Among the Khoi San

Trip Start Jan 10, 2006
Trip End Jun 02, 2006

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Flag of Namibia  ,
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Roy's Restcamp was a great place to stay. It was run by a young German couple, who were helpful in every way. They have a huge tract of land and I taught them some things about hunting mushrooms. I was pleased to find at least 5 different species of mushrooms - a ganoderma, two agarics, a wonderful stalked polypore (like a mini brown maitake) and a tough, stalked, oyster-like mushroom. We did not find any termite mound mushrooms despite all the termite mounds and plentiful moisture.

We got ready to visit a San village. The San are bushmen, or at least they were. Many people say that the San are the original humans. All of us are descended from them. Interestingly, they are clearly part east Asian. They sort of look half Himalayan, half black Afrikan. Many of their words sound Japanese.

Now the San mostly make their living dressing up and acting out the ways of their past. It was certainly an amazing experience. We heard some amazing singing and two of their medicine men worked on Mycol, who's been battling a parasite since Swakopmund. We spent the night in the bush near their village, and the next day many fun things happened. We made fire by rubbing sticks, and the ladies made beads out of ostrich egg shells. Morgaine even put on a hide. We saw how they made fiber out of two different plants and we shared some food.

The highlight of my time with the San was our plant walk. An old man, old woman, 2-year old, and our translator showed us at least 20 important bush foods, medicines and fibers, while Frank added about that many more. One of the roots (used for soap) they dug up was the size of a volleyball. We tried to record the names of the plants in at least two languages, including San. It was very difficult to repeat what they said because they speak with these incredible pops and clicks it at least every other word.

It was finally time to bid the San farewell. We headed back to Roy's for one more night before making our way to Botswana.
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tiffanie on

all of the love in the world to ya
I am loving living vicariously through you. Thank you. Theresa and I went to a burlesque show on Washinggton lastnight. Boogied all night long. Thank you for bringing us together. We will take you when you come home. Take care. As you know I'm so proud of you. Loads of hugs and kisses to you. You are in our thoughts. TJ

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