Eyes Newly Opened

Having lived in this beautiful country for over 30 years and travelling it extensively, I shamefully admit I have never made the time to see how the people of The North live - and this is where more than half the entire population live on just 6% of Namibian territory!  Recently I had the privilege of taking a friend there to attend a traditional wedding and dressing ceremony, and found an immense amount of warmth, love, laughter, colour, and happiness amongst these wonderful people who welcomed us into their village, and into their hearts.  Here is a glimpse of what I saw of life in The North.

 

 A-weh, A-weh, A-weh!  All visitors get greeted like this with a ululation, and the waving of a fly swatter above the head.

A-weh, A-weh, A-weh!  All visitors get greeted like this with a ululation, and the waving of a fly swatter above the head.

 The eyes of a child.

The eyes of a child.

 May we enter?  An enormous church, still waiting for a floor, provides shelter for a group of goats during a downpour.

May we enter?

An enormous church, still waiting for a floor, provides shelter for a group of goats during a downpour.

 The Dressing.  Paul Nanyeni, a beautiful young man being dressed by his white "mother" - he was named after her late husband and tradition calls that she has to now dress him before his wedding and the start of his new life.

The Dressing.

Paul Nanyeni, a beautiful young man being dressed by his white "mother" - he was named after her late husband and tradition calls that she has to now dress him before his wedding and the start of his new life.

 Tradition captured in every modern way.

Tradition captured in every modern way.

 Dressing complete.   Young Paul has been deaf since age 12 due to malaria, which is rife in this part of the country.  In spite of this he completed school and graduated from university as a teacher of geography, and is currently  teaching hearing impaired children in Windhoek, the country's capital city.  He is also the chairperson of the Assoc. of the Deaf for Namibia and has represented them in Spain at an international conference in 2011.  He is now planning to study further for his masters' degree in 2014.  Not bad for someone only 31 years old!

Dressing complete.

Young Paul has been deaf since age 12 due to malaria, which is rife in this part of the country.  In spite of this he completed school and graduated from university as a teacher of geography, and is currently  teaching hearing impaired children in Windhoek, the country's capital city.  He is also the chairperson of the Assoc. of the Deaf for Namibia and has represented them in Spain at an international conference in 2011.  He is now planning to study further for his masters' degree in 2014.  Not bad for someone only 31 years old!

 The church is open to all.

The church is open to all.

 A minute's rest.

A minute's rest.

 And the Heavens Opened.  Relief in one of the more drought-stricken areas of the country.

And the Heavens Opened.  Relief in one of the more drought-stricken areas of the country.

 Looking Back.  Too small to know what is happening, but still part of the congregation.

Looking Back.  Too small to know what is happening, but still part of the congregation.

 Empty Pews.  Waiting for the bridal parties to arrive - 3 wedding ceremonies done at once later had this little church overflowing with people singing, dancing, praying, and ululating.

Empty Pews.  Waiting for the bridal parties to arrive - 3 wedding ceremonies done at once later had this little church overflowing with people singing, dancing, praying, and ululating.

 Colour-theme Red.    Three weddings held on one day, in one church, at one time.  Each had their own colour theme, everyone wearing the similar dresses made up in the same fabric.

Colour-theme Red. 

Three weddings held on one day, in one church, at one time.  Each had their own colour theme, everyone wearing the similar dresses made up in the same fabric.

 Summertime and the Water Fountain.

Summertime and the Water Fountain.