The opinions expressed are mine and do not reflect the positions of the Peace Corps or the US government.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pictures and Perspectives

December 10, 2014

December. Amazing. Some family came to visit last week. It was GLORIOUS! There were so many "best parts" that I can't prioritize them. Here's my best shot:
        Getting to spend time with family from home - being the me they know and I know - not the PCV me. Sharing memories of other family, experiences from long ago, seeing our history in each other's faces and gestures. Experiencing those connections that have ben absent from my life since I've been here. And building new memories to share.
        The sheer joy of having them take the time to come see what my life is like here - an knowing when I return home and say something, they will understand, having experienced it, in a way that will bring me - I'm not sure what, but it will be good.
        Trying to see my world through their eyes. As predicted, my hut is much nicer than they expected. I'm not sure what you, kind readers, imagine...
        And they brought me Peet's coffee!!! I'll love them forever <giggle>! And a keyboard so I can write this blog. And many more goodies that I will appreciate each time I use them - many of them food.
        They had a long journey getting here, so we spent a couple of nights at Mabuda Farm, a working organic farm/B and B/backpackers. It's located on a plateau near Steki, and our veranda overlooked an arroyo stretching down to the low veld below. It's green and lush and quiet, full of bird calls and frog songs.

December 28, 2014
        The year is coming to an end, it's storming, and once again I want to stitch together the crazy quilt of poetry, ideas, and things that fill my days that wind up being my reality these days. I always wait a bit too long to start, of course.
        I spent Christmas out of the fishbowl, alone (by choice), wandering through gardens, along trails, on rocks overlooking the low veld and by a lily pond. Replenishing my soul. Here are some things I wrote:

"...struggling for a way to untangle the me I want to be from the me I had become <before I came here>."

"Fear is a warning. Not a barrier. It's how we interpret what causes fear that guides our steps. And sometimes, trying to avoid what evokes the fear can create much, much more danger."

"Time to allow the softness of acceptance."

Water lily blooms
their roots in mud, leaves afloat,
Sway, faces to sun.

What will life be bringing
When I go home and see
That though I'm not in Swaziland
Forever it's in me?

        Yesterday I invited the kids on my homestead to go for a walk down to the creek where folks wash clothes. Nomile said yes, Siyabonga and Asanda said they'd find us there. Off we went. It's so pretty there, and Nomile was playing in the water. Siyabonga and Asanda arrived and asked if I wanted to go downstream. Sure! We went rock scrambling and bush whacking downstream, then upstream. I did easily as well as the 7 year old <grin>. Siyabonga, the 14 year old self-appointed guide, helped the girls over boulders and crawling through just big enough spaces between those boulders. He showed me a leaf that holds water without absorbing it - a perfect cup or rain hat. He climbed a tree and brought us back berries to share. He showed me where, when the water is not muddy, we could find fish, and pointed out a small crab. He was grand. At the end, he went to watch the cattle and goats and the girls and I came back to the homestead, sweaty and happy. Oh YES!

January, 2015

And as a bonus... a few pictures. Bonnie, the lion pictures are for you <grin>.

Pictures from Hlane Game Preserve


 Oh ho hum.
All right, I've had enough! Time for you t leave.
Land crab kindly allows me to take its picture at Mabuda

The 60's live...

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