05/03/12

Solar Stove Project Report on the Expedition in Brandberg, Uis Village.

Thursday evening we left Windhoek for Brandberg, Uis Village. Everyone was excited and looking forward to completing the task at hand which was basically the solar stove project. The journey was tedious and tiresome but worthwhile, as the saying goes, “NO PAIN, NO GAIN”. Thursday generally saw the checking in to our respective rooms which were fully furnished and the comfortable. A general discussion of the activities that were to take place the coming day were drafted out and tasks were distributed to the respective members involved on the project.

 

Friday morning around 6am everyone was up and ready to tackle whatever the day throws to them and by 6:30 the breakfast tables were fully occupied and a good breakfast it was with most of the nutrients and vitamins needed to start off a day. An hour and a half later we went to meet up with the Pastor of who is basically more informed of the happenings within the town and has a much more direct interaction and association with the people of the town. We informed him the purpose of our visit and our objective, which was to educate the community on the importance of forestation, saving power and how deforestation is bad for the environment, basically it was a mission on alerting everyone to try and go green.

 

The Club was openly welcomed and a great amount of hospitality was shown. The Pastor alerted most of the people in the community about our mission and wasted no time to invite them to his house so that we get to show, promote and market the Solar Stove. Eben Nengola and Brian Sibanda, the two main members of this project set the place on fire with an eloquent and descriptive explanation on the group’s task, objective, mission and that Nature friend Safaris was the Sponsor of this project. The people of the community were interested in the project and wanted to get involved asking for the prices of the stoves and further asking whether or not they would be allowed to pay for the stoves in installments. The brochures we had made played a pivotal role in this expedition as they got to see the capabilities of the stove and the output produced by it.

 

The Pastor opted for us to go the Small Chinese shop later on as there was to be a lot of human activity by then therefore allowing us to market and promote the stove on a much more extensive level. This was around 13:30 and the sun was scorching hot which was a benefit for us as we were able to cook eggs for the people within an hour thus allowing the community to have a taste of what the Solar stove is capable of producing and how it functions.

 

Later on we embarked on a small trip to the outskirts of Uis town where we were humbly welcomed by the Damaras of that area. The place had no access to electricity and therefore made our mission more relevant and important. The elders appreciated the presentation we made there but since the sun was now setting there was not enough time to practicallyshow the people in the Village the way the Stove works but they got the skill needed to use the cooker. The students got to get a small hint of the Damara tradition, culture and how they live as they were taken into the kraals were they kept their goats, sat down on the ground in a round shape and most of these acts were really fulfilling and humbled most of the members.

 

The drive back to the Lodge allowed everyone to reflect on the day’s work, what they have learned and to brace themselves for tomorrow.

 

Dinner was prepared by Axel, Esa and Taimie Nengombe and half of it was great but the rest gave one of the members a light stomach ache, this comes to show that some members really have to work on their cooking skills.

 

Saturday saw the early rising of the sun and the students at the usual time, (06:00) and breakfast was nothing less than perfect as always. At around 09:00 the bus driver took nus to the Brand berg Mountains where hiking was to take place and a lot of the members learnt a lot and how to work as a team as the place is also inhabited by snakes, leopards thus making the group to work together and try to abide by the laws enforced by the tour guide.

 

Within a few hours the sun was already burning hot but this did not make us get sidelined from our task. A small supermarket next to the lodge where a lot of people would come and buy their groceries allowed us to get settled and further expose our project to the community which at the end of the day had seen the sale of one of the Stoves for N$2100 with a complementary stove given to the first buyer who was the owner of the Lodge we were staying at.

 

The Last day witnessed a lot but not as much as the other 3days we were in Uis. We attended a church service which took on average 3hrs and the Club was able to inform the community further on how they can use the stove and how they an get one if they are interested. Mesha, a Maltas member, braced the congregation with her presence as she gave a breath-taking solo hymn and the Secretary General of the Club, Thabani Ncube, gave heartwarming words of wisdom which further uplifted the respect of the Club as it showed that we are not only a Club but a community on its own.

 

Mr. Boois, one of the teachers at the school we were to sponsor the stove to greatly appreciated the offer from the Club and Nature friends Safaris of the stove and noted that the school will be too and acknowledged the fact that we will be coming from time to time to check on the stove, how the people are using it and whether it’s being handled properly or not. Our journey back to the lodge allowed us to get exposed to the mines in the town and a beautiful sight it was.

 

The rest of the day was spent on the road as we journeyed back to Windhoek with a smile on everyone’s face as this was a great learning experience and a successful expedition.