Traipsing & Documenting

Well, after not writing for far too long, especially for someone on holiday, I finally get a chance to update.  I had the most wonderful adventure in Australia even though my hopes to blog through it came to naught as there was less time than I’d hoped available to be alone, to sit & reflect.  So I took the pressure of myself to document each aspect, & just soaked in the people & experiences.  I don’t know how many of you ever have time to sit & think about your days, to write or ‘debrief’, being cognisant of the seasons & circumstances you find yourselves in?  Its not something I’ve made a habit of, but it is a goal of mine to carve out time for that, even a few minutes – an attempt not to let life pass me by without my acknowledging its richness or being grateful for its many joys.

During our trip I took copious notes & observed Australian society keenly a lot of the time, my anthropological background seeping through! (I majored in Anthropology at UCT which not only fuelled my existing love for people watching & social analysis, but gave me some great tools & ways of learning from different societies.).  Hence there will be many Aussie posts to follow, hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as if they’d been written ‘live’ from down under.  It is so similar there & yet simultaneously so different to what I have known before, living in Zim & South Africa (& visiting a few other places), an interesting glimpse into life in the First World for this African girl.

Speaking of Africa and of visiting other places, I find myself  sitting on a farm outside Lusaka, Zambia – completely unexpectedly.  I had planned to settle back into the comforts of Cape Town life after our time away, & write / blog to my hearts content, with coffee & the internet at my fingertips.  Instead I am staying outside a city with limited access to expensively slow internet cafes which serve weak bitter coffee & dry baked goods (noteworthy for someone with a significant appreciation for cake).  My husband & I have joined a small team of Australian farmers who are visiting Zambia for the first time, who we’ve connected with through a church in Aus.  We are all staying with old friends of Ashley’s (husband), he lived here for a short time years ago & has made many subsequent trips & has business interests here.  We have a bunch of different meetings scheduled (as much as one can schedule in an African city); from local farmers & businessmen to pastors & government officials.  I am certain I’m going to learn a lot – though I’m not quite sure about what just yet!  I was in decadent Melbourne only a week ago & can barely get my head around how different these trips are already.

My ‘A’ Level English teacher, a smoking battle axe of whom I was very fond, taught us that a good principle for writing was to capture “emotion recollected in tranquillity”.  While I have found this to be a most helpful reminder not to blurt or rant too much when I write (essential for creating good reading material!) – I feel compelled to write more regularly & record the journey I am on.  Leave emotions for too long & they seem to lose their lustre; the product is not nearly as present or dramatic – nor as fun to read.  Sure some days, some experiences, will hold their shine – but there is so much delight in the seemingly mundane too, & that’s the stuff I’m trying to pin down I guess.

That’s my quick catch up for now, to explain the radio silence a bit & let you know that I’m looking forward to retelling the tales of my wonderful few weeks visiting the husbands’ homeland, as well as sharing whatever the next 2 weeks bring.

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4 thoughts on “Traipsing & Documenting

  1. Traipsing indeed! Sheesh! Hope it’s totally AWE-SUM! (said like the little hamster in Bolt). I would like some writing tips from you sometime.

  2. Ah miss tess… I can’t wait to hear about your adventures… I make my first visit to “my” Australian’s homeland in Dec (if our dreaming turns into reality…) before coming back to CT in Jan… Dum dum dummmm!!! Anyhow… perhaps I should email instead of taking over your blog with my life story… let me know when you’re back in CT. Would be good to chat 🙂 *

  3. Sounds awesome Tess, wow! What an adventure 🙂

    Not sure if you’ve done this already – but you’ll need a yellow fever injection to get back into SA – recently passed for all those travelling to Zambia and back into SA.

    Keep blogging 🙂

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