Tom, Good luck, and good seeing! We non-world travellers will be huddling = under the monsoon clouds cursing loudly. I promise not to use your name very often whilst belmoaning the August weather. BTW, here is a partial list of languages you might hear while trekking = in Namibia: !X=D3=D5 'AKHOE =3D/KX'AU//'EIN AFRIKAANS DIRIKU FWE HAI//OM HERERO JU/'HOAN KUNG-EKOKA KWANYAMA Oh, and maybe some English as well. I wonder if Borders will have the = latest edition of "Conversational =3D/KX'AU//'EIN For Tourists" . . . Probably not. Matt -----Original Message----- From: az-observing-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:az-observing-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Tom Polakis Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2004 1:54 PM To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [AZ-Observing] Six Weeks in Namibia - Sort of On Topic Folks who pay close attention to every message that comes across this mailing list may remember a message forwarded last August by Christine Shupla about an observing opportunity in Africa. A luxury eco-tourism lodge at the base of the sand dunes of southwest Namibia was soliciting = the services of astronomical tourguides. They recently purchased a 12-inch LX-200 telescope, and are filling slots for people who would be able to show guests their way around the sky with it. The position and flight = to "nearby" Johannesburg are uncompensated. Compensation comes in the form = of sleeping and eating at a $400-per-night lodge in a spectacular setting, = and a long stay at latitude 24 degrees south with free reign on a telescope. The minimum stay would be six weeks. After a month or so of dawdling, I pitched my southern-sky knowledge and enthusiasm to the director of the program. Nearly six months later, the lodge offered me the period from the beginning of August through the = middle of September. I realized that I would be replacing six weeks of the hottest of the hot Phoenix summer with the coolest and driest winter = period in Namibia, and a couple seconds later I accepted it. I am currently finalizing air travel plans with my travel agent (who is incidentally = the co-founder of EVAC): six weeks for me, and the last two for Jennifer as well. Here is the Web site of the lodge. http://www.ccafrica.com/reserve.asp?id=3D10 It is located a couple km from the eastern edge of the world's largest = sand dunes, which fill the expansive Namib-Naukluft National Park all the way = to the ocean. The region receives roughly four inches of rain per year, typically between December and May. Here are some of the better sand = dune photos I have seen from near Sossusvlei: http://staffi.lboro.ac.uk/~copal/pal/play/photography/gallery_nature_d.ht= m Just imagine how the place looks under moonlight! I am not concerned about sky darkness, as this place is remote! Namibia = is the size of the four states of the Southwest U.S., and contains 1.5 = million people. Windhoek, the largest city, has a population of only 150,000. = It becomes more and more sparsely populated (and less inhabitable) as you = move south and west from there. As for transparency, I have been told by a person who did a stint last year, that suspended sand is not a concern. I'm sure there will be plenty of clear nights. This will be my sixth Southern Hemisphere observing trip, and I'm hoping = it will be my best. Tom -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and = please=20 send personal replies to the author, not the list. -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.