Saturday, July 28, 2012

Leaving Namibia

Rob has been working a lot lately, but fortunately he did not have to work this weekend. :)  This is our last Saturday in Namibia together as a family.  Wednesday the boys and I will leave for Idaho. 

We started out going to Vintage for brunch, but they appeared to be having a party there so we went for plan b.  We drove on to Avis Dam to walk around a bit and, of course, to throw rocks into the water.  We saw so many pelicans there today.  The boys enjoyed themselves, but I was grossed out by all of the dead fish.  They were washed up on the ground and floating in the water.  Yuck!  A lot of them were small, but one was as big as my arm.  I know I don't know anything about fishing, but when I saw people fishing in the area I thought they were insane.

Some of the lovely fish floating in the water.

Fish on the shore.  I had to point them out to the boys.  They were clueless and I was afraid that they would pick one up when they were trying to choose a rock to toss in the water.

Dad and the boys

Mom and the boys.  Love the windblown hair.
Hmmm, can't really tell that they are pelicans from this pic.  I didn't want to get too close though because it smelled so bad from the dead fish.

After Avis Dam we went to go get ice cream.  There is a sign for ice cream that we drive by eery week on our way home from church.  I don't know how many times Justin has asked if we could go there sometime.  Today was sometime.  We found a parking space and went to the shop only to find that they didn't have any ice cream.  Rob knew of another place, so we drove over to Wernhill Park and walked over only to find that it is closed on the weekends.  Fortunately, we were able to have another place.  We ended up skipping the boring ole ice cream cone for more elaborate items.  Ice cream for lunch!

We also ate out at Spur for the last time.

The boys with Miss Mathilde.  It was sad to have her clean our house for the last time.  We will miss her.

We also went to the petting zoo for the last time.  Ryan cried when we left.  He says the animals will miss him.

I think that ostriches look so funny when they sit (or whatever you call it).

Ryan likes feeding the sheep more than the goats.  Sheep aren't as aggressive.  We also got to see a one week old baby lamb.

Meerkat sentry keeping watch.  I doubt there are a lot of predators at the petting zoo.

The goats never stay put.

Ryan was able to get his Tadpole 3 badge this week.  The boys have come so far over the course of their swimming lessons.  I hope they are able to continue.

Ryan on his back.
Packers come on Monday. Tuesday will be our last day for swimming lessons and our last time to attend playgroup.  Wednesday we are off on our 30 plus hour journey.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Phone Help!

I need help selecting a phone.  Having lived in Namibia for almost three years, I have no idea what is available or what I even “need” to have.  Currently, I am using a Nokia phone that cost me about $15 US.  I have my SIM card and recharge as I need.  Here in Namibia you can recharge with as little as 62 US cents!

I don’t use my cell phone much.  In fact, I often find that the battery is dead.  I use it so I have a phone when I am out.  It is also helpful for sending SMS/text messages to people.  Here in Namibia people text all the time because it is so much cheaper than calling.  I would rather call, get my answer, and be done with it rather than have a back and forth text conversation.  We will see if that changes in the US.

Why I would NEED a smart phone of any sort is beyond me, but I am sure that if I had one I would use it.  Since we already have an ipod touch and an ipad2 I would think that an iphone would make the most sense if I went that route.  It would be familiar and I could use the apps I already know and own.

I will be in the US from August 2012 until May/June of 2013 so I don’t know how much sense a 2 year contract makes.  I hate to spend money on something that I know I won’t be using.  I know some plans let you put your contract on hold while you are overseas, but since I primarily live overseas it would take forever to finish up the stupid thing!

When I leave the US, I will be going to Armenia and I would like to be able to use my phone there with a local SIM card.  That means I am looking for an unlocked GSM quad band phone and a US provider (prepaid?).

I have read a few articles, but I have lived outside of the US for so long that I am truly clueless.  Here I went super cheap because crime is so high.  In Armenia that is not a big problem.   I would like something that I can use for awhile.  Suggestions?  I feel like someone who has never driven being asked to select the most important features in a new car.   Send me a Facebook message or e-mail. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Our "Safari" to Okapuka July 14, 2012

Okay, so it has become obvious to me that as much as I mean to write updates on my blog, I am not.  This week we actually DID something so I figured that since I have pictures I should write.  Soon we will be leaving Namibia and heading off for our next adventure.  We have been out and about in the area on some trips, but especially with the children still so young I wonder how much they remember.  Taking an afternoon trip to Okapuka seemed like a good way to refresh their minds with some of the wonder and beauty Namibia has to offer.

Before our game drive we had a snack at the lodge cafe.  Warthogs were running all around the area and Justin and Ryan wanted to get a closer look.  At first they were hesitant and then they got bolder.  I had to remind them not to chase after the poor animals.
Before we even left on the 1 1/2 hour game drive, Ryan managed to fall into the pond.  Yes, I had told him not to get too close.  His shoes and socks were soaked and his pant legs and rear end were very soggy.  In the car I did have some spare clothes, but not an appropriate replacement.  It is the middle of winter here (thus the long sleeves in the pics) and all I had in the car were some shorts.  I chose shorts because they easily fit either boy and we haven't really needed any spare clothes since summer anyway.  I did not have spare shoes, but this is Namibia and shoes are optional pretty much anywhere.  (It still weirds me out to see people running around barefoot in supermarkets and malls.)  Not ideal, but we were still ready to go.
I enjoy the clear blue skies of Namibia. 

Warthogs are so ugly that they are cute.  I love the way they get down on their little knees and stick their snouts in the ground to eat.  One of the animals I least fear, but I am sure they could do some damage.

The only thing I saw move on this guy were his eyes.  They would slowly open a bit, roll around, and then close.

Get out of the way, giraffe!
I love seeing giraffes.  They are just so interesting to watch.

These trees have thorns that are nasty.  Doesn't seem to bother the giraffes though.

I could hear the bones snap.  Justin noticed that meat has a lot of red.  Most of us know that red as blood.
These rhinos really got into it with each other a couple of times.  We were often close enough that we could touch one if we had wanted.  The lighting didn't help me with getting good pictures, but you can see from the shadow just how close we were.

There were also, of course, about a million different kinds of antelope and other less known animals.  I swear I could live here 100 years and never get them all straight.  They included kudu, springbok, wildebeest (gnu), bush buck, oryx, and waterbuck.

We knew that Justin can get seasick, but this trip makes us think that his motion sickness is getting worse.  He really enjoyed the first part of the drive, but by the end he was curled up in a little ball covered with a blanket.  Luckily Ryan didn't need the blanket right then even though he had bare legs and feet.

It was a nice little trip and I hope that the boys have some nice memories of the animals we have seen here.  It is definitely different than a zoo.