I’m newly arrived in Windhoek, Namibia, where I’ll be spending this summer carrying out my dissertation fieldwork on Khoekhoe.

Walking around the city yesterday, I saw an American tourist wearing a t-shirt that featured Texas, drawn in the colors of the Namibian flag, with the slogan: “Don’t Mess with Namibia!” The comparison is apt — the landscape here reminds me of what little I’ve seen of West Texas, all low jagged hills and scrubland. I’m pretty certain that I haven’t seen a single cloud in the two days since I’ve arrived.

I’m still getting my bearings. It feels funny to fly halfway around the world and then spend most of the day sitting behind my computer, but of course that’s been necessary — I didn’t have any consultants set up before arrival, so the last few days have involved a lot of emails, a lot of phone calls, and a lot of waiting. (Well, really a lot of editing some papers for publication, but that’s another story.) I have my first meeting set up for tomorrow afternoon; I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to start collecting data early next week.

In the mean time, I’ve been wandering around the city, trying to get my bearings. On the advice of one of my housemates I found my way to the good coffee shop (Slowtown!), and the good ice cream place (Cramer’s!). The raspberry-coriander ice cream was surprisingly tasty!