It is hard to put into words the experience I have had thus far in South Africa… I have felt more relaxed and connected to myself and my energy than I have in a very long time…
The latter part of last week was spent with Eliss and Ariel who came down from Maritzburg to play in Durban. We enjoyed introducing them to “Joe Cools” (a great bar/restaurant on the beach front) and had a great time playing in the cool night air as we attempted to take jumping photos by the ocean. After that we enjoyed Savannahs and tequila shots at “The Keys” while warming up our vocal chords for Karaoke Night at “The Lounge”. “The Lounge” is a welcoming gay club that hosts a city-famous Karaoke night every Thursday. At first, I was totally intimidated by the talent of those singing but found myself relaxing as I settled into the light-hearted atmosphere. The girls started off our Karaoke career with the ever popular “Love On Top” by Beyonce.. it was a tad rough to say the least. Sihle then inquired whether I knew a long list of famous duets and when he suggested “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum, I timidly agreed to join him in a Karaoke performance. I can’t remember the last time I sang with that much pride and so little self-doubt. I am so grateful to have made a friend like Sihle who has pushed me to identify with parts of my self that I have long felt lost. It feels so good to just sing – and even better when you’re making music with others. Anita’s always a pleasant addition to our “Blue Moon” rendition.
After we said goodbye to Eliss and Ariel, we instantly jumped into planning our first holiday. Sihle is from the South Coast of Durban and offered to help us find a place to stay near his hometown in Port Shepstone. Bisola, Sihle, and I decided to invite “the Canadians” (aka Lexi and Sam). So we booked a flat on the beach and rented a car to leave the next morning. The drive down the coast was unbelievably gorgeous and we sang practically the whole way there. We arrived around 6pm and dropped our bags only to sprint right back outside and make our way to the beach. The Indian Ocean is so beautiful. Our time on the Hibiscus Coast was relaxing and just what we needed to make our transition into “South Africa Time” even more official. We made new friends, had a delicious braai, and returned to Durban with impressive sun burns. Leaving was hard, but our return to campus has been exciting as our res has become more crowded and the grounds are more lively. We cannot wait to return to Port Shepstone again and go back to Sihle’s church and have his brothers teach us cricket.
Since my last post I have come to the realization that this journey has asked for my patience and given me much more in return. From the moment I climbed into Mom’s car (for the first time) bound to Dulles Airport, this journey has asked me to take my expectation and throw them out the window and just wait. Which, as many of my friends know – is not an easy thing for me to do. Then, with numerous flight delays and inevitable changes to our travel itinerary, we arrived in Durban to only wait and hope our bags would eventually arrive. Add a heavy dose of “South Africa Time” and it’s likely to assume I have had my fair share of practicing “patience” thus far.
Yet, in these unusually paced experiences has come growth. I have begun to really let go. I have stopped checking the time all together, and manically checking my iCal app. I have come to terms with just being. I have learned so much about myself in this short time; especially in regards to my ability to be patient and just let go. I am totally on “South Africa Time” now. There has been so much reward in just easing into the moment and letting people into my life. The experiences I have had have been unexpected but just what I needed. I cannot wait for what the rest of this journey will bring… but it may be hard to do work after so much relaxation!
But for tonight – Lalani Kahle! (goodnight in Zulu)