Something about the barren land felt familiar although sand dunes replaced rolling hills and lions not coyotes shadowed the livestock.

When the desert wind kicked up a funnel of sand, the Himba children watched it skip across the dry terrain until it dissolved. It was then that I knew we shared more than a moment in the afternoon dust. I also live in a land where wind and drought can wear you down. Stories of Namibia’s fierce resilience, agricultural legacy and tragic tribal history grounded me to this foreign land because I live in Oklahoma – land of the red man – where you grow up wide-eyed to the sky and hand-held to the soil.

For two territories so divided by distance, our historical topographies lie coated in the same mistakes.

In the next few weeks, I’ll feature the stories and photographs of the people who touched my life when I journeyed to Namibia earlier this year. Here’s a preview:

Meet me: Sheilah Bright, a sucker for a story. I've been a journalist for 39 years after first publishing at age 14. Do the math. No, don't. My work has appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines. I spent 18 years writing advertising for People and TIME magazine. When I'm not traveling abroad, I bounce along the backroads of Oklahoma searching for some golden story nuggets as a contributing editor for This Land Press and Oklahoma Today.

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