Windhoek, Namibia

27 11 2011

I’ve just arrived in Namibia. This is my first time to this country, and I’m already impressed. It looks clean, it is quiet and feels amazing laid back. Mind you, I am travelling somewhat differently to what I am used to. We are staying at the Hilton. It is definitely a step above the places I usually stay. My last trip, to Spain, was in a pretty nice hotel, but the fit and finish in the rooms wasn’t quite there and the restaurant didn’t open until very late, leaving international travelers quite confused and hungry. My recent trip to Bangladesh was for Save the Children, so the places we stayed were very basic. That seems to be the difference between my travel for Save the Children implemented projects and with USAID travel. Both are really important and I hope have a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable children.

On this trip, we are going to be supporting a conference on food security and livelihoods. The Namibian Prime Minister and US Ambassador to Namibia will be opening the conference. So, it’s actually going to be quite a big deal. I’ll be presenting on ideas for livelihoods opportunities for people affected by HIV/AIDS. Whatever gets discussed at this conference could set the agenda for future Government investments, such as continuing to invest in the basic income grant for vulnerable populations, and setting the enabling environment for mobilizing savings deposits.

It would be great to get an opportunity to see the coastline but Windhoek is smack bang in the middle of the country, and I need to make sure I get home to my family. Otherwise, I would have liked to have gone to the ocean. From first impressions, if Windhoek was by the sea, it might be a place I’d highly recommend to my wife as potential place to live in the near future. Let’s see whether I say the same at the end of the trip.

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