It’s that season once more! We’re so glad to commence our fifth yearly Motherhood Around the World arrangement with Kaylan Reid Shipanga in Namibia. Kaylan, an independent author, lives with her better half, Elago, and their two-year-old child, Lance, in the city of Otjiwarongo. Here, she shares some astonishing things about living in Namibia, including enormous obligations regarding youthful children and the difficult to-make sustenance that her child adores…
On early introductions: In 2010, I moved from New York to Namibia for a year to instruct English and PC classes to secondary school understudies. I touched base in the capital, Windhoek, around evening time. When I woke up the following morning and opened the blinds, I was shocked by how staggering the scene was. The city is encompassed by tall mountains, and the air is so new. I additionally saw the excellent, rich rosy dark colored shade of the dirt here. I grabbed a couple of stones that first day that despite everything I show at home.
On meeting her significant other Elago: I initially marked an agreement for one year in Namibia, however I definitely realized I needed to remain longer. All things considered, I never thought I’d meet my better half abroad! A half year after I arrived, Elago (his name signifies ‘fortunate’ in his primary language, Oshiwambo) turned into an English educator at my school. We began talking amid breaks, and soon enough we were indistinguishable. Despite the fact that he experienced childhood in a rustic town network with hovels and I experienced childhood in New York City with high rises, we felt so comparable and truly associated.
On dating: When Elago and I met, we were instructing in a community close to his family’s town, and individuals began telling his mom that they’d been seeing her child around town with ‘the American educator.’ She at first didn’t endorse since easygoing dating was not basic in her clan. Yet, after we chose to get hitched, Elago conveyed me to his town for half a month. The language obstruction was clumsy at first — his mom realized just a touch of English and I realized just a touch of Oshiwambo. Be that as it may, after we reported we were locked in, she encouraged me and we turned out to be close. We got hitched in 2014, and had our child precisely nine months after the fact.
On pregnancy: In the U.S., individuals will frequently offer a pregnant lady their seat or hold the entryway open, yet in Namibia, they’re less taken into account. You’ll see pregnant ladies working in the fields, conveying overwhelming burdens on their heads or strolling long separations under the hot sun. Private medicinal services is costly, so most neighborhood ladies go to open emergency clinics that have deficiencies of staff and hardware. It’s additionally normal for pregnant ladies from country regions to rest in tents outside emergency clinics close to their due dates, so they don’t need to travel so far when they start giving birth. Therefore, my significant other and I chose to go to New York when I was five months pregnant to have the child there. It was a tremendous benefit to have that choice.
On inviting Lance: When we previously conveyed our child Lance to my better half’s town (which is five hours from the city where we live presently) to meet my relative, the family performed two Aawambo clan customs. The first was something they accomplish for anybody coming into the home out of the blue or after quite a while away: they put a glue like substance on his temple in the state of a cross, an image of welcome. At that point Elago and his cousins went into the fields where every one of the creatures were nibbling and picked a goat to butcher for a major family supper to pay tribute to the primary conceived youngster. It was a brilliant day. My child is presently viewed as the child of everybody in the clan. At whatever point we visit, men, ladies and kids will remove him directly from my lap.
On assorted variety: One of the things I adore most about Namibia is being presented to such a significant number of various societies. There are around 13 noteworthy clans in the nation, and they have distinctive dialects and traditions. For instance, my significant other’s Aawambo clan (the biggest in Namibia and furthermore called the Ovambo or Owambo) spins around planting and collecting a grain called ‘mahangu,’ while the Herero and Himba clans rotate around cows/domesticated animals. Regardless of their disparities, they all live pretty gently one next to the other. There are likewise numerous individuals from other African countries living in Namibia. It’s a genuine mixture.
On home life: We live in a cutting edge high rise with heated water, power and Wi-Fi. We have two rooms, so in spite of the fact that Namibians are substantially more into co-dozing, we chose to purchase a bunk. Be that as it may, it wound up not fitting through our front entryway, so Lance is still in our bed! I communicate in English to Lance; at his childcare they communicate in English and Afrikaans; and my better half likewise talks his first language Oshiwambo to him. There’s no disgrace around breastfeeding here, and I feel good sustaining my child in broad daylight. I frequently observe ladies strolling down the road with a bosom uncovered as their youngsters nurture.
On toys: Before I turned into a parent, I envisioned pushing my youngster on the swings at a recreation center, yet play areas simply aren’t a thing here. At times it’s trying to think of exercises, however we frequently hang out at the neighborhood tennis court while our child tosses a ball around. The toys they offer in our city are like American toys, yet the children in my better half’s rustic town play with whatever is lying near — sticks, sand and nuts on the ground. At the point when Lance visits, he does what his cousins do. I truly like that it’s increasingly loose; it’s such an alternate vibe from city life.
On excitement: Our city is truly little. Some portion of me wishes it were as created as the capital, where there are spoken-word occasions, regular hair meet-ups, race vehicle driving, a cinema, shopping centers and clubs. Be that as it may, the other piece of me values its comfortable straightforwardness. Our town’s parks are simply lush zones along the fundamental street. There are no seats, so individuals bring covers. We purchase flame broiled meat from the road merchants and locate an obscure spot together. Eating meat, talking and having a lager or a soft drink in the grass is a great Namibian thing.
On date evenings: We haven’t had a night out on the town since our child was conceived, yet before parenthood, we would go to fights or to the nearby open market for grilled meat. Dating exercises are basic in Namibia, yet you understand you needn’t bother with that a lot to appreciate one another. We additionally simply go on strolls. Our absolute first date was a stroll through the community only outside of Elago’s home town. As we strolled he welcomed individuals he knew and informed me regarding their identity. We wound up sitting under an immense Baobab tree and visiting – it was such a loose and unique date.