Days 13 and 14, Swakopmund

Originally published 1/15/18


Our speaker on Morning 13 was a community and political activist. In the early 20th century, the German military staged attacks on the Herero (heh-reh-roh) people. Though the Herero people fought back, but the German military were meticulous and thorough in their genocide of the Hereros, as well as another tribe, the Namas. Many of the tactics employed against the Hereros and Namas were later used in the concentration camps during the Holocaust.

Currently, in a prominent location in the middle of town, stands a memorial to the German soldiers who died fighting against the Hereros. The political activist talked to us about his and other's efforts to try and remove the memorial and have it placed in a museum. He is Herero and his great-grandmother was killed by the Germans.

Our free afternoon on Day 13 was beautiful! Jackie and I ate lunch together and then walked around town before we ended up at the beach. Our afternoon was spent shell-collecting and relaxing by the water. For dinner, our flat mates helped to cook dinner with us: rice bowls.

Being in an environment full of ladies is always a fun experience--our conversations jump from topics around feminism, to clothes, to boys, to our studies, and everything in between.

Day 14 wasn't my favorite day of the trip. We started our day at a fishery...which included a full tour. The smell alone was enough to make a few people sick to their stomachs, but this factory takes fish from the ocean and preps and packages them for commercial sales. As someone who doesn't eat meat and has started to dislike eating fish as well, it was a little too gory for me to really appreciate the experience.

Afterwards, we went to a non-profit that helps with wildlife preservation. They're involved in many different efforts throughout Namibia, and it was a much more peaceful (and less fishy!) learning experience.

In the afternoon, we toured a Topnaar settlement outside of Swakopmund. They make their living harvesting a plant called the Nara plant, and making it into various products for sale. It was a quiet and peaceful settlement, but I was still a little nauseated from the fishery, and the weather was hot without much shade.

We ended our class time that day by going to Dune 7, a popular tourist attraction. It's basically just a giant sand dune. Nearly all of us climbed up to the top. It was very physically taxing; gravity was absolutely working against us as we climbed up. But getting to the top was worth it.

We made grilled cheese for dinner tonight in our little flat. Grilled cheese makes my soul happy. <3

Tomorrow, we're traveling to Erindi to spend a night before heading back to Windhoek, and then onto Cape Town! Stay tuned!