Reading through my journal, 2014 has already brought so many wonderful new experiences. Our time living abroad feels like life is on fast-forward, so we really try to be present and feel thankful for these kinds of moments:
- sampling new Swazi and South African dishes: impala, pap, warthog, and ox tail
- the moving, resonant, and harmonic voices of just six people attending an evening church service; their sound burst through the silence with gorgeous, powerful, a cappella song that filled the room
- A hippo and crocodile cruise in St. Lucia’s iSimangaliso Wetland Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and sleeping under mosquito netting in a cabin that feels like you’re in the jungle
- the concept of the lodge “honesty bar, ” where you drink what you like in an outside lounge area, write it down, and get charged when you check out
- playing with our toddler in tidal pools formed by the Indian Ocean, watching the joy of his daily discoveries, wonderment of life, and reminders to all of us to be child-like and PLAY
- fragrant Victoria St. Market in Durban; a maze of beaded sandals, wooden carvings clothing, jewelry, painted ostrich eggs, and woven baskets
- being treated like family at a coffee roaster in a litchi orchard in Salt Rock, South Africa, where they are “mad for a gorgeous cuppa”
- the adrenaline rush and phenomenal views from a first micro flight over Ballito
- Driving on highway R541 called “The Genesis Route,” tied to the origins of our planet and the idea that all humans share an African heritage. 3.5 billion-year-old rocks in Makhonjwa mountain range are amongst the most ancient in the world. (let that sink in for a second. Wow, right)?
- Discovering Vetiver grass roots, which smell divine, and loving the beautiful nests into which the roots are woven
- Visiting Jane Goodall’s Chimp Eden, a bit disappointed not to have time for a tour, but then heading back to the car and spotting a group of giraffes (called a “tower,” which seems aptly named, as they do tower, and grandly so). Just free roaming, wild and out in the open. Stunning.