Sustainable Community Dependence

A month from now, we will be getting on a plane and coming back to America for 5 months.  We are expecting huge culture shock. We left the US before there was a pandemic. Wow. The world has changed so much. But we have changed also.

Life here in the Kalahari has stayed unchanged other than a few people with masks hanging around their necks. We have enjoyed life of freedom, community, and living off the land. We have come to realize this is the way we like to live. It is not a struggle to live here other than we need our family and friends on the other side of the world too. 

The bushmen are the ultimate conservationist. They have lived off the land since God’s Creation. They truly know how to steward the land. They take what is needed but always leave some for the next person, next animal, or for next season. They traditionally maintain and manage the Kalahari Desert. It is a magical place to live, play, and be.

The bushmen are a communial society. No one is ever alone. There is always 2 or more gathered. Everything is done together. Eating, sleeping, hunting, gathering, cooking, making jewelry, even going to the toilet. What is mine is yours and what is yours is mine. My house is your house. Everything is shared. Decisions are made together as a group. No one’s opinion is valued more than another.

The bushmen are ultimate survivalist. The Kalahari is a harsh environment. The extremes are extreme. Thus, you are dependant on each other to survive. No one can survive here alone even a bushman. They are totally dependant on each other.

Living here has taught us so much about how God created us to be. We were created to be in relationships with God, creation, others, and ourselves. We are social beings. These relationships are dependant on each other. We were given the job to steward the land and live off the land. If all these relationships could be in balance, then we would be living in the Garden of Eden again. This world is so broken with sickness, war, natural disasters, social media posts that hurt many, name calling, bullying, ….. You name it the symptoms of brokenness are everywhere. It is in every corner of the world even at the ends of the earth.

Please pray for us as we come back into Westernized culture. Walking into any store will overwhelm us. Having to wear our seatbelts will be strange along with freeway travel with other cars.  Anastasia is familiar to life here and will do things differently than other children. She will be overwhelmed and don’t take offense if she doesn’t want to hug you or play with your children.  There will be countless other things that can or will literally make us dizzy/overwhelmed like driving on the right side of the road. Things that were familiar are now foreign to us. We see things from a different perspective which is not wrong. Please be patient and full of grace as we adjust and find our way again.

See you soon!

The Ha3els

One thought on “Sustainable Community Dependence

  1. Dear Hazels, This was a wonderful letter. I do look forward to being able to visit with you and learn more. May God bless your travels.

    Your servant in Christ, Jack



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