My favorite Namibian

One of my favorite people from my wonderful Out of Africa trip with Overseas Adventure Travel in October and November 2009 was Priscilla. In the Lianshulu Bush Lodge in Namibia, we were given the hut farthest from the main lodge but with the most luxurious bathroom. In addition to the big stall shower, it had a deep soaking tub. I thought it would be great to soak at night with soft music–well, there was no radio, and the generators turned off at 9, so I asked Priscilla, one of the managers of the lodge, for a candle lantern like the ones that appeared on our dinner table. She looked at me suspiciously. “Do you know how to use these?” she asked, showing me a box of matches and the candle. I assured her that I could light matches. “Show me,” she said. So I struck a match and it lit at first try (often at home I have to try several times.) “All right, then,” she said, “I’ll send the lantern to your room tonight.”

“Priscilla,” I said, “do you know that I am Jewish, and that we Jews observe our Sabbath from Friday at sundown to Saturday sundown. It’s our tradition to begin the Sabbath every Friday night by saying a special blessing and lighting candles, so I have been striking matches for many years.”

And Priscilla said, “I always learn so much from our guests.”

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