Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Namibia  ,
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

En route to Oshakati

Now this is what I remembered! Very excited to see that what I remembered was in fact so.  Carlos was amazed at just how flat and outstretched this part of Namibia is.  Having covered the greater part of Namibia with continuous mountains, this was a huge contrast.

There is lots of water everywhere.  Stagnant water in the many pans that lie besides the road.  The veld has been overgrazed and is bare for the most part.  There or thousands of people to be seen going about their daily lives.  Goats, Donkeys and cattle roam as kings on, around and next to the road.  The speed limit varies from 30 km/ph to 60, to 80 and back to 30.  There entire road to Oshakati seems to be a huge road side village.  Bottle stores and bars are distanced at around 200 m from each other.  Every one trying to outdo the other with a witting name for the bar. (See photos)

We could not get over the fact that there was no farming of vegetables or anything else in the area.  They had all the water needed to grow good crops, lots of sunshine and vast land. 

 We turned off to go see the Olushandja dam that was indicated on the GPS.  Just as we were talking about farming vegetables, this area seemed to be active with just that.  From the road we could see signs of farming at what was labeled "Irrigation projects".

We took the road indicated as the one to take one to the dam.  To our delight, right here next to us was a farm with miellies, huge beautifull cabage, garlic etc.  We were very excited to see that someone had the initiative to farm.  The road ended abruptly and we turned back.  Emile, the farm owner (37 year old white Namibian) waited for us at the fence to speak to us.  A real boerseun.  I was so happy to see him.  I wanted to congratulate him with his farming initiative.  His mom was born in Namibia and his dad is from the Cape.  He was born in Namibia and has never lived anywhere else.  He runs this farm and others in the area.  He explained that the Owambo people are traders rather than farmers.  That, they are peace loving people that are happy to have them live there as they helped them fight the war.  They have a bit of a “manana” mentality but other than that they are good workers.  The only problem with living out here, he says, is that he cannot find a wife that is willing to live here.  The girls in Oshakati drink more than the men, he said. 

When we asked him about Oshakati he said that it was a big place – as a matter of fact Ondangwa and Oshakati is basically one place now.  He hates town and tries not to go there at all.  They are completely self-sufficient on the farm with sheep, cattle, goats etc.  He supplies the Fresh Produce market with vegetables along with a couple other farmers.  There is no such thing as water quotas or restrictions.  They can take as much water as they want from the dam for free.

We exchanged contact details and were on our way.  Oshakati is just as he described.  One huge busy town or city.  We did our necessary shop and refill of gas and could not get out of there fast enough.  I now understand why Emile hates coming to town.

Our planned overnight spot is just outside of Ondangwa.  A mission station that was founded by the Fins in the early 1900's.  The church and mission house is still intact.  The house has been turned into a museum.  Just have a look at the thick walls!

A group of people came on an outreach (from SA) to help fix up and teach at the mission.  They had been there for 2 weeks already.  We only stayed the night as we wanted to go into Etosha the next day.
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