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Today's quote:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"There, but for the grace of God, go I"

In 1968/69 I lived and worked in Lüderitz in South-West Africa, or what is now Namibia. I shared the company accommodation with another young German, Karl-Heinz.

I left again, and only after another 30 years and another 40 jobs in more than a dozen different countries did I finally come to rest here on the South Coast of New South Wales in Australia.

Not so Karl-Heinz: he got married in South-West Africa and stayed put. Today, forty years later, he's still in the same place, living with his wife Dorle on a farm in the semi-arid interior of the country.

We're still - or rather, again - in contact with each other and I hear that life in the now independent Namibia is far from ideal. Not politically and not at all in agricultural terms. There are some years when they just get by with the help of the cactus-jelly they originally started as a sideline. Here are more pictures.

(Correction: the website has gone blank which may suggest that Karl-Heinz no longer makes and sells cactus-jelly)

Well, it could have happened to me too because at the time I was still a German and South-West Africa was a real piece of Germany in the middle of Africa. The then Volkskas offered me a job but I wanted to get back to Australia.

"There, but for the grace of God, go I."