Monday, November 17, 2008

Royal Swazi Spa

Yesterday marked exactly 4 weeks until Mum, Graeme (my step-dad) and sister, Rachel arrive. Let me tell you, I am counting down the days. I cannot wait to see them. Not only will it be great to show them Swaziland, but it will also mean that I am one step closer to going home to Australia. I am ready to go home. I don’t know how much more fortitude I have left. I’ve even decided that I’m probably not even going to bother telling you of all the despair I see on a daily basis- you’re probably tired of it. I know I am.
The weekend was good. Saturday was Julia’s last weekend in Swaziland and we wanted to make it special for her before she returns to the States on Thursday. She rented out a cottage on Mabuda Farm and she invited Chris, Susan and I there as well as 6 local boys (aged 8-16). She has held a “games night” every Friday for these boys for the past 12 months she has been here and she wanted to give them a treat as her departing gift. They swam in the pool (I just potted around with the horses, cows and kittens) and then we all had a braai (African style BBQ) for dinner. Susan brought her laptop and iPod along and we were able to listen to some music. I cannot tell you how uplifting it was for me to hear music- it has been a very long time and I miss the enjoyment it gives me. Susan had some Motown on her playlist and I actually got up and had a little dance. I was just so happy! The beauty about my time here in Swaziland is that I have been completely uninhibited in just being myself. I can listen to daggy music and my friends here still think I’m pretty cool. I can openly admit that I think “The Sound of Music” is the best film ever made and no one rolls their eyes. I wear my ordinary clothes and my nurses think I have the most fashionable wardrobe in the country. The love my friends have for me is unconditional and it’s liberating to just be myself without having people trying to “improve me” or show me how to be more fashionable or what music I would be “cooler” to listen to.
We had fun with the group of boys- we simply had a few balloons that we spent ages trying to keep in the air. We danced and I even taught them Australian anthem and “Give me a home amongst the gum trees…”

On Sunday, 6 of us crowded into Susan’s small, 5 seater Micra to go to Manzini. Incredibly dangerous, but given that the locals pile into the back of utes and trucks etc- when in Rome…..
Thankfully we arrived safely. Kristen and Andrew had to go to a Peace Corp function whilst Chris, Julia, Susan and I went onto the “Royal Swazi Spa” Let me tell you, this place is not representative of Swaziland- it is over the top opulence and it was fabulous. It just screams luxury and I actually felt somewhat out of place. This discomfort soon vanished when I was served my cappuccino in the fine china (hooray- my stomach has now settled enough tolerate it) and then I enjoyed my salad with grilled houlumi cheese. The piece de resistance was the spa. I was desperate to have some waxing done and I took my chances to see if they had an appointment at short notice. I nearly jumped for joy when they took me into the sanctuary where the lighting was dim, soft music was filtered through the rooms and the colours all muted and inviting. It really is a shame that instead of having a massage, facial, total body exfoliation or body wrap, I had hair ripped out of me, but let me tell you- I felt like a new woman afterwards. I felt somewhat ashamed that such an unnecessary indulgence made me feel so good, but it has been hard on me not having me usual creature comforts I have back at home (I suspect it has been hard on my local beauty salon back home not having my regular patronage). It really was a lovely day and something I will remember fondly.
Shame I had to come back to work….