After a drought of wifi and a particularly busy schedule, we have an overload of info that we could provide you with, but seeing as we will be hopping on a plane for Johannesburg around 3 pm and taking a connecting flight from there to Capetown, we will have to stick with the general details.
Last week Saturday, we headed even farther into northern Namibia to Okahao, where we would have a choral exchange and stay with families in the area. Okahao Parish is the home congreation of Rev. Shaanika, the ELCIN director of education who had been our guide throughout our journey in the North, thus we felt instantly at home. We sang with a couple of other youth choirs in the area for a Youth Dedication Service. This was probably the first time many of we Luther students had danced up and down the aisles of a church, and it was a wonderful experience joining with our brothers and sisters in rejoicing and praising God.
After the service, we were served a light meal and were taken to our host families. There is no way to describe a "common" experience for our home stays, and we would not want to describe them in a common way. Some students stayed with families with air-conditioning and running water, while others stayed with families that still "rolled out the red carpet" for the students, though the had little to give. One thing is for sure, though: each of us was welcomed just as if our home stay families were truly our parents and siblings, which was such a blessing.
We attended Sunday church at Okahao Parish with our home stay families, said our goodbyes, and headed back south to the Protea Hotel in Ondangwa, where we were originally staying in the North. After one last dinner and group discussion in the North, we left for our safari day at Etosha National Park on Monday.
Etosha National Park proved Our kind bus driver, John, drove our large charter bus through Etosha, slowing and stopping whenever we saw exotic animals to photograph. Seeing all the zebras, kudu, springbock, giraffes, and elephants caused many of the students on the bus to break out into songs from The Lion King, which made the safari all the more enjoyable.
We stayed at Halali Rest Camp for the evening, spending leisure time at the animal watering hole. The peaceful tranquility of the area rejuvinated us for our long 7 hour trip back to Windhoek on Tuesday, where we would prepare to give a large concert at the Christus Kirche on Wednesday.
Wednesday proved to an absolutely heart-warming day as we sang with students at a School for the Visually Impaired. These students were extremely excited to learn songs from us, and we were absolutely thrilled to learn from them. As many of these students were either completely without vision or with very much impaired vision, the concept of holding hands to lead one another around was a very common occurence, and it made us feel very welcome with these students. The students led us all around their school, introducing us to their classmates and teachers, telling us all about their lives in the school. Many of us teared up as we said our goodbyes to the lovely students and their teachers, who believed with all their hearts that these students had a great purpose to serve in the community and the world.
In the afternoon, we had a final rehearsal before giving our concert at the Christus Kirche, a beautiful German church in the center of Windhoek. With several Namibian Luther alumni and many other supporters present at the church, we sang with our whole hearts and were blessed by the community that supported us in our music that night. We concluded the night with a reception at the Wine Bar.
Today is the day we leave Windhoek for Capetown, South Africa. We expect to fly out of Windhoek around 3 pm our time (7 am CST) and land in Johannesburg, where we will catch a connecting flight to Capetown. We are expected to land in Capetown around 10 pm (2 pm CST) and head to our hotel.
We will do our best to let you know when we land in Capetown, but as we are unsure of what the wifi situation will be, we ask for your patience. Our time in Capetown will be extremely busy, but we will try to update before we leave Capetown for London. Thank you for following our journey!
Shayla and Fred