. After dinner consisted of hanging out in the bar and splitting off into male and female groups for talking. Can you guess who was talking about weddings and who was talking about football? I was extremely tired and went to bed a little after 9pm.
Drive to San Bushmen 11/4
Today is my B-day and I told the few people who knew it was my birthday not to do anything for it because I’m kind don’t like birthdays. I think I don’t like them because I hate getting older, and I don’t want to make a big deal out of nothing. Getting older is one of my biggest fears because I know the body starts to break down and become weaker. Which I don’t really like. But I also know that the mind expands with time so that is the only plus that I can see. And I also suppose that I don’t like opening presents because I’m kind of afraid I won’t like it and my face will show it to them. The tour leader already knew and bought a cake and card which is customary on this trip. I woke up at 6am for an early morning jog with a few people. We set off soon after and had 30 minutes of bliss running along the sandy road. I received a card from everyone on the trip at breakfast that was actually kind of nice. We drove a few hours to our next camp and stopped off at a camp called ‘Roy’s’. We were stopping there because another Dragoman truck was broken down and needed some spare parts
. So we were there for an hour or so and chatted with their riders to see how their trip was going. We soon left and turned off onto the drive where our camp was. After 3km on this really sandy driveway, a guy came running up the side of the truck as we were driving and hopped onto the front passenger step and held on with the mirror. Kind of the thing you see in a 3rd world country. The guy didn’t say anything to the passenger and you could tell the tour leader was kind of like..WTF! Then the guy motioned for us to stop and then he darted in the front of the truck and ran into the bush and that’s when I noticed the guy was only wearing a loin cloth and nothing else. The kind where some animal skin was only covering his front and his backside was exposed. I thought….this is awesome! A real local tribal guy in traditional dress. He ran in the bush and grabbed his bow and arrow and then quickly ran back in our direction. The tour leader told us to open the truck door to let him in and he walked in and sat right in front of me and next to a woman. It was a really funny experience and one of the most random. We pulled up to our camp which was in the middle of the field and the guy was let out of the truck. Immediately upon stopping the truck, about 15 kids came up to us and kind of attacked us. Attacked us in that 10 year old boy way. Upon seeing them, I noticed how different their faces were compared with other Africans. The bone structure was completely different and their skin was a little paler than usual. I learned that the San Bushmen were the same people in the comedy movies, “The Gods Must be Crazy.“ The movie where the coke bottle falls out of the sky and they think it is from God. So that was pretty cool. The kids helped us put our tents up and then we started to play with them awhile. These kids had so much energy it was crazy! The kids were dirty as hell and had the most torn clothes you could possibly have, but I’ve been in Africa long enough to not care when playing with them
. I was the designated strong man in the bunch because I was a bit fitter than everyone else. So the boys would come up to me and want me to flex and grab onto my arms and want to be lifted up by them. I also did a lot of throwing kids up in the air and catching them. They sure do love that! I was warned before-hand about my arm hair but it was true. The kids would come up to me and touch my arm hair and feel it with amazement. They don’t have much body hair and are amazed by someone who had it. We played football for a bit and then I sat down for a rest. I had my shirt off from the football game and a few boys came up to me and started to touch my hairy pecs and naturally I never miss an opportunity to flex my chest. So I started to jiggle my chest muscles and then a bunch more boys came over to feel them move. They were really amazed by it. Naturally when this was going on, somebody in the group started to take my picture. Next to me was a brown Crocodile Dundee looking leather hat and I was told to put it on and grab the empty beer bottle from the ground. Lets just say I could have easily been mistaken for a pedophile from Australia but it was all in good fun! We all played with the kids for probably a few hours until they wore us out and it was dinner time. At about the time dinner was being finished, storms raced in all around us and it started to rain a bit. So we hurriedly washed up and got on the truck. There was lightning all around us for many hours and it was really neat to see and hear
. I heard my birthday song sung to me and I cut my little b-day cake which was tasty. At this point there were about 10 San Bushmen in loin cloths sitting under our truck waiting out the storm so they could dance for us around the fire. The rain ceased for the most part and we sat around the fire and watched them do some dancing. I was neat to see but I think it was a bit short and I expected more going on besides just the one guy moving a bit and shaking his bare ass. It was neat none the less and had the backdrop of lightning all around us. Overall, my b-day was pretty good and probably one of the most memorable.
San Bushmen 11/5
We woke up earlyish as usual and packed up our stuff. We were met by the same guy who was our translator in his loin cloth and stick. We were doing a village culture walk with the village of some San Bushmen. We walked a bit into the bush and came upon a bunch half-naked people sitting on the ground. It was totally National Geographic because you could see the guy’s bare asses and the breasts of the women and babies drinking milk from them. There was even grandma San Bushman who was weathered and wrinkled from years of tribal life. During the 2 hours or so of walking and talking, we were shown how they make fire, find water, find food, and hunt animals. At the end the villagers who were sitting down were doing a dance for us and it was pretty cool to see. We were walked back to the truck and got ready to leave. We waited for a few minutes and I was completely surprised by what I saw next. Two of the Bushmen who were before wearing loin cloths, were now in regular clothes complete with tennis shoes. We were giving them a ride out of their village. I was kind of pissed because I thought these guys were 100% tribal and had not succumbed to the pressures of the 21st century. I knew some of them were being integrated into society with education and what not, but I thought some of them were also carrying on the tradition and keeping things like they were in the past. Complete with hunting, gathering, and loin cloths. I kind of felt robbed but I understand. Those people are not allowed to hunt wildlife anymore because of the government and have also probably been stripped of their land and given some crappy plot somewhere. You can’t really blame them. I think they keep things traditional because they like that way of life and want to pass it down to their children, and it also brings in tourist dollars. We headed out of there and quickly found our stop for the night which had a nice pool to swim in. Most of us lazily laid around and read, swam, or slept. I chose intelligent conversation with the Dane along with my swim and book. Dinner was again a big piece of steak which was amazing as usual!
We packed up early and headed out in our canoes back to the truck. During our 2-day trip through the Delta, our co-leader had to drive 1400 km just to get some sort of certificate that wasn’t picked up the first time. I guess there was some complication before that wasn’t his fault but he still had to drive all the way back so we could enter South Africa with it. He was there on time but I’m sure a bit tired. We drove a while and arrived back in Namibia and arrived at camp for the night. There was a storm brewing overhead and we quickly erected our tents before the rain started. I must say, the rain was kind of nice because it hasn’t hardly rained on our entire trip. Dinner tonight consisted of our very first African game meat. We had Kudu meat. The Kudu is a deer thing that has stripes and is a fairly large animal. Let me tell you, the meat has an amazing taste! It was a reddish color and has the taste of salty pork. The meat didn’t need any sauce at all because it was so tasty