Thursday, December 07, 2006

Solo

I took a solo trip to Swakop on Monday/Tuesday for a little R&R. I had been toying with the idea for a week or two, but finally on Sunday night I just decided to throw a few things together, pack up the Stream and head out the next morning. I threw my mattress in the back of the car, took my backpack with a change of clothes, bathing suit, sunscreen, bible, journal, and a few books. I grabbed a cantaloupe, bread, jam, and some Salticrax and headed out around 8:30am. It’s a little under 3 hrs to drive to Swakop, which for one who is accustomed to solo 8-hour drives between Ohio and Pennsylvania, felt like no time at all. Along the way I came upon a recent accident with an overturned car. There was a traffic policeman there already though, and both people were standing outside the vehicle and looked fine. I also got to see two huge ostriches standing right along the roadside. Closer to the coast, the more the terrain starts to appear like the surface of the moon, that’s when you know you’re nearly there. Then the next thing you know, you see the signature thick patch of clouds hanging around the coastline, and the palm trees lining the road up ahead. And you’re there. Swakopmund. The haven for Germans in Namibia. I parked the car by the beach and headed to Out of Africa for some coffee. The waitress was really sweet; got my order wrong; but the café au lait was fine. And the hot banana muffin was correct, and yummy. I hung out for a while enjoying the coffee and the people-watching time. An American guy came in the shop while I was there – the accent is a dead give away. The weather was really chilly and overcast (typical for Swakop) but I headed to back toward the beach and spread out my blanket where I would park myself for a few hours to read. The beach was pretty empty and therefore peaceful. I finished “The Barbarian Way” by Erwin McManus and started, “Hard to Believe” by John McArthur. I ate my cantaloupe and Salticrax (a tribute to Amber). By then it was about 4:00 and I decided to drive to Landstrand to find a camping spot. The place was virtually deserted and I picked my spot, then drove to town to buy some wood. Around 5:00 the sun had actually come out, just in time to start its decent into the water. I walked down to the beach at Landstrand and read for a while longer, then headed back to start my fire. The sunset was fiery and highlighted some ships in the haze along the horizon. After sunset I laid down next to the fire and looked up at the sky as the huge ball of a moon began its way up. What a beautiful time of reflection, solitude and serenity. I grabbed a shower then climbed in the back of the stream and hit the sack early. I woke up the next moring to a semi-stormy day, thick clouds and blustery wind whipping up the waves. I walked along the beach collecting shells for longer than anyone I know would have been able to put up with. It is nice to have no constraints or concerns sometimes. Then I headed back into town and decided to give the Village café a try this time. I’ve always wanted to check it out…it has a very Yellow Spring-ish feel to it. and the hours of operation sign has always intrigued me:

Open: whenever we get here
Closed: when we leave

I sat at a table by the window and enjoyed my mocha as it helped warm me from the chill coming in the partly open door. And I debated how long to remain enjoying this fall-type weather before heading back to the summery, pressure cooker of Okahandja. I strolled by a few shops and went in the cute little bead shop I like. I was in there at the same time as a Japanese couple with a video camera. The guy was video taping all the rows of beads and scanning the store, which I thought was a bit strange. And on my way out I head them start talking to the owner of the shop and say, “We’re from Japan and we heard that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were here, and she bought a bunch of things. We’re making a webpage because we love them…and we wondered if we can tape you saying that they were here and bought things from this shop” I made a quick exit, shaking my head.

I was thinking about this couple on my way home. And I was reminded; we are worshippers. What consumes my thoughts, what commands my adoration and love? For what, for whom, am I willing to look like a fool? For this couple, it was Brad and Angelina. I feel sad for them. Wasted worship.


“Has not God made the foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe….But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption – that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord’.”
1 Corinthians 1:20-21, 30-31

Here are some pics from my time just to make all of you in cold countries feel a bit warmer…

Solo in Swakop

Solo in Swakop

Solo in Swakop

Solo in Swakop

Solo in Swakop

Solo in Swakop

Solo in Swakop

2 comments:

neil said...

must be nice to live out of your car - just like a new toyota commercial! your free spirit always puts me at ease and instigates the desire to take off somewhere and escape western consumerism and maybe even the burden of flesh...

Jeremy and Jo said...

house church missionary:
thanks so much for the elephant. so cute! i enjoy reading about your work there in namibia. josh and amber also showed us the picture slidshow in house church today. so beautiful (except for the spider :)) we will be praying for you.
-joanna