By: Micah Mills
Climbing to the top of a marble mountain: Check.
Night sky that takes your breath away: Check.
Time spent with good people: Check.
This is just a short checklist on how I describe our last couple of days.
The last leg of our trek across Namibia – which according to Dr. Martin Schneider is bigger than Texas, but that is debatable – was spent in the company of the Schneider family at their “farm.” To limit it to just that one word would belittle this wonderful place. Sure there are cattle, goat, sheep, and chickens, but the Schneider’s made this farm our home during our stay there. They opened their doors and arms and treated the nine of us like we were kin.
Personally, the time I spent on the Habis Farm was one of my favorites during the trip. It is a place that constantly radiates beauty in some form or another. It was spotting a mountain zebra across the way or watching the sunset behind the surrounding mountains. It was getting to immerse ourselves in the knowledge the Schneider’s have of Namibia.
It was humbling in many ways to be at such a place. At night, the house is lit by candlelight and in the mornings showers are heated with a wood-burning furnace. It was refreshing to step into a world outside of the American mindset and slow down and take in everything around you. There was no television or Internet. It was satisfying to know the world doesn’t stop when you do.
The Schneider family left a strong impression on my time in Namibia. They will be the first to cross my mind when I hear of Namibia. I am so grateful for the hospitality I have been shown in this foreign place. Hospitality has been such a strong factor in why none of us want to leave this place, but all good things must come to end.
Just as our time at Gobabeb had to end and our time on the Skeleton Coast had to end and our time at Etosha National Park. Our time in Habis had to end, as well.
So this one is for the Schneiders – to their hospitality, their kindness, and their open arms. The way they treated us is something that is not easily repaid. I hope future study abroad groups get to know them they way we did.
Today we fly out of this beautiful place and head onward home. This is goodbye Schneiders. Goodbye Habis. Goodbye Namibia. Until we meet again.