This trip started off with only 5 volunteers attending the meeting at Villa Wiese on Sunday evening. Fortunately the three missing girls arrived on Monday morning in time to go shopping before we left…
After the first night at Base camp we repacked our bags, loaded the cars and headed for the building site. It was a long drive on bumpy roads, but we got there shortly after lunch to find the half-finished wall that had been started 4 weeks earlier. Camp was set up, brand new work gloves taken out, water bottles filled up and sun screen put on before we went off to get our first load of rocks. As the days went by, we could see the wall growing bit by bit. Every time we switched the pump on to get water for mixing the cement, the goats and cows came running to get their share to drink. It was hot, so we kept drinking lots of water, used some rehydration sachets (or de-hydration sachets?!) even though they taste like ten dead Zebras…..The shower from the pipe was well received by some of us – thanks Chris! By Thursday afternoon the wall was finished – it looked nice! On Friday morning we packed up camp and hit the road again. With not everybody feeling well, we had to make a bit of a plan, but we managed to get back to Base camp safely. In the meantime the message that an elephant was stuck in the mud and needed help reached Chris, so we got buckets and water and climbed straight back onto the car. The plan was to cool the animal by throwing water on it, but the elephant had obviously sensed it and didn’t want to meet a bunch of EHRA volunteer, so it managed to free itself just before we got there! Mattias tried to follow it, but the elephant was moving faster than we could drive….so we had a late lunch and then drove back to Base camp to enjoy the well-deserved showers!
Things I won’t easily forget
1. Taking a shower after a week of hours work is the most enjoyable thing on earth. You’re covered in sand and dirt and you’re finally able to wash it all off. It just gives you such a relief, it’s unbelievable. I never thought taking a shower could be so great.
2. Here at the main camp, there is a very wide spraying shower in open air. If the sun shines in it and you stand right in the middle, you’re able to see a 360 degrees rainbow. You can just look to every direction you like and keep on seeing it. It’s like you’re in an imaginary world.
3. There are some places in Namibia where there is a 360 degrees horizon. It gives you a feeling like you’re in space, where you can see everything around you in a range of hundreds of kilometers. It’s so amazing that you can’t avoid shedding tears of happiness, and it just gets you thinking how small we actually are on this earth.
4. Sleeping in open air is great. Here at the main camp, we sleep in a big tree with a platform where we can put our sleeping bags on. If you pick the right spot, you have a perfect view on the overly bright stars. Before you go to sleep you can look at those stars, listening to the wildlife coming out at night. Nothing is better than doing that before you go to sleep.
5. Sitting on the highest mountain top gives you such a free feeling. It lets you think that you literally and figurally are on the top of the world. The strong wind in your hair, the adrenaline and the wide view are enough to actually give you some life visions of what you want to do in your life. It’s like you gain spirituality and creativity when you’re so high in the sky. This is where I actually wrote these 5 notes.
18 year old