BADNESS – politics, people conflict
Alphabet for EHRA
A – amazing abundant
B – brutal, beautiful, baboons
C – charismatic, callous
D – desperate, drought, desert, dishwashing, dessert
E – EHRA + elephant
F – Fantastic phantoms
G – good tucker, grasshoppers
H – harsh, hot, harmful
I – Intensifying intoxicating
J – jackal
K – kaleidoscope, Khorixas
L – lamb tagine, loneliness
M – much wonder, missing Mopani bees
N- night noises, night jar
O – oranges, olifant
P – Peace project, perfect n peaceful, passionate, people
Q – quantum
R- rise n shine at 6.15am, rooibos
S – scorpion, spiders, snakes, sunshine
T – Tantalising, tents, tree house
U – Urs x 2 under consideration
V – Vehicle, vast landscape, volunteers
W – wall, water , wilhemina
X – Men at night
Y – Why did I have to build a wall
Z – zebra
A long way across the ocean do a nude, brown land full of sunburnt country, nude sweeping plains and unbelievable sunsets/sunrises – this is Namibia and EHRA.
One or rather I could not have imagined having organized such an adventure but having a commitment to elephants and their conservation, why not have both. It is difficult to describe the beauty darkness and majesty of Damaraland. It is a rewarding, demanding and interesting project.
Build week -didn’t know what do expect-was aware of some of the politics, weather issues and drought or is it ignorance??? But was not aware of how the project worked. Only 3 days, learnt much. It does make sense.
I only hope that volunteers continue to support EHRA and spread the word. More instalments after tracking week.
I wake up around 6 or quarter past 6. I can’t be too sure. The sun hatches in the horizon around that time. I liberate myself from the hot tent to frequent the toilet in response to the call of nature. My eyes fall on one of the volunteers standing transfixed and looking at the immediate fire area. The individual says and goes over to his duty roster partner to ask for clarity on how to start the fire. I reflect on the whole event, laugh briefly to myself and continue with my journey to the toilet that is. On arrival, a baboon notices my presence and cowards away from me and eventually disappears behind the mountain. At that point I knew he, together with his pride were guilty for creating that terrible noise that woke me up in the dying moments of the night. …..”No wonder why he ran away”. I think further from the recipe that is being cooked today, I know patrol is a day’s time away. Normally the day before patrol we have a braai, only some individuals know why. This is going to be my last patrol. You can never see so much elephants in a day as you can see the Ugab elephants. The first day that I met them, I had a preconceived notion that they would charge towards our vehicle and start violence with us. To my dismay, these elephants were calm and composed. They looked like a big rock from a considerable distance and when we drove over to them, they would only look up once and continue minding their business of eating shrubs, grass, or something I don’t really know. It seemingly appeared they don’t notice our presence. Ever since these elephants fascinated me and provoked an interest to learn more about them. When our two guides, Chris and Mattias talks about the Ugab elephants I give my undivided attention and curiously listen to register and digest the information. No one person that I came to know in my entire life hitherto know these elephants as the way they knew them. The elephants, Voortrekker has been at the helm of my fascination. He had thick tusks and a beautiful piece of gigantic body. I swear I had never seen on any elephant I laid my eyes on. He was a lovely workmanship of God. It is elephants like him, together with the people I met during my stay here at EHRA that will play a leading role in the lovely memories I would pack home with me to Windhoek when I depart.
Garuan Gariseb – Intern
A-Z of African Elephant
A – African elephants
B – Big elephant
C – Carissa, Cheeky
D – Daphne, dung
E – Elephant
F – Fun
G – G6, grey
H – Herd
I – Ivory
M – Medusa Africa
N – Namibia
The whole experience has been rewarding and challenging. The country has a magnet around it, especially Brandberg (reminds me of the Ugab spiritual mystical and ethereal) Landscapes that look lunar in appearance, dry riverbeds, amazing geological formations the vast horizon full of encompass raw beauty, harsh and unforgiving without rain – but still in all this the spirit of the people shines through with laughter, wisdom and acceptance.
Wow the project
The searching for elephants was exciting and eventually rewarding – watching and appreciating the tracking
My prayer is that these elephants stay free, roam free without man’s influence and their group grows. The camping out under a majesty of diamonds and a full moon feels blessed. Food fit for a king. Rock climbing to look for elephants and a rhino search.
Sad that now wildlife has disappeared but thankful for some zebra, oryx, ostrich. Thank you to all the volunteers, Mattias, Hendrick and all else who helped make my day immensely rewarding.
Helen Daniels(Queensland, Australia)
May ,15 2015 – Swakop
:) silence in the desert :(Traffic noise in Swakopmund
:) nice recipes :( Hard work to clean BIG pots
:) Winning in shithead :( Winning in shithead
:) Only a few snores :( Being one of them?
:) Sleeping under the stars :( Villa Wiese
:) Coffee in the bed in the morning :( C+M/C/ strong C/R+M+5S/
(c=coffee, M-Milk, S=Sugar, T=Tea,
R=Rooibos, RC=Real Coffee)
:) Nice stone placed on the wall :( Mattias taking it away
:) Beer from Ugab mall :( Is it cold?”depends on the room temperature”
:) Shade spending mopane tree :( Mopane bees
:) Getting pics from Jill :( “System error” on my camera
:) Finding Rhino Abel beside the street :( Tracking Abel for hours
:) Hot nice weather during build and patrol week :( Cold at Swakop
:) Driving with the defender in rough terrain :( Flying back home with Swiss airlines
Thanks for everything
Woody –Urs, Switzerland