The Blog is Back!

One year later I’ve finally managed to figure out to recover my old site database. I’ll be making some changes around here for the purpose of nothing in particular. Frankly, I’ll probably not write much of anything and instead focus on JB Woodruff Design and my new JB Woodruff Photography site.

Today’s Walk Around Ngong Road

Jacob and I headed out to explore a bit and came across a couple things.

I have a restaurant here.  The sign says J.B. Restaurant.

Sony is expanding beyond consumer electronics.

Window shopping for your meat.

St. Lukes Hospital Nairobi. Pretty sure I’m not going here.

The true source of Pier One’s wicker.

Bee keeping.

My Phone is Working

If you need to reach me, and quickly, my phone number is +254 0722 118 066.  You can send me a text message using the same number and be sure to include the ‘+’.

You can also text me using jb@jbwoodruff.com if you have an iPhone and you’re using iMessage.

I’m Back…For Now

So I’m finally home after traveling southern Africa for the past month.  I’m exhausted and glad to be able to stay in one place for more than a couple of days.  I have plenty to tell and I apologize it hasn’t been coming more often, but I hope to get a couple stories posted every day until I’ve finally told all tales from my travels.  Due to a hard drive crash I won’t be able to recall all events or provide all of my pictures, but things happen and sometimes to more than to others.  If you need to get in touch with me I am now using my old cell phone number again from before I left for Kenya…if you don’t have it and want it then just send me an email on my website at jbwoodruff.com.

Departure Update

So it appears that I’ll be in Opuwo for a few more days than previously thought. I’ll be leaving on Tuesday of next week. This is good as I won’t have to spend as much time Windhoek. I’ll find some things to write about between now and then.

That’s A Mystery

Guess how many weeks of work I have left?

Time Change

The time changed this weekend by moving an hour ahead so the result is that it is now a 6 hour time difference between Eastern Standard Time and Opuwo time. Plan accordingly.

Tons of American Booty in Opuwo

I just got a package from Shannon and her mom that contained quite a few unexpected treats. The blanket included was all I knew about and pretty cool and will be given to a friend’s baby here, but what really caught me was this.

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So much for keeping those pounds off. I’m naturally ok with this as I’m currently snacking on one of the smashed Oreo Cakesters…these are tasty. Maple syrup that isn’t sugar cane syrup with maple flavoring…ok, bad example as it’s just corn syrup with flavoring, but still much better than the stuff they have here…perfect for my homemade pancakes. Skyline…of course. Those almonds are truly a remarkable feat in modern processed foods. Peanut M&Ms…going in my freezer right now. American peanut butter? Awesome. Oyster crackers…now that’s just going the extra mile. Thank you for the treats and i’ll be sure and enjoy them.

What would you want in a care package if you were gone from the U.S. for quite some time?

Don’t Want It? Put It Outside

That’s right. If you feel that you want something to magically disappear all you have to do is put it outside. Shirt, shoes, pans, bikes…whatever…just put it outside. This is the secret code message for please take me away as fast as possible for the owner clearly does not want me anymore. I’m pretty fortunate in this area…for the only thing I have had taken was a tupperware bin. Ed had his bike taken. Richard and Mark had their shoes taken. One advantage…don’t want something that has been sitting in your fridge for weeks, but might be edible? Put it outside.

Castlevania Conquered

That’s right. I did it. Dracula and Death tag team were no match for my twirly bible and vampire killer whip. They talked a big game, but at the end of the day they lost like the rest of them…Frankenstein…dead…Werewolf…dead…Medusa…dead…strange big guy with brain popping out of his head…dead.

Only problem…now what am I supposed to do in the evenings?

OK Runs Out of Water

My go-to supermarket here has been out of water for more than a week. I’ve resorted to reducing water intake and upping Sprite intake. Now, this is probably not the best idea so today I decided to expand my shopping horizons. Agra, the agricultural supply store, low and behold, had 5 liter jugs just sitting around. I hope that no one else finds out about this.

A Regular Day At The Soccer Field

So I arrive at the soccer field today around 4pm and start my warm up before we play, per usual. Now, when I arrived at the field I noticed a group of cows were taking an interest in me. These cows had nice big horns, but again, I really thought nothing of them…afterall, there are cows and goats all over the place here. Well…I start my jog across the pitch and I began to notice a sound behind me. To my complete, crap my pants astonishment here was this great big bull coming after me as I’m mozying across the field like some out of place white guy. I’m not sure what to do as I know these things can run pretty fast. There are the goals that I could climb on, but not sure if they’re up for a 170 pound introduction. There is always run around in circles and see if the thing gets tired and keels over considering the complete lack of water these things get…might work. What made sense to me at the time was to just run straight ahead and go for the higher grass toward the airport fence. I mean, this thing can run. I’m zigging and zagging, but it’s right there with me. What did I do? I know my bike is the coolest, but do I really deserve this? As I got closer to the airport fence I see the ladders that Ed (another vol) was telling me about and I make quick use to get to the other side. Success!!! You just read a fictional situation I considered in my head while the cows were looking at me when I arrived at the soccer field today. Sure, I could have told you the truth that the cows did look at me and promptly returned to eating, but where would be the excitement in that story?

Castlevania

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Is it wrong for a 26 year old to be completely and utterly addicted to Castlevania?…don’t answer that. I have this game for my gameboy called Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, and get sucked in every time I play it. I could make a joke playing off of the title…ooph…would you look at that picture, already got it covered. I mean…what else is there to do now that Shannon is gone?…again, don’t answer that. I guess the only cure is to beat the game and then I can close that chapter in my life. If only Death and Dracula didn’t join forces at the end…whoopin up on me.

The Return of Funkadeena

No videos this time, but just an update. Funkadeena the cat has returned after a two week absence and he’s looking rather peakish. With a little bit of my home cooking and water I’m sure he’ll bounce back in no time.

Water

Let me tell you a thing about water. It makes our plants grow, it washes our clothes and dishes, it is used in cooking and it sometimes gets the stink off of me if I use enough soap. Now, without water, all these things become somewhat difficult. Not impossible, just difficult.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, upon my return to Opuwo the water was off. Apparently a water pipe had burst in town last Friday leaving the town without water. I arrive and lucky for me I’ve been in a hot car all day and would like to use my bathroom. Let me remind you, without water, things become difficult. I’m not one to go unprepared and now I’ve found myself up the proverbial creek.
Water Bottle
I find out that there are some people who still have water. How can this be? Water tanks that don’t connect to the same system, that’s how.

Another thing about water, you need to drink some occasionally. I like to try and get a couple liters a day. In Opuwo you cannot drink the water here as you never know what you’re going to get from it. The water is especially high in calcium and magnesium. All water related items here are covered in white calcium deposits. One look and I decided I’d rather not have super strong bones and opted for bottled water. Yes…I drink only bottled water. Every trip to the store I try to haul at least two, 5 liter bottles back. I’m starting to have quite the collection. I occasionally give them away to locals who sell them to a local back alley alcohol producer.

So long story, kind of shorter, I had a bunch of these bottles laying around. I was able to fill up a few and use those for a nice bucket bath, some dish washing, cooking and to flush john. Made some mighty tasty sweet potato leek soup despite the setback.

Fast forward to Monday and still no water…ahhhh. Lenah, my cleaning lady, showed up a bit late but low and behold, she is my lucky water charm as the water came back on right when she arrived…note that this is now the second time this has happened.

I’m back to my usual ways…washing dishes, cooking food, taking showers and flushing my toilet. My recommendation…be sure to have a nice supply of water around just in case. Yes, even those of you in the world of the U.S.

Watch Woes

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The beloved Casio watch from the 80s has taken a turn for the worst. As you can see it has turned from mostly legible to gobbly gook. Amazingly unfortunate of me, I managed to set the alarm in its current state and get to listen to the soothing sounds of ‘beep, beep….beep, beep’ nightly around 6:30pm. Smashing thoughts have started to enter my mind.

While in Windhoek I decided to look for a replacement despite how much it pained me. Eureka was my thought upon discovering the exact same Casio…but for $25!!! Not cool Windhoek store, not cool. I checked out the Sportsman sports store next.

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The store was full of heart monitor watches…not exactly what I’m looking for. Deep down in the watch case at last I found was I was looking for…at least, I thought it was what I was looking for. A nice collection of $10 watches…with lights!!! My old one didn’t even have a light. I was sold.

I’m now very unhappy with my purchase due to the added bulk of the watch…so much for a new watch.

4 Weeks Already!

Shannon left last night and is now sitting in London awaiting her return trip to Cincinnati. Time really flew by on that one. She nearly didn’t make her flight last night due to a slight change in the flight time…next time I need to figure out how to make it so she actually misses the flight. Originally 7:40pm changed to 6:15pm. We arrived at the the airport when boarding started. This was good as it left little time to think about her being gone, but sucked as left little time for a goodbye. At least I got to sit there and watch her as she was racing through the security line. Waiting in a line, finding out she forgot to fill out a form, sit in another line and find out it was the wrong one and finally me having to send someone back to get her as she was about to go through because I realized she had all the money and I still had to pay to get back to Windhoek. So things were basically a breeze. Back to Opuwo for me on Saturday. ‘The Dark Knight’ for me today 🙂

Final Day in Opuwo

Today marks Shannon’s final day in Opuwo. Tomorrow we’ll be figuring out a way to get down to Windhoek by Thursday. This journey should prove for some interesting stories, but I’m hoping it’s easier sailing than not. Best part was that we had a potential ride this morning, but no one cared to inform me until they had already left…I should have none better to be more proactive. This afternoon we’ll see if we can find some tourists who can give us a lift. Keep those fingers and toes crossed.

Travels: June 26th – The Airport

It’s June 26th and I’ve been waiting for this day for quite some time.  I wake up early, shower up, grab some hard boiled eggs and miraculously the driver is there, on time, to take me to the airport to go get Shannon.  Moses is his name so I’m feeling good about this.

Shannon’s plane lands a little early so I’m glad I arrived a bit early myself.  I wait just a bit and out of the door comes the cute blond girl I’ve been waiting for.  Seems like it was just yesterday that I last saw her and it’s great.  I present her with a gift plastic shopping bag full of delicious breakfast-like items.  If you come and visit maybe you can find out what kind of goods I provide.

Things are great until I have to go to customs to pick up some packages.  You see, when I left Kenya I kind of left in a hurry, as in, I left with nothing.  The folks in Kenya were nice enough to send my belongings to me here in Namibia and the packages were waiting in Windhoek.  To back up just a bit, a few weeks prior I received a phone call from someone in Windhoek who said they had my packages.  I tell them to hold onto them and I’ll pick them up myself when I get to Windhoek.  Fast forward to a couple of days before Shannon arrives and I meet up with this guy, Nicolas, who wants N$1400 and my passport…um…no.  I tell him that I can take care of this myself.  Return to June 26th and I find out that this guy tried to process my packages for me in the hopes that I’d pay him N$500 just for his ‘troubles.’  I find out that this might have been worth it.  Because I’m a nice guy, I also volunteered to pick up some packages that VSO had at the airport that had been sitting there since October.  3 hours later I have managed to fill out about 10 forms, paid an additional N$1300 out of my pocket for the VSO packages, found out that guy’s name is definitely not Nicolas, made a trip to the post office to buy a N$1 revenue stamp, apologized to Shannon and Moses at least 30 times and generally lost all hope for Namibian customs.  Long story short, I now have all of my stuff from Kenya and not a thing was missing.

Back in the Saddle Again

Just wanted to let you all know that Shannon and I are safely back in Opuwo.  I have to say that there has been tons going on in the past few days and I’ll most certainly tell you all in about it.  Patience is all you need as I go through the hundreds of pictures and hours of video.  There’s a lot of good stuff in there, I promise.  Stay tuned.