Friday Lens Affair #168

Embara from Onantsi, Namibia

This Friday I’m hosting a super cute shot of Embara from Onantsi in Namibia taken by Erika Bisbocci from Erika’s Travels Blog.

Erika, a travel-obsessed flight attendant, travel blogger and returned WorldTeach volunteer doing her best to explore the world and plug with a passion for adventure in others. She was born in Eugene, Oregon and have spent her life living in the United States, Italy, Jordan and Namibia. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington. When not at work or abroad, she spends much of my spare time enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Do follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Photo Story: Embara from Onantsi

In 2013, I spent a year living and teaching in the hot and dusty floodplains of northern Namibia. Though it was a memorable and wonderful year, much of it was characterised by the loneliness and isolation of life in a remote, African village.

That is until I met Embara.

Embara introduced himself to me in August of 2013 and, until I left the country in December, he rarely left my side. He is smart, funny and inquisitive and the two of us became fast friends.

When I met Embara, he was recently orphaned and had been handed off to a distant relative. He lived in a tin shack within eyesight of my home and would come to my house for hours every day after school to play, chat and do his homework. With Embara’s company, my last few months in Namibia flew by. As a result, leaving Namibia was difficult, in large part, due to the bond we had formed.

When I left Namibia, Embara was heartbroken. “Why does everybody leave me?” He asked. “My mother, my brother, my father and now you.” I fought back tears and promised to someday return.

This past October, I kept my promise and showed up in Onantsi village unannounced. When Embara saw me, he ran toward me, nearly tackled me to the ground and cried out “Miss Elika! You didn’t forget me!”

In the three days that I spent in Onantsi during my visit, Embara introduced me to his cousins and his friends and told me about the new developments in his life over the last few years. I’d been so nervous and apprehensive about my return to the village and was afraid that everything would have changed in my absence. Yet, as soon as I saw Embara, I knew that all my worrying was in vain. Talking to him made me feel as though I’d never left.

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