WORKING IN NAMIBIA
Apprentices in the workshop were becoming too many to handle. It was decided to send the final year appies to Otavi, in the northern part of Namibia. There were several houses and railway installations which needed dire attention. Guess who went too! We were promised travelling expenses to cover our personal costs. This was going to be a great djol indeed. It was decided that we would save as much money as possible and hence decided to live in a tent for the term we stayed in Otavi. I collected my father’s camping tent and stretc hers, etc, and returned to pick up some of the other guys in Windhoek. Otavi is a small farming settlement in northern Namibia. There were a few shops and mainly the necessary amenities only.
We arrived in the town late in the afternoon and set up the tent and camp fire, All camps had a fire. A trip to the local dairy was needed to boost our rations so we set off to buy milk for our Frisco coffee. The unfriendly people would not sell milk to us because we did not have a bottle to put it in. A cooking pot was resorted to and was promptly turned down. Now this was a situation which needed the brains of many appies to solve (except that of Eusebius)this dilemma
The solution was to knock on house doors and put up an act to convince the home owner to sell us a milk bottle. We ended up with 4 bottles much to the chagrin of the dairy. They preferred locals only. A few days later and after we had made advances on the job the apprentice instructor turns up due to complaints from the railway station master because we were camping on railway property.
We were told rather abruptly to find lodgings elsewhere and found it by an elderly woman who was living on her own. We hired her front stoop and moved in among the jungle like plants. A house is a home. Soon we noticed a terrible stink in the air and breathing was rather odious. It was a Corn Beef factory not far from us. Man, the stench was sickening and unbearable. The landlady noticed that her visitors were not up to much when it comes to preparing grub on her stoop so for a few rands more we managed to get breakfast and supper
A beer cost only 50cents and anything else: the world. The following weekend we decided to visit the Otjikoto lake and the Guinas Meer not too far away. This area is known as an artesian area which means that the water pressure underground is higher than that on surface which tells us that if a borehole is sunk the water will gush out on surface uncontrollably. It is illegal for farmers to sink boreholes in an artesian area. Guinas Meer and Otjikoto lake is situated in this area. At the time it was unknown what the depth of the pools were. The countryside enjoys a unique splendour rarely found elsewhere. A tentative depth for lake Otjikoto is given at 145 metres but can differ elsewhere in the lake