It’s been a while since my last post. Things are still chugging along and are really feeling normal…whatever that means. Crazy things still happen to me everyday, but I think that was one of the reasons I wanted to come here. Teaching is still really hard sometimes, but that’s just the nature of the profession. And again, that is one of the reasons I wanted to come here. Sometimes easy just doesn’t do it.
I have recently been invited to attend the local church in Ogongo. As you know, I am not an avid church-goer at home, but in an attempt to absorb as much of this beautiful culture as I can, I plan on attending. I have not gone yet, but have been thinking on this topic of religion quite a bit. There are so many aspects of this place that are so amazing different and unique and are celebrated as cultural traditions. These traditional acts (like pounding mahangu and greeting every single freaking person in the room) are the kinds of things that make Namibia such a special place in such a globalized world. These are the things I want to absorb and experience as much as possible. When I think about religion here, I don’t think of the same age-old traditions and brilliant differences. Since colonial times, Namibian church has looked much like a church at home. There are Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans. They read the same holy texts, say the same memorized lines. Yes, maybe it is a four hour production in Oshiwambo, but overall, this aspect of Namibian life has been Westernized almost completely. Recently I was reading a book on this subject and came across a passage that really struck me. It was an interview with a Namibian elder, speaking on the foreign influence on religion.
This man said “When they came, we had the land and they had the Lord. Now we have the Lord and they have the land.”
This line really struck me. I am in no way knocking religion…it serves a purpose for those who participate and I respect that. I just think it is interesting to trace back where something so important to a culture came from. I’m sure that attending here will not look like going home to St. Pats, but I feel that is one place where the traditions and uniqueness of this place won’t be so evident.
We have been having some amazing thunderstorms lately. I really can’t imagine not seeing rain for many months…it is going to be really weird! I have been working on a garden at my house (lettuce, carrots, onions, swiss chard) and have been really thankful for all the rain! We will see how it lasts in the dry season!
Just some thoughts! Hope you are all enjoying life and keepin on keepin on.