Never stick to the agenda outlined by the tour company that booked your accommodation. Debbie had the idea she wanted some fabric from Namibia. We lug home fabric from a lot of the countries we visit. The colours and patterns used by African women to make their clothing is always enticing and another table cloth or a few more place-mats is OK.
The napkins on the table at dinner look like they are made from some traditional fabric. Debbie asked the waitress where she might find a place to buy such fabric. 17km north in a town called Omuthiya was the short answer.
In the morning we head north in search of material. The town is amazing. It is a REAL Namibian town. The market is in full swing on the side of the road. The lunch time barbecues are fired up and the meat is cooking. A few patrons are sitting at tables in the bars behind. The entire street is busy with people walking and doing their daily shopping. We are the only tourists. People seem to like us and many greet us and others smile maybe not so confident in their English.
A total surprise is the Namibian National Museum of Music in Omuthiya. We see the sign on the highway and turn where is says the museum is. The signage is sketchy from there but with a bit of direction from a young fellow on the street we happened upon the right building.
Cool museum with trad instruments, info on the modern music scene, a corner for how music was involved in Namibia’s fight for independence, a section on how dance and music intertwine and an area for dance and music concerts.
The curator was most helpful and a very classy woman. I think she was pleased a couple of folks from far away would stop in to see her labour of love.
Omuthiya is not on our outlined route but it was two hours of visiting a place not altered to meet what the local people think the tourist wants. I find these places more interesting than the tourist trail. Cultural events set up for the tourist, and not because it is the appropriate time and place for the occurrence, are of little interest to me. I would rather walk through everyday life in a country and see what makes it tick. This excursion was not planned for us or by us. It just happened and was as good or better than a lot of the places we have been to date.