Vanda Kujbus

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Leaving to Namibia

Written by Vanda

Dear Reader,

These blog series intend to tell a story about my thesis field work in Namibia for three months and everything else what I have experienced and learnt during this time, including flying to Windhoek, moving to Gobabis and to surrounding areas. After waiting for almost an eternity for my research visa (around 1,5 months), I am looking forward to start working there. Where am I going to live? What exactly am I going to do? I have absolutely no idea still up to that point when I'm hopping on to the airplane in Copenhagen, but I like surprises and spontaneity anyways, so let's get this adventure started!

Namibia and my thesis in a nutshell

Namibia lies in the Southern Part of Africa, and in general, has a hot and dry climate. With its  roughly 2 000 000 inhabitants on 825,615 km2, Namibia is one of the least densley populated country in the world. Since I have always been a "big city girl" I think seeing a vast nothingness with a few people scattered around would definitely be an experience for me!

For my thesis I am going to do a joint research with the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN), a local NGO, on how to improve a local marginalized indigenous tribe, the San’s livelihood living on resettlement farms in remote rural areas.

The DRFN has different projects which attempt to improve different areas such as water sanitation, energy, and the area I am also going to be involved, the LIvelihood Support Programme (LISUP). LISUP deals with three particular farms, namely Drimiopsis, Skoonheid and Donkerbos in the Omaheke region in North-East Namibia, therefore I am going to be situated in Gobabis, the capital city of the area.

Omaheke region in Namibia

Hopefully I will be able to visit all three farms and then my research path will be more clear.

A resettlment farm in Namibia is a project initiated by the government in order to incorporate indigenous tribes, and thereby the San, into their nations. These projects attempt to settle these people into a more economically viable sector of the society. However, these projects often fail to take into accont the opinions and abilities of the ethnic groups, thus they fail to achieve their goals, and creating an even higher dependency on governmental support and poverty.

The San make up 2% of the population and they are also those, who live in the worst condition in the country. I will try to improve their wellbeing by exploring local plants and their use and figure out a way how could these people better exploit their potentials given by nature. To increase the fun, my boyfriend Sigi is also coming with me to enjoy the sunshine, be my wingman and to protect me from bad guys. 

The local currency is Namibian Dollar, which could be difficult for you to convert each time when you read, therefore I state everything in Euros and in Hungarian Forints (since I'm Hungarian) as well.

Have fun and I hope you will enjoy reading our adventures!