Dawbies in Africa

KATUTURA

17 Sep 2012

 

We are currently living in a township called Katutura.

In 1959, as part of South Africa’s apartheid policy, black Namibians were forcibly removed from Windhoek to townships around the city. Katutura (“the place where we cannot settle”) was the largest of these. Thankfully Namibia is now a Republic & apartheid ceased over a generation ago.

Modern day Katutura remains a black township, a sprawling suburb bigger than central Windhoek. Houses range from smart abodes to corrugated iron shacks. Many in the community live in very simple homes & poverty unfortunately remains a reality.  The land itself is not conducive to gardening & lawn is non-existent. Homes are surrounded by bare earth & dogs bark in unison throughout the night.

We are living with a local Namibian family who are graciously sharing their two-bedroom apartment with us for the next three months. We are being well looked after & enjoying the inter-cultural exchanges that occur each day. We have so much to learn about the local people & customs & at the same time they are leaning about Australia & our way of life. Our host’s eleven year old daughter was aghast to see Mike doing the washing up & advised that African men would never do that!

Getting about the community we get the feeling they don’t see too many whites walking around these parts. We went food shopping last week & were the only white people in the shopping mall. Many of the more modern apartments have bars over each window & the front & back doors have large key locked security grills in front of them. Caution needs to be exercised & you don’t go outside after dark. Even some of our Namibian friends have been mugged at night time, so we listen carefully & adhere to advice. This morning we awoke to find a man going through our garbage bin outside the front door!

Despite these challenges we are blessed to be living where we are & we are within walking distance of the EBC church.  We are honoured to be living with a Namibian family & sharing daily life, laugh & meals with them.