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? Day 4: These people are incredible. My hosts are genuinely the most considerate, most welcoming people I have ever met. Despite the fact that the water pump has run out of diesel and there might not be water for days, my drinks bottle is never empty. It often disappears and returns full a few minutes later, although God knows where they are getting the water. I never have to ask for water and they don't even expect me to say thank you. I may sound romantic, but it is almost as if my new friends can read my mind. Most of the time here I am happy to sit and watch life go by. Surprisingly, I am rarely bored. If I want, there is always something to do: collect fi rewood, cook, wash clothes, or tend to the tourists who come to visit the museum here. A lot of the time we chat, drink tea and chat, lie under the tree and chat.. The conversation never runs out, which is amazing given everyone here spends the better part of their lives together. I wonder what on earth there could be to talk about next, but there always a new snippet of gossip just around the corner. Every so often I feel scared. I put this down to being so far from civilisation, the 40oC heat and being surrounded by miles and miles of fl at brown bush that seems to go nowhere. In these moments I would trade my left leg for some of those familiar, soothing things like an ice cold drink or the ability to be instantly clean. Right now I would like an electric kettle. Isn't it strange what you long for? Above: Erna sitting in the entrance to her family home. Below: Morris, Erna's husband. ? Day 1: I got stuck going along the road between Rooidag Heck and the village which is to be my home for the next three months. Apparently the road was, until recently, just a donkey track and has never been gravelled. When I left Windhoek, I was told it would be fi ne as long as I remembered to let the tyres down. I realised at the crucial moment that I forgotten to ask how and the car got bogged down in sand about two kilometres away from the village. I'd been walking for about fi ve minutes when I met some Bushmen children who, via osmosis, already seemed to know my car was stuck. And then Morris - wonderful, wonderful English-speaking Morris - appeared out of the bushes with a spade. He can't drive, but he did know how to let the tyres down and dig my car out of the sand. We eventually made it to the village, and within minutes of arriving Morris had my iPod out of my backpack and set up with speakers. Another surprise. We have spent all day listening to stuff like Beyonce, Britney Spears and Rhianna, whose lyrics seem completely out of place here, even if one Bushman is named after - and dresses like - 50 Cent. I'm staying with a small group of Ju/' hoansi Bushmen who live in the N* a Jaqna conservancy, about an hours drive from Tsumkwe. And no, my forward slashes and bizarre markings are not spelling mistakes but rather written symbols for the clicks that fi ll the Bushmen's language - a language I'm hoping to learn while I am here. I am being looked after by Morris, his wife Erna and their large extended family. C

People 26 Travel Namibia ? Day 15: It rained again last night. That kind of intense African rain that blows in from the east and has you out fi ghting with the fl aps of your tent and wrapping your bed in spare pieces of plastic in the middle of the night. Still, the sky is grey this morning, and the cool weather is a welcome break from the intense heat. Suddenly the bush is so green it hardly seems like the same place as when I arrived. I woke up at 7.15 today - very late here - and had my fi rst offi cial Ju/' Hoansi lesson with N! aro Gxao, which apparently means ' to teach and to learn'. The language is incredible. The four basic clicks are relatively simple. It's when you try and combine these with letters like ' K', ' X' and ' G' that it becomes impossible. Most of these sounds are made in the back of the mouth and practising has given me a very sore throat. The slightest intonation in your voice can change the meaning of what you are saying completely. In the fi rst few days I made the mistake of trying to ask someone's name and ending up asking well . about the male genitalia. '! u' it turns out defi nitely not the same as ' n! u', although the Bushmen took several days to point this out to me. Eventually, after I had asked after the genitalia of several members of the community, my poor teacher was asked to explain the difference. I realised today that I hadn't brushed my teeth in days. That is life here - it doesn't seem out of place to forget to brush your teeth. Above and below left: The community's ' Living Museum' has two aims - to conserve traditions and to provide villagers with a sustainable income. Spectating at an inter- village football match