Monday, January 26, 2009
Hello Blogettes. Things are finally settling down here after the Christmas break. We are settling back into our routines and getting back to work. Fortunately, DOJ has finally filled the law enforcement portion of the Women's Justice Empowerment Initiative. My new counterpart is Jim Lane. He hails from Phoenix, Arizona and is a former Investigator for the State of Minnesota. With Jim's arrival we can now begin the process of training investigators on how to put together gender based crimes. Plus it's nice not to be the only Justice employee in the country. So Jim and I have adopted the motto "there is no Justice, there is just us." We are known as the Jims of Justice. (It could be worse.) So we will forge ahead in pursuit of justice for those who can not secure it for themselves. (Sounds much more impressive than it actually is). Stay tuned. (Oh, I still have a bunch of pictures from Swakopmund, Namibia which I will post soon).
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I cannot say enough about Namibia. About the only thing it lacked was a ski area. But I have had enough snow in my lifetime to not have that as part of my vacation criteria. In fact it will be really hard to go back to the snow country and leave my 80 degree swimming pool behind. The ocean was deep blue and the skies were amazingly clear. I took tons of pictures and since a picture says a thousand words, sit back and look at my "War and Peace."
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Over the Christmas break we ventured toward and into Namibia. Namibia is a relatively new country that used to be part of South Africa and gained its independence in 1990. It has a very large German influence, in fact, there were times (especially in Swakopmund) that I thought I was in Germany. Most everyone, including the Africans, spoke German and English. The country itself was a lot like Arizona. Dry and arid, about 90 degrees and cooler at night. The landscape was desert sand and desert mountains. The cities are lined with palm trees and everything was well groomed and very clean. Windhoek, the capital, was a very nice city. Many buildings were new and there was a lot of development. We were very surprised that we saw very few people walking around and no beggars or street vendors. All of which are prevalent in Zambia. There were great shopping malls in Windhoek that could have easily been in Cherry Creek or Scottsdale. Great restaurants with cheap prices. A steak dinner with a couple of drinks and dessert would be around $15 US dollars. We quickly realized that Namibia is not characteristic of the Africa we have come to know.
We spent three days in Windhoek relishing our shopping outlets and soaking up the Western look and feel. I must admit that it felt good to actually walk around a mall. Something I do not enjoy back in the US. If we had come to Namibia instead of Zambia, it would have been a totally different experience for us. The two countries are like night and day.