Namibia- a musical journey

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Namibia- a musical journey

Postby jimshu » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:52 pm

You'll have read of our time at Na'an Kuse' where my wife and I and our 2 daughters spent 2 weeks together.But when we waved them goodbye ,it was time for a quickie 5 day self drive around one small part of Namibia.A sort of zip around to say a reluctant goodbye to a country you can fall in love with, as it holds a lot of memories, but we may never get back to, sadly.
So picked up a prebooked Nissan X-trail from Avis at Windhoek's airport and we hit the road.First day saw us cutting across to Omaruru intending to get to Brandberg /Ugab River area where I'd spent time last year with Elephant-Human Relations Aid Desert Elephant project.Thought I'd like to show Kay the beautiful stone wall I'd helped build, and the stunningly scenic area we were in.
Omaruru Guesthouse is huge, plenty of rooms and a wonderfully friendly host.And on the morning of our departure, she called her staff out and their choir sang us goodbye with a traditional Damara song.She observed that I was familiar with the tune, (having heard it on a Mascato Coastal Children's Choir CD I bought on our first Namibian Visit last year.)So we were able to discuss to her delight Damara music.And then she presented me with a CD of Windhoek's own Cantare Audire Choir, a collection of classical European and African works.
Then we head off to Brandberg White Lady Lodge set in a beautiful rocky area beside the Ugab at the east base of Brandberg Mountain.And we walk in to check in, and this housekeeper lady walks up to and past us singing the very same song we'd been farewelled by.
The omens were good for us that day.
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Re: Namibia- a musical journey

Postby jimshu » Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:05 pm

But the other coincidence was this.We pulled up in the White Lady car park next to an EHRA vehicle.So I was able to walk up to Johannes Haasbroek , director of EHRA and shake his hand while he looked stunned seeing me again!
Easily explained as they'd popped along from EHRA's base camp futher along the Ugab to watch the Tri-Nations Rugby at the only TV in the area.
Next morning we did the White Lady Game drive along the Ugab, seeking out the desert ellies who had passed through our lodge camp that night.The area is spectacular, and viewing the riverine and kopjie landscapes would have been enough.Finally seeing my old friends the ellies was just the icing.
First night at White Lady, in our individual stone chalets,we heard singing off in the background.So I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep with the serenade.
On the game drive I asked a local about that.He said an overland tour was in the tent camp area, and the staff put on a performance.So I asked him if he would arrange one for the dining room that night .OK.
So that night at dining, guests were getting up to leave after desserts, and I motioned to many to remain seated and stay.Quizzical looks I got in return.
Eventually all the cooks,barmen and waiters got together and then began their performance to everyone's delight.Incidentally, once again many of the traditional songs they sang so well,were on my Mascato Cds.
And after the performance they asked how I was so familiar with some of their songs and we were able to discuss Mascato of which they were aware as one barman's brother had been a member recently.
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Re: Namibia- a musical journey

Postby jimshu » Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:22 pm

On leaving White Lady we travelled via the C35 across the Ugab and then veered off to visit EHRA's Base Camp.Now I'd spent a lot of time there in July 2008, but this time as I drove in to show Kay the camp,I finally took in just how beautiful the area was.And the secret area that the base camp is set it.On arrival there was only one local there cleaning up.And Kay was overawed at the setting,and said to me the camp and it's surrounding , were just 'stunning'!.It was good to go back,to fully appreciate the area.
And we'd also called in to chat with the locals at the village I'd helped build a rock wall.Still standing by the way.
So off via Khorixas to Kamanjab where we visited the Himbas.And you have read about that.
But the final morning,we loaded up the 6cd changer in the x-trail, punched 'Mix" and commenced our final drive in Namibia.And the realisation that we were finally heading home after 6 weeks hit us!
And it seemed as if Africa's wildlife was out lined up along the road to wish us farewell as we drove by with the various beats of African music blaring out.
Giraffe stood like statues ,warthogs dashed across the road, zebra pranced along ,springbok and duiker wished us goodbye.Sadly a green snake had slithered too far out and the vehicle in front had got him.
So it's sad to finally leave such a beautiful country.But we've not just got memories and photos of it.We've got the music. And that will be playing in my workshop for many months to come.
Incidentally, after saying to ourselves, that it WAS going to be our last visit to that part of Africa(as Ethiopia is next...)Kay is now saying...."We've got to go back.I can't stop dreaming of being in Africa!"
Kind of grabs you somehow.....
Might make a good discussion thread that.."What grabs you about Africa?"
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Re: Namibia- a musical journey

Postby jimshu » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:01 am

If you are interested, photos of Namibia are here-
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profi ... s&ref=name
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