“sho” – its been awhile. we’ve been in south africa for a few months now and i am happily integrating south african slang into my everday speech. skype with me and count how often i coo ‘shame’ at you to express something sad or positive. i understand its frequent.
since i last wrote, bryce and i have submitted our business plan and have been waiting for news. after weeks of writing and much reviewing, i’m excited about what we’ve created. it lies at the intersection of tourism, conservation and community development. feeling a bit fatigued from straight aid, the opportunity to create quality jobs, learning opportunities and a broader support network is well, thrilling. with investors jumping on africa for the newly cited economic potential, i hope this lodge could be come a leader in the power of enterprise for development and conservation.
anyway – we find out about that in the fall. so, we wait.
immediately after submitting the proposal, we headed down to durban to get launched into the world of southern african tourism at INDABA. it was an absolutely massive gathering of the industry, making it informative and exhausting. moz’s area of the trade show was teensie, with three of the four safari camps represented alongside a handful of beach lodges. each person we spoke with could only reiterate that they too saw loads of potential in the couuntry, and that we were on the right track. each had a pearl of advice to add, which is helping us to build a more complete picture of the country.
overwhelmed by city life (and horrified at the kennel josa was checked into), we scurried out of durban as quickly as we could. having stopped in st lucia – a town on the biggest estuary in africa – we thought we’d head back there for a few days (… or a month). we were waiting on a timeframe for hearing back from the proposals (“surely it will come tomorrow”) so life in st lucia became quite simple. the town offers plenty of pet-friendly walking trails, which are oddly hard to come by. it took a few days (bryce may say weeks) for me to stop panicking about imminent leopard, hippo and crocodile attacks on these walks, but eventually i could start to see the beauty in the area. its not every day you’re able to walk on foot through herds of zebra, wildebeest and impala. beyond our walks, there were hobbies to catch up on: photoshop, running, pushups, dying hair, reading and that damn candy crusher game on my ipad – total pros.
a month of early retirement passed quickly with no news on the proposal, we decided to head to the mountains. an antsy feeling was creeping up and we needed to make plans for moving forward – figured a change of scenery and temperature ought to do it. i had recently gotten into the masters of social work program at calgary and needed to decide if i was going to wrap up this african chapter or not (… ended up with a not). but, more on future plans soon. josa was recently spayed and it has become a full time job to keep her quiet since she seemingly feels no pain.