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The new constitution drawn up at the time of Namibian independence designated English as the official language, even though it was the native tongue of only about two per cent of the population. It was decided that with English, all ethnic groups would be at equal disadvantage. If you want to make friends it pays to know just a few words in the local lingo. Saying ' hello' is always a good start…. n Afrikaans ( the most common lingua franca): Hallo n Damara/ Nama (! denotes a tongue click in this difficult language): ! Gai tsestsestsestses n German ( widely spoken): Guten Tag n Herero/ Himba ( useful in North Central Namibia): Tjike n ! kung San ( more tongue clicking in Northern Namibia): ! Kao n Lozi/ Rostisti ( widely spoken in Caprivi): Eeni, sha n Owambo ( The most common first language): WaWa lalapo ( morning) WaWa tokelwapo ( evening) 14 Travel Namibia M oro >> News · views · people · places · conservation · community · wildlife · culture Thehe schschschool feeseesees of twenty- five children at Daweb Junior School are being paid by CC Africa's Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge. The lodge also helps feed more than a hundred children in the Maltahohe community and sponsors young people to attend a four- day conservation awareness course at NaDEET ( Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust). The NaDEET course is paid for through the sale of ostrich eggs in the lodge's shop. In a separate initiative, Namibia Wildlife Resorts has taken a group of school children from Kavango to Etosha, Brandberg and Windhoek. For many of the eleven youngsters, it was their first visit to the capital and the first time they had seen a mountain. The trip marked the start of a project called Enviro- Kidz which aims to provide opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn about conservation issues. NWR hopes to hold at least two Enviro- Kidz trips each year. Children of the future n Read the ststoriesies of children in the wildernessnessness on p44 Enviro- kidz head for the dunes L anguage: Say ' hello' WantWantWantWant t o leaearn more? Check out the language section of Lonely Planet's B otswana & Namibia guidebook. These children's trip is paid for by the sale of ostrich eggs CC Africa NWR

Two new ' living museums' are currently being built in northern Namibia, one within the Owambo community, the other within a Damara community. There is already a Ju/' Hoansi- San and a Mafwe museum being supported by Living Culture Foundation Namibia. All the projects aim to increase understanding of the country's different tribes while also giving them a stable source of income. Guests at the museums learn about traditional cultures and the original way the people lived. The two new ' living museums' are being set up by entrepreneurs from the communities themselves. Sebastian Dürrschmidt of Travel Namibia 15 An Englishman in Naukluft Interview nQ What first took you to Namibia? We first came to southern Africa after the sudden, tragic and early death of my only sister, Nikki. In 1966 she had taken advantage of the proffered ten pound assisted passage to Cape Town on the good steamship SA Vaal. She remained there until she died. She had always exhorted us to visit, but we hadn't found it practical or possible until it was too late. We came simply to bury her. My wife Brenda spoke out on the runway at Cape Town International on the way home: " This was a tragic visit, but it seems a wonderful place – why don't we try to return in better times...." Then our third son Ben, as an eighteenth birthday present, rafted the white waters of the Gariep ( Orange) River. He told us: " Go and look at that place Namibia, it looks awesome". So we did, it was awesome and we moved there. nQ Where do you live? Three years ago we moved to our second farm in the Namib Desert. We gave up the first farm because our partners were – unnecessarily – hunting the very wildlife we wanted to support and increase. Now we're living on a plot of nearly 30,000 acres and are determined that every single living thing will benefit. Kudu, springbok, klipspringer, leopard, baboons and copious snakes earn our constant attention. Bonnie, our Jack Russell, and Leo – our pavement special – are pets. Sadly Leo was taken by a leopard a few weeks ago. nQ What do you like most about the country? The space, landscapes, very few but engagingly friendly people, the climate, the sense of being pioneers. nQ And least? Crossing any Namibian border in the wrong direction. nQ Where is your favourite place in Namibia? Oh, just the Namib, Damaraland, Kaokoland, the Kavango and Caprivi regions, and everywhere else in the country too. nQ Have you learnt any of the local languages? Ons kan ' n bikkie N eil Digby- Clarke and his wife left their comfortable English home to live in a remote Namibian farmstead. A decade on, he talks about life as an expat. ' Living museums' for Damara and Owambo Afrikaans praat ( we can speak a little Afrikaans). But everyone here, including our indigenous friends, makes it difficult since they all speak commendable English ( the official language, by the way). nQ Typically, what does one of your days look like? Unadulterated blue skies to start with, and then out on the farm to look after our infrastructure, our oasis of a garden, the restoration of our farmhouse, our workers and the wildlife. We also travel a lot, to write and take pictures for our website which is designed to help tourists planning a trip to Namibia. www. thenamibiaexperience. com nQ Do you ever go to the UK? We travel back regularly to see our three sons and five ( going on six) gorgeous grandchildren. We also still have a business in the UK, which is run by our sons. We miss our family but little else about the UK these days. L iving Culture Foundation Namibia met one of the entrepreneurs, Erasmus Aiyambo, while he was working at a petrol station in Windhoek. He got to know him and, after telling him about the living museum concept, Erasmus quit his job to build a museum in his home Owambo community. Sebastian said: " Erasmus is the son of a deputy chief, and so is well placed to do this. His position in the community has helped him to get land and the permission to build the museum. " As with the Damara Museum, this will be a new venture for the LCFN. It won't be community run, but rather owned by a local entrepreneur. Having worked with other communities, we know that as outsiders it can take years to gain a community's trust so when we met Erasmus we were very happy to have such an enterprising young man take the initiative for himself". S urveying his land. Neil Digby- Clarke and his farm manager ( left) Petrus Hishekwa watch as the usual dry River Gaub flows L earning to dance with the San at the ' living museum' in Grashoek