In the House of a Sangoma, Katatura, Namibia

I’ve returned to Namibia to visit some of the old healer friends I made when I was conducting research for my PhD in anthropology here seven years ago. Getting out of the taxi in front of Naomi’s house, I smell the charcoal cooking fires. Where I’m staying, on the other side of town in Klein Windhoek, there are no cooking fires, but here in the township of Katatura their haze sits low over the city. Naomi’s yard is bare and dusty; there is a drought plaguing southern Africa.

She’s already at her door, staring at me. “I was just telling myself that Tara would be coming today,” she says. “I saw it.” Naomi always greets me this way: she sees me coming before I arrive, or so she claims.

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