Wala Leppo? (Did you sleep?)
We slept quite well after an exciting night of entertainment and exotic foods together at Joe's. Saturday was our free day to sleep in, enjoy the pool, and leisurely stroll around downtown Windhoek. This was the preparation day before we dove into what we came here to do: sing!
In preparation for our week to come and to reflect on what we had already experienced, we had a meeting Saturday evening. This meeting gave us an opportunity to be vulnerable with one another about the uniqueness of our experiences in a foreign culture. We shared not only interesting stories of encounters, but also very deep, personal, and emotional thoughts with one another. This was a moment that truly brought us together as a choral family and prepared us to share the touching experiences of the next day.
Due to the emotional and spiritual connections made with our fellow choral members and the Namibian people, words cannot completely capture what happened today, but we are so excited to share these experiences with you one on one when we return. Even so, we'll give you the general gist of our adventures today in Windhoek.
We arose bright and early to perform at a church service at the Inner City Lutheran Church, a congregation of approximately 300 people, though it's hard to say. We felt both outside our comfort zone, and yet very at home singing some familiar hymns a capella with the congregation. But, there's a catch to the familiarity: the pastor would call out for one more song, and a woman in the congregation would sing the first line of the hymn, and the rest would automatically follow. Our structured Midwestern service mentality was shattered in that moment, and we learned to go with the flow, instantly making us feel like we truly belonged in Namibia.
After couple relaxing hours back at the hotel, we ventured our way over to Tanidare Parish where we shared in the joy of music with the church brass band and the Namibian congregation. The reaction to our singing was absolutely astounding, and they loved the songs we sang in Oshiovambo, their mother tongue. The service itself was eye-opening, but after the service was where we may have "laid up our treasures in heaven." Spending time with the young Namibian children, letting them steal our cameras to take a few shots with us, and dancing jubilantly with some of the Namibians leading worship were experiences that we will remember for decades to come. We were so connected with our Namibian brothers and sisters in these times, and once again, the English language fails to perfectly describe these experiences.
While it's only 3:15 pm CST, it's about time for us to hit the hay before enjoying another day of adventure in the lovely city of Windhoek. Therefore, we say Goeie Nag once again.
Fred and Shayla