I flew from the enthusiasm and security of rural Northern Namibia to the sophistication and gated communities of Windhoek the business capital of Namibia. I stayed at Windhoek Country Club originally built to play host to the Miss World competition in 1998: only twelve years too late for that party then.
Windhoek seems segregated. Its suburb of Katutura is far removed from the colonial architecture, the glass fronts of the high-rise buildings and the shopping malls of downtown. Correctly translated from Otjiherero the name Katutura means 'We will never settle (here)'. And you can bet who the “we” are.
But nothing is black and white here. From 27th April until May 1st I worked in Katutura and Windhoek. The nature of this British Council visit is that each meeting,each writers workshop, speech or reading had cultural significance: From a workshop for children who had suffered because of aids to the launch of an English language teaching radio project at the Namibia College of Open Learning, the British Council initiative's in Namibia are right on the cutting edge of its needs.
The work between The Government of Namibia, The British Council and The British High Commissioner was evident right up until the last performance at the Windhoek college of performing arts. The Right Hon Minister of youth, national service, sport and culture gave me an inspirational and emotional introduction.
After my reading there is a drinks reception. All seems to have gone well. The Namibian national press have covered the events and all is well. Tomorrow at noon I fly to London. I've worked hard here. I am tired and looking forward to the comfort of home.