Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Storied Past: Namibia Volume 3

Read Volume 2 here

While the first part of the Namibia adventure was heavy on research and roughing it, the second half was essentially a three week vacation. Two vans packed full of college kids roamed Southwest Africa, stopping at major cities and resorts. Because I waited eight years to write any of this down, I don't remember location names. But my geriatric brain can recall most of what we did. The list includes:

Visiting wildlife parks, driving alongside zebras, elephants and lions.

Watching sunsets on the beach.


Listening to the same CD with the same eight songs, over and over and over and over again in the van. One of those songs was Eminem's "Lose Yourself," and I have most of it memorized to this day. 

Trying to replace a flat tire while a group of men rode by in a donkey cart. They laughed at our misfortune.

Cleaning up after baboons broke into our hotel rooms and stole our bananas. SERIOUSLY.

Eating entire jars of Nutella and at least one magnum ice cream bar a day. I gained a significant amount of weight.

I can't believe I'm including this photo. I can't believe no one told me I had such an alarming eye makeup situation.

Getting braided hair extensions. Always an excellent idea for white girls. 

I assume this is some sort of traditional costume. Or our host family was punking us. 

Joining me in the above two photos is Katie, the very girl who said to me on our first encounter, "I'm not sure why I'm here." Katie and I were roommates the next school year, served missions at the same time, went to each other's weddings, had husbands who worked together, and I just met her brand new baby, Hanna. 

I mean...melt much?

I'm so grateful that both Katie and I, on a whim, decided to travel to the other side of the world with a group of complete strangers, and now we have a friendship spanning nearly a decade. 

While Katie is the one I keep in closest contact with, I have fond/hilarious memories of everyone else from that summer. We spent so much freaking time together, that by the end of our six weeks we were beyond family.  We got annoyed with each other, learned way too many intimate details about each other, and developed inside jokes that probably weren't funny at all. 

When it came time to fly home, I had a slightly offensive hairstyle, fifteen extra pounds, and a broken heart. I sat in JFK airport crying, because it was over. No more baboon break-ins. No more tight van quarters. No more buying Coke Lite at every corner store. I even looked back nostalgically on whacking scorpions beneath our tent at night. 

It was the best craziest decision I ever made that afternoon in the basement of the BYU Humanities building. 


  1. The end of study abroad was one of the hardest things for me, too. It was such a magical time and so care-free. AND I loved your white woman braid extensions.

    1. Thanks, they did look spectacularly terrible.


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