Day 12 – July 25
(CHRIS) While Paul and Sam went to the N.O. Mass in Keet, I walked in the Kokerboom Forest. This inspired the previous poem. They were real nice trees. Amidst the rocks and dusty wind, they were an oasis of beauty and sanity.
Back at the tent, I laid back and caught up in the AFROLOG. It was windy and I had to close the tent door to prevent dust blowing in thru the screen. Paul and Sam returned spiritually refreshed and told the following tale as we took down the tent and drove to the Giants Playground:
(SAM) I was a little apprehensive because of all the horror stories people have told me about masses in Africa. I was prepared for the worst, but in fact, it was correctly said novus ordo. The only white people in the congregation were Paul, I and one other guy. The singing was very beautiful even though I did not recognize any of the songs. After mass, a habited Namibian nun invited us into the rectory for a hot drink to the belly. Her name was sister Pauline and here is Paul for his comments about her.
(PAUL) Sister Pauline is a delightful woman. She was very friendly and welcomed us with open arms and hot coffee. She gave me her address and the address of her sister (little s). She was 70 years old but looked like a young 55. After some pleasant conversation (she was reading a book on Mother Theresa; she was from Namibia; she warned us of a killing of 2 thieves by a campsite owner – it was in self-defense. ), we left for the campsite.
(SAM) The two thieves were at our campsite, and the owner and the owner’s name is Noltie. Noltie chased the two thieves but they were able to knock him down. The thieves were going to machete Noltie to death, but at the last moment, he drew his pistol and shot them both through the forehead. All this happened just a few paces away from our campsite amongst the Kokerbooms. Some say that even to this day, one can see the two thieves walking through the Kokerbooms, each one with a bullet hole in the forehead,
(CHRIS) chanting, “Nolte, Nolte. The camcorder is mine.”
Giants Playground was a perfect Tumbleweed romping ground. The rocks were stacked in odd patterns up to 20 feet high. While botanist Dr. Samuel Aronhime examined the meager plant life and collected samples, Paul Clemens, famous free-climber, scaled the tallest of the giants with barely a fear. (see pics, video.) The area was deserted except for us, making it something Jon would have appreciated. We climbed, cavorted, and got lost amongst the odd monoliths.
Back to Keet where we picked up another pizza from Paul’s girl. We also got ice cream with peppermint crystals and bread of banana. Based on several people’s recommendations (incl. Paul’s pizza girl’s father,) we decided to put ourselves further behind schedule by going to a dead end place called Sousselvi. There was a bit of travel time to get there, but we had some nice scenery and OK roads.
We saw wild ostriches and lots of ROCK. Like several of the national parks, Sous closes its gates at sunset. But, as warned by trusty Lonely Planet, we knew this and we knew the alternative was to camp outside the gates. So we set up our tent near a group camp next to the gates. We hopped the fence to use their ablutions. We had a snack and hit the sand for sleep.