Thursday, June 29, 2006


Those four last posts were things I have had on my memory pen for a while. Maybe not so interesting, but since I had already written them, I decided that I might as well publish them, too.

Things have changed a little bit since that last one was written. I am in pain. IN PAIN!! And I only have myself to blame... You see, I decided that the lemon blonde hair was not enough. I needed a tan. So this morning, I took my book with me, put on some SPF 10 and sat in the garden for a while. The SPF 10 did not do the trick. At all. Result: One red lobster in pain. AAAAAAUUUCH! OK. Enough complaining.

Windhoek is treating me well. I am doing some interviews, some shopping, and hanging out with friends. And now I have to go. I have to prepare some questions to ask at the Ministry of Youth and Sport tomorrow. Wish me luck :)


Just as I suspected, my skin refuses to get any kind of tan - even if exposed to the strong sun of Africa. (Well, that is not quite true. I have discovered that one part of my body actually gets a tan. I have a tan line from my sandals. But somehow that just makes it look like my feet are dirty. ) I have a sneaking suspicion that none of you will believe me when I say that I have spent 6 weeks in Africa. You will all think I decided to do my fieldwork on football in Siberia instead.

So I decided that at least I have to make use of the sun for something - and that is to get my hair blonder. Therefore, my brother Dannie and I decided to do a little myth-buster, and see if there actually is some truth to the good, old lemon trick. So we squeezed a couple of lemons in my hair and made a couple of highlights in Dannie's. And it worked! Well, Dannie's hair didn't really change at all. But my highlights did! Some of them actually turned platinum blonde!

And that will be my evidence of having spent a month and a half in the sun. That, and the sandal tan-line, off course.

Separated at Birth?

Now in these World Cup times, I was talking to my football fanatic neighbor Philip. The subject of Sweden participating in the World Cup came up, and he asked which famous players plays for Sweden. I listed up the ones I knew, ending with Zlatan Ibrahimovich. Then there was a little pause where my neighbor just looked at me before he said "Yeah. You actually look like him".

Well, I don't know MJ, do Zlatan and I make it to your look-alike-list??

Jump, Shake your Bootie

The first days I was here, at the preparation course for the Norway Cup project, I learned a new game. It was called "Jump, shake your bootie", and turned out to be very useful when I have tried to learn a little bit of Namibian dancing.

The dancing here is just incredible. Dancing is such a big part of the culture, and almost everyone dances wherever there is music - which means basically everywhere. And it is just amazing to see.

So I decided that I also wanted to try to learn to dance the way they do here. And this involves a lot more flexibility than I am used to, and yep, also a lot more bootie shaking! But I just can't help trying to dance when I hear this music. And my attempts are always met with laughter and applause, and I just try to convince myself that they are laughing with me and not of me. I undersatnd that even if I try to do like thay show me to, my dancing just looks very, very stiff to them. "Why aren't you people more free?" they ask me. Good question. I didn't find an answer.

I have decided that learning by observing is probably the best way. And the posibilities to observe are many. At the break time of a football tournament, the boys will put on some music and have kind of an impulsive dance show on the side of the field. I think you would have to search long and hard to find 15 year old boys in Norway doing the same. At the youth hall there are often traditional dancing competitions, and even the smallest social gatherings seems to involve music, dancing, and singing. At the preparation course when the boys were asked to show us some traditional dancing, they didn't hesitate for a second. When we Norwegian people there tried to come up with some dance to show them, we had a hard time coming up with any. And when I ask the boys what they'd like to know more about Norway, they always respond that they would like to know more about Norwegian traditional dances..

Unfortunately, I don't think my learning by observing method has made me a much better dancer. But at least it has given me a lot of fun, and let me see some incredible dancing skills!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Lesson in Namlish

Even though English is the official language of Namibia, it is noone's actual mother tounge. Actually a school here in Khorixas has a poster on their door saying:

"Don't be ashamed if you make mistakes when speaking English, it is a foreign language!"

At home most people speak one of the bezillion tribal languages, and often they don't start to learn English before they start school - when they have to learn it because all lectures are given in English. Therefore, the level of English varies greatly.

There are a few phrases here that everybody use when they speak English, though, phrases you don't normally hear an English speaker use. Therefore, we can call the language Namlish. For an already language-confused Norwegian, Namlish can be a bit hard to follow at times, at least before you recognize the pattern.

The thing that has been most confusing to me is the use of the word "must". "Must" is used in every context, and covers pretty much everything from can, could, should, will, have to, and do-you-want-me-to. While I always think of must as in "have to" (Norwegian "maa"). So, on my first day when my brother asked me "must I save some of the dinner for you Hanna?", I just said "oh, you don't have to if there is not enough"... But later I realized he was actually just asking if I wanted some dinner.. I did want some dinner!

The one thing I find most funny, though, is this: time apparently has a different meaning here, and the word "now" means more like "in a couple of hours" than "right now". So what is very funny to me is when a person is telling me they'll be back in a little while by saying "I am coming right now" just as they turn and walk away from you. I am still working on getting used to Namibian time..

And when I come back home, chances are big that I will end every sentence with "neh?" or "man!"

Gotta go! See you later, neh?

Beautiful like a Macaroni

Last night, while I was out playing pool with my brothers for the last time in a few months, I recieved the so far strangest compliment of my life from some guy in the bar.

"You look beautiful like a macaroni".

"Ehm.. Thank you. I think.."

My brother Dion had to explain some cultural differences to me. That has started to become a habit by now. And apparently, macaroni is something most families in Khorixas only get to eat for their Sunday dinner. Therefore, it is something special for them. Rice, too, is apperantly pretty special, therefore "beautiful like a rice" would also be a big compliment. So thank you. I think.

When we are on the subject of strange compliments, there is one more that I just haven't gotten used to. "Oh, you legs look so fat!" "Oh, you look really fat in that picture!" Ehm.. thank you?? Dion comes to my rescue again. According to him, if he told a lady that she had become fat, she would be happy all day long. Apparantly, if people loose wait, there will be rumors that they have gotten HIV, and therefore, nobody wants to hear that they are thin. I can understand that. But it still feels a little bit strange to hear people telling me straight out that I look fat today..

Otherwise, today I left Khorixas, and I am going to spend the last two weeks here in the capital, Windhoek, except for a little safari trip or two. It was really sad to leave Khorixas, and especially my family who has been great! It was probably good that my friend Eric came to my house at 8.30 this morning saying that he had found a car that would take us to Windhoek right now, even before I was finished packing, so it wasn't much time to feel sad and dreading saying good-bye. I don't think it really hit me before I was sitting alone in Windhoek this evening, that I don't get to see them again for months. That's sad!

I must try to look at the bright side! here in Windhoek I have hot water, and tomorrow I get to take a warm shower and wash my hair. I never thought I could be so excited about hot water!! I can count on embarrasingly few fingers the showers I have taken in the last four weeks.. Besides, getting back to more familiar food is also on the plus side. And now I am just babbeling. I hear my bed calling me. A bed with a duvet and pillow, no more sleeping bag for a looooong time :)

And, as you see, I am back in a place with internet connection. tomorrow I will see if I can get to post the blogs I have saved on my memory pen each time I optimistically went to see if the internet place was open..

Friday, June 09, 2006

A few Words from Khorixas

Just thought I'd write a few words from Khorixas, Namibia! The place where I have access to internet is also the place where they have examinations these days, and therefore - not so much internet for me. And now that I suddenly got to use the internet for a few minutes, I have experienced so much that I don't even know how to start putting it down on paper.

So now I have been up here for almost two weeks. It's strange - in one way it seems like I have been here a lot longer, but in another way the days go really fast. I have decided to stay here for about two more weeks, doing some more interviews and hanging around, and then go to the capital, Windhoek, to do a few interviews, go to a fund-raising sports day, and hopefully have time to go on a little safari-trip somewhere.

Khorixas is a nice place, and the people are very nice. I live with a very nice family, and have four host siblings. The two oldest boys brought me on a sightseeing trip in the area a couple of days ago, and that was a lot of fun. I have also tried to learn a little bit of their traditional dancing, but without very much success I'm afraid. Another thing I am not doing very much progress on is to learn a few words of the language they speak here - because they have a few clicking sounds that are just impossible for me to pronounce. I had my brother record it into my cell phone, so when I get home I let you hear and you will all probably understand why... Otherwise I have started to do some interviews, and I have followed the Norwegian girl who is a sports volunteer here to some of her work. Tonight she has her good-bye party, and she'll be leaving on Sunday. That will be sad!

Well, there is a lot more things I should have written, but I am running out of time right now. Ciao!