LETTERS
Tinned sardines needed for Shabbat kiddush in Namibia

PAUL Harris describes most vividly the "natural order" of the remarkable African country of Namibia.

I had the opportunity in 1991-3 to lead a team for the International Red Cross to establish and implement a development programme to support the Namibian business and economic community.

To add to Mr Harris' impressions, I would mention that during my assignment in Windhoek, I also spent time with the Jewish community and at Shabbat services.

The numbers there were inevitably small yet everyone was friendly and always interested in Jewish life throughout the world.

The Shabbat morning service was unusual and delightful (as the service started at 7am, completing at 8.30am).

Kiddush always followed, but if "goods" didn't arrive from South Africa to the local supermarket in time we would make do - by sharing out matzo and a tin of sardines.

I was advised to bring in large numbers of tinned sardines on my regular return to the country.

However, by this time, the large city supermarket appointed a

Jewish chief executive and the community never again ran short of sardines!

I have many kind memories of Namibia and the people.

The Red Cross project was regarded as a success and was later used as template elsewhere in Africa.

Incidentally, a special award was given to my son Daniel who travelled out on my final year and worked, with gusto, in the poor areas, going up to the northern borders to Angola.

The award was formally presented to him by the nation's president.

(Prof) Eric Moonman,
London.

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