My boss decided yesterday that she is gonna work with me on the dune. Noone else. Well we only have two clients doing the stand up boarding, so we don’t need more than two instructors and according to their shoes sizes it will be to South African guys. So for sure the other two male guides will stay at home. We got this. Where is the pick up? Atlantik Villa. Seriously? You couldn’t find a place further out of town? I know, but we have to.
While Beth is going to Spar to buy the things for lunch, I pack the equipment. Starting by boots and boards, the things I pack everyday, but today there is no one else to pack the rest so check the list. Helmets, water, drinks, table, Polish bag and table. Anything else? Oh yes the bucket. I hope that’s it. Where is Zak? Oh already in the car, luckily the dogs makes sure by himself that he doesnt get left behind.
Beth asks me if I thought about the speed gun. Yes I did. Luckily. Food in the car and let’s go. Or do you wanna drive? I ask Beth while I sit already on the driver seat in my car. My car, because it is the car I drive normally. Beth doesn’t mind sitting next to me. One turn, bang bong, changing the gear, bong bang. The table moves around. Bang, bong. Sorry Beth, I didn’t do a great job by packing the table. Mmh. Bang bong. And both of us know that we have to drive 10 minutes to the accommodation before we can move the table. Well she could have asked me to stop on the side of the road but instead of that she climbs over the seats and tries to fix the table. While that is happening I start laughing because Zak jumps to the front seat. Beth turns around and looks at Zak „Really? Do I have to sit in the back now?“ I can’t stop laughing. Beth neither. I am sorry that I don’t have a picture for you, but I was sitting behind the steering wheel and couldn’t take a picture. But that’s how we drive.
Me on the driver seat.
Zak sitting on the co driver seat. Looking back to Beth.
Beth, who owns the car, in the back. Right behind me.
„That’s awesome. I can stick my head out of the window and feel the wind.“ says Beth. I look into the mirror and can’t believe what I see. My boss hanging the head out of the window with a big smile in the face. Obviously taking the piss out of Zak who does that all the time while driving in a car. Another amazing picture in my head. Another reason for me to start laughing. And Zak? Zak is looking confused. Mom what are you doing? „Well look at me Zak, I am sticking my head out of the window!“ But that is my seat! And there he jumps off the front seat and pushes Beth away from the window seat. And sticks his own head out of the window. With the tongue hanging out of his mouth. And Beth moves back to the front seat. Both of us can’t stop laughing. I don’t remember when I had to laugh so much on my way to pick up clients. Well I can’t remember when I was last with Beth and Zak in one car on the way to the dunes. Zak drives always in the equipment car. Beth drives her own car and I drive the second car who picks up clients. So yes, this is a really rare situation. But now concentrate on the street again. Are we there yet? No!
5 minutes later I stop the car in front of Atlantik Villa. „Good morning, how are you?“
„Morning, are you the one who stole my chair last night at Kückis Pub?“
Oh really? This town is definitely too small. And yes it was me. So while the two men get into the car we just start laughing again. Beth looks at me and aks you did what? Yeah, well I was having a drink and noone sat on the chair, so I claimed it! And ignored the jacket on the backrest. Why did they recognize me?
When I party in Swakop I leave my hair open and at work I always have a bun.
When I party I wear different pants than at work.
I never wear my sandboarding hoody at night.
And I put on every morning my sun glasses, so that noone can recognize me. Yes I wear my sunglasses only for that reason. Not protect my eyes from the sun. Or the sand. No only for not getting recognized.
Whatever. I definitely failed this one.
„I like the way you drive this car. In these rough conditions.“ The one man says just before we arrive on the dune. I look at Beth with face like saying you see I don’t drive too fast or so, the clients love the way I’m driving. And she looks back at me like whatever. Yes, we had a conversation a couple of weeks ago when she asked me to drive slower. That’s why we had this eye contact moment right now. But let’s switch the topic and start working. All of us walk up the Dune with a sandboard in the hand. On top of the dune I look very sceptical. It looks like we’ll carry our boards down as well. Beth laughs, yes the dune is quiet wet and the fog still over us. Our based boards won’t slide in this wet sand. We gave the two unbased boards two the men. They slide, because these boards are made for snow, so wet surface. While we watch the one guy boarding down both of us just sit and do nothing. None of us makes any effort of putting the boots on. The other man said straight away that he won’t walk up again, that’s why he sits on top with us. On the second run Beth decides to try it, because the sun came out and dried the sand a bit. I don’t wanna blame myself, so I wait for her to get down before I strap my board on. Just keep the momentum going. The faster the better. As soon as she takes off, Zak starts running. Next to her. Behind her. And he even runs over her board at the bottom. But no crash. Both of us reach the bottom without falling. Well we should actually be able to deal with any conditions. Zak is coming up again. And we switch to the lie down boarding. I grab the speed gun and demonstrate the run. Oh no, sorry! I hear Beth saying before I see Zak chasing me. Oh no! So close the eyes. I’m serious, when Zak chases me on the lie down board I close my eyes because as long as he runs in front of me I get a massive amount of sand into my face. And Zak is faster on the first 20 meters. I am faster the last 50 meters. That’s when I open my eyes again. I stop and Zak flies towards me. Grabs my arm. It’s OK buddy. Let’s get down and measure the speed of the others. I sit down and Zak places himself on my lap. Breathing like hell. Are you exhausted? The guy comes down the second time. Zak scratches me with his sharp nails while jumping up to run towards the man. Comes back. Walks around me. Over my legs. Before he finally places himself on the right side of me. In my shade. Clever dog.
At 12:30 I’m done with unpacking. Quick trip.
Obviously I don’t have pictures for you today, because our camera man wasn’t on the trip. The video is only included from 4 people on. We do trips with 2, but then there is no video included.
P.S.: I have big news. After a long waiting time I finally received my work permit. Approved for 12 months. Beth printed the paper on Thursday. I organised straight away a braai on Thursday evening. I was smiling the whole evening. Happy to have this paper finally. Only yesterday evening I started thinking of the sentence on the paper „Alter Action only“. Well a friend asked me last night at the bar „so you will climb dunes for another whole year?“ It’s the first time since I left my university 3 years ago that I committed myself to something for such a long time. 12 months. That’s looooong. Very long. When I finished my studies I flew to Ghana to work for 5 months as a volunteer. And I changed my project after half of the time. Then I started travelling. For 3 months. Flew home. For one month. Went back to Namibia. With the intention to work for 3 months as a sandboarding instructor. After 3 months I applied for 3 more months. Flew back home. For three months. Came back to Namibia. With another 3 month Visa. And now?
I commit myself to Namibia for a year.
I commit myself to the sandboarding for 12 months.
I commit myself to one place, Swakopmund, for 52 weeks.
I commit myself to walking up dunes every day for 365 more days.
Ewert said I always should do what makes me happy. Not what others think what I should do.
But honestly, I am looking forward to it. I am excited about it. To spent another busy season in Swakop. To experience summer in Swakop. To celebrate Christmas in the desert. Because I am happy. Right now. Right here. In this country.