words: Sonica Kirsten, Cara Morris, Papa Deadly
Yep – once again our crack team* of Moop hunters, Leave No Trace lovers and map-makers have compiled this year’s comprehensive guide to what traces were left where, after the participants of this year’s event had hightailed it home.
After the dust has settled for everyone else, a lot of hard work starts for those who stay on and tackle the task of restoring our event site to its pre-event natural state. Why? Beacuse we’re serious about our commitment to Leave No Trace – and this year sees the expansion and consolidation of our MOOP, Leave No Trace and environmental initiatives into a new working group that’ll be known as D.E.A.R. – or in full, our Department of Environmental Action and Regeneration.
The purpose of D.E.A.R? To develop the principle of Leave No Trace into an even broader understanding of what it means to be custodians of our spaces, places and planet. It’s off to a fresh start – and you can learn more about it here.
But on to this year’s map of successes, tragedies and traces… which on the balance of things, are mostly pretty positive. Mostly…
As you can see by the spectrum of colour this year’s MOOPing brought it’s own new challenges. Behold the masses of great green! Oh dear: has your camp come up yellow? O fok: you’re a red? You’ve got problems (and should really consider reading our Survival Guide over again, or even for the first time). And all that turquoise? Ah – that’s the wind-blown matter outta place, and we’re all collectively responsible for it.
NOTE: to see the data entered for the locations coloured on the map, CLICK HERE to download the spreadsheet prepared on site site in the Tankwa by our LNT crew.
Let’s starts with the grossest manifestation of all: excrement in bags, the worst gift you can leave DPW. Beside the obvious health hazard issues of this, expecting someone else to pick up your kak is just not how people in a caring community act. Sure, it was a challenging year with the norovirus kicking ass and taking names, but our city is built on co-operation and radical self reliance. Let’s never forget that. And let’s never forget that radical self reliance means ‘If you choose to not use the toilets provided, you need to remove it.’
In other words – and this could even be considered a catch-all phrase for Leave No Trace and Radical Self Reliance combined – take care of your shit.
The new expansion zone open camping areas were less MOOPy than in previous years, which means more participants are cleaning up better after themselves, well done! In contrast, Theme Camps are more MOOPier, with a lot of yellow, some orange and even a red camp or two… Red camps don’t get preferential placement and will have to strongly motivate for placement – any placement at all – again. In other words, if you’re red, you’re dead and the chances of getting real estate in the right place again are slim to fokol.
Greywater dumping is on the rise, and it’s a huge problem. With our event being in a sensitive ecosystem, greywater can have a tremendous negative impact on the greater area. Watch out for new suggestions from D.E.A.R. on how to deal with your greywater issues. (tip: create an evapotron, it’s easy and will solve your ‘WTF do we do with our shower water?’ issues). And no, allowing your hose or water bowser to run off into the street is not battling the dust problem: it’s creating a mud problem, which becomes a scar problem, because mud and vehicles creates gouges in the desert floor.
Talking about mud, our next hot issue is trenches. Nobody wants the rain water to flood their camp, but digging trenches and leaving them like that makes for ugly scars all over Tankwa Town. Take care of your trenches by shovelling them flat again before you leave. Otherwise we will have no flat areas left after a few years if the current trend continues.
One issue not reflected on the Moop Map you see above is that of trash on the R355. In case you weren’t aware, badly-packed trash bags fall off vehicles because they’re either thin-ass black plastic bags (tip: use fertilizer or feed bags), or in fact because someone who’s stripped all their moer just couldn’t any longer and decided that the stinking bag in the back of their car just had to go, and turfed it. Onto the side of the road. To provide some idea of the work that has to be done (when you’re scrubbed and rested and home), here’s a shot of our DPW crew making one of their 50 stops to clean up the roadside.
The best way to make a difference to the MOOP picture? Plan your camp, and don’t let any lazy-ass friends or campmates off the hook about their responsibility by letting them leave you with a pile of crap to deal with. The next best way to make a difference? Staying behind after the event and volunteering to help our LNT crew.
Staying behind to restore the desert could be one of the best experiences of your life. There is a weird satisfaction in picking up tiny bits of MOOP of the desert floor, in a place once again ruled by sun, wind and silence. Most people find a special kind of Zen out there. The juxtaposition of seeing spaces that days ago were bursting with colour and radical self expression of every kind, turn into the domain of the crows and DPW is a surreal experience.
And while we have a job to do – that of making sure our community fulfil it’s collective duty of Leaving No Trace – we have as much fun as we can with that job, under the circumstances. To quote an old timer: “During the build we bond. When we MOOP, we fall in love”. With life, the universe, the amazing stars and everybody.
Hats of the the MOOP warriors – thank you for leaving this world cleaner, healthier and happier!
If you’d like to get involved in our environmental efforts, please step up – mail [email protected]
*massive shouts go out to Princess Caralot, Jon ‘Keep It’ Wreal, Sonica ‘No, motherfucker – Plug, Play & Profit Camps are NOT OK’ Kirsten, Mikha Zeffert, mapmaker Guillaume Vagrante and every single volunteer on DPW who stepped up and walked the hard yards out in the baking hot Tankwa after everyone else had made it home and had showered & slept in a soft bed. This includes (but is not limited to):
Christian Herbert Bohmer
Mila Rose Heneck
Hanno Van Den Berg
Jani van den berg
Melanie van Zyl
Spikkels du Preez
Nikki Fucking Santos
Tarryn Van Schalkwyk
You’re angels of virtue performing a community service – under damn hard conditions – that we all owe you a debt of gratitude for.