Well, it turns out that thanks to one thing and another, I’ve had to keep putting off my date of departure to Namibia. The main problem has been getting hold of the visa. I’ve been doing it through an agency in Windhoek, and the representative there let me know that my permit to research has in fact been approved some time ago. This is fantastic. All I needed to do was to pay the relatively paltry sum of N$870 (about €50) to get it emailed to me. Having done this, I was promptly emailed to let me know that the money would be sent to the Namibian Home Office on Monday (yesterday) and that they would issue it in “the next few days” with my agent emailing it to me “the moment [she] receives it”. Being as my departure was previously set for Friday, in three days’ time, this poses a number of problems. Sure, it is possible that my visa will be dispatched in time, but landing in the country without one (and without a return flight on the cards to prove I am going to leave again) is a definite no-no. I do not fancy an expensive return to Europe with my tail between my legs.
So, as it is I have delayed my departure once again, hopefully for what is to be the last time. My revised departure date is now September 12th, and I have emailed my agent in Germany to instruct him on booking a single flight. The idea of booking a one-way flight to Namibia is a little bit frightening, although by now I am just desperate to actually be on my way. I’ve been preparing for this for a good amount of time now, and could do without further delays, not to mention constantly leaving my German friends in a state of flux as to whether they will see me again or not. I’ll feel better when I actually board the damn plane.
The good news is that I seem to be able to get a direct flight from Frankfurt to Windhoek on the relatively-new Air Namibia, on their only long-haul service. This saves me a fifty-minute dash through Johannesburg O. R. Tambo’s bustling terminal, not to mention the painfully-slow passport-stamping practices it enjoys. I was surprised at my agent’s choice, given the only recent resumption of long-haul fights to Hosea Kutako Airport Windhoek, on account of their not having enough safety equipment to reasonably put out a massive fire on the runway. Reassuring stuff. It seems they’ve gone and bought enough fire engines now, though. I also didn’t fancy an impromptu trip to Gabarone when I didn’t ask for it. I’m sure Botswana is lovely, but, you know, I’ve got appointments. As some of the Namibians I know might say: “Welcome to Africa!”
Back in terms of preparations here (as ever they must go on) I visited the doctor this morning for a fairly confusing run-through of vaccinations, and received a much-welcomed prescription for antimalarial medication, which is Doxycycline. I am not really thrilled about this, but Frau Dr. knows best. I also shudder to think how much four months’ supply of the damn stuff is going to set me back. Drugs are pricey here in Germany. Sadly, I am going too soon in the future to make Rabies (Tollwut) vaccination a possibility, but I’ll just stay away from dogs, as I did in India a few years ago. That should go fine. Still, I’m not sure what they put in those other vaccines but I’m a bit dazed and achey now. Maybe that has something to do with the four hours’ of sleep I’m coasting on, though, and the large quantity of coffee. It was a useful two hours’ spent at the Uniklinik, however, and at least the flesh is willing to travel even if the mind is weak.
Fun fact I discovered in the waiting room: the German translation of “resuscitation” makes it look excitingly like you can take lessons in necromancy at Cologne University.
On that note, I think I’ve got about fourteen emails to fire off again, and I’m sure my kit list needs checking for the umpteenth time.