Namibia: It’s all part of the Adventure

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Yesterday the dogs that my hosts family owns ate my jeans.

I wasn’t in them at the time.

To be clear, they chewed a hole about the size of saucer and several smaller holes into my favorite pair of jeans which where hanging outside to dry.

It wasn’t a vicious act, the alpha male actually likes me and I believe he was welcoming me into the family. Dogs don’t speak Afrikaans and can barely manage a hand (paw) shake, but they can chew. So I take it as a small kindness that the pups decided to gnaw while my jeans were on the clothesline and not on my person.

It’s all part of the adventure.

One that same day the bulb in the ceiling light of my room literally exploded when I flipped the light switch on. The lamp is enclosed so no glass shards on my bed to deal with. Another small kindness.

On Saturday I ate goat, chicken, fish, some Mopane worms, sausage, and more in a cultural exchange cookout. It was a lot of fun for the people attending, not for the goat and chickens which were killed, dressed (as in to prepare to cook not as in to wear a tux), seasoned and rendered tasty by several local cooks following traditional recipes. There were side dishes of local collard-like greens, boiled seed that tasted very much like boiled peanuts, and many other foods from Afrikaans, Oshiwambo, and other households. I ate until I couldn’t anymore. ( Yes, I did eat Mopane worms. They’re kind of chewy and have a somewhat nutty flavor.)

What I DIDN’T eat, but are everywhere are large bugs called Armored Crickets or Armored Katydids. These dark red to brown, slow moving insects are about the size of a large walnut with spindly legs and thick, spiked exoskeleton. They eat pretty much any protein they come across including dead Armored Crickets.

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Armored Cricket

These bugs are not to be trifled with. When attacked they will squirt a stream of toxic blood at you, or throw up. A weird defense tactic. I supposed upchucking will gross out the attacker, giving it second thoughts about eating the Armored Cricket, as if the spiked shell, blood squirting and a nasty set of mandibles aren’t enough.

Did I mention that they are everywhere?

There’s so much to tell you about and so little time to do it. I’ve already been in-country 3 weeks and I still have so much the learn. Things should slow down in 6 or so weeks.

Stay tuned.

Vern

13 thoughts on “Namibia: It’s all part of the Adventure

    • Hi Ed,
      They are nasty characters. They are a pest here, but because they are so slow, clumsy, and can’t fly, they are fairly easy to control from crops. I’m told that farmers just dig a ditch around the field they want to protect. The bugs fall in but can’t clear my out.

      Vern

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    • Hi Dexter,
      I wear Levi’s ( of course), but please don’t bother attempting to replace the chewed pair. The shipping cost and tariff would likely double the price. I can likely find a replacement here. And I’m pretty particular about how they fit so I’d have to try them on first.

      Thanks though, and thanks for reading my blog!!

      Vern

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  1. So glad you are getting settled in. Love reading about all the new adventures. Do you need a new pair of Jeans? God Bless

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  2. Hi Vern, sorry to hear about your favorite jeans😱. stay safe.. all is well back home,just working and chilling. Wanda says hello. Can’t wait till the family reunion in a couple of weeks, so far just me and sis are going, can’t wait to taste some down home country cooking. Love and miss you😘

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    • Hey Little Sister,

      Sorry to be scarce. You can keep closer tabs on me through WhatsApp.

      Eat a bunch for me and tell everyone I said “Yo!”

      Love ya!
      Vern

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  3. I don’t know why you didn’t eat those armored cricket things. They sound very tasty. And, you know, holey jeans are in style, so the pups were doing you a favor. Good to hear from you. Stay safe. Learn lots. Live life. 🙂

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  4. Vern, loving your stories. Sorry about the jeans and the bugs. Ugh!! Tell more about the work you’re doing. And pictures of you. Have fun.

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    • Hi Helen,
      Thanks for reading and the kind words.

      I intend to write more about what I’ll be doing once I know myself. I’m currently in training and all I know is that I’m learning Afrikaans and will likely go where it’s spoken, which is 90% of the country. Also, I’ve been too busy to write more, though today and yesterday where relatively slow

      Hang in there. More is coming.

      Vern

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  5. Worms, huh? I do take it all that you ate was good, being that you couldn’t eat anymore. How are the spices? I bet they’re incredible. Good choice not to eat those crickets. It must have been strange to watch others eat them. Did some your co-peace corp folks eat any crickets? Pretty scary defense mechanisms. I wonder what makes dogs choose one peice of clothing over another. Or any animal makes a choice. For instance, my BF’s cat, he only seems to relieve himself on my things…seriously!
    Take care and I love seeing your updates.

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