Life Backwards

Published on 21 October 2023 at 15:58

This evening Finn filmed a man proposing to his girlfriend at our hotel restaurant. The local A' cappella group was singing during the proposal. Finn got an amazing video of the entire experience. Afterwards, he shyly approached the groom and asked if he would like the video Finn recorded. He said yes, Finn sent it to him and a little bit later he told Finn how grateful he was to have this amazing footage of the proposal. 

Afterwards, Finn runs up to me and says, "Mom, I've seen life backwards". I say to him, "what are you talking about"? He says "I saw a funeral in Tanzania, a wedding earlier and now a proposal. I have seen life backwards". Such an interesting way to think about this thing we call life. 

Today we did a tour to Sandwich Harbor outside an interesting town called Swakopmund, which is where our hotel is located. We didn't have much information about this tour. All we knew was what the front desk told us, "it is something not to be missed". As we are driving from our hotel, I ask our guide, Norman, how Sandwich Harbor got its name. He told me that in the 1590's the Dutch came to Sandwich harbor in search of trades for goods and spices. When they arrived, they found nothing in this area. The dutch traveled back to Europe and told England about this mysterious place. The English were into whaling and so they thought this spot was a gold mine. The first ship they sent down here ended up crashing and becoming shipwrecked into this area. The name comes from this voyage - no one knows if the name comes from the Captain of the Ship or the actual ships name? Its a mystery but that is where Sandwich Harbor comes from. Norman also told us he has brought some clients here that are disappointed when they arrive. The clients say, "why are there no sandwiches here"!!! 

As we travel out to Sandwich harbor, we pass many small "pond" areas of different colors. The most vibrant is a pond that looks completely pink. Norman explains to us that these "ponds" are used to produce salt. The small ponds capture the salt water, algae starts to form and create this pink color. After 26 months have passed, enough water has evaporated to begin to collect the salt from the sea. Crazy to think salt takes over 26 months to create! 

So we get to the so called only place in the world where desert dunes meet the ocean. Aren't sand dunes all over beside the ocean? My simple understanding of what sets this place apart from regular dune/ocean beaches is the desert aspect. I guess it's technically a desert sand dune vs a regular sand dune? On another note, super beautiful and the boys loved climbing up and down the massive dunes! They absolutely loved this experience.

Our guide, Norman, was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently 42 years old and considered "colored". He is not white nor black. His grandfather was white and married a black woman. He has light skin and told us a little bit about his journey. His family is originally from South Africa. They left to give him and his siblings a better life. In South Africa, up until the 1990's, it was illegal for a black person to marry a non black person. In both Namibia and South Africa, they have 3 classifications of a person: white, black, and colored. At school before 1990, if you were black or colored you were NOT allowed to learn math. Only the white kids were allowed to learn specific subjects. Black people were allowed to study the next degree and "colored " folks were at the bottom. Norman explained to us that his father had two options for occupations as he went to school: teacher or mechanic worker. His dad chose teaching and eventually became a successful principal. He said they were fortunate and had money. His father could buy a small, used truck.  He told us his father's skin was so white, people assumed he was white. He was accepted at the local pubs, played rugby with the white team and accepted into the "white" country clubs. When his father would show up with the 4 children, Norman told us, strange looks would appear. "What is this white man doing with these colored kids"?

Norman told us a story: When I was 7 or 8 years old, I asked my friend to come over to play after school. I did not ask my mom if this was ok. When we got to my house, my mom says, "No, you did not ask, he needs to go back home". "You should walk him half way home since you told him he could come over and play". As we were walking home we pass by a "whites" only park/playground. No one was around so my friend and I decided to go and play. Soon after, a few white men on motorcycles come driving up and chased us away. I remembered my dad's friend lives nearby. We ran to seek refuge at his house. He calls the police and fortunately the police are kind and understanding. The police man gave me a ride home in his car and I got a terrible "hyding" (basically your ass whooped for miss behaving). from my dad before he found out exactly what I did. 

To start the day, the boys did school work. Finn was working in one room, Nash was "working" in the other room. When we came back in to check on Nash's progress we discovered he had switched from math to art class. He took his "erasable" marker and drew all over the hotel sheets. He even traced his hand to ensure that the hotel staff would be able to track the mini handed culprit down. When we asked Nash "WTF!???" He said "I didn't mean too". Before we left for the day's adventure, Nash stopped by the hotel front desk to fess up to what he had done. The hotel front desk team was very understanding and requested that Nash provide his credit card for payment. Nash threw his hands up and said in Nash speak " I don't have a credit card". 

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9 months ago

Always good and informative stories…but reading what Finn said about life backwards is really moving. Love the way his mind works! Nash is hilarious with the sheet 😂

9 months ago

What else can I say. Kid's brilliant. Unreal. He managed to have the full, round trip experience of being a verite filmmaker from concept (hey, that guy over there is about to propose to that woman), through production (think I'll video tape that guy doing that) and finally arriving at distribution and accolades (hey, I recorded this for you! Want it?). Thing is, the way he's seeing his experiences, he may at heart also be a little bit philosopher and/or a poet.