For days the big sweet thorn acacia tree in whose shadow we lived was humming. It was in full bloom, and the bees had a lot to do. The flowers are cheerful-yellow balls. With every gust of wind, they snowed to the ground – that was our Christmas snow. The horses loved the flowers. Every morning the caretaker raked the flowers together and threw them over the wall so that the horses could eat them. But often the animals also came up the stairs and then sucked in the flowers up like vacuum cleaners. I tasted the flowers. They didn’t taste of anything. Only at the core, they were slightly sweet. There must have been a hint of nectar. That’s why they stuck on the shoes if you walked over them, or made the rollerskates that the teenager from next door received unusable and that’s why the caretaker raked them together every day. This tree, which was standing like this and snowing yellow flowers, made a significant contribution to our well-being on the campsite. Its shadow was priceless. We had bought a water bag. It now hung from a pole at the entrance of our tent. A water bag is a bag of durable, thick canvas. Water is filled into it and then it is closed with a cork. Since the bag is not entirely watertight, it gets wet, but it does not lose too much water. This moisture evaporates and this, in turn, cools off the water in the bag – even at 37 degrees in the shade and without a refrigerator. The strangest people camped in the Daan Viljoen Game Park. This time it was a couple from Windhoek, both speaking Afrikaans. The first thing he unpacked from the van they came in was a large cardboard box. In the box were all kinds of bottles, jars and cans with spices, herbs, oils and sauces. He distributed the contents of the box on the rim of the fireplace, lit a fire and started cooking. The setting-up of the tent, which took place at the same time as the cooking was the responsibility of the woman. She was about 60, had long, red coloured hair, wore bright pink miniskirts and always a floppy hat – sometimes pink, sometimes turquoise – even at night. To pitch the tent, however, she put in cycling shorts to prevent anybody from looking under her skirt. The camping equipment was completed by an electric table lamp, without lamp shade and fitted with a red bulb. The following day she walked past our tent and carried the lamp without a lampshade and with a red light bulb. Soon after, he came with his cardboard box. Then both with a table-bench-folding combination (folded out). Finally, both of them again, her in the front, him in the back, carrying the tent. At the very end, they drove the empty delivery van to their new campsite. They moved to the campground next to us. It had already rained heavily twice. We hadn’t been there each time. When we arrived from Windhoek on the 24th evening, we saw that the rivers had flowed and the other campers were talking about torrential rain during the evening. In our tent, everything was nice and dry, because I had rainproofed it before our trip. In the morning of the 25th, we saw the extent of the Christmas rain. Two of the three rivers, which confluence at the large area in front of our camp, had flown. Water was standing on the plain, and the clay soil was very muddy. On Christmas Day, half of Khomasdal came to Daan Viljoen. There was a big Christmas party all around us. Once again, people confused the campsites with the picnic areas. At each fireplace, there was a different car with open doors. Music was roaring from the loudspeakers, and everyone had a different station, of course. And also in the Veld, where there were no more picnic spots, cars stood under the trees, and the braai fires were lit. It all became too loud for me, so I grabbed binoculars, bird field guide, camera and water bottle and went up the hill above the camp. Up there was peace. With the binoculars, I searched the mountains around me. On one a warthog family was eagerly looking for food, on another, a herd of zebras was running around and on the third wildebeest were dozing under a tree. I watched massive thunderclouds build up in the east, over the Onjati Mountains and in the south, over the Auas Mountains. Both cloud towers were probably ten kilometres high. When they started raining there, over their mountains, I went back to camp. Meanwhile, back at the ranch… Anita had fun without end. All day visitors wanted to go to the swimming pool and had to drive their cars across the large area in front of the campsites. It was, as I mentioned, quite muddy and probably 15 cars got stuck. Mostly it was the women, in the festive clothes, who had to push and were sprayed with mud during the action. When I came back to camp, we first wanted to cook, but the thunderclouds over the Auas Mountains came over very quickly. Already the wind, which always comes before the rain, blew as a sign to make the tent rainproof, i.e. pack Moon Chairs, books, binoculars and camera into the tent and check the guy ropes. Then it started: a drenching downpour came down. Many day visitors grabbed their things and left. We were sitting in the dry tent, waiting. Fortunately, it was a typical Namibian rain: short but substantial. Soon it was over. During the rest of the afternoon, it was dry if one excluded a few isolated drops, dry enough to light a fire and cook. After all, it was Christmas, and there was going to be something extraordinary: Potjiekos. I spent the next four hours on it. Meanwhile, dramatic action was happening on the big stage in front of our campsite. Two of the three rivers flowed again. Since the area was very expansive, the flood was not very dramatic, but the water rose slowly but surely and almost unnoticed. Since the only road to the swimming pool runs across the area, it became interesting. Anita made herself comfortable with the binoculars. More and more cars on their way to and from the swimming pool got stuck in mud and water. Those who were already at the swimming pool realised at some point that the Rivier was getting deeper and deeper and wanted to go back before it was no longer possible. And then there were the crazy ones with 4x4s who wanted to see how deep you can drive such a car into the mud before it gets stuck. We had seats in first place right in front! The grandmothers of the Baster family from next door also pushed their chairs to the little wall that separated the campsite from the plain. The wall was ideal for putting down a snack or drink. I honestly have to say that all the people, the loud music, and the garbage that got thrown away (I had just cleared the area armed with a black garbage bag the day before) got on my nerves at some point. I missed my wildebeest herd and warthog family! We didn’t see the lilac-breasted roller anymore, and the baboons had not come for four days. Instead of this, we had Christmas hype. But at 18:00h the day visitors left, there was a beautiful sunset and the Egyptian geese, and lapwings had already returned.