An amazing 2 weeks not long enough. Thanks to a great team who fed, watered, and kept me/us safe.
Experience of a lifetime! :) Yvonne
Elephants- a truly amazing animal, intelligent, social and each one with distinct personality. The more you read about them and the longer you watch them, the more you will see. There is probably no other mammal that at the same time allows humans to observe from a short distance and has such a complex social behavior that you will never feel bored, even after hours of watching in the baking sun. To be in the middle of a herd of elephants, in a car in stunning scenery at night in the base camp, this induces a feeling of happiness that can’t be described with words. We should do our best to preserve this precious piece of nature for future generations.
Human-though Namibia has a small population of just 2 million people, the variety of peoples and cultures in this country is impressing. It is not easy to visit people which were decimated by the generation of my grand-parents, the first genocide in German history. But the friendliness and hospitality of the Namibians never let us feel uncomfortable. I am happy that I had the opportunity to be a guest in this wonderful country.
Relation – Being a manager used to working in an air- conditioned office in a 20…city, serving very poor farmers who have no electricity and very limited contact to the outside world – the contrast couldn’t be bigger. The EHRA – project gives people from totally different background opportunity to learn from each other. We could give the farmers examples how to handle the not easy relation with elephants in a harsh environment, and we could learn even more, the happiness of a simple lifestyle, to value simple things like piece of firewood or just a litre of warm water.
Aid – Though spending half of my life in a developing country, the poverty in this part of Namibia is shocking. Colonialization apartheid has robbed these people one whole century, 100 years without the possibility to develop. Now volunteers and EHRA- staff from all 5 continents work together to improve the life of the local residents.Though tools, financial resources and professional experience are limited, it is impressive what small group of committed people can achieve. Our contribution is small composed to that of big organization, but one wall around a well…mean access of one or more families and their livestock to clean water.- and one possible conflict less between humans and elephants.
Mi Fu (Volker)
Had an amazing 2 weeks from the moment we left Swakopmund the scenery on the way to base camp was beautiful. I’ve previously visited many African countries, but the landscapes in Namibia are truly unique. The people have a harsh environment & climate in which to fork out a living and yet everywhere there are smiling faces happy with their lives, or so it appears.
Base camp was very well thought out in a wonderful setting.
Build week was tough, but very rewarding. I’m pleased to have played a very small part in the worthwhile cause that is EHRA. We were very lucky in build week to have seen a lot of the elephants, seeing 2 of the 3 herds that roam the region. Although I’ve been lucky enough to have seen wild elephants on numerous occasions, but these of Namibia really are unique. It would be a travesty was the remaining elephants in the region not be allowed to prosper and build their numbers. The more you observe them the more your respect builds.
Thanks to Chris who I thought managed the group very well. He was always willing to answer any questions, most I’m sure he’d been asked of numerous times before. Matteus made the trip a truly memorable one. His jovial personality really, added the atmosphere in the group and it was obvious when tracking the elephants that his knowledge of the area was second to none. Lastly the food on the trip was fantastic and a very welcome bonus from what I was expecting. I won’t hesitate to recommend EHRA to friends looking to help a very worthwhile cause looking for a fantastic experience at the same time.
Lizzie, March 22, 2013
I can’t believe I’m already writing my final blog. I have been with EHRA for 6 weeks and I can’t believe it’s over! I have had the most amazing time and am so pleased I chose an amazing charity to come and work for. I have heard and seen so many conflicts that EHRA continuously fight for these beautiful elephants. The work you do here as a volunteer is vital to continue to keep the elephants safe and in their true wilderness. Helping the local people to continue co-existing is also vital and I am so proud to say I have been a part of this. With some amazing elephant encounters this week and some very hard work during build week I can safely say this trip has been one of the highlights of my life. Chris is a wonderful leader, Mattias another great tracker (and excellent dancer!) and Courtney who worked tirelessly to keep us all well fed (vegetarians – the food is amazing!) and watered-an amazing team to come and work with! J I will miss them all very much, I have met wonderful people throughout my time here. Lifelong friends and wonderful memories of hard work, lots of laughs and encounters I’m sure are impossible to find anywhere else. Thank you EHRA, I hope you will be blessed with amazing volunteers to continue with your wonderful work! Oh! And thank you elephants for my farewell visit into camp last night. The best night of my life!!!