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31st January 2014


Just over a week ago, we had our “last night” of the first patrol in base camp and experienced the first desert rain of the year. A hot humid night full of insects and a visit from the porcupine made for a restless night. In only three days, we could see a big difference the rain had made to the landscape in Damaraland as we returned to base camp for a “cycle”, and with a new group of volunteers. Green grass is spiking up, creativity that looks like a lawn out if you look into the distance. The acacias scrubs are all budding new leaves and some are covered in their furry pale green flowers. New plants are emerging from the stony grounds and we have been trying to identify them.

Volunteers collecting sand

Our build week was at a new location, it is shady but stony which made digging the foundation difficult. All around us and at our campsite, mopani seedlings and acacia seedlings are sprouting from the ground in small fields. The farm goats, cows and donkeys appear to have a spring in their step and are enjoying the grass shoots, like the elephants, they seem to get excited before they come to drink water at the trough by the build site. After having their fill, they watch amused as we sweat building rock walls. Water in the desert is a very special treasure, if you are to look closely at life it delicately sustains.
Every night at our build camp, we watched the storm clouds tower up over the eastern plains, lightning and thunder accompanying them. But then they dissipated and missed us. We are all hoping for a big rain to make the rivers flow!
Mel, Scotland

 

An Elephant holding a stick

31st January


There’s a great African story about travellers who ventured on an expedition into the African savannah. The travellers landed their plane on the continent – met with their travel guides. After very long days of travelling the guides sat down and refused to move for days. The guides informed the irked travellers that they had to catch up with their souls after long days of travelling. Much like the group of travellers, I came to catch up with my soul – at EHRA. I could not have asked for a better place to rest, learn, meet fellow travellers, and be graced by our planet’s amazing wildlife species – elephants. I’d like to believe that this stop-in wasn’t a simple coincidence, but that it was meant to be, and aligned by the universe. I’m glad I got to catch up with my soul at EHRA. Thank you all for making this camp what it is in the heart of desert elephant country. I wish you all my best with your conservation endeavours. I do hope our paths may cross again. Cheers! – A fellow traveller B.J

Volunteers on the platform