Day 004 – Mobile!

1 June 2021

I’ve been in the USA two days and I’m exhausted! Most of today spent getting a car, basic food for my BnB, and driving 45 min to Sausalito to get my PO Box contents. Driving on the right side of the road is weird! And it’s just wrong to sit on the left side of the car with the steering wheel in front of me! I’ve already bumped into several friends and set up times to get together. I’m very happy to be here because of the connections to so many people here. But things are so EXPENSIVE! Aisch.

My BnB host, Curtis, is great. The location is very quiet, suburban, and perfect for what I need for the next two months. I took a few photos for my Africa friends but will post them tomorrow when I have some energy in the morning!

I feel like I’m letting things slide (how typical is that!) but then i remind myself I’ve only been here for two days! I have my African playlists on Spotify in the background and feel a little homesick for Namibia. It feels nice, actually.

I was getting ready to call friends Bev and Steve (21:00) here, and I realized they were no longer six hours behind me but three hours ahead! It was midnight their time in Maryland! Glad I realized it before I dialed! I did call and talk to Tim who lives just north of here and we decided to get together when he recovers from an uncomfortable case of Poison Oak! That’s what he gets for playing Boy Scout in the brush!

I do think I’ll have images, stories, etc. tomorrow. I’m still battling jet lag and too many things to do (now done) to get settled.

Day 003

31 May 2021

Day 1 (from after my post on Day 1 noon(ish) through midnight) was being on a flight or on a layover in Cape Town that was really hectic and confusing – I’ll write about it soon.

Day 2 was flying from midnight through 13:40 California time (add 10 hours for the time change from Doha). The last leg was 15.5 hours in the air! Blargh. Then about an hour to clear immigration and customs, then my daughter picked me up and we talked and ran errands until she dropped me at my BnB in Vallejo.

Day 3 was not quite enough sleep but a quiet morning getting over jet lag, then a really nice afternoon running around with my daughter, and meeting her mom and grandmother, and the grandmother’s care taker, at the gravesite of grandmother’s grandfather, buried in the National Cemetery at Daly City CA. Now I’m back at my Bnb, ready for bed at 21:00, and just jotting off a quick catch up post.

I should be able to add some detail and hopefully interesting descriptions tomorrow. There was just not the time, or energy, to post until now, and I needed to just get this up so people would know I’m here, OK, and having a delightful time catching up with my daughter.

Much on my mind, and I made audio notes during my trip for blogs later, but just no energy tonight. Thanks to everyone who sent WhatsApp (which still works) and email contacts. Small note: My long standing USA cell phone number (1-415-246-2839) now rings through to my new, temporary, number. Anyone in the USA can call me at that number any time. (I don’t recommend you make a note of it because my USA direct mobile number is temporary: 1-415-910-4741 and may show that number if I call you.)

I’m working on getting a routine for posts and photos. More to come tomorrow.

Day 001

At the gate now. An hour before boarding. I am beginning to think this trip is really going to happen!

Windhoek. Hosea Kutako International Airport.

Me, incognito like everyone else!

This used to be a tiny little airport! It was renovated while everyone was staying away. Really nice now. Still relatively small.

On the drive to the airport (thanks David), I realized how much I was going to miss Namibia.

Sorry I havent posted since leaving Oranjemund Sunday – six days ago. Windhoek turned out to  be a lot busier than I planned, but  in a good way. Unfortunately I was not able to see a people I wanted to see before I left. Turns out I’ve made a lot of friends in Namibia. That feels very nice.

I am trying out a folding keyboard I’ve had for years but not used much. It will take some getting used to. I’m spending way too much time correcting myself. Hopefully with practice it will get easier

More when I can. Writing on the keyboard in the boarding area is a bit too much of a challenge!

Can’t get this one to rotate! I have a lot to learn!

Got a note from my daughter happy to hear I was on my way I am very much looking forward to seeing her!

More when I can. Stay tuned. This was “produced” on my Android.

040 – There’s just so much…

29 May 2021

Preface: This writing, and most of my posts nowadays, are pretty introspective and not focused. I warned you I am using this post as a way to get used to writing and staying in touch with friends. More skill in focusing, and focus, will evolve but this blog must serve my purposes primarily – and I’m honestly not looking to get thousands of followers and “monetize” the effort. More power to those who do that, and I learn a lot from what they have to say. But I’m marching to the beat of my own drummer, and this is the cadence that is driving me.

As usual, I woke up this morning and within the first 30 min was simultaneously energized and despondent. Going through my checklist of routines – trying to make the most of my life – I once again realized how much really cool stuff there is to be interested in! Riding along in the same coach with that thought, however, was the realization of how much I missed by not being aware of so many things until late in life. THAT, of course, is a road to nowhere good. It is a common morning response for me.

It was partly that recurring dichotomy that made me start meditating again, this time regularly. For at least a month now I meditate at least 10 minutes, sometimes more, and usually in the mornings, occasionally also for a longer time in the afternoon or evening. The first few minutes of which invariably involves me desperately wanting to write down the list of “stuff I want to look into or do” that goes through my mind, and has to be acknowledged and set aside. In the back of my mind is the knowledge that it will come up again when I’m not giving myself some quiet time to settle in.

After meditating I launch into the day which, also invariably, involves internet engagement. Damn, but “they” put some interesting links right next to where there is stuff I was originally looking for! No end of the encouragement for stimulation and distraction at the expense of actually getting something done.

Sometimes it seems my life is all about letting go. At this age, and position in life, I have to let go of the dream of …     Interesting, I just hit a blank spot and almost fell asleep. Maybe some avoidance? Maybe too much naval gazing?

I am developing a real resistance to looking back because “there be dragons!” I notice the energy that comes up with looking forwards, towards the “really cool things” there are to do. I don’t know if I will end up doing something I’ve never managed to do yet, which is to get really, really good at something. I’d like to. Three things come to mind easily: (1) Writing, (2) Traveling (which I’ll define in a moment), and (3) playing the guitar, or at least some musical instrument.

The latter recurring dream needs some work to turn it into a reality. I bought the first guitar I didn’t learn to play in my 20s, in college. Replaced another planned guitar purchase with a keyboard setup to put in my boat when I planned to be part of the cruising community wandering around the world. Just before I came to Namibia six years ago with the Peace Corps, I had purchased a basic, inexpensive, guitar intending to take it with me and learn. By this time I’d learned to not spend so much until I actually had made some progress on playing! I had heard PCVs had a lot of time on their hands in often remote locations and it seems like the perfect thing to do. When I discovered that taking the guitar on the flight overseas would involve more extra cost than the guitar cost me, I decide to pursue getting one when I got to Namibia. I then gave the guitar to a person (referred by a friend) who loved to play but had financial hardships and new medical conditions that were challenging. He was an older guy, and I’m sure he got WAY better use, and enjoyment, out of the instrument than I would have had I sold it. And I feel good about it. So I arrived in Namibia guitarless. And, as it turns out, I have been much busier than I anticipated while here. but the work and my life here has been rewarding at times and never something I regretted. Devoting my time to learning an instrument just never took priority. As fate so often does, a friend in Windhoek (the capital city) told me in January he had an older guitar he would give me on my next trip! Now I’m going back to Windhoek, but only for a few days before departing to return to the USA and start a longer trip. No guitar (once again).

Now I’m embarking on the “travel” dream. I honestly don’t know how it will pan out. For three months I’m going to be on a pre-defined (by me) schedule with lots of time to enjoy friends and trips in a place I’m familiar with – the USA. I am starting the trip prepared to continue it indefinitely if it works out that way come the end of August.

Come to think of it, I came to Namibia saying I was prepared to stay here if it worked out – but I wasn’t planning on it. I was planning for the possibility of it, and I’ve ended up owning a home and getting permanent residence status here. I’m glad I left the gates open to that six years ago. Now, my travel is being approached in the same way. Mostly my hopes for the longer trip involve meeting people that are interesting, experience new ways of living, and being able to have lots of engaging conversations. Seeing places is of interest, but it’s not the draw for me. Plus, for decades, I’ve dreamed of travelling without an end point planned. Since I was about 30 I’ve felt I could live indefinitely out of a suitcase. That belief hasn’t been tested more than business travel that sometimes had me planted in one country or another for several months at a time, but it still felt, and feels, right. I do enjoy having my “nest” to come home to periodically – maybe that’s what Oranjemund will come to mean for me. We’ll see. I’m looking into preliminary plans for continued travel starting in September but won’t commit to something for at least a month or so. It is fun to be starting a whole new life experience at 72!

One of the things I am good at is meeting people easily. Yet I still feel anxious about being able to meet and engage with people on an extended trip. I must be careful of a fundamental hope/expectation that I’ll bump into new lifelong friends that I relate to closely, or even (deep, dark and very private hope) a relationship that works for me for a reasonably long period of time – something that has eluded me for decades largely due to my own obstacles. That, also, has eluded me.

Interestingly enough, however, one part of the journey, the trip on the California Zephyr train from Emeryville California to Chicago Illinois I’ll have a traveling companion: my ex-wife from 40+ years ago! Since we divorced (I was about 30 at the time), we have stayed in touch off and on, sometimes more than a decade went by with no contact. But we both always felt we had been friends. The last few years we’ve reconnected and become very good friends. She’s flying out to California to join me on that trip, and will meet my daughter and her mom (my other “ex”) there! Knowing all of the parties involved I expect it will be fun and interesting for all. I’ll let you know.

And thus, in this writing, I demonstrate the struggle of writing when there are so many “really cool” things going on, and to be anticipated, in my life. I’m going to leave in the detail and stories even though I digressed from the “Just So Much” theme. It exemplifies the problem. I am so fortunate, and grateful, to have a life at 71 that is so full of interesting things to do and look forward to.

If you got this far, please “follow” (button on the lower right of the home screen) and you’ll get an email when I post a new blog. I’d like to stay in touch with you personally, also.

039_The importance of purpose

13 May 2021

Yesterday I started my daily writing for AAC (my writer’s group) without a clear purpose.  I wrote for about 20 min to post it to WITWIA and ended up just stopping instead of making it coherent and “readable”. It became clear to me (as I increasingly floundered about) that I’d lost sight of “to what end” – the question that should be asked before starting any project of any size.

A long-time friend who is also a writer and a professional film director told me a while back that one of the very few “rules” (more like useful techniques) to writing is to be clear on your purpose before you start. I gained a visceral sense of how important that was in yesterday’s aborted attempt to write a WITWIA article. I share this now because I’m committed to writing every day, improving my writing skills, and “put it out there”. After all, that’s what I need to do to get better at it. As a reader of my blog, you are going to be “treated” to experience my learning curve since you are my audience. Sorry about that!

Fiction writing is not my forte. I’ve tried it off and on over many decades, and I think I get boring quickly. Some authors are exceptionally good at it, of course: for years, I’ve enjoyed the work of Orson Scott Card, for example, who can create entire worlds. Isaac Asimov is remembered among numerous other things for the “Foundation” series, where he also makes a fictional world and social society. The list goes on, of course. The point being, I’m NOT good at that.

Telling a story about something real comes much more easily to me than creating the details out of thin air to make a fictional story more realistic. My attempts at fiction aren’t published – and won’t be any time soon because they are lousy, and they are really short. I mean REALLY short – like getting lost a few sentences in. But you can puruse the earlier 30 or so blogs on this website to see my very early attempts to share life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia.

Or you can stick with me on this journey with WITWIA as I learn to write in a way that (hopefully) will make you look forward to the next blog. Then I’ll be able to describe better what goes on with a 70+ year old man starting a new and exciting part of my life that will most likely end up in some significant traveling.

I’ll also start to throw in some images/pictures/videos to make it more interesting. But bear with me, I’m not there yet.

In 10 days, I leave my house here in Oranjemund, Namibia, and go to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, for a week to do all kinds of stuff and see some people. Then 17 days from now, I depart Windhoek for the San Francisco area for a couple of months. Here’s how it looks from there – and all the reservations in the USA are done and dusted, or “sorted” as they say here.

San Francisco Bay, California, area June and July, then

Taking the California Zephyr train to Chicago with a dear friend I’ve known since I was 23.



North Carolina


Starting early September, I’ll either go back to Oranjemund to stay, or go back for a while and leave again, or not go back and start wandering around the world. Lots of factors will impact that. I’ll let you know what happens!

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