#730 – CrossFit Affiliate Series | Patrick de Goede of CrossFit Damascus

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Sevan Matossian (00:02):

Bam. We’re live. Good morning. It’s gonna be a great show today, part of the affiliate series. Uh, I, I, I haven’t done this before and, uh, 700 shows my guest is here. But there was something on my mind, uh, so strong that I wanted to get it off my mind before I started the show. I got this DM today, not accurate. I got it yesterday at, uh, 3:28 PM It says, Chevon. I’m watching the old behind the scenes. It is a crime. CrossFit got rid of you and the behind the scenes team, it opened the sport to masses.

(00:42):

I cannot tell you, uh, in the, in the history of dumb things that were done, um, I know it’s self-serving to say this, but firing me was complete fucking idiocy. I’ll start by telling you this. I never hugged a single person inappropriate inappropriately at work. Uh, let alone fucked one of my employees. I was the furthest thing away from a micromanager. I was available 24 7, 365 days a year, Christmas, everything. I never fucking took a day off. I gave all my employees the chance to come up to me calmly approach me at all time. Imagine like 70, 80 people always, I was always available. If you called me or text me and I didn’t get back to you, I would get back to you. I did not micromanage. I gave you the tools you needed to fulfill whatever project you wanted. I was friends with all the other executives.

(01:31):

Yes, there were a ton of people who didn’t like me. And in hindsight, I think they didn’t like me because of my proximity to Greg. But really they should have loved me because of that. Because I was so close to Greg, close to Nicole close, close to Bruce, close to Dave. I could get almost anything done in the company. And then on top of that, you can just look at any of the metrics at CrossFit Inc. That I was in charge of while I was there. They skyrocketed, especially in my last, uh, in my last two years, probably the best two years I was there. Absolutely nuts. I was the greatest contributor, um, by, by number of pieces of content to the CrossFit journal or the CrossFit media machine than anybody. Then probably any three people combined, to be honest with you. And I just, when I saw that today, I was like, that’s nuts.

(02:16):

And then I’ll tell you one more thing. I didn’t have to do the behind the scenes. No one asked me to do it. It wasn’t part of my work schedule, and yet it made it so 12 weeks of the year, I had to work 80 hours instead of 40 hours. And I had kids. It was nothing that was ever asked of me ever, ever, ever. I just did that. Do you know how few executives anywhere would pick up a camera? It would be below them to do that? And I just saw that and I’m like, man, they really, really shit the bed.

(02:53):

And there’s things that I can do that no one else can do, and no one else will ever be able to do. I know they say everyone’s replaceable. It’s not, not true. It is not true. Anyway, just, I just, I saw that this morning. I don’t say that with any, um, anger or, um, God, it’s, or braggadocio, but I was just reflecting on just my contribution and, and you know, when they fired me, the reason they gave me was that my position was eliminated. And, uh, and, and, and, and, you know, I I would argue that that’s why there’s been a drought of, uh, good content in a long, long time. Okay, that’s it. Those thoughts and opinions are of my own and no one else’s. Not even Caleb’s Patrick High.

Patrick de Goede (03:42):

Hey, how’s it going?

Sevan Matossian (03:43):

Awesome. I just got so fired up this morning in the shower. I’m like, man, they like, they really screwed up.

Patrick de Goede (03:51):

They did.

Sevan Matossian (03:52):

They really screwed up. Uh, Trish, we know Savon. We’ve seen the downfall. Well, thank you, man. That’s one of my harshest critics right there. Trish. Patrick is on another planet. It’s called Africa, a pla. I wonder how many Americans have visited Africa. Patrick, I wonder how

Patrick de Goede (04:13):

We’ve got, we’ve got a, we’ve got a US embassy here, so I think a good couple

Sevan Matossian (04:18):

15 <laugh>. I, I wonder, but I mean, even to the continent, I wonder if it’s even 1% of Americans have visited, um, the African continent.

Patrick de Goede (04:28):

I think you’d be right.

Sevan Matossian (04:30):

And and you knows, go ahead. Go ahead.

Patrick de Goede (04:34):

No, it’s, it’s, it’s a very, where I am in Theia, it’s a very popular tourist destination. But, um, I’m getting some weird error message here. What does this say? Can you see? Oh, good to me. Okay, cool. My screen’s gone back anyway. Um, it’s a popular tourist destination, but it’s a huge continent. And I, and I really don’t think, um, I lived in the states in California in 1989 for almost a year, and it was clear that a lot of Americans, Americans didn’t know much about Africa or had been to Africa.

Sevan Matossian (05:04):

You, you lived in California in 1989, you said?

Patrick de Goede (05:07):

Yeah, and Laguna Beach.

Sevan Matossian (05:09):

Wow, that’s a good spot.

Patrick de Goede (05:12):

It is.

Sevan Matossian (05:13):

Uh, um, how old were you in 1989?

Patrick de Goede (05:17):

Uh, early twenties, 21, 22. Okay. I forget.

Sevan Matossian (05:21):

So we’re about the same age. I graduated from high school in 1990, and I was probably 18.

Patrick de Goede (05:27):

Yeah, I I graduated in 85.

Sevan Matossian (05:31):

If they’re, the, are these places that have this enormous effect on the human psyche? If you’re an American and you’ve never been there, and one of ’em is, is most of the African continent visiting China? Visiting India, where if you think of life as a social experiment, it’s just a complete different social experiment that they’re running in Africa or China or India. And until see it, and, and by see it, I mean actually, you know, spend a month there, two months there, try to have a life there. Um, you’re kind of just missing out. You’re almost like an, an incomplete human being.

Patrick de Goede (06:13):

Yeah, I think there’s a, there’s a, so certainly when I was a youngster and, and when I was in the States, I, um, I think America’s always been like a, it’s been a huge superpower, but I think there’s risk in that because I think many Americans, and this is a generalization, but I think many Americans believe that the world begins and ends with the West coast and the east coast of the usa. And there’s obviously a lot of stuff that’s going on up there. That’s not the case.

Sevan Matossian (06:42):

That’s so different. That’s so, so, so different. I mean, there’s people who live in tents and like, and when I mean tents, I mean, um, you know, uh, uh, domiciles made of mud and thatch all over the world, whole villages. Yeah. It’s, it’s not a camping trip for the weekend

Patrick de Goede (07:03):

<laugh>. No, it’s, it certainly isn’t. And there’s obviously, there’s places that are more, uh, more remote, I think. I think, uh, Africa has some of the, the last real wildernesses on the planet. Um, so there’s places that are more remote, but I think it’s just a very different, uh, very different kind of living. And I, I think the Peace Corps, um, the American Peace Corps does a great job of, of getting, getting American youngsters out to other places around the planet and having them experience what other cultures live like. So I think that’s a good thing.

Sevan Matossian (07:31):

And, and it, it doesn’t take long for the mine to reset either. You know, you could take someone who’s a complete, um, city dweller, you know, maybe never been off the island of Manhattan and take ’em into Africa, into a village. And you know, the first 15 days might be hard, but after that, the brain really will reset. And, uh, within 90 days you will have a whole new person there. There’s actually a movie, um, I’ve talked about it a bunch on the show. I wonder if you’ve seen it. They take a bunch of boys from Baltimore, inner city Baltimore, and they take ’em to a, a school in, uh, somewhere in Kenya where there’s basically where there’s no electricity. And within six months the kids don’t want to go back to America. They’re like, holy shit, this is so much better than the inner city in Baltimore. What is that movie? It won’t the Academy Award. Uh, oh, look, Caleb’s Oh yeah. Boys of Baraka. Dang, you’re good. Check this out. Patrick. This is a great movie. The Boys of Baraka.

Patrick de Goede (08:30):

I’ll have a look. Is that on, is it on Netflix? Is it elsewhere? Where do I find, that

Sevan Matossian (08:34):

Is a good question. Did that win the Academy Award? Definitely had to have been nominated. Where were you born, Patrick?

Patrick de Goede (08:45):

So I’m, I’m born in the Morian, um, in the capital in a place called vin, which is, uh, I don’t know, well it’s, I guess it’s considered a city. We have around, I’d say 350, 380,000 people. And the country is very sparsely populated. In fact, I think it may be, if not the least, then certainly one of the least populated countries on the planet. Uh, we have a population of around two and a half million people,

Sevan Matossian (09:12):

And it didn’t get its independence. Here. Let me throw something that I learned too. It didn’t get its independence until 1990 from South Africa, and they gave it to South Africa after World War I, when they took it from the Germans, it was the League of Nations, which we know today is the United Nations.

Patrick de Goede (09:29):

Yeah, that’s right. You’ve done some good research spot on man <laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (09:33):

Uh, so are there, are there a lot of, um, Germans there? A lot of South Africans there,

Patrick de Goede (09:38):

There’s a lot of South Africa, well, south Africans there, um, I, I think for the longest time when, when we were part of South Africa, we were, we were governed as a, I guess like a fifth province. And so the Southern African culture between places like South African, Namibia, Zimbabwe, maybe Botswana to a less degree is quite similar. Um, definitely a strong, strong throwback to the German time. So lots of German architecture, um, lots of German speaking people. But when I say lots, that’s relative to the population. So, um, Caucasians, whites are, are, are very much minority here. Um, the, the big ethnic group of the Osha Bamba, they are probably, I’d say they make up 60% of the populace. But the, the, I guess the throwback to German architect or German culture is very, very strong because there’s lots of prominent buildings like churches and, and old administrative buildings and stuff like that, that are kind of, you know, that are very definitive of that era and of their time.

Sevan Matossian (10:38):

Uh, by the way, that’s Caleb, uh, below you.

Patrick de Goede (10:42):

Caleb, nice to meet you man. Uh, nice to meet you as

Sevan Matossian (10:44):

Well. He’s, he’s, it’s, it’s fascinating too. Here we are with technology, the three of us on three different, um, continents.

Patrick de Goede (10:52):

Where’s Caleb?

Sevan Matossian (10:53):

He can’t say, but it, I assume it if he’s, he’s an American soldier, so I assume it’s in a desert somewhere. Ah,

Patrick de Goede (11:00):

Ok. Nice. That’s pretty cool.

Sevan Matossian (11:04):

It’s alright. Uh, <laugh>, how, how, how does, how does someone like you end up, um, being born on the African continent? How did your parents end up there in Amia?

Patrick de Goede (11:17):

So, um, so my, my mom’s parents fled Germany at the end of the second World War. So my mom was German and my dad was a, grew up in South Africa, in Johannesburg, um, and of English, and, sorry, one of the cats is just missioning around

Sevan Matossian (11:34):

There. Cats are welcome. Cats are welcome.

Patrick de Goede (11:36):

Cats are cool. This is Jinx <laugh>. So, um, yeah, so my, my, my mom’s parents, my grandparents fled Germany at the end of the second world. We were looking for employment, uh, sail to Caton in South Africa, and then came up to Namibia by rail and settled here. And my dad came from South Africa as a traveling, as a traveling musician and a traveling salesman. He came up here in the early sixties to look for work. And so they met and here I am.

Sevan Matossian (12:06):

Wow, that’s crazy. Why were your parents fleeing, um, Germany? Are you Jewish?

Patrick de Goede (12:11):

No, I’m not. But the, I think, um, my grandfather had served in the, in, in the German military, but I think they were pretty, from what I, from what I remember from stories, I think they were pretty disappointed in the way things had turned out. And I, I think Germany at the end of the second World War was probably a shitty place to be. Um, and he had a, he had a mastercraftsman certificate certification as a, as a vehicle mechanic, as a, uh, like an ldv heavy duty vehicle mechanic. And so there was, there were people looking for that kind of skill out here. And, um, he knew some other people and they said there were opportunities in Africa. And so they said sale for Cape Town sometime, I think around 19 44, 19 45. Uh, so right at the end of the World War and, um, kind of made a new life there.

Sevan Matossian (12:59):

Crazy. I, um, yeah, I’m also, I’m also blown away at the fact that there was a railroad that went all the way from South Africa to, um, ni India in, uh, what night in, in the forties. Is, is, is that rail still ac? Could you take a a train all the way down to South Africa today?

Patrick de Goede (13:21):

Uh, you could, there’s a, it no longer serves. I don’t think it serves passenger traffic anymore. There’s been quite a bit of, uh, there’s been quite a bit of decline in some of the infrastructure, but, uh, certainly from a, from a goods point of view, there’s a rail line, um, that connects the west coast of Namibia, which is a, a port called Walsh Bay, uh, with the capital, which is where I am, and then into the inland. So we are kind of like a big, um, I guess like a big, uh, sort of a transport hub into the center of Africa. You’ve gotta, yeah, there’s a whole bunch of maps you’ve pinpointed there and then all the way down to South Africa. Um, so harbors are very, very limited along the West coast, so kind of locked down there. I don’t know, you can’t see me on the screen, but on, on, on the west coast of that map there, there’s very limited harbor access. And so Cape Town is a big harbor. There’s a couple along the West Coast. And then, uh, on the, on our side there’s Wal Fish Bay and that sort of serves, so there’s a already bigger, well established rail network in Africa and in south southern Africa specifically.

Sevan Matossian (14:20):

Um, and so, so you’re born in Ni India, and, uh, were you born in that town? What did you call it? Wind hok?

Patrick de Goede (14:27):

Wind, yeah,

Sevan Matossian (14:28):

Wind hok. Oh, you’re born there. Yeah,

Patrick de Goede (14:31):

I was, I was born there 1967, so I 55 years old. I’ve pretty much lived here all my life. I mean, apart from, apart from traveling to the states a little bit, um, and seeing some of Europe, I’ve lived here for most of my life.

Sevan Matossian (14:44):

And how many, do you know how many people lived in, uh, winy Hook when, uh, you were born?

Patrick de Goede (14:49):

No, no idea. But probably, I mean, we have 350,000 now, I’m guessing maybe under a hundred thousand, maybe 80,000. I really don’t

Sevan Matossian (14:58):

Know. And that is the biggest city in, uh, in Nmia. Namibia. Thank you. Namibia.

Patrick de Goede (15:09):

Yeah. Yes.

Sevan Matossian (15:15):

Uh,

Patrick de Goede (15:16):

Three

Sevan Matossian (15:17):

Syllable, three sys Namibia.

Patrick de Goede (15:20):

Yeah. Bingo.

Sevan Matossian (15:22):

Crazy. What, what is that? I hear Do you own birds or That’s wildlife.

Patrick de Goede (15:26):

That’s wildlife. I live, uh, I live outside town, um, on a nature state. I have a, I have a property that’s in the bush, and we have like game that runs around and we have birds and the teas and it’s really busy out there.

Sevan Matossian (15:42):

Um, what, what are the politics like in, um, Namibia, uh, is a safe place?

Patrick de Goede (15:48):

Yeah, very much so. So when, when we became independent from South Africa in, in, uh, in 1990, the United Nations played a really big role, um, in that process. It was called Resolution 4 35. And, um, I think the, the eyes of the world as well as the continent were, were, were very much on the mobile to see whether we, we we, whether we would be a successful democracy. Um, so I think everybody was watching and, um, there’s a ruling party. They, they are, uh, and they’ve been in power since, since independence. Um, and I think they’ll continue to be in power for a long, for a long time to come simply because the populace that votes for them is the majority. And, um, but it’s good politics. I mean, it’s, it’s shitty in some ways. There’s corruption and there’s nepotism. Um, there’s inequality in many ways, but I think there’s, I’ve yet to, I’ve been fortunate to travel quite widely, and I, I, I don’t think I’ve been to a country where I’ve seen like really good spectacular governance across the board. So, um, I think a lot of people assign that you’re being Africa, you know, that it’s African politics. But I think in many ways Namia has risen above that. We, we, we are, well, we are well managed in an African context.

Sevan Matossian (17:08):

And, and do all the people there get along? Does it? Is it is it has any of our, yeah, we have a, we have a sickness here in the United States. We have a lot of sicknesses, and I apologize to, um, I, I saw that, um, people were wearing, uh, masks and Namibia, and I apologize on behalf of all the citizens of the United States for spreading our fear, uh, to you guys. Um, but, but it seems like e everyone here, um, is, is looking for a problem and some of those problems spread to other countries, but you’re, you know, we live in a country where I think it’s 16% of the people have melanated skin and, and you live in, in the, in inverse of that. But God, that would be so great for so many, many Americans to have to go to Africa to, to, yeah. Um, what’s it, what’s it like there? You’re being that you’re the, uh, pale face and, uh, and the melanated people are the dominant people,

Patrick de Goede (18:01):

Right? So I mean, we’ve, we’ve been, what, we’ve been independent for 30, 33, yes. 32. Uh, is that right? 32 years, 35 is whatever. It’s, um, and I think there’s a lot of unity amongst namibians. I think we be, because we’re such a small nation, there’s a very strong sense of national pride. Um, and although there’s a, there’s some racial tension, I think some of that is a hangover from the apartheid era. Um, I was, I was raised in, in that, I grew up in that time. Um, I think we’ve done really, really well at disabling that and, and, and, and, and dismantling those mechanisms. And, and I think by and large, namibians are easygoing, um, peace-loving people. And, and although we have 13 ethnic groups here, you know, so there’s like a, there, there’s huge potential for conflict. Um, and not everybody gets on all the time, but I think as a nation, we are a, we’re a peace loving bunch, and I think by and large people get on well, which is, I think it’s maybe contrary to expectations. You kind of think that there’d be, that there’d be friction between black and white, but there really is, I’ve seen worse elsewhere, a lot worse elsewhere.

Sevan Matossian (19:14):

Um, in, in, in the United States, if a, if a, if a white police officer shoots someone who’s black or arrests someone who’s black, that’s how they report it in the paper, right? They, they, they fan the flame, even though it’s not relative to the story at all. That’s how they report it. Do they do that there?

Patrick de Goede (19:32):

No, they, they don’t. I think that, again, there’s a hangover, I think sometimes. Um, and I think the press plays a huge role in this. I mean, even with our local media, you know, the, I think the battle that you guys are fighting with mainstream media over there and the narratives is really, really difficult. And it’s, and, and, and it’s very poisonous and dangerous, um, over here. I think sometimes there’s a throwback to that or people make it something that it isn’t. But if you read the comment thread on, say a newspaper article where, um, where invariably there was some, some sort of context of color, right? You know, racial denomination, um, that’s very, very quickly dismantled in the comment section. Somebody will come up and say, oh, well so and so because he’s a white or because he’s a black or whatever. And 30 people will chime in and say, you’re full of shit, and kind of move on.

Sevan Matossian (20:20):

That’s cool. Can you tell by everyone’s last name? That’s very cool. That makes me happy to hear that. W can you tell by people’s last name, um, what their ethnicity is like before someone meets you when they see your name? Will you pronounce your last name for me?

Patrick de Goede (20:34):

[inaudible] So it’s a hard g

Sevan Matossian (20:36):

I would’ve never got it close. [inaudible]. Um,

Patrick de Goede (20:41):

That was close. That wasn’t bad.

Sevan Matossian (20:43):

Deda, I would’ve said dego. Uh, deda. Um, do people know right away before they even meet you, um, what, what you’re gonna look like?

Patrick de Goede (20:52):

Yeah, I think so. I think it’s safe to say there was quite a bit of, um, I guess sort of cross population with, with the Germans when they were here. So I think I, I think a lot of the, um, I think there’s a lot of the, the, uh, buster people that have German names where the German surnames have infiltrated their culture. Um, but by and large, the ethnic groups have very distinct names and the languages are distinctly different. So you can figure out, I mean, you’d figure out my name, that I’m, I’m not African, or I’m not an African descent, I’m a first generation Namibian. But, um, for, for, uh, most of the, most of the locals here, you can figure out, they have like little, uh, I’m not sure what you call ’em, like little punctuation marks on top of the Os and the East, they kind of signify that they’re either damara or Nama or Herrero or Ash babo, whatever the case might be. But I mean, I’m a bit of a giveaway with a, with a Dutch surname.

Sevan Matossian (21:47):

Do are they called tribes? Do they call them tribes?

Patrick de Goede (21:50):

Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and, and, and there’s still a lot of, there’s still a lot of, uh, tribal, there’s still like a lot of, i, I guess a lot of tribal culture, you know? So in some parts of the country, if you, let’s say up in the north, if you want to access land, let’s say you want to develop land as a, as a tourism endeavor, you need to go and see the chief then. So even though, even though there’s very clearly defined laws that govern land ownership, et cetera, you need to go and see the chief then, and you need to, you know, you need to be done with him and you need to probably bring him some sort of a, uh, I guess like a, like, not an offering, but a, um, some sort of a buy-in in the form of a goat or a sheep, that kind of thing. So there’s still a lot of really like strong traditions that are in place amongst the, the, the various ethnic tribes.

Sevan Matossian (22:38):

Um, do, do they, do you own the property you’re on? Are you allowed to own property there? You personally? Yeah.

Patrick de Goede (22:42):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So property is, I, I think if you do a Google search, you’ll, you’ll find that property in Theia, specifically Inuk, uh, but also elsewhere in, in, in, in the other towns is some of the, the highest price real estate in the world, which is crazy. Um, but yes, you are allowed to own it. Unfortunately, many men in Namibians don’t have the means. So there’s a whole bunch. I think our unemployment rate is 57%. Wow. Which is really, really, yeah. Yeah. This is super high. But that include, that’s

Sevan Matossian (23:11):

Like Philadelphia. That’s like Philadelphia,

Patrick de Goede (23:13):

Right? So, so if you include the rural communities though, then it’s not, it’s not as bad as it sounds. There’s a lot of people that are subsistence farmers that are rural farmers who are essentially considered unemployed, but it’s still a very, very high unemployment figure. And the cost of living is very high. And unfortunately there’s quite a big disparity as well between the, the haves and the havenots. So, so owning property, it’s, it’s, it’s completely possible, but it’s expensive.

Sevan Matossian (23:41):

Um, when you say there’s a disparity between the haves and the have nots, does everyone still have a, a cell phone? Do these tribal people have cell phones?

Patrick de Goede (23:47):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So they have, they have cable tv and they have, uh, they definitely have mobile phones. So, so that’s been very kind of accessible and I dunno whether it’s affordable, but it, but a lot of people deem that a priority or a necessity. So you can, you can drive through any rural village in the country and there’ll be, there’ll be satellite dishes affixed to your mud hut so that they have cable tv.

Sevan Matossian (24:10):

So someone might have to walk 500 yards to get water, but they still have, uh, Android.

Patrick de Goede (24:16):

Yeah, a hundred percent. That’s exactly, I mean, that’s a, that’s a great, that’s a great description.

Sevan Matossian (24:21):

I don’t think people realize, uh, that a about that about Africa. How many people actually have to, um, travel to get water? I mean, it is a, I don’t know how it is in, uh, Namibia. I’m, I’m sure, sure there’s certain parts, but there’s, there’s definitely places all over Africa where that’s what pe that’s the primary, you know, objective. Every day you’ll see lines of people waiting for water, or you’ll see the women walking with the giant yellow jugs on their head, and you’ll see just lines of people walking down the road back and forth. And some of those people, you know, walk 10 miles just to get water each way. And a

Patrick de Goede (24:55):

Lot of people for sure,

Sevan Matossian (24:56):

A lot of

Patrick de Goede (24:56):

People. Yeah. So I mean, that, that’s still very much part of rural Namibian life. Um-huh. Namibia is very centralized. So, so most of the commerce and most of the industry happens in Wick, which is where I live. And then there’s this huge expanses, think, uh, think Utah, think Nevada, um, kind of, uh, you’ll travel a hundred miles between two towns, and then in the north it’s even more, it’s kind of even more spread out. So, so in the north, in the very, very far, where the, uh, where the, the majority of the population lives, that’s kind of like an industrial hub as well, like a commerce hub. But between that, there’s just lots of people that are living, you know, that live as subsistence farmers. So they, they’re cattle herders, they’re sheep herders. Um, and for many of them, they walk, they walk a long way to get to water. The kids walk a long way to get to school. Um, what are you zooming in on there? I’m on my phone, so I don’t have Great, I don’t, I don’t have Great, he’s

Sevan Matossian (25:53):

Just, he’s just, he’s showing the, he’s just showing the country,

Patrick de Goede (25:56):

Right? So that big green dots on the top there. That’s the Natasha pad. Yeah, that’s a national park. Yeah, that’s a national park. And then the area, say if you go say 12 o’clock from that, and so from the three o’clock of that green dot, yeah, from that. So if you go hard, uh, zoom it the other way, like drag it the other way. Yeah. So to that side, to the west, yeah, that’s, there’s lots of people there that are just, you know, that, that literally just live in the sticks and that are herding cattle and that are herding goats, herding sheep. And they just, you know, they live a, they live a MIGA existence.

Sevan Matossian (26:31):

And I is, um, uh, NA Namibia, one of the driest places in Africa. Did I see that?

Patrick de Goede (26:37):

Um, one of the very lowest rainfalls, particularly the brown area that you can see on the map. Map. I mean, we, so the skeleton coast and the number of desert are a big part of what makes up our, our, um, I, I, I guess our country. And we have, I, I think the number of desert has something like five millimeters of rainfall per annum. And then for the rest of the country, it differs. I mean, I live in the center, so it’s a little bit more, we maybe get around four, 500 millimeters a year. There’s places in the north against the river that get pretty high rainfall, but by and large, it’s a very arid country.

Sevan Matossian (27:10):

Yeah, I think I read that it gets, on average 14 inches of rain a year, which is like, I, we had that much here yesterday,

Patrick de Goede (27:17):

Right? Yeah. So it’s very arid and, and as a result, things like agriculture, I think are, there’s very specific things that people farm and that people, um, people grow, people farm with it. It’s not a, it’s not a particularly lash place.

Sevan Matossian (27:33):

Um, when you were born there, what was cha, what was, uh, what was growing up there? Like you went to school, you went to Ty, typical school, went to elementary school, junior high, high school, you played sports.

Patrick de Goede (27:45):

Uh, yeah, I mean, very, very, very much country living. I, I guess the best comparison to NAIA would be kind of again, maybe Utah, that kind of landscape. And so kind of lots of rural towns. Very easy, very easygoing. But remember, I grew up in the, uh, in the, sorry, I’m just ferreting around there with the dog. I grew up when, when the apartheid era was very, very much enforcer. Um, and so many of the schools were segregated. My parents were, were adamant that I would go to a school which was multi, multi, um, multicultural. So I went to, I went to school with black kids. I think at the time I was the only school in the country where there was a mix of whites and blacks and, and, and, and colors and, and, and people of d different ethnic backgrounds, all the

Sevan Matossian (28:36):

Other school. Was that illegal, Patrick, was that illegal? Like, did you go to a school that was illegal?

Patrick de Goede (28:40):

It was found upon, you know, it wasn’t it, it wasn’t illegal, but it was, it, it, it was kind of, we were definitely the, uh, we were definitely, so this is, what would this be? This would be, uh, primary school. The first primary school I went to that was all white. And then I went to this, this next school, which was a private school. And, um, it was run by a bunch of Catholic monks and, uh, Dutch Catholic monks. And, uh, they had a policy that they were multicultural and, and, and, and, and, and, and multiple ethnicities. And so I went to this school and some of my best, in fact, my best friend at school was a, was a kid whose, whose parents were, were of color. And, um, his mom was very involved in the, in the liberation struggle of Namibia. So it was kind of like a weird, it was a weird time growing up, but we were all being groomed for the military at the time. Uh, national conscription was the thing. So everybody, every able-bodied male at the age of 18 was conscripted for two years of, of military duty. And so, you know, growing up was very, it was very easy. It was, uh, lots of wide open spaces and, and, uh, just like basic living, you drank from the hose pipe. That’s me on the, with a big cheesy grin on the far right, <laugh>, and I’m.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

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