Goeie middag! We’ve just arrived back from a brilliant few days away which began with Morgan and Maurits, the boys in Tses, coming up to Omaruru last Wednesday. We spent Thursday showing them around the town which I really enjoyed, as it brought home to me just how homely and familiar the place feels now after 3 months. With it being Christmas shopping time, we went into most of the shops and I was surprised at how many people I recognised or could say hello to- that made me very happy! So, after a lovely swim and meal at Central Hotel, we came back in preparation for an early start the next morning as we were going to Otjikondo to surprise Kirsty, one of the volunteers there, on her birthday. So, after a relatively uneventful journey up there, stopping off briefly at Outjo to visit the supermarket and bakery, we all piled into the Gap Flat, successfully surprising Kirsty in the process! We spent the afternoon looking around the school village and meeting some of the kids who were very cute and sang to us non-stop, then braaied into the night!
Despite going to bed at midnight, we had to get up at 6 the next morning to catch a hitch back to Outjo. We thought it would be easy, seeing as it was Election Day and Otjikondo was being used as a polling station, but all the cars were going in the wrong direction! We finally got a lift with one of the workers and arrived back at the bakery in Outjo at about 10.00. After a few hours of eating and playing cards, Riette and Hermien arrived and we set off for Etosha! The weekend was amazing- in the first hour of being in the game park, we’d seen 4 elephants standing at a watering hole and a black rhino which started off far away but walked closer and closer until it crossed the road right in front of us! Over the next couple of days we saw springbok, steenbok, oryx, zebra, wildebeest, red hartebeest, damara dik dik, kudu, giraffe, ostrich, white rhino (incredibly rare and endangered), hyena, impala, lots of birds and the dark shape of a leopard hidden in the thicket. In the evenings we were able to watch a floodlit waterhole where, on the first night, we saw 16 elephants coming to drink! We got there too late on the second night, having just missed 28! We were so lucky and had such a good time! We arrived home on Sunday and in the evening there was a Christmas service at Riette’s church. I accompanied the small choir on the piano and played the trumpet along with some of the hymns (one of the ladies in the choir told me Silent Night was ‘wunderbar’- the ultimate compliment!) I’ve really enjoyed rehearsing with them over the past couple of weeks and I’m sad that they only get together at Christmas. I’m hoping they might carry on with it, or at least reform at Easter time!
So now it’s back to Omaruru for a few days before we get our stuff together and set off on our Christmas travels on the 6th. Exams finished last week and all the grade 7s have left- we may only have known them for 3 months but I’m really going to miss some of them! I don’t even want to think about saying goodbye the kids when we’ve known them for a whole year! But that’s thankfully a long way off and there’s plenty more to look forward to in the meantime!