Keetmanshoop is located in the south of Namibia in the region of Karas; while Khorixas is located in the Northwestern region of Kunene. The full 1000km trip, with stops and meetings, took about 13 hours. We departed Khorixas at 8:30am and arrived at my new place at 9:30pm. As such, I haven’t actually seen Keetmanshoop yet because it was dark when we arrived.
Packing was interesting. Unlike my trip TO Namibia in December 2008 and my study abroad experience in 1993/94, I CANNOT carry all of my current belongings all-by-myself (see my post on packing). I arrived in Namibia with simply a duffle bag; a large suitcase, a small suitcase, and a backpack, so about 3.5 bags. As shown in the photo, I now have at least twice that many bags and all kind of extra knick-knacks. My possessions have definitely grown over the year.
* A Standing fan (the heat in the desert is a bit wicked)
* A Night/Reading Light (although I didn’t really use it because I was usually too lazy to turn off the overhead light AND it attracted bugs closer to me)
* a Big Blanket (it actually does get cold during the winter nights – ask my mother and my girlie, Denise)
* a Toddler Tub (yes, for me. Laugh if you like. I have no running hot water and sometimes a soak, even partial body, is necessary)
* Books and Files (textbooks, country guides, academic records, centre documents)
I also packed consumables (pasta, canned food, oatmeal, spices), cleaning supplies, insecticides, and toiletries (big Costco bottles of vitamins I’ve never used and why do I have 10 bottles of hand sanitizer?) that will relieve the bulk once they’re used up. Oh, and I also have a small suitcase entirely full of items for the Centre and schools. So that doesn’t really count either.
My packing also felt out-of-control because I have expanded my clothing wardrobe over the past 12 months – dresses, skirts, blouses, pants, shoes. I honestly do not know how I have like 30 pairs of socks. Underwear, yes, but socks? Some clothes do not fit any more (yes, a little “freshman 15” – all in the hips and thighs); others, I simply do not wear; while still others, mom sent to me from the States and I have yet to actually wear them. Accordingly, I donated a bag of clothes to the Catholic church in Khorixas and passed others on to friends of similar size. I’ll deal with my shoe-collection later.
Luckily I had a bakkie (pick-up truck) to transport me to Keetmanshoop and I was the only passenger, so I kept all the big items. I can donate the blanket, fan, light, and toddler tub before leaving Namibia. My mini-library of books and files will definitely remain with me for future reference and research.
The trip wasn’t really that bad. I learned more about Herero culture (I think I’ll do more research and write a post about various marriage rituals and customs in the country), I shared with the driving, and no one blinked at the amount of luggage I brought.