Solutions for the Amphitheatre

10 May 2016 10:09 #68371 by tiska

intrepid wrote: As an aside, there is no current intention to introduce a paid membership of VE as it stands today, even towards a cause (never mind any remuneration for the considerable amount of time and effort it takes to run VE, which is almost non-existent). There are other models whereby a financial contribution towards a cause can be done through this site, such as selling some kind of item, or through paid access to certain enhanced features of the site, just as examples. These are very long term considerations however and not something which is even on the agenda.


Just to be clear, Intrepid, I was by no means suggesting that a membership charge be imposed on VE. That sort of thing is not for me to suggest. However I was proposing that in the case of the urgent need to sort out the attacks of hikers in Lesotho, that crowd sourcing be considered as a means of raising resource. Crowd sourcing is voluntary and there are internet sites that can facilitate this separate from VE. The fact remains that the VE community has the most vested interests in sorting out the crime on hikers - hence the suggestion on this forum.

But if the idea doesn't have VE support and notably your support, then its dead in the water. We should be mindful that no matter how much better it might make us feel to write contributions to this forum, those pieces of text will make no material difference to the existence of crime on hikers. As in none. Something more direct needs to occur and that was what I was suggesting.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 May 2016 10:17 #68372 by tiska

Philip wrote: I Have another take on 'Solutions for the Amphitheatre';

There is another thread running on VE about Cave Etiquette, the common sense message being - if forced by circumstances to share, ‘shove up’, ‘make space’ and ‘interact nicely with smiles and laughter’.

I consider that this message also applies when hiking other peoples' space in Lesotho.

The other part of my post is personal and refers to how things have changed for me as a result of some 11 years of guiding overseas clients into remote areas of Lesotho on hiking trips, pony trekking trips and cultural trips, staying with local people in traditional villages.

I would like to quote from a book I am writing;

“We are in their space - they are not in our space.



.......

Maybe the unfortunate attacked party didn’t do anything to provoke an attack – but rather were the unfortunate recipients of pent up frustrations generated by a previous group or groups of rude and arrogant hikers who are not prepared to accept they are hiking in a different country and / or have not bothered to familiarise themselves with Lesotho and Basotho culture.

No one can say with any confidence that this is not the way it happens!


I certainly get the bit about 'our land, their land' and perceptions of trespassing and the fact that some hikers might not have been very friendly to herders and the like in Lesotho. I get all of that. But there is a world of difference between a herder who does not much like a hiker and someone who sets out with two mates to murder some hikers in return for their money and gear. The statistics bear this out. Violent attacks on hikers are extremely rare and isolated. They are the work of criminals rather than a disgruntled mass. Being nice to those criminals is not going to change the probability of future attacks. Those guys wanted money and things. They didn't want a pleasant chat from a passer by. Most of the people we encounter in the high berg will settle for a pleasant exchange. These guys were different. We have to make sure that the solutions we propose align with the specific problem we seek to solve.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, JonWells, Captain, Viking, supertramp, Ranger

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 May 2016 10:30 #68373 by ghaznavid

intrepid wrote: As an aside, there is no current intention to introduce a paid membership of VE as it stands today, even towards a cause (never mind any remuneration for the considerable amount of time and effort it takes to run VE, which is almost non-existent).

In all fairness, I have derived much more value from membership on VE than I have from MCSA membership - both in terms of VE as a source of info, and in terms of VE as a hiking club.

17 people I have hiked with were purely off meeting on VE - so not counting people like Hobbit who are on VE, but I didn't meet through VE. Also not counting people like Viking's brother, or the large group that I joined when I first hiked with AndrewR - all of whom I would have never hiked with in the absence of VE. With MCSA I am on 5 - 2 from that 2013 hike up Langies down North Hlubi, and 3 from that Feb hike up Tsepeng last year.

My point being, if VE did have an annual fee, it would not put me off the site (within reason, of course). MCSA does provide one valuable service - and that is mountain rescue, the value of which cannot be understated. But, aside from that, I am yet to find any real value provided by the club. I would be happier if 100% of my MCSA annual fee went to rescue.

Ps. I am not suggesting that VE should be charging a fee B)

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ranger

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 May 2016 13:37 #68377 by Viking
Well said tiska.

I don't know many hikers that are averse to social interactions with shepherds (Unfortunately the language barrier is of some hindrance) and I have had many engaging and rewarding interactions with chaps up top, but when it comes to the demanding, or even just begging for sweets, money or food then it becomes a problem for me. Handout's, whether on a small or large scale are never a good idea and in my opinion are a contributing factor to aggressive and demanding behavior that has been seen recently. Even the exchange of photos for sweets seems expected now as evidenced in a recent post on VE.

Regarding the crossing of land, let's not forget the fact that the border is the watershed and not the escarpment edge and that many shepherds operate in and use the resources of KZN, South Africa and a world heritage site park designed to protect the very flora and fauna that is being harvested illegally and unsustainably.
So really what I am saying is that respect for property and cultural subtleties goes both ways.

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, JonWells, Captain, kbresler, Richard Hunt, Macc, Redshift3

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 May 2016 14:12 #68378 by ghaznavid

Viking wrote: Regarding the crossing of land, let's not forget the fact that the border is the watershed and not the escarpment edge and that many shepherds operate in and use the resources of KZN, South Africa and a world heritage site park designed to protect the very flora and fauna that is being harvested illegally and unsustainably.

Perception is stronger than the law in this regard - to them, the border is the cliffs (i.e. even the top of the pass is part of their land, in their minds anyway). It is important to remember this. So even though you are at the top of Nkosasana Falls and are actually quite far from the border - in their minds you are still on their land and should behave as if this is the case. There is no point in fighting them about which country you are in. It's not like pulling out a map and showing them a boundary will do you any favours.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins
The following user(s) said Thank You: Philip, Christeen Grant

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 May 2016 17:16 - 10 May 2016 17:18 #68380 by intrepid

tiska wrote:

intrepid wrote: As an aside, there is no current intention to introduce a paid membership of VE as it stands today, even towards a cause (never mind any remuneration for the considerable amount of time and effort it takes to run VE, which is almost non-existent). There are other models whereby a financial contribution towards a cause can be done through this site, such as selling some kind of item, or through paid access to certain enhanced features of the site, just as examples. These are very long term considerations however and not something which is even on the agenda.


Just to be clear, Intrepid, I was by no means suggesting that a membership charge be imposed on VE. That sort of thing is not for me to suggest. However I was proposing that in the case of the urgent need to sort out the attacks of hikers in Lesotho, that crowd sourcing be considered as a means of raising resource. Crowd sourcing is voluntary and there are internet sites that can facilitate this separate from VE. The fact remains that the VE community has the most vested interests in sorting out the crime on hikers - hence the suggestion on this forum.

But if the idea doesn't have VE support and notably your support, then its dead in the water. We should be mindful that no matter how much better it might make us feel to write contributions to this forum, those pieces of text will make no material difference to the existence of crime on hikers. As in none. Something more direct needs to occur and that was what I was suggesting.



That wasn't a response to your suggestion, rather to this post, and to several responses that came after:

GriffBaker wrote: I also think that if VE is going to provide all the info on the Drakensberg available to anyone that wants it, then maybe that valuable information should come at a price. Perhaps in the form of an annual membership fee that VE community members can use to fund some sort of initiative.


I don't mind suggestions like that at all, to be clear, and I appreciate that some would be happy to pay such a membership fee. My response was not a rebuttal to GriffBaker either. I simply felt it necessary to clarify that it is a model I prefer to avoid (what exists now on VE remains free, in the spirit of "information is power"), and that there are other models, or variations thereof, that I would prefer to follow if it ever got that far.

Raising adhoc funds through VE is an entirely different matter to which I don't have any objections in principal. With the hut restoration projects for example, this has always been on the cards. Sourcing people through VE to help solve this issue I have no objection against either.

If there is to be a patrol of sorts that is put together as a short-term objective, I feel this must be done in cooperation with the authorities, and it should not be seen as reaching out to the community. That should be an entirely separate and more long-term objective. Even so, if there is to be any interaction with the local community by this patrol it needs to be done extremely sensitively and tactfully since the risks of it making things worse definitely exists. And we don't have definite proof of where the culprits originate from exactly at this point. First prize in my mind is still that the Lesotho police drives this. How about a delegation to Lesotho to visit the police too, appealing to them for help?

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 10 May 2016 17:18 by intrepid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Viking, David

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 May 2016 17:36 - 10 May 2016 19:15 #68381 by Philip
@tiska I mostly agree with your reply to my post. But with respect, I think you missed my point a little. I am not saying be nice to criminals if you know they are criminals! (Although this could be a wise move in certain situations!) ;)

Actually, your reply brings to mind another idea for a way forward. It is an idea I have used myself and it works. If hikers are concerned about a criminal element in the area, you can be reasonably sure that the local shepherds (herders) are too. So make friends with the nearest shepherds and ask to visit their Motibo (shepherd's house). After their dogs have accepted you, ask to pitch your tents near their Motibo where their dogs will include you in their defense area. After a good night's sleep, pay a small 'something' to them for their hospitality and protection.

This is a lot more convenient and cheaper than having to have a guard with you for the whole hike!

Shepherds along the way will soon get the idea that they can offer a type of security protection service to hikers, and earn some cash at the same time.
Last edit: 10 May 2016 19:15 by Philip.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, DeonS, Herman, Sabine, Viking, kbresler, Christeen Grant, saros, mayake

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 May 2016 18:01 - 10 May 2016 18:06 #68382 by Richard Hunt
....

and maybe tenting right next to a kraal would be the safest with the owners permission, and as a guest he would protect you at all costs....this is an African way..just a thought if all else fails

@Philip: That's exactly what I said a while ago. Its sad that some have lost their culture and humanity! But it is the African way that I have experienced many times in Africa.
Last edit: 10 May 2016 18:06 by Richard Hunt.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Viking, Philip, Christeen Grant

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 May 2016 20:34 #68384 by Ranger

Viking wrote: Well said tiska.

I don't know many hikers that are averse to social interactions with shepherds (Unfortunately the language barrier is of some hindrance) and I have had many engaging and rewarding interactions with chaps up top, but when it comes to the demanding, or even just begging for sweets, money or food then it becomes a problem for me. Handout's, whether on a small or large scale are never a good idea and in my opinion are a contributing factor to aggressive and demanding behavior that has been seen recently. Even the exchange of photos for sweets seems expected now as evidenced in a recent post on VE.

Regarding the crossing of land, let's not forget the fact that the border is the watershed and not the escarpment edge and that many shepherds operate in and use the resources of KZN, South Africa and a world heritage site park designed to protect the very flora and fauna that is being harvested illegally and unsustainably.
So really what I am saying is that respect for property and cultural subtleties goes both ways.


@Viking

You hit the nail on the head. Most casual interactions with Basuthos are friendly and brief, but there are other specific areas where hikers are targeted in unpleasant and aggressive ways. This is unacceptable and is mainly because there are no repercussions and this is reinforcing their behaviour.It certainly goes both ways.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 May 2016 08:38 - 11 May 2016 08:40 #68392 by mayake

It is an idea I have used myself and it works. If hikers are concerned about a criminal element in the area, you can be reasonably sure that the local shepherds (herders) are too. So make friends with the nearest shepherds and ask to visit their Motibo (shepherd's house). After their dogs have accepted you, ask to pitch your tents near their Motibo where their dogs will include you in their defense area. After a good night's sleep, pay a small 'something' to them for their hospitality and protection.
This is a lot more convenient and cheaper than having to have a guard with you for the whole hike!
Shepherds along the way will soon get the idea that they can offer a type of security protection service to hikers, and earn some cash at the same time.

From the experience I have in having traveled around the world I think you are 1000% right, but I don't know the social and historical context or background in SA.
Last edit: 11 May 2016 08:40 by mayake.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Philip, Christeen Grant

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum