21 May 2008

I'm BACK!!

This is where I've been:
No, I haven't been in prison. I've been in Namibia.

More people think it looks like this:
Honestly, I can understand it. It's prettier out here. This guy was very kind to pose for us.

But really, this is more of what I was doing. This is a community group up near the border with Angola. We help a bunch of meetings to ask them what they thought about a potential fence being built on the border to keep cows from going across. 

We also saw a lot of really neat sights. Like this Oshana - it's flooded because of well... the floods. This kid caught the fish that washed into the Oshanas with the floods. They are eating a LOT of fish there these days.
We also visited Ruacana Falls. It was impressive and definitely worth seeing. That's Angola on the other side. 
Also we were meeting with indigenous folks like this Himba woman. The guy, Penda, is not Himba, but he knows their language. He's a nice guy, but evidently she was ready to smack him.

Actually though, these ladies rub a paste of ochre and cow fat into their skin, and coat their hair with it. They are one of the most "traditional" societies left in Africa. They are lovely people, though a bit slow to trust outsiders. I could understand that. After all, we had no clue how to survive in this climate as well as they did. 
This is Epupa Falls - also on the border. They were going to build a dam here and flood this. But the Himba and a lot of international indigenous rights groups protested. So they didn't. It is genuinely beautiful. I'm glad it's not flooded... yet?
These are the folks I had the honor of traveling with. Penda, you've met. He was our translator and assistant. He works with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism as a Warden for 2 National Parks. He hangs out with folks like us on his off time for fun. The lovely lady next to him is Debbie. She's AWESOME! She's a PhD biologist who grew up in Zimbabwe. She's worked in Botswana and Namibia and specializes in elephants. She was a bush pilot, has a horse named Moose, and a really wonderful sense of humor. I could not have hoped for better traveling companions. I miss them both a lot. 
Speaking of elephants. We were on our way to Grootberg Lodge . How often do you see an ELEPHANTS CROSSING sign? I mean really... No, we didn't see any.
These are the rooms at Grootberg. They are built using local supplies and are part of a community owned nature conservancy. It's amazing. It's really really amazing. 

I'll post some more pictures later on. 

Being home is nice. It's good to spend time with my boys and to pick up on the work on my office... But that will come tomorrow...

Good night, y'all!!

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Thanks for Promoting Namibia and Africa at large.