3.6.12 Friday morning came quick– there was so much to do. Trying to gather 16 people, in Swaziland, to be in the same place at the same time– and an EARLY morning time at that– was going to be tricky. I figured the best way to get my friends somewhere early saturday morning, is to get them there the evening before, and then, kidnap them. Which is exactly what I did. Friday night, we all gathered at Bhuleni Farms for a bri. We sat around laughing, talking and waiting for cyclone number 534 to hit Swaziland as the news had predicted, and ruin our photo shoot for the following day. It may have been all the wishful thinking, or the return of some good karma I was owed, but cyclone Irina never hit. Saturday morning we were greeted with blue skies, pleasant temperatures and big, white puffy clouds. PERFECT!
16 of my friends and I, piled into the new Chasing Horizons mini bus and headed out for a day of adventure. My dear friend, and fellow PCV Ryan, was our photographer (his photos are really amazing, check out his photo blog at: http://www.sivakashi.wordpress.com). We traveled all over Swaziland, down back roads, through small villages, across rivers, around mountains, stopping along the way to take photos for the new Chasing Horizons website. It was a truly amazing day.
Swaziland is such a beautiful country- the views are simply breath taking. I have never lived anywhere this picturesque before. You can see across the landscape for miles and miles, mountains upon mountains disappear into the distance, waterfalls appear hidden around the bend, huge rocks teeter on the edge of mountain sides, so many shades of green you couldn’t paint them all if you wanted to. Its overwhelming riding in the front seat, trying to take it all in. attempting to memorize each scene and store it away in your memory. This is how I want to remember Swaziland.
By lunch time we had made several stops on our photo shoot tour. We had hiked mountains, seen cave paintings, gone swimming, visited waterfalls, raced with village children, even got a flat tire along the way. We were exhausted. We stopped for lunch and all piled back into the mini bus. Within minutes everyone in the back was fast asleep. But I was wide awake in the front, running my hand through the cool wind blowing by my window outside. Its been a difficult month, but I love Swaziland. There is something about Africa that makes me feel at home. I feel like I belong here. My friend Kieren can see it in me too. As he drove through the mountains on the way home, he noticed my thoughts racing like the scenery passing by. He says, “Ginger, I think this just the beginning of something much bigger for you. I can see it–”. I think he is right 🙂
the rest of the weekend was spent with my good friends at their house in the city… a place I affectionately call “The Man Cave”. I spent saturday evening in the company of my favorite member, Samuel, the cutest 3 year old in SD. His curly hair, big brown eyes, and wild imagination are hard to resist! While the adults mingled on the veranda, I chased Sammy around the yard. I have a tenancy to adopt small children for the day in Swaziland, a trait many of my friends are still getting use to. But children make me happy, and they remind me of all my nieces and nephews I miss so much at home. By the end of the night, I was huddled under a blanket in the corner of the veranda with Samuel asleep on my lap, and trixie (the dog) sleeping at my feet. It was the perfect ending to a good day.
Sunday the cyclone finally showed up, but only for long enough to drench everything with rain and drop the temperature. “these are the last few days of summer”, is a phrase I’m still getting use to lately. You can feel winter coming in the air. It is getting colder at night, and warm days are followed by a stretch of cold ones. Although I am not a fan of the cold, it marks my year anniversary in Swaziland. Hard to believe isn’t it? Looking forward to seeing what the next year will bring.