Customs, Crowds, and a Curious Place to Stay

Today we arrived in Namibia. My day began with a nose bleed at 2am on my flight from Addis Abbaba, my stopover, to Johannesburg. We landed at four that morning and I was able to collect my luggage without event. But when I went to proceed to check in my luggage with British Airways for my last leg they told me I couldn’t do so until two hours before my flight boarded. I suspect that she was just feeling lazy because none of the other members of my group encountered this ‘rule.’ Regardless, I was able to catch a taxi to a local hotel that another student had spent a night at and while there I took a shower and changed my clothes because I felt absolutely disgusting after all of that travel.

Most of our group made it to Johannesburg so that we could all take the last flight to Windhoek together and go through customs with each other rather than independently. Our group consists of seven girls, including myself, and two guys plus a female professor. As I’m sure I will mention them continuously over the next few months I’ll go ahead and introduce everyone really quick. First, there’s Elizabeth, a friendly, vibrant Latina woman with long black hair with blonde highlights which reaches her waist. Next, Tori, the comedic of the group, she makes the funniest facial expressions, especially for disgust. She’s a math major but you’d never pin it at first glance. Jalyn is as cool as e-girl’s wish they could be, with her band t-shirts and blonde bob. Dana is eccentric and intelligent; she spent her childhood in Cambodia and when it rains she runs like it’s never rained before. Ben is this broad blonde chap that looks kind of like a golden retriever. Isaiah is pretty quiet but he has this brilliant smile when he solves a puzzle like a kid on Christmas. And lastly, Kendra and Elsie who didn’t make it on the last flight with us because they got delayed in London. Kendra doesn’t take no for an answer, she’ll readily take on a challenge, be that befriending a litter of stray kittens, petting a random horse on the side of the road, taking on a new dish, or smashing cockroaches like it’s nobody’s business. Elsie is definitively the quietest of the group but what she says is worth hearing. She’s soft-spoken but sweet as can be.

Customs was easy enough for me, the guy who reviewed my paperwork gave me a thirty-day travel visa with a smile. Some of us got a bit hassled though, one girl was asked for her University of Namibia admissions letter and our professor had to prove that her kids that she was bringing with her were in fact hers and that she wasn’t kidnapping them. Ben lost his luggage on its way to London but by the evening they had located it and were sending it on its way to arrive by tomorrow morning. The guest house we were staying in for the weekend was the same one that the J-term students were using for the entirety of the month. It had a super friendly host named Kenton who invited us to go clubbing sometime. It was also equipped with WiFi (though it was monstrously overwhelmed by the ridiculous number of people occupying the space over the duration of our brief stay) and a small pool. Kenton also had two very friendly dogs whose job it was to bark at strangers and ‘scare them off.’ The property was comprised of a series of additions, each with its own bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. The pipe to our sink burst at some point in the evening and Kenton rushed to fix it, he did a pretty handy job too.

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