Ghanzi Trail Blazers, Botswana
A meeting of the Man of the Stars and the People of the Earth
Two years of time in 70,000 years of history for one of Earth’s longest continuing cultures.
Now observed by tourist as a curiosity, as they travel on ‘Safari’, as was the case for me two years ago. Arriving in the evening just in time for the Bush show of song, dance and story around an open fire. Followed by an awakening and a walk through the Bush, the leaving of a tip and a rush to the bus to ‘discover’ other things African.
Except for me when it came time for tip, I had no money to give. The pace of tour did not permit a stop for local cash at the ATM. The best I could do was $5, not worthy of a culture that has lived 68,000 years longer than my own.
The Next year:
Another trip planned for Africa, I would be but 876 km from the people I had under tipped. I rented a car, and made the trek on roads of sand, being met by Enoch the brother of a Lady who had named her son for me, because of another meager tip.
There we met the Bush people and their interpreter Robert and discussed the life and times of the Bush people. The next night after watching their standard program they met me, so I could take pictures of them under the stars. And during this time they saw my video of their night time performance. They had never seen themselves in motion before, it was an experience.
The next morning, they were playing not Beach Volley Ball but Bush Volley Ball, with the tourist who had come to picture them, for their memories upon return to culture. Enock Dube and I, met with Robert, and the staff Tshepo Cathy Abraham and Boleseng Molthware and reviewed some of their issues and shared ideas on how to better help the Bush people, in their new existence which is being limited by modern man.
I left with a promise of a camera, for Robert Camm Cann and the Bush people. It took a year to keep the promise, posting issues, delivery issues and more. But with the help of Brenda Dube, the camera finally made it.
Upon their opening I received photos from the Bush team and then a video call from the Bush people themselves. They called to thank the ‘Man of the Stars’, for the gift I had given to them, they the People of the Earth. Now instead of just being the object of other’s cameras they can now picture their own world, and the tourist who picture them.
I can rest better now, that I was able to provide them a tip that was respectful of their place in the history of continuing of Earth’s lifecycle.
As those who have the pleasure of working with them reflect on such a resilient people.