Another optional activity on offer was a Township tour. Our group toured through the Mondesa Township, on the outskirts of Swakopmund, where we visited a Damara Chieftainess (the Damara people are on of Namibia's indigenous tribal groups), an artist's home, a medicine woman's 'clinic' and a local bar for drinks, traditional meal (which included spinach, beans and the mopane worm, which is essentially a fried caterpillar) and dancing by some of the township's youngsters.
I must say that when I initially envisaged what my tour of Africa would be like, my mind was full of the media images of poverty and sadness that we are constantly bombarded with in North America, but what I discovered during my tour contradicted the entire way that thought about Africa and its' people
. By all means, I realize that I did not visit all parts of the continent, or all its' peoples, but the my experiences in several countries (one's that are constantly portrayed as poverty stricken) allowed me to encounter genuinely happy people, full of life and vitality. They may not have all the 'technology' that we have, but they are living fruitful, satisfying lives regardless of whether they have the latest IPhone or MP3 player. I realize that what I wrote here may be contradictory to many people's opinions, however I am not discounting anyone else's impressions of the African continent. This is simply what I experienced and the way that I am choosing to express it. I have nothing but a desire to return to this amazing, vivacious continent!
Having three full days in Swakopmund was quite the luxury after what seemed like endless days sitting on the truck! The town has a lot to offer those desiring some explorationg by foot. The town is essentially right on the beach and there are several museums (Swakopmund Museum and the National Marine Aquarium) and tons of shops and quaint cafes. To top it off it is a very beautiful town!