Get a little Xhosa

As I sit waiting for what I hear is about the fifth major winter storm since Christmas, I feel warm and content inside my cozy apartment and even more so as I bask in the afterglow of my holiday in South Africa. What a rich time!Lesotho

Glen (my guy) and Jenna (his colleague) went home a day earlier than I did and missed my show in Cape Town. At the Friendly Society Cafe I performed Transfigurations and Doin’ Time with Peterson Toscano. We had a PACKED house, which even surprised the organizers as everything shuts down during the summer holidays. The audience that evening, a diverse mix of people, reminded me of the diversity of the 3 weeks traveling around the rest of South Africa.

Drakensburg, South Africa

Home in rural Lesotho

We packed in a lot in a short time and went to both urban and remote rural settings including Lesotho, the mountainous country that is completely landlocked by South Africa.

There we walked up into the mountains further to view rock paintings drawn Peterson in Lesothomany many years ago. We also visited some of the towns people and even enjoyed some home brew.

After our time in Lesotho and Drakensburg Mountains, we traveled to the Wild Coast to an area called Transkei (which sounds like Trans Guy, so every time someone said, “We’re going to see Transkei,” I was like, “Wait, we’re going to Northampton, MA???”)

Transkei is Xhosa country with brightly colored Xhosa children in Transkeiround houses and gorgeous beaches with warm water from the Indian Ocean. I enjoyed getting tossed around by the strong waves as I watched the surfers. We swam a lot and on New Years Eve, as we watched the moon reflected on the water, we witnessed dolphins leaping around the wild waves. I took this as a good omen for the new year.

By the time we reached Transkei and the Mdumbi Backpackers, where we stayed, I had a serious hankering for traditional food–chopped greens and corn meal. At a Shebeen, a local bar, a woman prepared us food. Xhosa girl

As we waited for the food children, came by and entertained us with songs and games. The Mdumbi Backpackers has partnered with the local community to benefit the village economically they provide a cultural component for visitors. We learned firsthand about Xhosa culture in this part of the world from the people in the village as we walked around, visited with adults and children and spent time just being without the distraction of the Internet. Oh and it was BEAUTIFUL!Jenna and Glen waiting for lunch

Although it was a bit of a wait, when the food finally came it was DELICIOUS, one of our best meals. Afterward we took kayaks up river and saw birds and jumping fish and people fishing.

Below are some more images from our trip and then some video. The first video shows a panoramic view of our party in Lesotho. I simply scanned the scene and only afterward I realized I caught a man peeing. (See if you can find him!). The second video captures some of the singing of the children in the Xhosa village. Enjoy!
Mdumbi Backpackers

Xhosa Village by the sea

Grazing in the Transkei

Ocean, beach and goat



This post has 6 Comments

  1. peggy parsons on January 11, 2009 at 5:20 am

    OMy! Xhosa children sing “monkeys jumping on the bed” in English! It must be a universal song!

  2. Eric from springleap on January 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

    What beautiful pictures! Sorry to let you know, but the weather in Cape Town is absolutely perfect today.

  3. p2son on January 11, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Eric, we have a few cm of snow at the moment and I will walk to Quaker Meeting (although almost no one will be there because they banned parking on the streets so they can clear the roads)

    Peggy, I never heard of this Monkeys Jumping on the Bed song. May be universal but I somehow missed it (but then again while trapped in the ex-gay movement, I missed most popular music from 1985-1995.) So many gaps, so little time…

  4. GreenEyedLilo on January 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Peterson, the pictures are beautiful and the kids are adorable! Makes me wanna go!

    The “Monkeys” song is a kid’s one. I used to sing it to my brother all the time when he was little.

  5. Whittier on January 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Aw, the kids are so cute! They sang the song with a slightly different rhythm and slightly different words from how I learnt it.

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