Friday, June 14, 2013

Crazy for Crayfish!

DPS learners who participated in opening ceremonies.
They're called drummies. Look at those fancy outfits!!
Two weeks ago was the biggest event Luderitz has each year – the annual Crayfish Festival. Normally held over Easter weekend, so as to attract the most visitors to such a remote location, this year it was pushed back. The reason for this was to accommodate the Luderitz Town Council, which was hosting the town councils from all over Namibia for a series of sporting games throughout the week. At first I thought this was a pretty selfish move of the Town Council – truly few tourists would be able to get to Luderitz without at least a long weekend, so how could they justify moving the only well known event to a random weekend at the end of May?! Turns out, these games they were hosting were actually pretty big. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – when given an opportunity to miss work for a week to go watch people play soccer/netball/other assorted sports, what person working at a town council would say no? And obviously the opening parade would begin at 10:30 on a Wednesday morning, RIGHT in front of Diaz Primary School in the middle of the location, just as we started up classes after the break. My classroom, right next to the office, is prime viewing for any action on the street. I thought I could handle the chaos, having gotten everyone seated and started on their work, but all bets were off when someone spotted horses. I have never in my life seen people so excited about horses. My learners were all at the windows screaming with joy to see the six horses on display, being ridden by the people at the front of the line. In this country at least, horses aren’t really ever seen, which explains the enthusiasm from the kids. This is a country of cows and goats, and sometimes assorted antelope, but not at all of the most commonplace animal in the US. So funny! My colleague in the office luckily managed to convince the principal to let the kids swarm the front gate to watch the parade go by.

I am obsessed with this sign.
Anyway, because of these games Town Council was very on top of making Luderitz look nice and getting it in shape for lots of visitors. Hence the creation of a sidewalk from town to the location, new paint on several previously neglected spots in town, and, the biggest cause of talk, a Hollywood-esque sign on the mountains welcoming visitors into town! My friend Sarah and I hiked over the mountain behind my house to take some pictures with it.
The Paella! All things seafood in there, so delicious!

The weekend was filled with so much delicious food – crayfish, braai meat, and most notably, a massive plate of paella for only N10 dollars! Also the Luderitz PCVs got to have drinks with the US Ambassador, who was in town for the Festival as well! It was so interesting to hear about her experience in Namibia in addition to the other countries she has worked in throughout her career with the Foreign Service. All in all, it was definitely a successful weekend!

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