Thank you for your warm and thoughtful comments in response to my post about this tragic loss. The community of Arandis and the entire Erongo Region celebrates the life of Kawii: there are informal gatherings, public memorials, and religious services throughout the week as we mourn the loss of this very special man.
Questions have been asked, some of which I can answer. After work last Friday evening, Kawii was driving his car to his home village of Otjimbingwe, about 2 hours away, along a two-lane highway that has become the 2nd most accident-prone stretch in Namibia. He was alone and following his brother, when a larger car approaching in the opposite direction attempted to overtake a slower truck but mistimed the maneuver. His brother realized the danger and managed to drive off the side of the road but Kawii couldn’t react in time and was hit head-on. He died instantly at the scene.
Peace Corps’ unofficial motto is “the hardest job you’ll ever love…” Volunteers are prepared for challenges. But nothing can prepare you for this. When I can write more objectively, I hope to share about the cross-cultural experience I am having amidst Kawii’s proud Herero tribe, and to share some of my own Kawii stories. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite photos of my friend.