Tuesday, 13 December 2011

5 months in...

Things I love about Namibia:

The vast, amazing, various, gorgeous landscapes
Hiking and camping in the amazing open spaces of the African bush
The animals: elephants, oryx, rhinos, lions, cheetahs, springbok, hippos...
The fact you can get really good coffee here
My work - at the shelter, the research project, in the schools and youth groups, giving training
Meeting amazing people every day who are achieving incredible things
The total disregard for health and safety
The weather: big, blue skies every day
The emphasis on family and family-time
The emphasis on community
A healthier body image: women aren't women without boobs and hips
African-time. Doing the same things without the stress.

Things that drive me crazy about Namibia:

The continued segregation between white and black
The chasm between foreigner and local
Bureaucracy: enough to rival France
Homophobia and the position of women
People's driving - especially taxi drivers. DEATH WISH
People's directness: "Give me tea" "Go and open the door, now now"
The spiders and the snakes
The politics
It's actually expensive as everything's imported (no domestic industry)
African-time: Leaving everything to the last minute and then saying someone else should have done it

Things I really miss from Europe (and elsewhere):

Family and friends
Sunday lunches with family sat around the table with masses of food, afternoon walks and good conversation
Women's liberation: thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all who fought, and fight, for women's equality. Women of younger generations really don't appreciate you enough.
Good theatre and independent art-house films
Good newspapers
Proper tea
A reading and literary culture
The food: French cuisine, proper curry with poppadoms, naan bread and chapatis...
Clothes shops with clothes small enough for me (here, things are usually too big)

Things I definitely don't miss from Europe (and elsewhere):

David Cameron and the Con-Dems
Football culture
The cold and the mist
The pressure to be super-thin
People who don't appreciate what they have, or have so much that they throw half away
The lack of space
The prices
The London Commute: squeezed into a train with 50,000000000000 other people and standing under a sweaty man's armpit for half an hour while another one feels you up

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