• Joanna

I Bless the Rains

Updated: Mar 21

... Africa was blessed today. 


At least Northern Namibia was.

Driving on the roads towards our campground was like driving down the Nile. 


Actually, it didn’t start raining until we got up north... closer to Etosha National Park. Malinga & David kept looking towards the northern skies and commenting on how the sky was opening


Like all of us, Takako has an itinerary of each and every thing that happens with the Nomad tour daily. But, in true Whaaaaaaat? fashion, she doesn’t pay any attention to it.


She is clueless to each activity, journey, destination...


For the past week, we have listening to her asking “Etosha... today?” “Etosha tomorrow?” “Etosha today?”

I’ve even started saying it. “Etosha today?”


Etosha is one of the National Parks of Namibia and we are currently heading there.

We stopped at a small gas station and it gave us the opportunity to go in and purchase much needed snacks and beverages. 


While Takako and I were waiting together in line, she suddenly turned to me with a very stern expression. Very quietly, she began telling me a story of once working at an accounting firm in some random city, in some random country... I was desperately trying to figure out where this story was going and why it was relevant to my life while I was waiting to buy a Fanta at a local town pump.


As her story drew to an end, she looked directly at me, leaned in and concluded with, “Black people can’t count.”

I have no response.

There are some real characters on this tour.


We are, and there is no other way to put it... in the middle of Namibia nowhere.

Kamanjab.


I asked David where the pool was.


He laughed.


Probably by the pub? 


Just down the river road....


What’s the wifi password?


We all know what a round of applause that question gets...


When we first arrived at the campsite, it was drizzling with rain and slightly wet on the ground. As soon as the truck pulled to a stop, the kids jumped out and ran out to claim their tent spots. 

David had suggested that we try for a cement tent pad because it would make packing up in the morning much easier. Less wet and dirt. The trouble was that there were not enough cement pads to go around.

At the moment, to me, anything labeled ‘much easier’ is good with me. In fact, I seek it out.


I am going up and down with my agonizing pain.


It usually depends on the amount of pills I fill myself with each morning. 

Takako continually makes comments about how many drugs I have with me... and however many times I explain to her that the majority of them are vitamins, she is not convinced. 


Unfortunately for me, vitamins are not helping to mask the pain I am experiencing and I wish my ‘bag of drugs’ was drugs.


The bumpy roads of Namibia are taking a direct hit and I find it more and more uncomfortable to be in the tent at night.

I literally cry out in agony over a simple move or turn.


There was a tent pad directly behind where the bus pulled in, so I motioned towards it and said I would take that one. As I was in the painful process of pulling my tent from the compartment, Claudia jumped on to the tent site and said “I claim this spot.”


No,” I said casually, looking directly at her, “I already took that one.”


She completely ignored me- reiterated claiming the spot, took off one of her shoes to leave in the middle of the tent site and left to go collect her belongings.


Surreal.


She got her comeuppance though when the kids accidentally climbed over a stone wall and caught her showering... twice.


I walked over to the next tent pad and took that one.

Next thing I knew, Takako was beside me, attempting to steal my new site. I stood my ground and wouldn’t move. Then I noticed Eduardo and Michelle standing by the bus with their tent, staring out at the wet campsite, wondering where to set up.


Since the beginning of the journey, they have consistently been the last out of the bus and more often than not, ended up with the worst spot. 


As I stood my ground on my newly claimed tent pad, I announced loudly that it was MINE and because it was MINE, I was giving it to Eduardo and Michelle. It caused a bit of a stir and some noses out of joint. We were a live episode of survival of the tent pad fittest... and the unlucky ones were left sitting up in the wet red dirt.


Like me.


Things that made Takako go Whaaaaaaat? today;

  • A mouse.

  • Horses crossing the road.

  • Dead cow.

  • Having to put a tent flap over the tent (due to rain).

  • Someone commenting that Claudia is always late.

  • Ant hills.

We can give Takako credit in regards to the Namibian ant hills though.They are everywhere... and quite impressive in structure. I am finding it difficult to fathom how many ants it takes to build one... let alone one every 20 metres. It would appear that termites are taking over the earth.


Either termites or springbok. One of the two.


There is definitely no shortage of springbok in Africa. You do not have to venture far to find an enormous herd of them. They very rarely are spotted travelling solo.


We did do a hike today in to the Brandberg - otherwise known as the Burning Mountains. They are regarded as the highest mountain in Namibia and well known for more than 45,000 rock paintings.

A guide met us at the trailhead and her name was Ingrid.


Takako would not let go of her one-sided conversation that ‘Ingrid’ is a Swedish name because Ingrid Bergman was from Sweden. The things this woman clings to as necessary to discuss...


The other day, she told me that she has no interest in ever seeing the Silverback Gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda... 


...because they have monkeys in Japan.


Same, same but different?


You can’t enter in to a debate. You have to train yourself to nod and smile. 


Ingrid took us through the dried up bank of the Tssab River to see the famous cave painting of the White Lady.


Not a lady, funny enough.


A medicine man... and they only figured this out because he has a decorated penis in the drawing.


There was nothing charismatic about Ingrid at all. She hardly spoke and didn’t engage with any of us.


If someone asked a question, she would respond sternly with “Getting there.”


The walk was nothing short of humdrum and although the cave paintings were intriguing, we all agreed that we could have done without the 2 hour sweltering heat walk.


The only amusing thing about Ingrid, besides being of obvious Swedish descent, was that most of us noticed she wasn’t wearing any underwear and her tight, light blue leggings were extremely see through... and she had three small holes on her bum.


... and she stunk of body oder.


At first I thought it might be me who smelled, and I often think that when I get a whiff of the stench. But mine would have had a strawberry hint to it.


Ingrid was unbearably slow and it took us over two hours in and out, traversing through not so tough terrain at a snails pace. We could have managed individually in just over an hour.


None of us tipped her.


We tried to venture to a traditional Himba village today- a tribe that lives off the grid... and doesn’t shower. Sounds much like my life right now. 


It was raining though, so our jaunt was cancelled.

They probably have internet.

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