The new post starts to feel like home, after setting up kraals, fencing off and clearing paths for pipelines and home-steads it is finally time to settle down and get comfortable. Although work to make it a village will still continue; at-least most of the hard work is done.
Four households finally settle with a few still preparing to move over, and now it’s time to take ownership and give this new home a name. The community proposes several names, mostly based on the history of Donkerbos or what walked on the land before other people moved in. Stories are told of how they arrived on the farm, reasons they moved here, animals they have seen and the way of life long gone. Times when veld food was in abundance, wild animals could be hunted to provide meals for days, skills and songs sang in happier times; are starting to fade. The young ones will only experience this through folk-tales. Good memories but that is what they have become just good times remembered with sadness because children go to school now to learn of other things, hunting is illegal, veld food areas are fast disappearing because domestic animals are increasing, destroying veld food and medicinal plant areas. Climate change is a new concept, but impacts are already seen and felt. The San must change and adapt just like the rest.
The community finally agrees to name the new post “Hartebeestpan” in memory of the beautiful giants that once roamed the area. Hartebeestpan becomes the 5th sub village at Donkerbos complete with a functional borehole, almost perfect mobile network (unless it’s windy) and rich sandy soil to start gardening. Finally, animals have been moved over and the community goat project relocates to the new site.
Gardening is highly valued by some seasoned gardeners in Donkerbos and although the rainfall was erratic the group planted pumpkin, maize, beans, spinach, water and sweet melon and other food stuffs which were harvested and consumed when the families came to stay during the school holiday. Other veld food items such as the “Koffieboom” and maramba beans were in season so a trip out veld food gathering would fill the pot for the evening with delicious and loved San food.
Life never stops at Donkerbos, there is always one or other activity going on from visits from line Ministries, community meetings, old age pension pay out, craft workshops, mobile clinic visits etc. The community has started to feel the outside world closing in on them and so seek integration with the rest of Namibia.