Upon arrival at the Windhoek Airport, we stepped onto the tarmac and celebrated with big grins. I didn’t realize how happy we looked about being back in Namibia until later when I looked at the photo. It says it all.
We sailed through passport control and into the baggage pick up. After 15 unsuccessful minutes of waiting, we headed to the lost luggage counter and filled out our forms, as is very typical when arriving from Jo-burg, particularly at the start of a weekend. Sam’s dad was there to greet us with his characteristic big hug and even bigger smile. We drove to the home of Sam’s parents in Katatura, Windhoek. (The big “location” in Windhoek). Sam’s family is from Angola but have lived in Namibia for more than 10 years. They have opened their home to numerous kids from Angola whose parents send them to Namibia to go to high school – where they can get a better education. Every year there are new faces. Currently there are 9 kids ranging from early to late teens who live with them. There are 3 boys and 6 girls. They’ve divided two bedrooms into a boys’ room and girls’ room, with bunk beds – dormitory style. There’s a chart on the door that very neatly lists everyone’s duties – dishes, sweeping and cleaning the house, various chores. They even take turns cooking. The house is a well-oiled machine. Everyone knows their job and pitches in to do their part. The addition of Sam and I displaced the boys, who now reside in part of the living room, which they partitioned off by a big curtain. 13 people in a 3 bedroom, one bath house might be challenging, but somehow, it works. The first weekend, Sam’s brother, Ito, was even in town so that made 14. It was nice to have almost the whole family together for a while, sharing meals and such. (Deborah, Sam’s sister is in South Africa studying.) In Namibia it’s respectful to title someone older than you, “aunt” and “uncle”. So now I’m Aunt Amanda, or simply, “Auntie” and Sam is “Uncle Sam”. I’m sure all my American friends find the humor in that.
Dinner! Sam, Dad, Mom, Ito
Some of the kids watching a really lame soap opera. They are SO into it!
The first two nights with near freezing temperatures had Sam and I layered in sweatshirts and jackets when awake and piled under heavy blankets when asleep. Sam’s family gave piles of warm clothes for us to choose from to make up for our missing baggage those first two days. I don’t know how they happened to have so many clothes that are perfectly my size, and even quite fashionable – some never even worn. I was very thankful for that.
Outside. Zambesi Street, Katatura