Barefoot in the bush: dirty feet equal happy souls

How is it almost mid September already? Where has this entire year gone to? Craziness.

I had such an incredible weekend!! Two good friends of mine from CCF (you might remember them, they visited me not long ago), Tarik and Mel got married! It is definitely something that has been in the plans for a long time now (they have a son together), but Tarik (who is South African) has been struggling to get a UK Visa to move to Wales (where Mel is from) with his family. So boom, they got married and now he can apply for a spouse visa. This was all within about two weeks worth of planning. Luckily for me they decided to have the wedding near Durban which is on the other side of South Africa and it is super cheap to fly within the country. I left Friday morning and flew in to Durban where I met up with Tairk and Mel…… and Samara!!! Woot, my Brazillian BFF from CCF. She moved to Botswana about two weeks ago and was able to fly down for the wedding too!

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We helped get things orgranised and everyone hopped in a SUV and headed up to the wedding location about 5 ½ hours north of Durban at Lake Sibaya. The wedding guest list was small and intimate – Lake Sibaya is literally in the middle of no where and we camped the weekend there. Saturday morning everyone woke up and worked together to prepare food for breakfast and for lunch after the ceremony.

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The campsite was close but still a bit of a hike to the lake so we hopped on top (literally ON TOP) of a Land Rover and drove out to the picturesque Lake Sibaya. For the ceremony everyone sat barefoot in a small circle on the sandy beach of the lake and shared stories about Tarik and Mel’s relationship and love, they exchanged their vows and were married by their dear friend, Paul. It was absolutely beautiful and such a wonderful, relaxed ceremony. Truly unique and so perfect for them. After that we ate an Ethiopian style lunch of injera (Ethiopian flat bread) with lentils, beet root, wat, tsebhi and various other veggies as music was played by portable speakers. On the opposite side of the bank you could see hippos basking in the sun (my first wild hippo sighting!!!!) The evening was spent back at the campsite dancing, sharing stories and enjoying each other’s company.

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I woke up early Sunday morning and went on a little walk barefoot through the bush with a random kitty companion who decided the join me. It was so refreshing to relax and think as I watch the sunrise. I missed being in the bush more than I realised.

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As the rest of the group started to wake up and move around we cooked breakfast over the fire and played a fun round of Kubb. Its a game from… Switzerland (I think) where basically you knock over sticks with sticks. We use to play at CCF all the time. Sam and I packed up and headed back to Durban with Yusuf and Zaheer. Zaheer took us down to the beach and gave a wonderful little tour of Durban. We even saw some hammerhead sharks that had come off the ocean and into one of the little inlet canals! I had planned to go to bed early that night, but couldn’t resist one last night of chatting and catching up with Sam. Monday morning came quick though and I had to hop on a 6am flight back to Cape Town and then made my way straight to the office just in time for a full work day. Exhausted, but completely worth it!

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I am heading back that way, just about 40km or so from the lake on Monday at a reserve called Tembe, where I will be living and conducting my field work for the next six weeks! I absolutely cannot wait. My soul longs to be back in the bush. I will have extremely limited internet access, so I may be able to do a post every now and then but there is also a chance you might not hear from me in about six weeks.

I hope you have a nice life. 😉

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