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We Went Swimming by Mike Steele

We’re back at Wereldsend now. No more camping in the bush. Stability – no more nomadic lifestyle. The next week or so will be filled with a lot of studying, a lot of examining, and a lot of projecting. Things are due soon.

A few days ago we finished our last game drive. No more data sheets, no more angle and distance measurements, no more data collection. A pretty significant accomplishment, I think.

It’s hot here. Real, real hot. I’m always sweating. Even now, as I’m writing this blog, I’m sweating a bit. But when we finished our data collection in Palmwag on Wednesday, Bekah and Vehi took us to this hidden waterhole (Van Zyl’s Gat in Palmwag Concession) before coming  back to Wereldsend. Relief! Succor! Swimming!

This waterhole was carved into a rock by years of falling water, and even in this drought year it’s so deep that we couldn’t find the bottom.  Unreasonably cold water though. The kind of cold that shocks your lungs so bad it takes you a minute to get hold of your breath again. But we got used to it eventually and we had a good time.

Mike Week 10 picture

 Check out this waterhole

 Surrounded by high rocks on all sides, the acoustics at this place were unreal. Resounding echoes. I couldn’t help taking advantage and belting out some Marvin Gaye. We played around for a bit throwing heavy rocks into the water, listening for the booming sound made from the splash.

When we were at this waterhole we found a skull of a rock hyrax nearby. It was perfectly intact, the kind of skull you’d see in a natural history museum. Lisa decided she’d risk being detained at the airport trying to bring this skull home with her as a souvenir, so she picked it up and brought it back with her to Wereldsend. The rock hyrax is just a small animal so its skull is pretty delicate, so it was crushed completely when she stepped on it in her tent the next day. A funny accident.

 So yeah, the waterhole was Wednesday. Today is Saturday. It’s the morning, and everyone’s settling in for a long day of work. Not the good kind of work, the kind that takes us into the bush and brings us close to the lions. No, that’s all over. No more lions (unless they come to us!). I’m talking about a different kind of work, the kind where you sit and study all the different species we have learned over the last 2.5 months, or find out what is the final product of our fieldwork. It is a different kind of work but as we prepare for our journey out of Namibia, it is necessary.  But hey, that’s alright. Sometimes you gotta do stuff you don’t want to do; that’s part of being a man. That’s what my Dad says to me when he wants me to rake leaves.

 Alright so that’s it for me, I’m done.

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