Cage swimming and illegal immigration
Trip Start Jun 25, 2006
127Trip End Aug 01, 2007
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A journey via dugout canoe, motorboat, and a three-hour ride in an open-top safari truck brought us back into Namibia to spend the night at the Ngepi Camp in small town of Bagani. This particular place had some very unusual bathrooms. My favorites included the Toilet of Eden (a flush toilet under a pretty tree surrounded by flowering plants and lush shrubbery all of which was encircled by tall reed privacy fence) and the Star Bath (a large galvanized bathtub in the open-air looking out into the jungle). The best feature of the camp though was the Cage Dive (a floating metal cage surrounded by decking, floating in the river to allow you to swim without being bothered by hippos and crocodiles!)
From there, the next day we set off west along the northern border of Namibia to the town of Rundu
Yesterday morning we visited a local school. We visited a few classrooms and were greeted with singing so we had to provide a song as well. Katie was a hit with the kids by leading our group in doing the "Hokey Pokey." Besides visiting classrooms we had an opportunity to talk to a few teachers. I must say, most of their complaints and challenges were pretty much the exact same as those of American teachers.
So, I actually went swimming in the "cage" in the Okavango River and there were hippos and crocs in the water! It was freaky, but you knew that they couldn't get you because the cage was solid. However, someone mentioned something about the holes in the cage being big enough for snakes to fit through, and I promptly jumped up the ladder
On our last night at Ngepi (the place with the cool toilets), we paid the locals to come to the campsite and do an African dance show. Apparently, this was a HUGE deal for them, and the entire village showed up. There were literally 50 villagers from infants and children up to ripe old men that turned up to dance. Some of the women even had curlers in their hair. It was entertaining, and I am pretty sure that every song they sang and played on the bongos was the exact same song, but they didn't seem to notice.
We have been in Namibia for the last day or so, and besides being illegally in Angola for fifteen minutes, we have had a lot of pool time (which is so rough - this backpacking stuff is really strenuous!). Today we visited a local school and had a tour of the classrooms, the library and the science laboratory. It is really interesting to see how they improvise with supplies, and how every little donation from aid organizations really seems to go a long way. The kids were really excited that we were there, and we took their pictures with our digital camera and showed it to them...the huge eyes and big smiles were worth it! We then visited a classroom, and the students performed a song for us. Naturally, we had to return the gift, and performed the classic "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" (which incidentally, Todd had never heard of!?!!). To our surprise, the kids actually knew it, and sang it along with us! For an encore, I suggested we do the Hokey Pokey... last time I suggest anything, as I ended up leading it. When we were leaving the school, I actually heard kids singing it!