Showing posts from August, 2013

The subjectivity of what is sacred

Something that is becoming more and more apparent from living on a farm for nearly 2 months now is that the value of life (and, more specifically, death) is vastly different to that which I have ever experienced before. This is probably because the people living in the countryside have a closer connection to nature, which, as well as having a deep respect for living creatures, also allows them to witness the harsh and violent aspect of living in the wilderness.  Rather than the idealised version of nature that many city dwellers have, where everything in nature is pure and innocent and fragile, those residing in the rural areas see the raw and powerful side to nature on a daily basis; African wild dogs ripping the guts out of kudu calves as they try to run away, droughts killing off thousands of animals, elephants destroying one year's worth of a family's crop in 24 hours, caracals massacring 20 lambs in one night, male lions biting into the necks of their lionesses' basta…

Road trips and labour laws

Apologies for the delay in updating my blog; I was on the road for 2 weeks and have been busy collecting and processing data since getting back.  I finished my time at the previous livestock and trophy hunting farm and went on a 1,200 km roadtrip around the country visiting various places for interviews and data collection.  I was pretty nervous about driving all that way by myself – worried about running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere, getting a flat tyre in the bush and not having the strength to undo the bolts to get the tyre off, hitting an animal, getting lost, crashing into another car whilst parking in multi-story car parks in Windhoek, and so on.   Fortunately the whole trip went by without any major catastrophes, except very nearly hitting a kudu on the way home!  Kudus are very large antelope who live in groups and browse on bushes.  They are pretty flighty animals, but sometimes will just stand there staring at you as you drive past, whereas other times they’ll run a…