Monday, January 08, 2007

Meagan's Trip to Angola December 2006

It's LONG... but if you have time you can read about a trip to Angola through the eyes of a teenager!

Meagan's Trip to Angola
Meagan Knightly

At 1am Sunday morning, December 10th, I started out on my trip to Angola. I went with a girl named Emanuela. Around 9am that morning we got to the border. I called Morais Binga (a friend of my family) and he came over to the bus stop on the Namibian side and drove us to customs. I filled out my papers and handed them in, they stamped my passport and then we left the building. We got to the Angolan side and did the same there; it only took about 45 minutes to get through. Morais drove us to the bus stop in Angola. He bought my ticket, and would have bought Emanuela's but her brother Aristides had bought it the day before in Lubango. We decided to go to his house because the bus wouldn't leave until all of the tickets were sold, and only half were sold. When we got to his house we met his wife and kids and a guy from Namibia. We stayed there for lunch then went back to the bus to see if all the tickets were sold yet. They weren't but Emanuela and I decided to stay there and wait. We finally left Santa Clara at 3:30pm.

The trip to Lubango took FOREVER! We got there at 6am the next day. Aristides picked us up and dropped me of at Jú's auntie’s house. I met Jú there and we hung out for awhile. She told me that Wilson (one of my best friends) was in Lubango so I bought Saldo (credit) and she called him. She told him she had something for him so later on he came over. I was in the room reading a book when he came. He was eating bread when I walked into the kitchen. I casually walked to him and gave him a hug. He said "wait", put down his bread and slowly got up and gave me a big hug.

The next day Edul and his mother, Tia Laura, and his brother, Ary, came. I went to the church with Edul for the last wedding march practice. I was standing outside and my friend Claudio, from church in Windhoek, came up. We talked for a bit then he went to practice something with someone. Jú chose then to tell me that my partner (Edson) wasn't coming. I know him so Jú let me call him. I asked him why he wasn't coming and he said it was because he had exams on Saturday and the teacher wouldn't let him take them earlier. I hung up and walked back to the church. There I met Leidy (another friend from Windhoek). He told me that he wasn't coming back to Namibia 'cause he was finished school. Then another friend from Windhoek walked up. Valdemar (Nike). They said they were going to town and asked if I wanted to come. I went and told Jú where I was going then went back outside. As I was getting into the car I realized that James (yet another guy from Windhoek) was in the car. He hadn't even bothered to come out before to say hi!!!! We went to Leidy's house and I took some pics. Then we went to the fountains at the circle drive in town and I got some more pics. After that Leidy and I dropped Nike and James off at their houses, and then he dropped me off at Jú's auntie’s.

Wednesday the 13th I was standing outside when all of a sudden I saw Jefferson coming down the sidewalk. I ran to him and gave him a hug. He was so surprised to see me and just kept saying "Meagan!” It was funny.

The next day, Thursday, Aristides came over. He drove me to the Foster's house with my stuff... I was moving over there for the rest of my time in Lubango. Nobody was home so I took my stuff to the back and left it there. I went back to the other house and Jefferson came. We were standing out front when Jú's dad and Nelson came. Nelson was also surprised to see me. Jefferson, Nelson and I went to the Foster's to see if they were home yet. Uncle Steve was outside with some cool Brazilian guys. One of them (Juliano) had gone to university in Kamloops of all places. We went back to Jú's house and I went with Jú to Cila's "legal" wedding. That was ok but a little boring. Later that day, Jefferson, Edul, Nelson and I went to Jefferson's apartment and hung out for awhile. On the way home we bought ice-cream. It was raining.

Friday the 15th. Jefferson came and picked me up at the Foster's house and we went to Jú's place together. He had to go to the bank so I stayed and waited for him to come back. After about an hour I wondered if he was coming back. It was raining pretty hard so I waited till it had calmed down a bit and then I started to walk to his house alone. I met him about half-way. He said the Galatas had arrived and he had only found a moment just then to come get me. We pretty much ran there! We ran all the way to the top floor to the apartment but when Jefferson knocked, nobody answered the door so he went back down the stairs and around the building to the back and opened the door for me. I went into the living room and waited for what seemed like forever. I kept hearing familiar voices and I was literally spinning around and jumping. Jefferson finally convinced them to come to the living room. Doeg came in first. I scared him so bad!!!!! He pretty much screamed my name. He grabbed me in a huge hug and almost lifted me off the ground. When he finally released me I gave Gilberto, Jelson, Ary and this guy I didn't even know hugs!! It was so nice. Later we all went to Wilson's house to see if he was home. His cousin said he was at school so we went to Doeg's aunty or somebody's house. I got a few pics there. On the way back to the Foster's house the guys were kicking each others butts. They started walking with their hands over their butts so the others couldn't kick them. It was so funny. The Fosters were having a Christmas party with some of their friends so I sat and watched. Juliano was there so I talked to him for awhile about Kamloops and stuff. Becky was also there and she trimmed my extensions for me.

Saturday the 16th. I was up really early to get ready to go to ISTEL to get ready for the wedding. When I got to Jú's house she was just leaving. I went into the house and waited for someone to come and take me to ISTEL. When I got there they forced me to wear my bridesmaid dress, even though I would only be a photographer. It took a long time for them to get ready! They all had to put their hair in rollers, dry them take them out then get them styled. Then Jú made up this whipped cream looking face stuff and they all (except me) put it on. Now that too had to dry. Me and this other photographer (a guy) got lots of cool pictures. Me and three other girls went to the church a bit early to look at the decorations and to do some stuff then we went to one of the out-buildings to wait for the other bridesmaids and groomsmen. The groom (Nando) came first. He looked so nice! Then the other brides maids came and finally the groomsmen came. They all looked beautiful or… handsome for the guys!!! Finally the bride came and we went to the church, the bridesmaids and groomsmen all lined up for the march and I went inside to wait for them to begin. When they were coming in, about a quarter of the way up they all had to stop and stand by the pews to let Nando, the flower girls, ring bearers, and Cila go through. Edul was standing directly under a balcony and all of a sudden some kind of water thing opened and gave his shoulder a shower! The people on the balcony quickly closed the thing. I was trying hard not to laugh. I tried to get a picture but the other photographers were in my way. My batteries went dead about half way through the ceremony. A guy gave me some other batteries but they were also dead so I went to the back and sat with Leidy, Nike and James. After the ceremony everyone stood around for a long time. I ran around visiting all of me friends from Namibe, Lubango, and Namibia. When the time came, we all got into cars to drive around and take pictures and honk the cars horns. I went with my Windhoek friends. It was fun. First we went to the fountains. I met a lot of people I know from Namibe. Lots of the women from the church were there. They were all very surprised to see me. Tio Chitomba bought me batteries, so I took some pictures with the other photographers and then we moved on to the next place. While we were there I got some pictures then Jú got a couple of me and a few other girls. Then “the Windhoek guys” and I went to the mountain for a few pictures of our own. When we heard the train moving again we went to join them. We went to one last place and got lots of pictures there. I hung out mostly with the Galatas there. Finally we went to the reception. It was ok, but by then my feet were killing me from wearing high heals all day. The bridesmaids, groomsmen and I served the guests. There was a lot of food, but we ran out so they had to quickly make more. After the reception the bridesmaids and groomsmen stayed to clean the hall. I helped a bit but my feet were so tired and I was tired too... it was past midnight. Finally I found a ride home.

The next day was Sunday so I went to church with the Fosters. After church I went to Mitcha with Brent to get some stuff from the container. Then Brent drove me back home. That day I spent mostly indoors. I helped prepare for the bible study group party, and then I uploaded my pictures onto their computer. When everyone arrived we sang so many Christmas songs that all of our voices were hoarse. Then we ate goodies and talked for a long time. After that I went to ISTEL with Uncle Steve Foster to pick up the stuff that I had left there on Saturday. When we got back Becky was still there and she told me that she was driving some people to the bus stop the next morning and asked if I wanted to get a ride with her. Jelson and I were planning to go Monday so I called him and he agreed.

The next morning I was up early getting ready to go. Becky came around 7am. We went and picked up Jelson and then the other people and she drove us to the station. We left Lubango at 9am. Jelson and I sat in the very back with one of his friends. The trip took about 3 hours! We bought some mangos at the small praza (open market) at the bottom of the Leba. When we got to Namibe I found Vivas working at the bus stop. We waited there for Jelson’s friend to pick us up then we went to his house. Gilberta was sitting on the couch when I walked in. She was SO surprised and happy that she went nuts on me! We went over to Nayr’s house and she was happy to see me too. After that I went over to Mãezinha’s house. She wasn’t there but Justo and JóJo were. I stayed there for awhile and Mãezinha came back with Tio Venencio. She had been at the hospital. After we ate supper I went back to Jelson’s house to get ready for Christmas play practice at the church. I walked with Gilberta and Nayr. When we got there I met a bunch of my friends and I was so happy. I asked Tia Salli if I could stay with her and she said yes so I went with Tia Arlett to get my bags. That night Pastor Zebedeu came home from his trip with the boys (not Ladinho!).

The next night was bible study. Tio Luis was there with our old truck so I asked him for the keys. He gave them to me and I went and sat in the truck and remembered all of the good memories. All that week I was sick but I still walked around visiting my friends.

Wednesday and Saturday there was choir practice and Friday was bible study again.

Sunday the 24th we did the Christmas play. It was a lot of fun! I did a pantomima (dance) with some other girls and I also went in for “registration” with Gilberto and Nelson.

Christmas day there was a short service at church then I went to Edul’s house and we went to Doeg’s house and Wilson, Jelson and Simba were there. Simba went home but me and the other guys went to my place and had some cake and pop and stuff. The next day I was still sick so the Pastor drove me to Lubango for a consult. I got my finger pricked, or should I say STABBED, then I waited for an hour to get the results. When I got them I went to Uncle Steve Collins and he told me I had malaria. It was very minor though. Later we went back to Namibe.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I hung out with my friends.

On Sunday I went to church and sang in the choir. I spent the day with Edul and Jú. At 9pm we went back to the church to sing and do all that till midnight. At 12 everyone hugged each other then went home. Nelson, Simião and I went to Chimichi’s house and the Galatas followed. Later we went back to Edul’s house. The Galatas went somewhere and Nelson, Edul, Gilberta and I stayed and played video games. Jelson, Wilson, Doeg and Yurão (my new friend) came back and we ate cake and Jelson and Edul played the game. We were all laughing and having a great time. Wilson switched his empty Coca-Cola bottle with Doeg’s half full one and drank it then switched them back. Doeg tried to do the same thing to Jelson but Jelson caught him in the act. Yurão went home early. Around 5:30am the rest of them decided to go home so Edul and I went with them half way. Wilson and Gilberta went home but Doeg, Edul, Jelson, and I stayed. Gilberto walked up just then and we talked for a long time. Talitha called and I passed around Edul’s phone so everyone could talk to her. Edul mostly hogged the phone though. We finally went to sleep around 6:30am.

Later that day I went to the beach with Familía Chitomba and Cila and Nando. They hadn’t told me we were going there so I didn’t have time to get my bathing suit. That was my first time to the beach and I didn’t even get to swim. It was still fun though. We had lunch there. I slept at Edul’s again that night. The next day Yurão came over. I was going to go buy a ticket to Lubango, and I called Becky to ask if she could pick me up at the bus stop and she said “hold on I’m outside your house.” I was a bit confused… then all of a sudden she drove up and I thought ‘oh!’ She had been in Tombua for New Years. She said she could drive me to Lubango so I went to the Pastors and packed up my stuff and we left. I didn’t even have time to say good-bye to all of my friends. We went out to the farm to pick up a table, and then we were on our way. On the Leba, Tinka (the car) started overheating so we stopped for a bit. The guy that was with us went onto the roof and found the mangos that had fallen onto the roof at the farm. They were still green but I ate them anyways. I stayed with Becky in Lubango. When we got to Mitcha I went to the container and got some Kraft Dinner to eat. Becky went out somewhere and I made the Kraft Dinner. It was only a snack. When Becky got home we went to Aunty Doreen’s house for supper. When we went home I watched a bunch of Spongebob episodes.

The next day Becky had to go do something at the UIEA staff house so I went to Leidy’s house. He wasn’t home so I waited for him with his mom. When he came he brought me to Nike’s house. We looked at pictures then we went to the SOS orphanage because they were having a youth camp there. I hung out with my Namibe friends there for awhile then I went with Nike, James and JuJu (from Windhoek) to someone’s house nearby. While we were there Leidy came and Nike left. We went back over to the camp and I said good-bye to my friends. When we left we went to pick up one of Leidy’s friends. When we got to her house, Leidy went inside. He was taking forever so James and I went drove to this parking lot and drove around it to pass time. He said I could drive in the parking lot but I didn’t want to. We drove back and Leidy came out with his friend. When his friend was getting in I had to move over and I accidentally sat on my purse. I heard something crack… it was my camera. I can still use it but the viewing screen is cracked a bit. They dropped me off at Becky’s house and I watched some more episodes of Spongebob until Becky got home from Doreen’s house.

Thursday the 28th. I stayed at Mitcha most of the day to pack. I still had some room in my suitcase so I went to the container and found a few more things to bring home. Later on I called Fenguito, because I was planning on traveling with him and Nike. We decided to meet at the church because Becky had to go there anyways for a bible study. When I got there he wasn’t there so I went to the Holden’s house to say good-bye then I went back to the church and he still wasn’t there so I went to Jefferson’s apartment to see him for the last time before I left. He was there with Ary. Ary was going to Luanda the next day to do school or something, Doeg was there already. I went back to the church with Jefferson to wait for Fenguito. He finally came and we talked a bit, then Jefferson left. Becky’s bible study finished and she said she had to go pick up this girl that was going to stay at her house for awhile. I had forgotten my pillow and shoes at Jú’s auntie’s house so Fenguito and I went there to get them. I saw some friends that live there. It started to rain so we went inside to wait for Becky. She finally came and we left. We dropped Fenguito off in town then went back to Mitcha.

The next day was the day of the trip. Around noon I gave up trying to call Fenguito and Nike so I decided to go to Nike’s house with Becky. We met him there just as he was coming home from buying his bus ticket. He grabbed his bags and we went and bought my ticket, then we went to find Fenguito. We went to his house but he wasn’t home so we waited there for awhile, then his sister went to see if he was at his friend’s house. She met him just as he was coming into the gate. He said good-bye to his family then we went to buy his ticket. We were too late to buy a ticket to the same bus as the rest of us. I met a friend of mine from Okahandja there at the bus stop. He had a ticket to the same bus as me but he didn’t want to trade with Fenguito. We (Nike, Cachaca and a lady from ISTEL) left Lubango at 5:30pm. During the night some time we stopped at this town and picked up a couple of people, one of which was drunk. The drunk guy wouldn’t stop talking so I finally told him to shut up and that he had no respect for the people who were sleeping on the small bus. The second time I said it he quieted down for awhile and went to sleep.

In the morning we got to the police stop and they checked all of our bags. I can’t remember what time we got to the border. We got through in no time. There was no bus so we waited for like 2 hours then decided to go with some guy to Ondangwa to see if there was a bus there. We found a bus and were the last people to get on. The 4 of us were in the front row together and we were SO squished. We got to Okahandja at 10:30pm. Dad picked me up and we went home.


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