My search for little Mara
I am sharing this again for my new friends.
I was but a boy it was around 1980 and I was in the Army for my compulsory two years Military Service. You will see from my photo I was a young 19 or 20 years old and I was simply doing my duty.
My job was to escort National and International female journalists to the operational area in Namibia. It was a daunting task for a shy young guy as I was under instruction to make certain their every wish was fulfilled during the tour. Before I left Military Head office I prepared personal files for them including Malaria medication and instructions on how to use it. I also visited One Military Hospital to obtain and inclusive medical aid bag of everything women may need on a trip in Africa.
That included sanitary pads and the like and boy I was so embarrassed when they made a point of asking me for this and that explaining in detail the item I was to supply. It also included special medication to cure hangovers, flu and anything in-between that could possibly be needed including snake bite kits etc.
I was a Lowly Serviceman and there were three officers in the group. One a female l
Lieutenant that easily could have looked after the ladies medical needs but I was tasked and had to
Mara and I
be on hand 24/7. She was a journalist for Paratus the official military magazine and I had to obey as an Infantry soldier. No other servicemen were allowed anywhere close to my charges and I was soon not very popular with Local soldiers who had to look at a distance at something they seldom encountered. A whole bunch of women.
We had a lot of protection our Military aircraft was escorted by fighter Jets and Gunships in the air and by armoured carriers and even tanks on the ground and of course there were whole platoons of armed soldiers posted everywhere we went. It was also my duty to show the ladies how to fire an AK 47 and RPG as I was a fully trained infantryman and that type of task was beyond an officer.
I was a crack shot and took out a huge palm tree with a single shot from the RPG and of course I grew a little in the esteem of these VIP’s. I was not only a pretty face in charge of medical matters and of course there were plenty of medical personnel in the bases we visited but the ladies were off limits to all except the tour personnel.
At that stage I left my girlfriend behind in South Africa and she stopped communicating. Today I know she was pregnant and married another guy probably saying our child was his child. We reached Omega base that was also known as the Bushmen Battalion and there a little orphaned girl caused a stir.
|taken 21/03/1980 at Sector 10 Oshakati Namibia|
She was 100 % Khoe San and was tiny. See her little hand on my finger it looks the size of a ring. Military personnel were looking after her and a lady “adopted” her for the time being and dressed her up in doll clothes. This little person caught an immediate liking in me and literally jumped into my arks and the cameras clicked and clicked every woman journalist in that group wanted pictures of the White Soldier boy and the Khoe San girl child. Little did I know that my own girl child were born at approximately the same time as this little girl that would simply not let go of me. If I tried to put her down she would cry and eventually het caretaker had to coax her away as she would simply not let go of me
|Mara is the older of the two.|
I am adding photos of her playing with her adopted family’s children and Incidentally she was older than the much bigger girl playing with her. She was named Mara meaning bitterness as her mother was killed and her father wounded during combat in Angola. She and her father were airlifted to Namibia by South African soldiers. The soldier that carried her carried her in his bush hat she was so tiny.