Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Road to Swaziland Epic, Part One

Sunday: rain came about an hour before I left behind Winterton, the Drakensberg Mountains, and Sofi's farm that sat between them. I was sitting in the local Zulu church. A visiting pastor was giving a sermon; the main point seemed to be that if you supported the church his God-granted power would cure you of AIDS. The storm showed up as he was speaking and as his voice rose, so did the rain. Soon you would have thought it was hail, though it was just drops — the biggest drops I've ever seen.

I had washing on the line that I'd done by hand at six in the morning, hoping that the early sun would dry it some before I left. It was soaking when I packed it. It still is now; I just managed to hang it on a covered clothesline when I got into my family-run hostel. Now I'm attempting to dry out.

There's really not much else to tell. A couple days before I left we blessed a couple of creches; it felt very odd to be standing in a preschool building that would be condemned back home, while
the others sung and shook their hands and prayed. They just don't use faith for this kind of thing where I come from.

I said goodbye to everybody I'd met in the Berg. I wanted to get a gift or two for Sofi and Betsy, my hosts (and very gracious ones), but all the shops were closed on Sunday. I'll have to send pictures instead. I wonder how easy I could send prints back to SA?

By the way, so you can track my progress more easily, here is the outline of how my last two weeks in Africa will go. My internship is over; I'm on my own. I doubt everything will work out as scheduled, because it's Africa, but it will be a great trip anyway.

The Gameplan:

4/20: Hitch Baz Bus on the first leg of my Swaziland Trip! Arrive in Durban around 6:00 PM. Party or something. Get to bed - bus leaves early next morning.

4/21-22: Get up early and grab the bus out again. Spend two days in Isinkwe Backpackers near the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Try to see the Big 5 of African animals.

23-25 Apr: Another Baz Bus ride. Heading for SWAZILAND! Just like South Africa, except that everyone tells you it's what Africa is really like. Travelling out of KwaZulu-Natal, whose biggest music festival is American country-genred, I'm hoping it will prove true.

26: Grab Baz Bus once again and ride it into the sunrise, etc. Destination: Johannesburg. Spend the day working on my research paper and the night socializing.

27: Grab a flight to Cape Town. The place where things happen:

Final week: Finish work. Write something for Evergreen's campus newspaper, maybe. Other plans include a hike to the summit of Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Many big-city adventures in between.

4 May: Plane back to Seattle and the luxuries of home. Must get tattoo before this date so everyone knows that I've undergone X Y and Z life-changing overseas experiences.

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