By: Trotter Heady
Day six of being more away from home than I ever thought I could be, and I feel as if I’m surrounded by my friends and family back in Aggieland.
Before entering Namibia all I could think about was being alone in a country that everyone saw my group and I as tourists with nobody to greet with a “Howdy!” I assumed that we would be seen as these rich Americans that nobody would show any kindness to unless they were tourists themselves.
My opinions were dramatically and instantly reversed as soon as we arrived at the University of Namibia’s Neudamm Campus. Our group has been greeted with kind smiles and warm hearts despite of the cold weather, which hasn’t gone away since. We are constantly embraced with Namibia’s “Ultra Cool Super Secret Handshake,” and big hugs everywhere we go.
Yesterday at the American Cultural Center the class was able to meet multiple individuals who are American but work in the city of Windhoek, Namibia. Here we were finally able to get our “Howdy!” and “Whoop!” greeting, because one of the workers was a Texas A&M alumni. Even though we have only been in this foreign place where everything is constantly new for five days, you could tell how excited we all were for something familiar.
Her hearty greeting has helped me to look back and truly appreciate all that we have already encountered. That same night we were able to experience an amazing home cooked meal prepared by Dr. Martin Schneider, the former Dean and current professor. We were welcomed into his beautiful home and feed a delicious, home cooked, Namibian meal of oryx stew. We were again surprised with friends and colleagues of Schneider’s that were so happy to speak to us about our journey thus far and where we plan to be in the future.
Now we head toward a new destination, the Gobabeb Research Center, and I’m thankful to be able to look back at the large amount of connections we have already made. We have met an amazing group of people already and are sure to continue to meet more along the road.