This little girl made me go all mushy inside. She came towards us as we approached the Himba village, running and laughing with the other kids and immediately demanded, arms outstretched, to be picked up.
She was extremely fascinated by my birthmarks, but increasingly frustrated by the fact that the damn things wouldn’t come off. Go figure.
Then she got hungry and started looking for milk. Unfortunately, I was of little use in that respect.
I don’t know about this particular girl, but a lot of the kids in the village are orphans, adopted by the queen, who is infertile from chemo. They live a traditional nomad life to a degree, but they supplement their subsistence farming with income from tourist visits. We had the whole “are we contributing to the erosion of this traditional lifestyle, exploiting the relative poverty of these people, gawking at the natives, etc.” discussion, but at the end of the day, it was an amazing experience and it was a real privilege to meet the Himba people and see how they live.