A visit to a Himba Village

Trip Start Aug 07, 2006
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Trip End Sep 01, 2006


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Flag of Namibia  ,
Friday, August 18, 2006

Before we set out to visit the Himbas, we were informed that they are nomadic and had just relocated! So we all ended up hopping on board to find them a few kilometers away! When we first arrived at the Himba's there was an abundance of CHIVOS. I made sure to catch a quick clip on my camera for Gabe. We spent a few hours at the Himba Village where our guide, Yaku, provided us with a wealth of information about the Himba. Apparently, Yako's parents owned the land where the Himbas currently reside. As a young boy, he spent a lot of time in the village and grew accustomed to the language and practices of the tribe. As an adult, he decided to become a member of the tribe and was subsequently adopted. Since then, he has been living amongst the Himbas. Yako is currently married to two women in the tribe. Both are expecting his first children.

Yako provides a critical link from the tribe to those, such as us, who wish to learn about his tribe. The ways of the Himbas are fascinating. Even in the year 2006, they are still practicing the ways of life of their ancestors.  They hunt a variety of animals native to their areas using hand made weapons. They raise livestock as well. As for their customs, they still engage in an intricate cleansing process every morning that takes several hours. During this process, they cleanse each other without a drop of water.

A few of us spent some time interacting with the children. I held a little girl by the name of "Nopo". At first I thought she was a little shy, but then I realized that she probably didn't feel very good as she nestled herself against my chest and dozed off. I couldn't help but wonder if she was ok. Being there, I remember thinking about how good we have it back home. We have access to so many commodities its unreal. How often do we sit and think about this? Not often enough. Does it take visiting a Himba village to appreciate what you have back home?

Being at the Himba Village was initially overwhelming. They came out to greet us in their traditional attire. Everyone busted out their cameras immediately and started taking an insane amount of pictures. Yako gave us the "ok" to do so because he explained that they had grown accustomed to tourist coming by and snapping pictures. Someone in the group made a comment about people not being exhibits and as such, they should not be photographed. I felt bad even though I had not bad intentions. However, after giving the situation some thought, I realized that perhaps the pictures, can serve as a vehicle to enable others to learn about the Himbas.  

After we left the Himba village, we drove towards Etosha National Park. We got there towards the end of the day but we still were able to catch a glimpse of some giraffe and elephants. After setting up our tents, we made our way to the water hole where we were able to see elephants, rhinos, and giraffes. What a day!
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