To Market, To Market…And Stay on the Left!

Sawubona (hello in SiSwati)

After feeling cabin fever at home for weeks in Mbabane without a car while awaiting paperwork to buy one, we finally tracked down a rental car company, so I’ve been exploring!  Sitting on the right, driving on the left, and shifting gears with my left hand has proven to be an exercise in concentration. Add in the free-roaming cows and pedestrians who loiter in the middle of the roads and highways, and you have a driving challenge, I tell you!

There are so many wonderful markets, from vegetable stalls to arts and crafts, hand-woven baskets, and blown glass. Here are a few recent finds:

Elephant painting by local artist, Pia Smith.

IMG_1410 The Swazi Candle Factory is well known in South Africa for their intricate designs. The tables outside of the shop were full of beautiful hand-made carvings and batiks

The path to Yebo Art Gallery, a new favorite creative spot to visit:

A peacock showing off near Ngwenya Glass, Swaziland’s premiere glass-blowing boutique

Local table decor to spruce up our very beige dining room (flowers are from our yard): IMG_2834The stone carving below is by an artist named Moses, who explained how the “Big Five” are emerging out of a tree.  The baskets were made by a woman named Patricia, who has a fierce love of America and our President, (whose portrait was worn proudly on her skirt, perhaps not in the most reverent place).

and lastly, a home-cooked meal made with all locally-sourced ingredients. The avocados here are especially abundant and delicious.


Until next time, enjoy the ride, no matter the mode of transportation…


Sala kahle,


4 thoughts on “To Market, To Market…And Stay on the Left!

  1. I would love to see the glassblowing and the candle factory. I have seen glassblowing but never making candles. I bet that was fascinating. I think peacocks on my favorite birds… Well next to the hummingbirds. I love the elephant painting at the top. So many fun things to do and see. Love you sharon


  2. Loved the art work, especially the batiks of the elephants and giraffes. I am not much of a statue fan but I have seen a few Russian works that appeal to me quite a bit.

    What is Pia Smith’s story? Is she a lost Euro-African or attached to the Embassy somehow? What are the price ranges for some of the stuff, for example the batiks.

    If you can tell the stories of some of the people you meet: Like where are they from, how did they get to Africa and how is it they came to do the artistic work they do. That would be fun to know, from time to time (and only if you have time).

    Loved the photos, too, especially the foot bridge–just superb (save that one). Ramsay’s photos are wonderful. Can you imagine a bigger, more wonderful, flower than a purple one, in Africa, on a long green stick?

    It seemed to not want to “hurt” it but it might be a nice snack anyway.

    Your compositions are exceptional, by the way. It seems so lush there that one could almost dish up the earth in a pot, heat it over a fire and eat it.

    Nature is quite a colorist there. That makes all the difference in the visual arts–colors not squeezed out of a tube: cobalt blue, yellow ochre, cadmium red, and titanium white; mix ’em up and then, and then, learn to paint gray it all it’s many its “spendorific” nuances. Composition hangs together with a simple palette, like that one; and, one might be able to capture some of the subtleness without knocking you off the chair. What colors!

    No one does it either, these days, so if you have time, give it a try.

    Nice stuff Starry.



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