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Field Notes From Namibia- Part 4

by Nora Barrows-Friedman, U.S. and Don, Namibia
Last night when all the youth and older staff members were asleep in their tents, the four of us (Sara and Aaron too) were looking at the stars. Then Nora saw a ghost, or thought she did, but nobody believed her. So Don said it was because of all the African spirits all around us.
This morning we built a new fire pit with a group, while waiting for the U.S, ambassador to arrive! The group welcomed the ambassador, George Ward, and his wife, Peggy, by singing "Tule Mama" in a procession. this was followed by four other songs. Stephen read a short essay that he wrote and the ambassador told us what his role here is and what he is trying to achieve related to environmental problems, such as the de-mining process. He also stated that the most challenging problem in Namibia is water. His stay was short, but we learned alot.
Before and after his visit, groups worked on cementing more of the building. Others built tables for the kitchen area, and benches for the camping area. Around 5 o'clock, after the hard work, Photo-CampfireAaron and Peter took all the youth on a hike above the camp to watch the incredible sunset. Then we had a dinner of oryx meat and veggie stew and afterwards sat around the campfire roasting marshmallows, a common American tradition for camping. The group shared stories about their family history.
And that leaves us here! We are sitting at the dying fire writing this with a flashlight with low batteries. Nora is extremely sad, realizing that there are only two more full days here in Namibia. But she has made a promise to herself to come back as soon as possible.
by Ghais Muhammad, U.S.
Today seven people went back to CCF to do research on Cheetahs. The rest of us stayed and worked on building benches for the camp fire, and others also finished smoothing the walls around the ruins. In the afternoon, some people went climbing up towards the Waterburg Plateau. Myself and Regina stayed and chatted with our peers. It was our last day at Waterburg and I'll never forget it. Later on Dylan and I went to watch the sunset for the last time from that view and it was very touching to talk to him about leaving Africa and all (Regina) the friends I've made. After dinner we sat by the fire and talked about how we felt to come on this trip and how we felt to prepare to meet new people from another culture. Solomon and I sat at the camp fire and talked until midnight and then went to bed.
by Sara Gorchoff
Today we finally got to sleep in although most of us were awakened by the early morning sun. Somewhat sadly, we packed up camp and said goodbye to our home of the past week. Although we came to what was merely a cleared, flattened piece of land and a ruin, we left a hospitable looking campsite and took with us a feeling of a job well done.
Upon our return to the ranch we took our first showers in four days!! It was a personal apocalypse for all. We hung out for awhile then got to watch Chewbaaka, the cheetah run again. Shindi, Laurie's dog, performed to a packed audience when she was let to run and chase Chewbaaka's rag around the course too. That was hilarious! We came back to the ranch and built a fire, sang songs and waited for the oryx to brie (BBQ) for dinner. Everyone scarfed down a hearty meal despite the gloom underneath about leaving Namibia the next morning. We basically just hung out and wrote in each other's journals, exchanging warm words and addresses. The staff (Christi, Marty, Jerry and Edla) went to bed, while everyone else except a few stayed up the whole night, awaiting the 4:30 wake-up call to leave CCF, the Paresis kids and Africa behind until next time.
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