Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Our Last Trip Out of Town

By Hal W.

We jumped into our CGEE van as a group for the last time last Thursday. This weekend we went to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, two coastal towns on the mighty Atlantic ocean. The sun was shining and the air smelled like salt water. Swakopmund is a beautiful city, it is one of the main tourist attractions in Namibia, for both foreigners and native Namibians. I have learned throughout my semester here that Swakopmund is where a lot of Namibians go for vacations and holidays. Swakopmund has a busy season stretching from November to January. We were obviously not there during this time, so the city was often quiet.   
The controversial statue commemorating German soilders
We arrived mid-day on thursday. After lunch at the Art Cafe in downtown Swakopmund we met up with Laidlaw Peringanda who gave us a tour and history of the area. Swakopmund is similar to Luderitz in it’s dark history. Both coastal towns had concentration camps that held local Namibian tribes. They both also struggle with the recognition of these mass killings. In Swakopmund there is a monument commemorating the German soldiers who died in the area. These soldiers were also the oppressors and murderers of thousands of Herero and Nama people in the early 1900’s. The statue was defaced with red paint by local activists to bring awareness to the killings. Laidlaw is a local activist who has been trying to get Namibian and German officials to recognize the genocide, but has met much resistance. He has been offered bribes and threats because of his work to expose the true history of the area.  
Lamont telling us about the unmarked graves
Afterwards we went to a local graveyard. The graves of the white people were decorated with flowers and marble slabs, and a brick path meandered between them. Off away from the white section there was a single epitaph for the native people who died at the hands of the Germans. The plaque said that the natives died under “mysterious circumstances”, a clear example of the ignorance of the whites towards what has happened here.
Laidlaw and Lamont in front of Laidlaw's office in the DRC
 After the stop at the graveyard, Laidlaw took us to the township Mondesa, outside of Swakopmund, to the informal settlement called the DRC (Democratic Resettlement Community). He used to live in the DRC and now uses his old home as an office to teach people about the genocide. The office has pictures of dying and wounded Namibians from the time of the genocide. Laidlaw Peringanda is one of the few activists in the area who is trying to shed light on Swakopmund’s dark history.

We ended the day on a lighter note with an extravagant dinner on the shore at “The Tug” restaurant. I ordered a delicious seafood platter, and we drank wine and made merry until the sun went down.
The following day, Friday, we drove to Walvis Bay to have a tour of a fish processing plant called Seaworks. We geared up in white coats, big rubber boots, and hairnets and were taken throughout the building by Douglass, a higher up in the Walvis Bay fishing industry. The tour was interesting and informative, despite the fish smell and the cold working areas. Seaworks employs a lot of Namibians. The line workers, who would descale, chop, clean, and cut the fish were almost all women. While the forklifts, heavy machinery and supervisor positions were almost all men. The discrepancy between the two genders was clear. The role of gender in Namibian culture is strong, specifically the belief that men  and women are built to do different types of work, men doing heavy labor and women doing the more meticulous tasks.
Line workers [predominantly women] at the fish plant
 
After Seaworks we went down to the shore in Walvis Bay where we had lunch and looked out over the water, watching the tour boats come in and out of the port. After lunch we went to the Namibian Dolphin Project, a small, one-room building on the shore. We talked with the researchers there who were studying the dolphins of the area. They told us about the diverse range of animals they get in the area, and how the fishing and tourist industry often can hurt or confuse the animals. They have documented cases of dolphins getting too close to tour boats and getting badly wounded from the propeller of the motor. They are the only ones in Namibia who are studying these majestic creatures.
A handstand was needed at the top of Dune 7
After the Dolphin project we hopped into the van and drove to Dune 7. Dune seven is a famous dune outside of Walvis Bay. We had our traditional race up the dune, which I won. Being at the top of the dune was surreal and beautiful, the sand stretched all around us and we could see for miles. If you ever get the chance to go to Namibia, Dune 7 should be a top priority.
We ended the day by cooking a nice meal at home, our accomodation was slightly under-equipped for cooking but I made do. After the meal we all settled in and reminisced on the past two days, as well as making plans for our free Saturday.

Largest Quartz crystal cluster on display in the world
The next day we did not have anything planned for the group, so we all went our separate ways to a degree. Me and Alexis visited the Aquarium, the Gemstone museum, and a place we stumbled upon and named “Camel Land”. We were walking down a trail outside of town when we ran into around 30 camels grazing in the brush. It was an unexpected but very cool experience. The Aquarium is small but cool, it was nice to see what kind of creatures are just a mere hundred meters from where we were staying. But, the most fun thing we found on Saturday was the Gemstone museum. I am a sucker for gems and minerals so I was in awe as we browsed through the huge deposits of Amethyst, Malachite, Quartz, Sulphur, and Tourmaline. 
We wrapped up our time in Swakopmund with a reflection the following morning. We discussed the hardships people like Laidlaw have endured, while also talking about how we have a duty to continue the fight, even after we return home from Namibia. Swakopmund is a beautiful, salty, amazing, and historic town. I recommend it for a relaxing vacation on the ocean. But also I challenge any visitor to learn the true history of this place, the good and the bad.
The misty pier in Swakopmund, it was so foggy we couldn't see the shore when we
went to the end
 

7 comments:

Mariam said...

MY NAME IS MARIAM FROM SOUTH AFRICA...I SAW THIS COMMENT ON POSITIVE BLOGS AND I WILL LOVE TO TELL EVERYBODY HOW MY STATUS CHANGES TO NEGATIVE, AND AM NOW A LIVING WITNESS OF IT AND I THINK ITS A SHAME ON ME IF I DON'T SHARE THIS LOVELY STORY WITH OTHER PEOPLE INFECTED WITH THIS DEADLY VIRUS...,HIV HAS BEEN ONGOING IN MY FAMILY... I LOST BOTH PARENTS TO HIV,. AND IT IS SO MUCH PAIN IVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET OVER.. AS WE ALL KNOW MEDICALLY THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO IT..AND MEDICATION IS VERY EXPENSIVE..SO SOMEONE INTRODUCED ME TO A NATIVE MEDICAL PRACTITIONER IN AFRICA..I HAD A JOB THERE TO EXECUTE SO I TOOK TIME TO CHECK OUT ON HIM.I SHOWED HIM ALL MY TESTS AND RESULTS.. I WAS ALREADY DIAGNOSED WITH HIV AND IT WAS ALREADY TAKING ITS TOWL ON ME.. I HAD SPENT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS SO I DECIDED TO TRY HIM OUT...I WAS ON HIS DOSAGE FOR 1 MONTHS. ALTHOUGH I DIDNT BELIEVE IN IT, I WAS JUST TRYING IT OUT OF FRUSTRATION... AND AFTER 2 WEEKS, I WENT FOR NEW TESTS... AND YOU WONT BELIEVE THAT 5 DIFFERENT DOCTORS CONFIRMED IT THAT AM NEGATIVE..IT WAS LIKE A DREAM,,I NEVER BELIEVE AIDS HAS CURE..AM NOW NEGATIVE,,AM A LIVING WITNESS..I DONT KNOW HOW TO THANK THIS MAN... I JUST WANT TO HELP OTHERS IN ANY WAY I CAN..HAVE JOINED MANY FORUMS AND HAVE POSTED THIS TESTIMONIES AND ALOT OF PEOPLE HAS MAIL AND CALLED THIS MAN ON PHONE AND AFTER 2 WEEKS THEY ALL CONFIRMED NEGATIVE..BBC NEWS TOOK IT LIVE AND EVERY.. HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT.. EVERYBODY SAW IT AND ITS NOW OUT IN PAPERS AND MAGAZINES THAT THERE'S NATIVE CURE FOR HIV AND ALL WITH THE HELP OF THIS MAN,,HAVE TRIED MY OWN PARTS AND ALL LEFT WITH YOU,,IF YOU LIKE TAKE IT OR NOT..GOD KNOWS HAVE TRIED MY BEST.ABOUT 97 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED NEGATIVE THROUGH ME..AND THEY SEND MAILS TO THANKS ME AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED NEGATIVE,,THIS MAN IS REAL..DON'T MISS THIS CHANCE,,HIV IS A DEADLY VIRUS,,GET RID OF IT NOW..
case there is anyone who has similar problem and still

looking for a way out, and he those cast all kind of spell like ::
Love Spells
Luck, Money Spells
Health, Well Being
Protection, Healing
Curses, ex, Breakups
NEW! Combo Spells
High Priestess Spells
Vampire Spells
Authentic Voodoo Spells
Custom, Other Spells
Business spells
Health/Healing spells
Cancer healing
Curse removal
Job spells
Healing from all kind of diseases
Love binding
Barrenness(need a child)
Need love
Lottery Spells
Promotions
Success
Money rituals
winning court case
Divorce spells
Low sperm count
Infertility in women
Breast enlargement/reduction
Penis enlargement/reduction
Diabetes
Arthritis
sicklecell
YOU CAN CONTACT HIM HERE AS (dr.abalaka@outlook.com) and also his state based number text him here if you're in the US: 760-935-3804 if you need any question contact me via here as mariambaurice@gmail.com i wish you best of luck and good health.

Credit Loan said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of $250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of $250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.

Unknown said...

Merry Christmas,
You are so interesting! I don't believe I've truly read through anything like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality! If you want to read Christmas Quotes For Instagram you have to see the link
Thank you,

Unknown said...

Hi,
The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you would probably have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention. If you want to read Happy New Year Quotes please have a look at this.
Thanks

MAX LIN said...




Hi Viewers Get your Blank ATM card that works in all ATM machines all over the world.. We have specially programmed ATM cards that can be used to hack ATM machines, the ATM cards can be used to withdraw at the ATM or swipe, at stores and POS. We sell this cards to all interested buyers worldwide, the card has a daily withdrawal limit of €10,000 on ATM and up to €30,000 spending limit in stores depending on the kind of card you order for, we are here for you anytime, any day. Email; (blankatm156@gmail.com) I'm grateful to Marcell because he changed my story all of a sudden . The card works in all countries except, contact him now (blankatm156@gmail.com )

Mariam said...

I am Mariam,from what I can read. It has been sad news and scam to everyone about Voodoo casters or so. But to me they are so real because one worked for me not quite long ago.i met this man on a blog his name is Dr Abalaka is a very powerful man.I traveled down to where his shrine his and we both did the ritual and sacrifice.he had no website yet but he promised to create one as costumers are requesting for it, and now i'm free from the powders of sickness.I don't know about you but Voodoo is real;love marriage,finance, job promotion ,lottery Voodoo,poker voodoo,golf Voodoo,Law & Court case Spells,money voodoo,weigh loss voodoo,diabetic voodoo,hypertensive voodoo,high cholesterol voodoo,Trouble in marriage,Barrenness(need a child),Luck, Money Spells,he also cure any cancer and HIV,it's all he does. I used my money to purchase everything he used he never collected a dime from. He told me I can repay him anytime with anything from my heart. Now I don't know how to do that. If you can help or you need his help write him on (dr.abalaka@outlook.com) and also his cell number: 760-935-3804 you can text him because he use to be very busy some times,i believe that your story will change for better,or if you have any question you can contact me here as mariambaurice@gmail.com best of luck.

URGENT LOAN OFFER WHATSAPP +918929509036 said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of $250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of $250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius, call/whats-App Contact Number +918929509036 via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.