Goodbye, New Zealand: And Twelve Other Countries travel blog

Flamingos in Walvis Bay, a town just south of Swakopmund

Laura poses (as she always does, body turned, head tilted to the...

Dan leans against balancing rock

OH S****!!

The happy couple

Camping in a cave beneath the rocks

Posing with Drifters after we dug our truck, and theirs, out of...

The Himba are a tribe that still live in the traditional lifestyle...

Himba women covered in the red clay that makes their skin amazingly...

Laura takes her turn grinding the red clay into powder

Dan with his new Himba friend. I did my best to enjoy...

Laura poses with Himba mother and child

I hope my four-year old can take care of her one-year old...

We are adding this entry so that you have a better idea of the path we took through Namibia. After Sossusvlei we went to Swakopmund for two days. This oceanside town was founded by the Germans and still has a German flavor to it: a Boy Scout fundraiser sold bratwurst; everyone speaks Afrikaans; there are almost as many white people as black people; and so forth. It was pretty cloudy the two days were were there but it was still nice because we got to check our email, sleep in real beds, watch some television, and live like (almost) normal people for a couple days.

One really bad thing did happen in Swakopmund, though. Laura had her camera taken, we think by one of the people who work at the hotel, when she accidentally left it outside our room after she put it down to get out her keys. Luckily, some of the pictures had already been burned to CD, and a few others were on this website, but we lost quite a few really great pictures of Sossusvlei, Dune 45, and other parts of Namibia and South Africa.


I have now added a number of photos from our visit to the Himba tribe. This is another African tribe in which many of its members continue to live in a traditional way. As you can see from the photos, this involves traditional dress, huts, hairstyles, and herding cows and other animals for food. I found the visit to be quite disconcerting, standing there as a rich, white, American staring at these half-naked, black Africans for half an hour, taking photos, and buying a few curios before returning to the truck and watching myself and everyone in my group making sure to wash our hands before eating so as not to catch any traditional African diseases. We are told, and I believe this to be true, that the Himba like foreign visitors because it is a source of income for an otherwise impoverished people, but the rich v. poor, black v. white, rubbernecking aspect of it all made me quite uncomfortable.

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