A weekend to remember
The team and I traveled to Swakopmund to explore another part of Namibia and become adrenaline junkies June 5-7. On the way to the ocean we stopped at a market and practiced our bargaining skills. Next, our destination was Dune 7 which is the second tallest dune in the world standing over 300 meters tall. While climbing the dune we quickly learned for every three steps taken up you fall two behind. All the students climbed the dune in under 30 minutes, which is pretty good in my book! Reaching the top of the dune felt wonderful, especially because there was a nice breeze traveling h from the other side of the dune.
Once our sandy selves made it back into the car, the next stop was to walk alongside the ocean! Alexis, one of the team members, had never been in the ocean before so we were all excited to experience this time with her. The water was beautiful and the water was not too cold! After we explored the oceanside for a bit, we made our way to our bungalows to start preparing for dinner.
Our “host dad” Gussie cooked a traditional braai, which consisted of potatoes, salad, lamb, pork and kabobs. I have never been so full, but the food was delicious. We had a little fire and took some time to reflect on all we have done so far on the trip and enjoy great company. That night we explored the city and met some native people from Swakopund.
The next morning we had to be up early as our ride to sky diving was waiting for us. After anxiously driving to the facility, we signed our lives away, had a short briefing on what to do in the sky and began to put on our outfits to get ready to board the airplane. We went in groups of two as this is all the airplane could hold. I originally wanted to go in the plane first, but I was assigned the second flight. After watching friends fly in the sky I was overly excited, and not as scared as I imagined I would be. Kel and I were in the plane traveling to 10,000 feet before we knew it and before I knew it I was free falling and having the time of my life. During the fall, my camera man Karl reached out and grabbed my hand in the sky. Being in the air, while overlooking the desert and ocean was one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen. One the parachute thankfully deployed, I was given a chance to take hold of the reigns and learned how to move left or right in the sky. My tandem partner Thys was a veteran and made the experience spectacular! Once I safely landed I realized how peaceful the experience actually was and encourage any people on the fence about sky diving to give it a try, you just may want to wait and tell your mom adventure after you go (like I did!).
From sky diving we quickly traveled to quad biking, as the dunes were waiting for us. At first I was very relaxed as the dunes were small, but later on in the trip we were cruising very high on the dunes! Half way through we made a pit stop to go sand boarding down the dunes. This is nearly the desert form of sledding, except the dunes were much higher up than most sledding hills I had ever been on. After a while we headed back to roads and or vehicle. Most of us had a lot of sand in our hair, clothes, and faces but the experience was an absolute blast. A few days after visiting the coast I still found sand in my hair but think it is all gone now! During the drive back to our bungalow, we stopped to watch the sunset over the ocean. Our new friends from sky diving invited us back to chat and watch our sky diving videos, so after we cleaned up we headed back for a few hours!
Sunday was a day to tour the ocean and see animals! A seal and pelican joined us on board during the ride and brought entertainment and laughs to us. From seeing dolphins in the ocean to seeing oyster farms and Seal Island, we all braved the cold and had a relaxing tour of the ocean.
The coast was quite an adventure, but many of us checked events off of our bucket lists and some hope to go sky diving again!
Katie Morici, an elementary education and special education major, is blogging about her study abroad experience in Namibia, Africa.