"I've killed more lions in Namibia than anyone else"
Since leaving CCF on Sunday, I moved into my temporary home on the outskirts of Otjiwarongo town centre with a lovely French lady called Monique. She has a spacious bungalow with a swimming pool and beautiful garden that overlooks the bush beyond the house and a number of cute (but very timid) house cats. I'm sure this will be the most luxurious accommodation I'll stay in during the next 7 months of being in Namibia!
On my first full day in Otjiwarongo I decided to take a trip into town to visit a few places where I might bump into some farmers. Little did I know what I was getting myself into! Naively but confidently, I stumbled into a large agricultural store and went straight to the Manager's office to ask for some advice on finding farmers to talk to. He said that I might like to attend the nearby Farmers Association meeting in a few weeks. I thanked him, left, and went to look around the store.
Shortly afterwards, he came up behind me on the phone, finished his conversation (in Afrikaans) and then said that there were a group of livestock farmers in the Auctions office across the way that might be able to speak to me, as they've had problems with predators recently. Without being entirely sure what was about to happen or how I should come across, I bumbled over to the office and introduced myself with a bright and cheerful smile, saying that I'm doing research on livestock farming in Namibia particularly related to the challenges of farming in a landscape shared with predators. I asked if they would be happy to talk to me and one farmer said he's killed more lions in Namibia than anyone else. I wasn't quite sure how to respond to that one!
Later on that day I visited a number of car shops to find items for my new Hilux. The below image depicts my fear and confusion over buying the right type of oil that I needed for my car:
For the rest of this week I've been busy going round shops in Otjiwarongo putting up flyers asking farmers to contact me if they're interested in talking about their experiences with farming in Namibia. So far, I've not had a single person call, but I am hoping that I will get at least some response soon! If nothing else, on Friday I am visiting two farms that I am hoping to stay on to conduct my research, and am crossing my fingers that they know lots of farmers in their community that might like to speak to me. I have a feeling I might have to start offering bribes to get people to talk to me! What is the ethical standpoint on that?!
|Monique's pretty house|
|The view 20m from Monique's house|
|The view opposite Monique's house - it's so dry!|
|Strange looking tree on my walk into town|