This past week we have been back in Windhoek and have gotten to get out of our hostel a lot more. One day we took a driving tour of the city, which felt painfully touristy but was really interesting. Windhoek itself has a huge range of wealth we drove through Katatura which was the black section of the city during apartheid and some of the neighborhoods which are entirely composed entirely of houses made of tin. These areas are government sanctioned for settlement and many of them have latrines, water pumps, and schools set up. From there we went to the neighborhood with personal guards and multi-million (even in American money) dollar houses and we saw the new GIGANTIC state building, which has caused quite an uproar since it cost several billion dollars.
We also went to the embassy for our security briefing, which was mostly them trying to scare us into very responsible behaviors (which seems reasonable). The next day we also got to visit a New Start Clinic which is sponsored by USAID and does free, confidential HIV testing throughout the country. It is a very impressive program and they have trained counselors who try to use the test as an opportunity to talk about behavior change and offer emotional support. (For those who are wondering, if someone tests positive they can go to any state hospital and receive government paid for ARVs).
Lastly there has been lots of shopping in preparation for going to our sites on Monday. We went to EduMEDS, the big shop for teaching materials and it was lots of fun to get ideas and get excited about what we are going to do!
p.s. I was asked by a couple people how close Arandis and Swakupmund are and I’ve been told it’s about an hour and a half drive to Arandis and two to Swakup, but Swakup is a very big tourist town so it will hopefully be pretty easy to get there. I’ll let you know for sure when I get there myself though!