twisty undulating dirt roads completely lacking directional road signs. It was worth it, though, for we were ultimately rewarded with the spectacular stark landscapes of the Namib Desert. Massive dunes of red, orange, and yellow sands surround sparse plains. Dead trees, hundreds of years old, stand sere and withered in barren pans. Ostrich and oryx scrounge for what little sustenance is to be found. We trekked up dunes, baked in the sun, tromped through vleis, and pondered nature's power.

Having had our fill of sandy stretches and dusty dunes, a celebratory overpriced ice cream bar was in order before we traversed even more treacherous dirt roads. We chose the shorter path this time but it seems all distances in Namibia are deceptive and we arrived in Swakopmund just in time for some delicious and revitalizing pizza! After a last stroll by the ocean, the return trip to Windhoek, an overnight in Okahandja, and another successful hitch-hike northward, I safely reached the village and concluded my extended holiday. I don't plan on leaving the village any time soon as I've had my fill of traveling for the time being. After all that extravagance and excitement, it's back to apples, peanut butter, and porridge. The final term of my first year as a teacher is underway and things are going swell. But where did September go? Time has a ruthless and unyielding agenda.... I will leave you to ruminate on a few riddles.

What lives if you give it food but dies if you give it water?

What comes twice in a week but only once in a year?

There are ten birds on a fence. If you shoot one, how many are left?

Set those digit-fingers a-typing if the answers spring bidden or unbidden your minds. Guesses, clarifying questions, hint inquiries and counter-riddles are most welcome.

Eewa amushe, onde mu hole shinene. Hamna shida, ku hande, oshi li nawa, fine, good, ok, alright, peace.

Love, PAKA (not to be confused with pakapaka which is the onomatopoeic oshiwambo word for motorcycle)


Debby said...

Parker - We got them all. I am Debby (an old neighbor and friend of your parents) and my daughter Andrea.

1)fire 2)"e" 3) none - the movement, not necessarily the sound would scare them away.

Love your blog.

Anonymous said...

someone beat me to the answers, keep up the blog.

John Stackpole said...

Hey Paka...ten birds, one shot and how many birds? (no mention if they are alive / wounded / dead etc)...I mean they could have been lined up so that one shot got them all...or bad aim and the shot missed but dead or alive there are still ten birds flying or flapping...unless they were decoys...and...all were splintered...then maybe none (a pile of wood cant be called birds) but I am going with ten, yup ten...ten I think.

Anyway, great blog and a great read! I think you should seriously consider writing a book. I know it means either using your thumbs or long hand and crayons(can you find a typewriter?)but you have great style and an incredible story (not to mention pictures) to remember and share with family, friends and who knows!!! Stay dry! John

Anonymous said...

1. fish
2. twins' birthdays
3. none - the others flew away

PakaDude!!! Hope you're doing well...what an adventure you're on...and for a good

Gary LaRue said...

Hey "Reverend Paka", I am thinking about getting the gang together, and heading over to your hood. G. Badt, R.Sumner, G. Lawson your dad, and myself to see what you are up to. Geez what could go wrong! You could keep all of us out of trouble.........I am sure there isn't a jail big enough for us! Great blog, and hope all is well, and be safe!

skyerunner said...

Isn't Sossusvlei amazing! It sounds like you've been having some incredible adventures and experiences. I love reading your stories - I'm seriously thinking about the Peace Corps too these days.
be well,
Jon Mrefu

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