by Ginger Mauney
Ginger makes a difference! She is a filmmaker and has lived and worked in Namibia for 16 years. Her films have aired on National Geographic Explorer, PBS, and in more than 50 countries worldwide. She lives in Namibia with her husband and their son.
Ginger teamed with the Namibia Tourism Board and Björn Rehder, talented video producer, to “Welcome” over 600 delegates from the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit! The script below was read and beautifully performed by Ndino Ndilula, while stunning images were projected on giant boulder rocks at the newest National Park in Namibia, Moonscape along Welwitschia near Swakopmund.
We have been waiting for you, a long, long time.
Your journey here has taken you to many places, where you pursed the unusual, retreated to what was comfortable and then challenged yourself over and over again.
All the while searching. But searching for what?
A destination? An adventure? Would it connect you to a place or a culture?
Or would it perhaps connect you to your truest self?
But, how would you know when your search was complete?
Would you feel it in the way the wind touches your skin or the sun hits your back?
Or would you sense it in the familiar sound of silence?
Listen closely, because this is your story and it takes us back, way back.
Imagine, the beginning of life.
In slivers of rock, so thin that the naked eye is powerless to see, were clues to the evolution of life.
For more than 650 million years, these rocks held their secrets until finally they were discovered.
In our mountains is evidence of where life first divided.
One cell became two.
Simple, and yet infinitely complex.
It led to you and ultimately it led you back to where it all began.
This is Africa.
The cradle of humankind, where our earliest ancestors sheltered in caves and roamed the plains.
Their lives were defined by who was the hunter and who was the hunted.
For millions of years, these roles shifted, with the stealth of the predator pitted against man’s growing brain.
Snap a branch in the darkness – do the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, do you want to flee or fight?
These visceral reactions to danger began here, and they are embedded in all of us as part of our primal memory.
This is Africa.
Where man learned to harness the force of fire, taking control of the night and his fears by shining a light in a predator’s eyes.
We learned to master fire, but not our environment.
The San, the original people of Africa, believe that we have to respect the environment in order to find respect for ourselves.
This is Namibia.
Where lions roam across borders and back, primates survive against all odds in these dry riverbeds and we stand united in the protection of our wildlife, including our beloved black rhino.
Yes, this is Namibia.
Where the wind, the sand, and infinite possibilities are rooted in the past and inspire our future.
Namibia reminds you, in subtle, striking ways, that we are all connected.
We began as one, here in these rocks and on these plains.
The memory of these times is part of our collective history.
It may have been buried deep, perhaps so deep that you didn’t know it was there, but being here, in Namibia, this memory has been awakened.
You are connected, and we are one.
Yes, you have travelled far, and finally you have arrived.
If you are interested in reading more about Namibia, click on these other articles:
- Namibia Breathes Beauty
- 6 Insights: Conservation Breakthrough in Namibia
- Namibia’s Lion Hero
- Children in the Wilderness
- Hiking Paradise at Fish River Canyon
- Namibia’s Erindi Private Game Reserve
- A Photographer’s Dream: Sossusvlei
- Namibia’s Olive Exclusive
If you want to be entertained by some videos during our travels in Namibia, click on YouTube Global Adventuress to watch baby elephants in the Huab or the staff at Kulala Desert Lodge welcome guests.