Water. Animals. Mars. Earth.
Despite our extreme remoteness, we are able (on good days) to work wirelessly via a router and repeater which is on an 30-foot antenna that connections with the satellite at the main camp. It’s all quite remarkable. Water, as pure as liquid diamond, is pumped from the bore holes, which are common throughout Zimbabwe rural areas. It is cool and refreshing and cleaner than water in Boston or New York. Bore hole wells have become a way of life in Zimbabwe which has seen many of it’s rivers and tributaries dry up – which is a story shared throughout Africa and the world. Zimbabwe is fortunate in that it has excellent groundwater. The Africa Center for Holistic Management, where I am volunteering, wants to keep it that way by preserving the grasslands. All of life centers around water, and all you have to do is travel to a place which doesn’t have much of it to learn that lesson. Where the rivers dry and where there are no bore holes, there is famine. Driving through the country side, one at times feels that they are driving on the moon, or perhaps Mars which is known for it’s red dust. We have our own red dust on Earth, and it’s known as the sands of the Kalahari which blow into Zimbabwe. Mile after mile one sees semi dessert with red sands and dust where there used to be abundant grasslands, tens of millions of migrating mammals and persistent surface water. Our folklore tells us that overgrazing killed these lands, but the opposite is true. They died when the herds were diverted. Where the land is most capped is where it is least grazed. The land is begging for the animals to return. That is the mission of the ACHM. Until the herds return, or simulated impact created by cattle replaces them, the grasslands dies, the rivers dry, humans are forced off their lands, famine threatens, and Mars on Earth expands.