While I focussed on Steinbeck, the baboon I was following, something attracted my attention out of the corner of my eye. In between the scarce bushes a steenbok walked in our direction. He look at me for a moment, after which he lost interest: the baboons didn’t seem to think I was a danger, so the otherwise so skittish steenbok seemed to draw the same conclusion. The next 15 minutes he was browsing next to us, searching for fresh green leaves in the arid desert. Only giving way to the few baboons that approached him a bit too close, he imperturbably continued his path, until he moved out of my sight.
6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
Jonah 4:6-8, NIV
In Tsaobis I felt like Jonah every now and then. He sat on a hill overlooking Nineveh, I regularly sat on a hill overlooking baboons. I can relate most, however, to how he must have felt when his tree, and with that his shade, was taken from him. Continue reading
Average maximum temperature: 30 °C
Average minimum temperature: 13 °C
Somewhere in the Swakop River, Northwest
The shade provides some shelter from the heat, but not a lot. It’s half past one and the sun is at its highest point. I’m surrounded by the rustling and munching of the baboons, while a slight breeze occasionally blows around my head. Straight ahead of me are the hills we’ll undoubtedly climb in the remaining six hours of daylight, behind me are the hills we’ve already concurred. We’re following J-troop, who’s notoriously eager to climb. The hills might be a physical challenge, I prefer them over the woodland we’re currently in. We have to follow the baboons the whole day, and that’s a lot easier on the open rocks compared to the dense vegetation of the woodlands.