Finally, my whole self – mind, body & spirit are one the road. My mind mostly, and a little of my spirit, wasn’t fully in it the first day (my body obviously showed up 100℅). Still adjusting to the abrupt change of pace, from navigating my days by foot to navigation by truck. From sleeping in a bed to constructing and sleeping in a tent each night. From having my own time to sharing all my time with a group of then strangers, now friends. Continue reading “Into The Wild”
I’m going for my daily walk from Muizenberg to Kalk Bay, taking in the ocean, waves breaking on rocks, surfers gliding into shore, sun beating on the back of my neck. I think I dreamed that I lived in New York once, that I used to run around Central Park, walk the streets of Manhattan. It’s funny how with time, even hard moments can become sweet memories, filed away, somewhere in between here and there.
What if I’d never left? What if I had missed this experience? Hot tears fall from behind my sunglasses, guarding my emotion from bypassers, workers on the side of the street. Could it be possible I was so afraid to leave? So afraid of leaving my friends and the comfort of my home, afraid of being alone?
I can’t imagine my life without this experience. I had to be here, where else would I be? How foolish my fears seem now. My life here couldn’t be fuller. I’ve pulled more all nighters here than I did in the last 3 years of my twenties. I’ve fallen in love, thrown axes, climbed mountains, gotten hurt (fluid drained from my knee – gross), laughed until I cried, taught yoga on a cement playground scattered with glass, got licked by a giraffe, saw a shark, sun bathed on a beach surrounded by African penguins (pretty sure one tried to mate with me too), and learned precious lessons about culture and history – the reality of peoples struggles.
I’ve made countless friends in South Africa, and I’ve been anything but lonely. What if I had missed it? I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that I came here. I’m not running away, I’m running into the world, into new experiences. Travel has completely changed my life.
Perhaps my experience in Cape Town will not be again as it is in this moment. Perhaps I’ll never again see the people I’ve met here. I’m not melancholy, but overwhelmed at the beautiful moments I’ve had. Even in the hard times when I’ve questioned what I’m doing here, sad times, uncomfortable moments, I wouldn’t want to have missed the experience.
I had already taught 2 classes, been bitten by a slobbery baby, gotten my hair pulled, braided, and tied in knots, and it’s my last kids yoga class of the day- I’m out. I finally get all the kiddos to make a circle (ten minutes later) when I feel a little hand grabbing my leg. I go to brush the hand away so I could teach, a little annoyed, and then saw the culprit. Continue reading “Azola”
“Close your eyes”
Uh, alright. I can feel the group of 8-10 year old eyes looking intently my face. I open my eyes to thier intrigued glances. Perfect almond shaped brown eyes studying me.
“Close them again” Continue reading “Purple”
This week I went out of my comfort zone a bit and joined a drum circle (when in Africa). I took my place in the circle, totally inexperienced, and nervously glanced at my fellow drummers. They smiled at me, amused, the curious white girl, and started hammering out a beat.
Watching their fast hands, I tried to follow along. Bom, bom, pat. A little rusty at first (drumming quietly so they couldn’t hear my irregular beat), but I picked it up watching their hands and started pounding it it out on my drum, hitting the middle, tapping the sides. My hands sting, my mind wonders, arms ache, this is kind of hard, but to keep the beat you must pay attention. “See? It’s natural,” says the leader. I laugh, “maybe for you!!”
Our drum circle grows and I catch the more complex beats quickly. A dog trots in with something in his mouth. Piece of trash or dead bird? I lose the beat again. Focus. A girl starts dancing in the middle. Drumming is almost meditative, like running. You have to find your flow and just go with it- let it take you. A Rasta walks in with a fancy drum and shows us all up. I pick up his beat and he gives me his drum- his beautiful, brand new drum he just made. I can feel my face turning fifty shades of red.
Theres an intimacy in music. When you are playing with someone and you make eye contact, it’s like a special bond, an intense connection holding you in that moment together. The Rasta looked into my eyes as we played together and I resisted the urge to look down, or look away. My hands throb, sting, but don’t stop moving. I’m in it. We play for hours. I feel the beat, the vibrations of the drum, my hands move fast, instintivly.
So, I love drumming! I didn’t even know. Every time I try something new I learn a little more about myself.
Over the past few weeks in South Africa, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many people from my Uber driver to fellow train passengers, park rangers, and retailers. The majority are migrants from surrounding counties such as Zimbabwe and Namibia. So, I started asking questions. Continue reading “Migrants Matter”
Alright, South Africa- you finally won me over. For whatever reason my first week here I was feeling a bit off, uncomfortable about where I was and what I was doing. It doesn’t feel like what I know of Africa here, it’s more Western, developed, and there are a bunch of white people that speak English (I’m not a muzungu anymore). Maybe I should have gone somewhere (like Tanzania) that I’m more comfortable? Continue reading “Game On”
So, as per usual, my ‘plans’ don’t go as planned. I most certainly do not have anything figured out. I might be a experienced traveler, but that doesn’t really mean much, and sometimes I’m still a hot mess. Day one of my journey and I’ve managed to barely sleep the past few nights, get a cold, leave my laptop charger at home, and someone thought it was a good idea to set up a new phone late the night before they caught their early morning flight. Continue reading “O, Canada”
While this phrase has many meanings, I think it’s so appropriate to describe how I feel/what I’m experiencing at the moment. I’m in between, and being in between can be hard and confusing. I’ve experienced and explored this before in all my life moves (there’s been a lot). Leaving a place is hard as you are letting go, and the space in between before you transition to something new can be a rather uncomfortable place. Being in between in general, whether its between cultures, people, places can be complicated. Continue reading “The Space Between”