Windhoek, Namibia

My cousin Almut dropped me at Christ’s Church, and I explored Windhoek for the hour and a half we had until our shuttle picked us up for Swalopmund. 

It REALLY felt good to stretch my legs! I have only had one 4k, or maybe 6k walk on the family farm out past Gababus.

I headed down the hill to the main street; needed some deodorant. I have used the same Old Spice deodorant since high school, 50 years ago. NOT anti-persperant, just deodorant. I found it in the first Apteek (pharmacy) I strolled into! In Africa! Amazing. 

I was a bit tired after my 10k walk yesterday.

Anyway, as I quickly walked along the main drag, I passed an area where local, sort of, crafts were being sold. Sometimes the carving is done far away. About midway through the block, there they were. The OvaHimba!

I pressed on, even after my 14k hike yesterday.

They cover their skin with the red earth dust turned to a paste, and  use it in turning their hair, there entire selves actually, into a stunningly beautiful work of art. I have been fascinated by them since I first saw a photo many years ago, and there they were!

The woman traditionally dressed and beautifully adorned with drapes of jewelry or beadwork.

 I felt like such a tourist. So, there I was. There they were. What do I do? 

They must be SICK of tourists approaching them. I didn’t really know what to do and I was by myself, no local family to guide me. So, I walked past and collected my American thoughts.

I had trouble thinking clearly after the 22k hike yesterday. Did I mention that it was in the soft sand  of the Kalahari? 

Anyway, I turned around and approached the 5 woman, seated, and hard at work on their beaded necklaces. I  picked  a necklace up. Suddenly,  I had 5, then 15 necklaces, as they added more and more.  I sorted through them and put one down, 3 more appeared from the numerous hands. It was great. I loved it. 

I love learning about other cultures and have spent enough time in Africa, to not be overwhelmed by a situation like this. I said, “How much?” One said, “100.”  

I said “May I take a photo, please?” They asked an older woman sitting to their left to translate. When I asked her, she nodded “ok.”

They spoke among themselves and the one who seemed to be their leader said, “100 for necklace and photo.” I said, “ok!” 

Now what? I paid and backed up, aimed and shot.

As I took the photo, the woman closest to me turned away and lowered her head, showing the back of her amazing. I’m sure the Ovahimba tribe are used to tourists like me acting weird. Couldn’t help it.

To me it was very special.

(Oh, and that hike yesterday will be 50k by the time I get home! 😀)

5 thoughts on “Windhoek, Namibia

  1. Thanks for sharing Doug. Your experience is fascinating. I don’t think I will ever get to that side of the world so it is nice to see it thru your eyes!! More! More!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Their hair is a amazing. Is there any way to judge how heavy it is? Does it make noise when they move around? Wondering if they wash it out and start over or just keep it going for a life time.
    The little boy in the back is adorable. I am surprised by the heavy coat. So, back to my google earth search question. Is that land as uninhabited as it looks?
    I want smellavision to understand better.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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