Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Near Lauwersoog, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Just wandering the Netherlands.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Two sides of the river...

Yesterday, we spent most of the day just relaxing. We were at the Hakusembe River Lodge which sits on the Namibian side of the Kavango River. The other side of the river is the country of Angola.

It would make sense to visit the country of Angola while we're here, wouldn't it?

Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

We are here...

Hakusembe River Lodge

The country of Angola was virtually destroyed during a brutal 30 year civil war that ended in 2002. It's coming back now, but they have a backwards and complicated Soviet style Visa procedure that requires you to have a letter of invitation from someone within the country as well as official documents concerning your itinerary and purpose of travel, etc. All of this has to be pre-approved in advance before attempting entry into the country.

Not gonna happen, at least not this time around.

But, we spent much of the day staring at the opposite side of the river.

The front porch of our cabin faces the river.

And on the opposite side of the river, the local Angolan people have a very different lifestyle. It's not that there isn't a lot of people who live exactly the same way on the Namibian side...it's just that we don't sit and stare at them all day simply because their daily lives take place on the riverbank.

They bathe in the river. They wash their clothes in the river. They wash their dishes in the river. They fish in the river. They water their mules and oxen and cows in the river. And then they drink the river water. We don't know if they have any other source of water.

The village on top of the hill across from us.

Apparently these youngsters have been sent to do the dishes.

Washing the dishes.

They have these "living" museums here where they charge tourists to see what the local people lived like a hundred or whatever years ago. I would prefer to go to their village and see what they live like today. And understand how they do things and if they like their life and what they would like to change. They have no electricity. No running water, although there may or may not be a well. They've lived like this for generations. We think they are poor, but maybe they aren't. Maybe this is just the way they live. We're not sure, because we haven't talked to them.

We sit and wonder.

While they go about their lives on the opposite side of the river.

It's all just a little bit surreal.


  1. Howdy R&K,
    Joyce's daughter & her husband make annual mission-trips to a Tanzanian village, where the people have to WALK a mile to a crocodile-infested river, where they fill ANY TYPE of container, with the filthy water, then carry in back and use it or drink it... Karen wants to bring empty milk jugs to them, someway, because they'll make that trip for just a pop-bottle-full... Joyce 'strings' gallon-milk-jugs on 'hay-twine' and hangs them in the barn; saving them for WHAT?? Some of the strings are 50 feet long !!! I guess Karen could hold them out of the airplane window, because they don't weigh much !!!!
    The Communist really did a 'job' on Angola and I guess still are !!! The Cubans were the real 'destroyers' of life in Angola !!! They may have snipers watching the
    'rich-foreigners across the river too, also !!! Don't think I'd want to go there !!!

  2. Saw the same type of river use in rural areas of Egypt. Don't know how disease isn't more common place, I guess living like that give the inhabitants a very hardy immune system.

  3. I've seen that lifestyle in Guatemala, India, Ecuador, China .... the list goes on. We lived like that in the early days of North America, too. We're just so spoiled with our showers, tubs, running and hot water, washing machines, dishwashers .......

  4. Isnt poor a relative term. to bill gates I am dirt poor, to these people I would be very wealthy. this is their life and what they know, personally dont believe they think in the terms of poor or not poor, it just is. as you said would be nice to be able to talk to them and find out about their way of life and their culture

  5. Ruth looks so relaxed. I've been following your adventure but am a little behind. We (daughter,granddaughter,and I) are wrapping up a two week Florida vacation. We are presently staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom and are enjoying seeing animals outside our hotel room balcony. Kinsey loves the baby "raffes" as she calls them. Tomorrow we head back home to PA, snow, and cold weather. We sure will miss the 80's here. I agree that to be so close and not get to know what life for others is like just makes one to wonder more about them.


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