this is my
(Click on the icon above to download Survival Kit A)
Survival Kit B:
I write you this letter as a warning and an invitation and heartfelt wish because there will be the first mouthful, then the second long one. By the third mouthful of air, that hidden deep part of you will come to recognition. You will swallow, or you will spit out. Likewise, you will be swallowed, or spat out. You may not be aware of it but in those first minutes, that is when the Kalahari casts the dice and seals your fate. For the lucky ones love comes fast and easy, like magic, and you will never be the same after. For the unlucky, well…you too will never be the same after!
The Kalahari has a different taste, a different smell and a different look from any other place on earth. And also, the Kalahari loves differently than any other.
It is the only place I think, where you can feel the day’s mood – whether it be gentle, whether it be ruthless – early in the morning before the sun starts colouring the western horizon. The birds will announce the mood -or the mosquitoes. The first will mesmerise your whole being or the second will relentlessly maul every exposed limb.
This semi-desert is an old sand man, moody and full of surprises. Hot, very hot in summer when he sits and plays catch-me-if-you-can with his red hot coals – a gift from the sun who seems closer to earth in exactly that spot where the Kalahari sits. He can burn you, he can dry you out to the last little piece of your smallest toe’s nail. At night the deep purple sky marries the Milky Way. What is born from that marriage is unbelievable and will make you forgive and forget the heat, the thorns you stepped in, the thirst and the reddest of red sand in your underpants (no one ever knows how it gets in there!)
For those who walk with open eyes and open ears, the joyful surprises are endless. See how donkeys smile or how some dogs will wink it’s eye at you. People may scream happily, smile and call your name even if you have never seen them before. Chickens may lay eggs at midnight and announce it there and then and a whole village will be proud of that chicken. That is the magic.
Dare open your heart and in jumps the friendly people. Young, old. Short, tall. Wealthy, poor. Drunk, sober. Those in one of the two shops, those sitting under the tree. Those on donkey cars and bicycles, those in 4x4’s or fast cars. Hospitality, thy name is Kalahari.
Some, like myself, opened my eyes, I opened my ears and I opened my heart. I, like you will be, was never the same. I came, I saw, I fell in love and I never left. Well, not for long anyway.
This is my sandland, this is my heart land, this is the place of all my births - and all my deaths. Here I am happy, here I am alive.
Best wishes for an amazingly enjoyable festival. Take care and be sure not to miss the magic happening all around you.