Vanda Kujbus

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Drimiopsis - Land of hope (?)

Written by Vanda K.

It’s time to say good bye to Donkerbos and return home. Luckily, on the way back we manage to visit another farm, Drimiopsis, in the close proximity of Gobabis. It’s ~50 km away and just next to the tar road. We make a turn and don’t even spend 10 minutes on gravel when we enter the gates of Drimiopsis. We haven’t seen any „city” yet, but we hear loudspeakers roaring directily into our ears. Quite a big leap from the bush I have to say. We make a turn again next to the houses (what? normal houses? from brick? Wow, that came unexpected!) and stop the car next to the community building.

This might sound mean now, but based on what I have heard and seen about San people, in my head I imagined all of them living in similar conditions as they do in Donkerbos. It’s good to see that they are better off here.

Belinda has some work to do with the beads, so we can slowly disappear and discover Drimiopsis. Soon we find the source of the loudspeaker, attracting quite a handful of people in the middle of something like a „main square” and based on people’s devout faces, we assume it has to be about something religious.

People's gathering in Drimiopsis

When we look around, we acknowledge in awe that there are actual buildings here with a lof of people! What a miracle a close city and good roads can do to a place like that! You can find it even on Google Maps! Of course these houses are nothing like a fenced off big villa in Windhoek, and people still would go hungry, but compared to Donkerbos, it’s a city with at least the potential to improve.

Drimiopsis on google maps
Drimiopsis 2

We don’t spend a lot of time here, so I can’t make any deep conclusions, but as a first impression I feel happy for these people that at least they have many options what Donkerbos people don’t, since the „big” city is so accessible.

At the time we are there there is some kind of event going on for educating little girls, where they also stand in a long queue to receive free luch. I’m deceived though and think oh wow, these girls even can get some hot meal to eat, when Sigi points out that probably it’s a one day thing and I shouldn’t expect it to happen every day.

Girls standing in line for food
Girls getting food
Girls eating

As we walk a little bit outside of the center, sadly we notice the good old corrugated iron huts and other similar dwellings in bad condition, which remind me that this place still has a lot to develop.

Falling apart house

In terms of my research, the vicinity of a big city doesn’t imply a lot of nature related activity around (e.g. gathering plants, worms or hunting). My impression is backed by Belinda, so unfortunately I can’t make my job easier, and move my research base here. I have to find another solution.