Orange River Lodge, Border Namibia
“Just you? You are alone?”
“Also with my bike!”
“ Haha I see, ok, for camping?”
“That is 80 rand (4$) per night”
After I put my tent up I went to the bar for a beer and a chat with the manager who let me in, John.
“What a view, the river. Amazing”
“It’s nice, yeah”
“So how long have you worked here?”
“Not that long, since November I’ve been managing this place. — A permanent holiday retirement.”
“I see, you’re lucky!”
“Well, now, yes, but it was not so easy to get this job.. — Last year, I applied 800 times for jobs all over South Africa. I worked first in the mining business, but with the crisis, the whole company had to shut down. I hassled a bit here and there, but basically I was unemployed for three years.”
“800 times. Woh. That’s a lot. I am happy to hear you didn’t give up. — After all those years.. And look where you are now!”
“True, a ticket to heaven. When I heard I landed this job, my family and I moved straight away to this place. — And. I hope to leave when I am ‘done’…”
I am always very pleased to meet people like John. I currently travel during the low season and therefore many places are not that crowded. After a long, lonely day on the road, it is great to have a chat and a beer with someone like John. John clearly went through a tough time, but most importantly, he didn’t give up. His perseverance gave him this opportunity and now, he and his family can hopefully live like this forever..!