We recently spent time with the Schneider family at Farm Habis. Words cannot describe how amazing it was. The Habis Farm is completely self-sustainable, like several of the other places we have visited in Namibia. All their water comes from boreholes drilled on their land, their electricity is generated during the day through solar panels, and at night, anywhere you go is illuminated by oil lanterns. It is such a refreshing change to see so many conservation techniques in use here in comparison to America.
Staying at the farm allowed me to develop my self-management skills in ways I didn’t imagine. I had to take faster showers to conserve water and ensure I would not end up doused in cold water before I was done with my shower. Since we had limited electricity in our rooms at night, I had to be efficient during the day time and set out everything I think I would need once it got dark, otherwise I would be scrounging through my suitcase in the dark to find my things. I triple-layered my clothes at night and slept in a thermal sleeping bag to stay warm because of the lack of a heater. I thought it was difficult to live like this for two short days until I stopped to realize that the Schneider family lives like this every day. Throughout this trip I find myself questioning how different my life would be if I lived more like the Namibians do. When I get back to the States I’m going to try to implement the practices, such as some of the conservation techniques, I’ve learned from the Namibians in my daily life.
The people have always been very friendly and hospitable everywhere we have stayed in Namibia, but I have never felt more at home than I did staying at Farm Habis. There was a certain ambiance of home that made us all feel relaxed and comfortable. We had the opportunity to rotate turns with kitchen duty. We got to cuddle with the family cat and love on the family dogs. We sat around the fire at night singing songs and talking about our adventures of the trip. We got to view a beautiful Namibian sunset that would beat a Texas sunset any day. We gazed upon one of the most beautiful, star-filled night skies we will probably ever see, complete with constellations bright and ready to identify. Staying at Farm Habis was an experience I will never forget, and I know I will not be able to adequately explain the farm’s uniqueness to someone who has not experienced it for themselves.
I know the rest of our trip has many great sights and adventures in store, but I’ll really miss staying at Farm Habis.