I awoke early in Warmbad and went out looking for images in the rising Sun:
Three churches dominate the Warmbad skyline - this rock structure was built by the Rhenish Missionary Society in 1877.
The first European style buildings, including a church, were built between 1805 and 1810, by Christian and Abraham Albrecht from the London Missionary Society, thereby establishing the first mission station in South-West Africa, (pre-independence Namibia).
This derelict building stands in Warmbad's 'main street'.
Through Wikipedia I found the photo below, taken between 1908 and 1914 and which appears to show the building above in better days:
Donkey cart in front of the Warmbad S.A. Territories Ltd building, early 20th century.
At this time Warmbad lost its original importance as a stop-over for travellers, being bypassed by railway connections and new road construction - many of the buildings began to decay.
A liquor store - or "Bottle Store" as they're known in Southern Africa - one of only two shops I saw in Warmbad, the other is a small general store.
Alcohol abuse is the root cause of many of Namibia's many social evils - it is not only a problem amongst the poor, but the wealthy as well.
The majority of Warmbad's inhabitants live in abject poverty. There is no industry in the area, residents survive from old-age pensions and subsistence goat farming.
An old disused public Telephone Box outside the Post Office - I haven't seen one of these in ages.
Another decaying building - there are many of these old and interesting structures in Warmbad but it seems that not much effort is being made to preserve them.
Walking around Warmbad I saw many opportunities for developing the historical aspect of the settlement in order to attract tourists and revenue to the area - there is a museum and guided tours but there's so much more that can be done.
A common type of Namibian shelter, corrugated sheets nailed to a wooden frame - the residents of this dwelling have electric power and are able to afford satellite TV.
I was forced to question my perceptions when a German woman I met there - apparently on a Mission to assist the people of Warmbad - related that she was shocked once to see four young boys kill a tiny bird then cook and devour it between themselves.
She assumed that the kids were starving.
My perception of the incident would have been that the kids, having no other form of entertainment, were doing what rural kids do, playing outside, with hunting being one of their activities ...
... and as for four of them sharing one tiny bird - that's the culture of the Poor, they share what food they have, no matter how little.
People were starting to rise and I spotted two young women carrying their water containers to a communal water point - this is the daily reality of millions of people not only throughout Africa but, I suspect, in many other countries around the world.
I can't believe that these frail-looking girls carry those full containers home without assistance - I doubt that I could carry one container for more than a few meters.
The bliss of having water on tap ...
The rock entrance gate of a German colonial fort which now serves as the entrance to the Police Station.
After Imperial Germany declared its territorial rights over South-West Africa, a fort was built in Warmbad in 1905 and Schutztruppe soldiers were stationed at the settlement to counter the Herero and Nama uprising.
The old German Garrison Hospital, adjacent to the Doctor's house shown in the previous Warmbad post.
My first (fuzzy) picture of an Owl - This Barn Owl lives in the old hospital and flew off as I approached.
I don't know exactly why, but I feel compelled to revisit Warmbad as soon as possible ... maybe it's the lure of the Owl and the many other birds of prey I saw there ... or perhaps I have a 'higher' purpose to serve there ...
Nah, I'm too old for going on missions ...
Related Post: Southeast Namibia: Warmbad Pt 1
Dr Klaus Dierks