The day we camped in Spitzkoppe and only had long drops / by Mariam Harraz

It was very difficult to get out of bed today as we had to leave the hotel and get back on the road to continue our travels. We were all so exhausted and 8 hours of sleep felt like nothing at all to us. Bags packed and in the truck and right after breakfast we headed with a local township tour to see Mondesa. Mondesa is another world compared to Swakopmund although right by each other and only separated by a few KM’s, it highlights different ethnic groups in Namibia. 

We first stopped at a school where we met the Herero ladies. The Herero tribe are one of the biggest tribes in Namibia, are cattle herding who rate each other by the number of cattle each one owns. The women are said to be married only with their uncle’s approval, and a man could have up to 4 wives, if the man wishes to marry another women, the first wife decides on who he is allowed to marry and who he isn’t. He can only marry with her approval of the second wife. The Herero ladies traditional clothes are inspired by Germans a constant reminder of their history and that they are indeed the powerful ones now. They are to wear it from the moment they are married. Their hats are representing the horns of the cattle which is important to their tribe. They wear it in all seasons even when its over 40 degrees. 

Later on after learning more about the Herero ladies, we then sang to the kids who sang back to us, it was really sweet.

We continued on to meet women who are said to be doctors because of all their herbs they collect that cure them from different diseases, there was one herb for everything you can imagine. We saw on our way how people cook their fish, which is left seasoned outside for days to dry up in the heat before they could eat it.

It’s a real eye opener to see how it’s like, I avoided taking many pictures of the kids although they enjoy it because for me there’s a bigger picture and it almost felt like what people always do when they see dark skinned kids in rough areas.

Our second last stop was trying these black bugs *vomit* along with a local drink, I refused to even think about trying one, I'm scared of these things how am I going to eat them. Beth was hilarious and gave it a go and regretted it later. Wouter had two of them!! Apparently Namibians eat them quiet a bit.

The last and best part was these beautiful people singing to us, no instruments of course just them and their beautiful voices and it was so good listening to them. Before they started singing Lion king to us they told mentioned we would know this song and to sing along so when they started singing, Andres and few others started singing and ruining the song so I had to tell them to stop which came haunting me back for the rest of the trip: “they told us to join in and you made us stop.”

Basically because of their voices ruining it, no offence to my amazing friends! 

We got back to the lodge and hopped on the truck to make our way to Spitzkoppe. One of the most fascinating campsites we stayed at. Spitzkoppe is group of granite peaks and is about 1700metres above ground. It is said to be about 150 million years old. Also it was in David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’ series which makes it even more special! It was the first time there would be no showers and when we got there I wasn't surprised. We set up camps and me and jaz set up right by Wouter, Jo and Lynsey under one of the few trees available. For some reason I decided that today was the day to catch up with my water intake considering how hot it’s been and how little water I drink. Unfortunately I decided that before we saw the toilets or shall I say long drops at our campsite. They were horrible. No one believed me except Lynsey but there were bumble bees flying up your bum while you were doing your business and the place wasn't even properly covered, there was obviously no door on it but not only that people can see a bit of you when they're coming towards it. 

Bless Anna, a very kindhearted Austrian nurse who took care of everyone’s injuries or when they were ill, she took it upon herself to clean the seat and wiped it with tons of antibacterial hand gel and we still refused to sit on it. It stunk so bad, and considering how small my bladder is, I visited it more than 10 times. 

That was the day that Fabulous Fabby decided to take her mattress out of her tent and under a tree and start reading to cool off, such a brilliant idea that none of us wanted to follow just so we don't get dirt on our mattresses, so we squashed on hers. We had a game of monopoly where we cursed each other the whole time because of how stressful it was, Andres made fun of me for never winning a game (which was slightly true) and right before sunset a game of cricket. Lulu loves cricket and she was probably the only person who could throw a ball. Chris and Andres had a competition of course of who can hit the ball most, chris won.

Dinner was great and right after we all gathered around to sing our national anthems, all the British girls had no clue what it was after the first line..