Monthly Archives: January 2019

A wedding, a stranger and a memorable encounter

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Encounters are interesting. Random ones that is. Work in an industry like this and you’re bound to have a lot of them. You meet people; all sorts of strangers with backpacks and suitcases of stories to tell. If you hold the conversation long enough, way past the pleasantries and formalities; you’re likely to unearth a lifetime of memories that leave you feeling somewhat different. Prospectively shifted. I have worked in the hotel industry for almost two years now and let’s just say a receptionist is as good as a bartender; with the right amount of politeness and a smile wide enough to brighten a dimly lit room; anyone can tell you anything. What inspired this blog post you might ask; well, one particular encounter of course. It was a gloomy day. Cold rainy, wet weather that I don’t like. I had barely gotten enough sleep and yet there I was running around sorting out last minute wedding preps and I hadn’t even had a cup of wake-up caffeine yet. Let me bring you up to speed; the Mountain Inn has a sister hotel called the Emafini Country Lodge. That is where the encounter took place. A random day, work as usual. People had already started arriving for the festivities; sound guys moving equipment in, bridesmaids running around in a frenzy. Commotion of all sorts but I sat in the middle of the chaos, oblivious to it all. Or rather purposefully oblivious. Carefully minding my business but lifting my head up…

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Hikes and summits: A Sibebe experience

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I’ve climbed Sibebe before. And yeah I may have contemplated my life choices while hiking and wandered off the trail a few times till I got lost, but I’ve climbed Sibebe before. Hold on to that; its important information. It’s a victory. I honestly don’t think you can be from this country and not have at least one experience of seeing the view from the summit. And I say at least because you can’t possibly hike this monolith once. Okay, maybe that might be a dramatic stretch, but at least step onto the trail and quit halfway if you must. So, I have climbed Sibebe before and I’m proud of that. It’s gruelling, challenging, exhausting but the feeling you get when you’re standing at the top looking down at the valley below; priceless. It was second year when I hiked it. Might be a while ago and no I won’t expose my age, but just stay with me. I’m going somewhere with this. Second year. My design lecturer gave us the intriguing assignment of conceptualising an eco-tourism resort for Sibebe; you know, the world’s second largest exposed granite dome Sibebe. Gruelling Sibebe. Challenging Sibebe. Pretty psychic right? Not. It was only really a matter of time before a resort actually was created for the iconic landmark. It was only fitting. As per project outline, we had to visit the rock in order to get our creative (as well as logical) juices flowing. I recall how I didn’t even have the…

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Foreign languages and a suitcase of memories: Why we all need to travel at least once in our lifetime.

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“não falo português” I managed to scramble out. The cashier standing in front of me looked mighty confused. Maybe I was saying it wrong, so I tried again; this time with a deeper pronunciation of each word. “não falo português” Slowing letting the words crawl out of my lips and into the musty air. Here I was, 38 Mozambican degrees out, painfully holding up a cue in a convenient store, struggling to piece together a simple sentence. I don’t speak Portuguese, is all I was trying to say and all I wanted was for someone to understand me. I’d been in Mozambique for close to a week now and this was my first solo trip out in the city. My first solo trip and I was failing at it dismally. My cousin, who was now an honorary Mozambican and a quite fluent in the language, had given me a few meticais and pushed me out of her UN office door. “Go explore” She had said and man the thought of all that freedom in one of the most colourful places on the continent had felt so exciting. And it was. I’d spent hours hopping from one street to the next. Pulling out my camera for a selfie or two every now and then and occasionally greeting a smiling local. Flavia, her housekeeper had spent the better part of the first two days of my visit teaching me basics of the language to help me navigate the city. But now, here…

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The Eswatini bucket list you cannot end your summer without

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What an interesting December it has been, with weather that’s been a tropical somersault, adventures that have been exhilarating and experiences that are totally worth writing home about. If you visited Eswatini this festive season, we have absolutely enjoyed hosting you in our pristine little country and although the post-Christmas days mark a looming end to your holiday, let me reassure you that the fun isn’t entirely over yet. Summer is only in its prime and because we understand how much you enjoy creating memories for your hearts and socials too; we have put together a list of six must see places you cannot end your holidays without. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary I am super outdoorsy and a self-proclaimed nature freak too so there was no way I could have a list that didn’t have a nature reserve in it. Just think horse riding through rugged bush, hiking up scenic trails, cycling through the veld, visiting watering holes or simply enjoying a sunset game drive; That’s Mlilwane for you. Take a short right off the MR103 just before the Mahlanya Market and open yourself up to one of the country’s most beloved reserves. Although you won’t spot the big five there, as they only have small game, you will still undeniably find a tranquillity that is indescribably unmatched. Malolotja Tree top canopy Look, I’m no adrenaline junkie or anything like that, but I know a good thrill when I see it and the canopy tour might as well be considered synonymous….

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Happy Holidays with a Swazi twist

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I’m quite the Christmas person. Seriously. By Mid-November I’m already singing carols and asking when the tree is being put up. So of course, this year by default wasn’t supposed to be any different. The thing is, I was raised in a very sentimental home. Our family adopted a culture of celebrating everything. And I really mean EVERYTHING. Therefore, when the TV ads and the city started to a look a lot like Christmas, I should’ve been caught up in the hype of it too. But somehow, this year, I felt no excitement for the conventional happy holidays that the media has grown so accustomed to selling us. You know, the one where Santa is King and we are all putting up the same décor and excited about the same typical seven colour customary lunch. This year, this girl was feeling open to something different. Or better yet, something new. I had spent the entire year planning a trip with my best friend. We had chosen Maputo as our destination and after counting coins and checking savings we were ready to pack our bags and head on out. I wasn’t planning the trip because I was trying avoid the usual family crowd that seemed to have the same criteria of nosey questions as you got older. From back in university, struggling through a semester and being asked how school is going, to being a working millennial who seems to have everything moving as milestones should yet no plus one at…

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