21 December 2011


I just recently returned from a hiking trip in Lesotho.  It's a beautiful country.  I didn't bring my camera, so please click here to see pictures from my trip.

18 December 2011

Quad Biking in Namibia

Going quad biking in the desert is possibly the most fun activity in Swakopmund, Namibia.  What made it such a singular experience wasn't just the rush of the quad bike over towering sand dunes, but the view of the ocean at every turn.  In Namibia, the desert meets the ocean, making for one of the most beautiful landscapes I've seen in southern Africa.

Here is my experience in pictures:

You can't wear a helmet and not take a silly picture

Ready to go!

The ocean on the horizon

Oh hey I'm on a bike

22 November 2011

Setswana Grammar Lesson: Go Loma

Your grammar lesson for today starts with a sentence:

Ka Saturday, ke lomilwe ke ntsha.

Let's break it down.

Ntsha - dog  (nn-cha)
Go loma - to bite  (ho loh-mah)
Ntsha e loma - the dog bites  (nn-cha ay loh-mah)
Ntsha e ntoma - the dog bites me  (nn-cha ay nn-toe-mah)
Ntsha e lomile - the dog bit  (nn-cha ay loh-me-lay)
Ntsha e ntomile - the dog bit me  (nn-cha ay nn-toe-me-lay)
Ke lomilwe - I was bitten  (kay loh-meal-way)
Ke lomilwe ke ntsha - I was bitten by a dog  (kay loh-meal-way kay nn-cha)


Ka Saturday, ke lomilwe ke ntsha


On Saturday, I was bitten by a dog.

Excellent work, class.

(...Don't worry, the dog had its rabies shot and I am healing very nicely!)

13 November 2011

Daniel and Tess Photo Montage

Did you think Daniel and I didn't take any pictures together in Namibia?!  Here they are:

Swakopmund, Namibia

I recently returned from a vacation with nine of my closest friends to Swakopmund, Namibia, a quaint tourist town on the coast of the Atlantic OceanNamibia was colonized by Germany, and the German influence is still present in the architecture, cuisine, and general way of life.

Wide boulevards

Not a great picture, but in the background
you can see the desert meeting the ocean
Mural wall

My favorite mural
It was a long trip consisting of buses and rental cars, but it proved to be worth it.  We rented two houses at Swakopmund Municipal Rest Camp, which came with an outdoor braai (barbecue) and an ocean view. 

Rental cars

House we rented

Ocean view from our porch

The main thing we did was eat delicious food.  Every morning I started my day with a large coffee and delicious German pastries at Raith’s CafĂ© and Gellateria.

Gellateria and Cafe

We found a little pizzeria that made thin-crust pizza and ended up eating there twice.

For our first nice dinner, we made reservations at a restaurant called Brauhaus, which serves authentic German cuisine.  It was my first time trying German food and I loved it!  It was a meal fit for kings and I was so full I could barely walk out of the restaurant.

Ladies dressed up for dinner

The girls took one afternoon and went off shopping.  There were a lot of cute boutiques to look through.  I found one jewelry and craft store in particular that I loved, and I picked out several necklaces and rings I wanted to buy for friends back home.  My plan was to return to the shop on Saturday and use whatever Namibian dollars I had left to buy souvenirs.  Imagine my surprise when I get to the store at 2:30 PM and everything is closed!  Apparently all stores in Swakopmund close at 1:00 PM on the weekends – except for grocery stores and bars/restaurants.  I wish I had known that before it was too late.

Of course, we went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.  The water was very cold, but since I grew up on Lake Ontario it didn’t seem that bad to me.  What can I say about the ocean?  It's amazing.  I would be a mermaid and live in the ocean if that was an option.

We also got to watch the sun set over the Atlantic, which was very beautiful.  We went to Tiger Reef Bar, right on the beach, for sundowners.

Balcony view of the sunset

My friends Lindsey, Jen, and Nicole
Heidi and me
Heidi and me playing in the ocean one last time

Out on the jetty (or pier) there is a sushi restaurant called Jetty 1901.  There are glass panels in the floor so it looks as if you’re standing on the ocean.  We all went to sushi “happy hour,” where one roll cost only 20 Namibian dollars (less than 3 USD).  Before this, I had only eaten vegetable sushi, but at happy hour I tried different tuna and salmon rolls.  Turns out, my favorite was a salmon roll that also had fish eggs on it.  Sounds gross, but it was actually delicious!

Restaurant on the end of the jetty
Walkway to the restaurant

I'm the one with hot pink toenails, duh.
Another great meal we had was braai-ing (or barbecuing) fresh fish from the local fish market.  The boys bought the fish already gutted and salted, then wrapped it in tin foil with butter, garlic, and lemon.  We put it on the grill for awhile and voila! the most delicious fish I have ever eaten.  It was so good (and we had so much) that for dinner the next night we made fish tacos.

Fish on the braai
Always date a man who can cook

Waiting for dinner


To appease the daredevil in all of us, the whole group went quad biking in the desert, but that will be a blog post of its own.

All in all it was a wonderful trip.  When I got back to work, everyone complimented me on how happy and refreshed I looked, and it’s true.  An ocean-side getaway is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Being silly

A wave took us by surprise!

Taking a shopping break to meet up for drinks

The closest we got to a "nice" picture of all the guys

See how happy the ocean makes me