Christmas - Swakopmund to Kamanjab
Dec 25, 2007
|M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S!
At breakfast Al and I presented the group with a Canada pencil each and a small Namibian ornament made from the Palm Nut. The locals call it fruit ivory. Al and I exchanged small gifts before breakfast as well.
Heading inland again we drive north towards Kamanjab where we have the opportunity to meet people from the Himba tribe. We drove from Swakopmund via the Skeleton Coast to Henties Bay and the Khorixas district. The first part of the drive took us through miles and miles of flat white sandy area where many trucks (4x4's) had large fishing poles fixed to the front of the truck as they made their way to the beach. Very funny sight. I'm not sure where all the dunes went.
This coastline is very long, unpopulated and famous for the numerous shipwrecks because of the heavy fog. Once the ships beached the crew was destined to die because the desert didn't offer any food or water.
We soon headed inland once again to Uis (NE) for a while before heading north a bit to Khorixas. As we traveled the mountains strewn with large boulders became part of the landscape. Lunch was once again on the road with our famous 'toilet' stops along the way minus the trees for privacy. This landscape was NOT conducive to providing privacy. Hmmmm. Men to the left and women to the right of the truck. Brilliant! Privacy is overrated.
We came upon a tribe selling their crafts so we stopped and got out. The living conditions were so basic but they seemed to know about tourists as even the very young held out their hands.
We checked in at the Oase Guest House - quaint and once again HOT.
The Himba tribe visit was very humbling as they live so basic and seem very happy. I learned much about their customs and way of life. The Himba are recognizable by their unique style of dress and the color of their skin. The women use reddish colored ochre mixed with animal fat to rub onto their skin. It must really moisturize since the queen was an older woman and really had no evidence of wrinkles. She was beautiful and young looking. Al was in his glory taking photos of little naked kids and half naked women. The women in this tribe never bath with water! The queen took us inside one of their huts and demonstrated how she used smoke from a fire and the ochre based cream on her skin. The hair is also drenched in this ochre. Amazingly enough the women do not smell.
A few young boys were trying hard to jump high enough to reach a tree branch. I decided it was a good idea to help one of them. He quickly did some stunts and dropped to the ground. Of course all the other boys wanted me to left them as well. I started something! They are so cute! I also learned that the kids sported different hairstyles depending on whether they were orphans or from divorced parents. Girls differed from boys in dress. The boys wore only a cover in front and the girls covered front and back of their bottom. As for the rest modesty wasn't an issue. I bought a copper bracelet and a bead anklet from them before we left.
Christmas dinner was BBQ (braai) kudu steak and beef sausage with pap, mashed potato and veggies. YUM!