We are deep in the bush in the far west of Botswana near the village of Xai Xai, on bushman time. We are here to learn how the original inhabitants of the Kalahari survive in this hot dry area.
The bushmen know where to dig for tubers. Like dousers searching for water, they read the signs of the vegetation. Disappearing down a hole to search for porcupine, a meat prized for its fatty content, one lithe bushman comes up with hands empty but smiling. They are a happy people.
The bushmen sit in a semi circle facing us, as the elder begins his story in their expressive click language. He tells of going off on a hunt with his friend, when they come upon the fresh carcass of a kudu. Little did they know there was a lion nearby.
The lion attack was swift, and the bushman shows the scar where the flesh is missing. He only survived because his friend was with him. Deep in the desert, it is good to have friends.