In 1978, after a twenty-year separation, John Marshall is reunited with ≠Oma and !U's family. Like a majority of Ju/'hoansi, they have settled at Tjum!kui, an administrative post established by the South Africans who govern the territory of South West Africa. They came in search of water, employment, and what they hoped would be an easier life. But in Tjum!kui, Ju/'hoansi survive on corn meal rations, while the few with jobs and money buy liquor. Drunkenness, violence, and the diseases of poverty are rampant and all painfully depicted in END OF THE ROAD.
The new life also creates inequalities that the Ju/'hoansi have never experienced. When the South African Defense Force begins recruiting Ju/'hoansi and paying them large salaries to fight the liberation forces of the South West African Peoples Organization, called SWAPO, these disparities become chasms. Marshall and his colleague Claire Ritchie record the decline of Ju/'hoan society during 1980 and 1981 when Tjum!kui becomes known as "the place of death."
Hoping to re-establish a more stable way of life, the Ju/'hoansi start working with a development foundation funded by Marshall's father. The foundation supplies Ju/'hoansi with assistance to begin farming and, in 1981, ≠Oma's extended family leaves Tjum!kui, heading back to their traditional waterhole at /Aotcha with axes, shovels, and cattle.