Monday, January 16, 2012

Scenes from a run

A few weeks ago, I took my pocket camera (Canon N95) with me on my Saturday run so I could share with you what it looks like to run here in Katima Mulilo, Namibia. I hope the photos get posted in order (since I post to my blog via e-mail, sometimes I don’t always get the results I expect).

 

 

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First, the view out my door which now shows the under-construction Parish Hall across the way. The temperature is nice, not too hot, with a slight breeze. You can also see that my yard is starting to get a bit green from the rain we have had.

 

 

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Turn on my handy, dandy Garmin 410 GPS watch and allow it to find the satellite signals while I do my 100-Up warmup exercises.

 

 

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The room where I stay is part of a larger conference center run by the Sisters here in the Mission where I live (there is a convent, a parish church with an Indian priest, primary and secondary schools and a girls’ hostel, and the Cheshire Home for Disabled Children here, in addition to this conference center.) That’s my room on the end with the open window.

 

 

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The sandy road leading out. This is a nice way to start, since I’m in barefeet. It loosens up the ligaments, muscles, tendons and joints in my feet and ankles.

 

 

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A sample of the road I run on. It is tarmac, but not the smooth, predictable kind of asphalt one finds in the Western world. However, there are not very many cars up here, so the road is actually in very good shape. Unfortunately, due to a high rate of alcohol consumption, and a lack of glass bottle recycling (as is common everywhere else in Africa), there is a lot of broken glass on the road. Gotta keep my eyes open.

 

 

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Three guys on their way to work. We bike commuters in Katima are a small but tight fraternity.

 

 

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I love this house. A beautiful example of traditional building methods. I’ve never been inside, but I bet that it is wonderfully cool in the hot season.

 

 

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Boys. . . Future rap stars or auto builders? They were initially amused by my interest in their cars, but then quite proud of their handiwork. One of my favorite things about Saturday morning runs is that it’s almost the only time I see school age kids out playing.

 

 

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What is this? An odd site early on a Saturday morning—a group of adults standing around. But during my entire run, there were cars stopping here and getting out to look--

 

 

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At this accident. Pretty amazing that the car turned itself around so that the back end was demolished by the tree, not the front. There was a couple in the car. The woman passenger, stepped out and was essentially unhurt. The male driver had crashed his own car a few weeks before. This accident occurred around 7am this Saturday morning (it was about 8:15am or so when I got there). He was taken to the hospital, but died shortly after. Drunk driving.

 

I think it made an impact on at least some of the people who stopped to take a look.

 

 

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The family compound just before my 4-mile turnaround point. This is how people live out here—in small extended family groupings. There may be several of these within a couple of kiliometres of each other which make up a “village” by the government’s definition. This is the only house I’ve ever seen that is raised up off the ground which is quite wise as this is on the flood plain. Last year, there were two refugee camps within 8km along this road, this year, so far we haven’t had any severe flooding.

 

 

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One of the myriad of fascinating bugs we have here in Namibia. I think this is some sort of cricket or grasshopper.

 

 

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A small pond filled with lily pads. The roots of the lily pad are a local sweet here (though they are not really very sweet). They taste pretty nice—not a strong flavor at all.

 

 

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You can barely see these small, spider-shaped, flowers but as a bush, they give off an aroma that nearly bowled me over. So sweet and luscious! When I was running by, I had to stop and go find what was producing that smell. Incredible!

 

 

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The graves of a couple, always beautifully maintained. Richard lived into his early-70s and his wife into her late 60s. Clearly they are a family of means.

 

 

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Next to their graves, the family herd of cows. Since they are mostly lying down, I predict rain is coming. Just a small sampling of the lovely, grassfed beef found throughout Caprivi.

 

 

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Ah, back within the town limits.

 

 

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   Home again. Just a couple hundred meters to go now.

 

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