Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rob's blog: The Email Excerpts

Rob said that I could put things from his recent emails to me up here, in lieu of blogs ... here they are:

To clarify, *I* never got lost. I always knew exactly where I was in relation to the park (which was fenced in).

I used all of my available lotion to keep the sunburn at bay, but eventually my neck and nose peeled pretty badly. On the last day in Botswana, I realized I had an aloe plant growing right outside my door. They grow freakishly big in Botswanan soil. Had I realized that, I would have ground a few leaves to goo and rubbed those on my skin. Kedra had a bit of aloe gel, which I've been using, along with lavender oil.

We're doing surveys this week in villages well outside of Windhoek--seeing how closely they're following the radio programs related to the new translation. Today, we stopped at a gem market. There's people who live in corrogated metal shantytowns and spend their days climbing around in the mountains finding various types of crystals and whatnot, which they sell on the side of the road. Something to add to your research project: types of gems and crystals available in Namibia and their relative value... to make sure you get good deals from the gem finders.

I ate a hamburger here yesterday at lunch. The beef tastes different. Raised on wild grass, instead of on chemicals and "feed." Farm practices which would be considered "organic" in the States are normal here.

Right after this email goes out, I'll be making another trip to the Apple store. If the computer can be fixed, I hope to begin work immediately on a next newsletter. I've written several articles about the Naro project.

News: the computer people have had my Mac since Friday. They've isolated the problem... the laptop is overheating which is causing a malfunction in the screen. But they aren't sure yet what's causing it or if it can be fixed without too much trouble.

Other news: Shawn just told me that the have a polio outbreak in Namibia. I shouldn't be at risk, but it wouldn't hurt to pray for extra health.

I got the computer back from the shop today. They ran it through hours of diagnostics (which cost me about $25 US, which was a lot less than it would have cost in the States; services are cheaper here).

[Rob on the weather] It's not the steamy hot Africa of recent imagination. Even when the days are perfectly warm and pleasant, inside buildings it is inexplicably cold. No central heating or air conditioning. I wear a sweater inside and take it off to go outside. The nights are very cold, with no way to heat things up. I'm sitting in my room now with two jackets on. Even though it's only 9:00, I'll be going to bed soon, just because it's too cold to stay outside of the covers.

Kedra let me check email on her computer. I skimmed some of my messages. Recall something about hairstyle. I don't remember the various options. ["Tee hee," giggles Eshinee] I only had a moment to look, because the songwriting workshop was getting going again. Will have to reread and respond later (perhaps later the same day you receive this email). You probably want to be all styled for the assembly, so I won't delay too long.

I *am* having a great time here. This *is* what I was made to do. That said, I'm looking forward to being home again soon. And home, I've learned, is wherever you are also.

I've been here three weeks and neither Brad or Angelina have even called. Next timeI see them, I'm telling them I don't want them to name the baby after me anymore.

I'm using Shawn's computer. Mine has been having a difficult time getting any kind of performance lately. I have the supersitition that I have a finite number of "reboots" left to me and I'm afraid to use them up.

Last Friday, Kedra and Judy headed up to Angola. Shawn took the day to show me around Windhoek. Got to try one of the local espresso places, look at real estate, price household goods, and shop for cars. The Caddy is not sold in Namibia, but I got a price quote for the nearest equivalent, which I think is called Touren. There's like two cars that look almost identical and have almost identical names... the quote is for the cheaper one.

I have a meeting on Monday with Barney, the director of the Bible Society here. I need to articulate our role to the Bible Society. Also on Monday, in the afternoon, I'll be looking at some of the locally available real estate "for let." There aren't many rental properties here; it's mostly to be purchased.

Tuesday and Wednesday are essentially days off. Again, I hope to be exploring the city and getting a feel for the things we'll need to bring and what we'll need to buy. Like, phones, for example, are very expensive. More than $100 for a land line; we should bring a phone from home. Beds too. Easily $1000 for a decent mattress and boxspring.

On Thursday, I drive north to Oshakati with Shawn. We'll be staying overnight there, then we meet with the ELCN bishop Friday morning. Then, I'll be dropped off at Judy's place in Opuwo either Friday or Saturday.

I'll be "holed up" for a few days in Opuwo. Shawn needs to return to Windhoek and the rest of the Dhimba team is still in Angola. There's some talk of meeting with a local team trying to develop a media program; they wanted some advice on what kind of equipment will best meet their needs. But I'll probably just watch whatever DVDs I borrow from the Boylans for a few days.

When the Angola team returns (Sometime between Sunday and Tuesday), we're going to try to get an impromptu songwriting workshop set up in Dhimba. The two previous "workshops" have found participants so ready to go that Kedra hasn't done any instruction; I still need to see "how it's done."

We'll drive back on Thursday. Friday is a day off.

My last week, Monday and Tuesday will be spent recording the Oshindonga version of "Living in Hope" which is a collection of scriptures giving hope to those suffering with AIDS (though the content is good for anyone in a time of terminal suffering).

My flight leaves Wednesday morning. Kedra and I have the first part of the flight together. We'll meet with some Bible Society leaders in Johannesburg, then fly out separately. And I'll get back Thursday afternoon.

On my computer: because of the deadness of my computer, the KKG editing still hasn't gotten finished. Kedra and I have had to both use her computer, which takes a lot longer.

In other news, the gout, absent for most of this trip (I haven't even opened the second packet of Advil) flared up Friday afternoon. We were going to go rock climbing again today, but I could barely walk last night. It's better today, but still stiff and sore. I think its specifically related to the amount of water I've been drinking. Had very little on Friday, because we were driving around shopping.

Good news for you: cornnuts are sold in the local "Fruit and Veg" store in bulk. Personally, I've gotten hooked on the store's Yogurt Peanuts.

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