Monday, June 23, 2008

“We have cows.” ~ Twister

So I know it’s been a month since I left the USA to come back to Namibia. Let me recap what this month has been like so many you’ll have a better idea why I haven’t written.

On May23rd, I traveled from NYC with Becca, a short-term volunteer from PA. She was a great traveling companion and our travels went very smoothly. We arrived back at COZV on Sunday, May 25th and were warmly greeted by all the children and staff. It was good to be “home.”

Unfortunately, as life has a way of turning on a dime here, one of our older girls needed some medical attention that could only be gotten in Windhoek, 14 hrs away. So after one night of sleeping in my bed and only unpacking as many clothes as I’d need to take, I was off to Windhoek with Rebecca and two of the children. After almost a week there, I’m happy to report the girl seems too be doing much better, so we started home.

At dusk on Saturday, we were about 3 hrs from reaching Katima. We had just stopped to refuel and switch drivers. I had been driving since about 8am so now Rebecca was taking over. The little six year old girl we had with us had just been reprimanded for not having her seatbelt on not 10 minutes before life decided to take another turn on us. We came over a rise in the road to find a herd of cattle crossing. Not really an unusual sight, but one brazen black and while horned heifer decided to make a dash for the other side right in front of us. Try as she might, Rebecca wasn’t able to avoid hitting the massive beast. After quite an impact on the hood, the cow went sailing through the air like a scene out of the movie Twister. She landed on her side off the road in the grass. We quickly realized the car was badly damaged and we were stranded. By the grace of God, we had a very small amount of cellphone coverage and were able to call back to COZV for help. When I got out of the car to assess the damage, I saw that crazy cow standing back up chewing her cud looking only moderately ruffled from her flight. We moved the car off the road into a lay-by and waited for Gary to come tow us home with the mini-bus (It’s not like you can just call AAA here). After a few cable breaks and one rest stop, we made it home at 6am. I kept dozing off in the car, but one time I woke up just in time to see us passing by a HUGE, and I mean HUGE, bull elephant on the side of the road. We were very blessed the accident wasn’t worse and that God gave us safety as we towed the vehicle home.

As luck would have it, I seem to be the only one that suffered any lasting result from the impact. My left shoulder and back have been quite sore and bruised probably from the seatbelt. Since there are no chiropractors in Katima, the doctor prescribed massage treatment 3 times a week until I’m feeling better. The insurance agreed, so it is all being covered under the accident. Now some people would rejoice to get a massage for free 3 times a week. But for me, the non-touchy-feely person, it has been a bit torturous. No offense to my massage therapist. She is a lovely, professional young woman, but I’d rather poke myself in the eye than get a massage. But since eye-poking doesn’t fix my back, I will continue to endure the torture for the sake of getting better faster.

In light of that story, the rest of the month has been relatively uneventful. After returning from Windhoek, we had a team from OH join us. They were quite a blessing to us and the kids and we were sad to see them leave us.

Three weeks after our first whirlwind trip to Windhoek, Becca and I accompanied Rebecca, her two sons and two children from COZV back to Windhoek to see them off on a plane to the US. God blessed us with smooth travels and the US Embassy granted the two COZV kids VISA documents. This is the boys first time in the US, so please pray for them as they speak in a few churches and deal with culture shock. One boy will be in AR learning blacksmithing and Ferrier skills. The other will be spending most of his time in a dude ranch in TX learning to be a cowboy.

So off they flew off leaving Becca and I to travel back to Katima alone. Well… not completely alone. While in Windhoek, I adopted Bonita (name subject to change), a very loveable 1 ½ year old black and white border collie mix. She had quickly charmed her way into the hearts of all the aunties living in the East House and many of the children. Unfortunately she seems not to like men, especially African men riding bicycles or playing soccer. Seeing as those are two things we have a lot of around here, please pray that she becomes more accustomed. She had been living at the SPCA since February, so she is quite attention-starved. I’ve promised her that she’ll never be lonely living here but I’m not sure she believes me yet. She’s also quite camera shy so when I finally get a good picture of her, I’ll share.

Other tidbits of news: Sometime this month I’ve killed my first snake all by myself (don’t be too proud of me, it was a baby black mamba the size of a really large worm), COZV got a new 8-day old baby named Josiah, got tackled by a bunch of kids at Mafuta who apparently missed me while I was gone, hosted a number of British medical volunteers, and a zillion other misc tasks too mundane to bother discussing.

So as you can see, I’ve been quite occupied since returning and my head is still spinning a bit from all the excitement. I’m finally all unpacked and ready to get back to life as usual. Hehe, as I write that I’m waiting for the next bomb to drop… but you know what I mean. Part of the charm of living in Africa is that you never know what to expect.


Anonymous said...

Jess, thanks for the update FINALLY!!!! We've all been very anxious to hear from you. Sounds like things have been very crazy for you so you are forgiven for not bloggging sooner. :) Your in my prayers!

KAR said...

Hi Jess, I enjoyed your update and continually pray for your safety and work there. I am so proud of you for following your heart's passion! Any news on obtaining a vehicle yet? Karen