Namibia!

Before my trainee program comes to an end and I will eventually get a chance to settle down (at least somewhat), I travelled to Namibia in January.

Even though I stayed for nearly two months, I did not get a chance to travel the country appropriately, but what I saw was so amazing I will come back!

Getting to Walvis Bay, where we would conduct a shipyard on one of our rigs, was a little adventure in itself. From Paris I flew to London, from there to Johannesburg and stopped again in Windhoek – Namibias capital. I had to stay overnight, as there is only one flight a day to Walvis Bay. When I arrived on a Sunday afternoon I was surprised, almost shocked, to find the city entirely deserted. I had planned to look for a bustling café, have a drink, watch people, and indulge myself into a new culture, but I was being disappointed. All I managed to get was some ice cream at a Mc Donald’s like restaurant. Instead I went for a stroll, stopped along the train station, the Namibian National Museum (closed as well…), and a very German rooted church.

German roots can be seen all over Windhoek, not much of a surprise as Namibia was a German colony from 1884 to 1915, but it felt odd nevertheless. Walking down the streets clustered with shops having German names, logos, and stereotypical German products was a very different experience to me. I was in southern Africa and the obvious German influence just felt out of place to me. The next morning when the city was suddenly back to normal – cars, noise, and people everywhere – it struck me again. Quite a few people were talking German on the streets, newspapers, radio stations, etc… One might think it would make me feel more at home, but it did the opposite and certainly took some getting used to.

In Walvis Bay though the German influence was minimal. Apart from Sülze and German newspapers being sold at the supermarket it was predominantly influenced by South Africa and therefore mostly Afrikaans-speaking. Swakopmund, about 35km north of Walvis Bay on the other hand is very German…

But most importantly Swakopmund is the home of Namibia’s only fun jumper oriented dropzone! More of that in a later post…

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