Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Home Stay - Train Station

In Namibia, people travel a lot during the holidays (Christmas time). It is also common for members of the same family to travel to different locations for the holidays. For example, one family member may go to their uncle's house in Windhoek, one to a older sister's house in Luderitz, and three other members to the family farm in the country.

It so happened that one of my sisters was leaving for Windhoek via train. Her train was scheduled to leave around midnight, and consequently she needed an escort to the train station. I offered to be her escort, along with one of my other younger sisters. The three of us walked 15 minutes to the train station. When the train arrived, we helped our sister carry her bags onto the train, gave her hugs goodbye, and then left.

As we were walking away from the train station my younger sister grabbed my hand and we walked most of the way back holding hands. In Namibia, it is common to hold someone's hand -- be it the hand of another man or another woman. It is a warm act of friendship shared between opposite and same sex friends. It is even common for a handshake with a friend to last multiple minutes while the ttwo friends catch up on each others recent news.

After a little while of holding hands, I looked at my sister and said to her, "I bet you feel sad because your sister has left for Windhoek."

She said, "No, I feel better now because I am holding your hand."

I wish we felt more comfortable holding each others hands in America.


Daureen Clyde said...

Hi Jay!

Seems like all is going well in Namibia! I read Jason's Blog pretty regularly.....I'd read yours if you's post more! Jason mentioned something about you and a to elaborate? My appeal was reviewed today...did not go the way I had hoped. Looks like I'm stuck State-side. I'll look for other opportunities that require a shorter commitment I can do over the summer break from teaching. Habitat for Humanity seems like a good option....I do love to plaster! In a way I was relieved...I (finally) met someone who shares my hippie lifestyle! I was not looking forward to making any life altering decisions. Might be a cop-out, but now I don't have to. Besides, everything happens for a reason. If I'm not meant for the PC, I must be meant for something else. I just have to leave the doors open.

I'm going to resign as a moderator on the 14'ers board. It doesn't see any action anyway now that everyone is at their post. I wish you continued success and happiness in Namibia and beyond. Live every minute to its fullest!


Tim said...

Hey Jay! I'm really glad to see you blogging again. Keep it up! I'll be checking regularly.

Tim said...

One other thing - you might want to change your location (as indicated by the blog)....I don't think you're in Reedsburg anymore!