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Spaceward Bound: Namibia 2012

 

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Hi Everybody,

I really apologize for not making contact sooner, but we have had no internet connection since Walvis Bay which we wooshed through on jet lag fumes. We are now at Gelbingen, just south of Etosha and the owner of the lodge is German and hence, has wifi - bless his heart!! However, he has very little bandwidth so can't do too much. In fact, out of the four lodges we have stayed in, only one had a single place to plug in for power in our room - the rest do not have such things because they are on solar re-generated battery power. My laptop is down to 20% and I'm plugging in at the workshop of the German guy - the only place that has a plug on the entire farm.

We have seen so much, done so many things, and learned so much it is incredible. The boys are are gulping it all in. We have visited two tribes of people who live as their ancestors have for thousands of years - including the lack of tops for the ladies, and they have done great.

The geology is incredible (huge hypolith colonies under quartz in one area, and absolutely none on quartz only 3km away). Boys are becoming avid mineral collectors. Everyone here is a geologist!

It is HOT, but we're adjusting to it slowly and it's a little cooler where we are now - hiking up a ravine to look at 2000 year old rock paintings at 40C was a challenge. Alexei isn't even wearing a fleece - which hasn't happened in many, many months!

The "seen" list: African elephants (they blocked the road we were on and we had to wait for an hour for them to move - they make the rules!), springbok, klipspringers, baboons, beautiful birds, kudus, oryx, ostrich, penguins, dwarf python, South African rock python, and domesticated goats (tons!!), donkeys, cows, horses. The vehicle of choice is a donkey cart.

We also haven't been on pavement since just north of Swapkopmund, and last night had to climb a hill in 2WD low, 1st gear to get up to the lodge - coming down was fun too! The people are incredibly friendly - very gentle, and kind. Passing anyone walking along the road results in a smile and a wave. Many are desperately poor, but still have a great spirit and seem very happy.

Alexei and Peter say "Hi!" to their classes! If we had our way you all would be with us on the great adventure!

Love, hugs and cheers!

Liza, Alexei and Peter

 

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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: February 2010
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe
  (Lizabeth.K.Coe@nasa.gov)