May 30, 2012

We spent last weekend in the Ezulwini Valley of Swaziland for the epic Bushfire festival. The entire trip was such an amazing experience but the festival itself was something else. The annual Bushfire music and arts festival is held at House on Fire, an eclectic performance and art space in the heart of rural Swaziland. Here we spent two days listening and dancing to African music, checking out local art and drinking far too many "john deeres". Highlights included the extremely talented Swazi Nancy G & the Human Family, classic Afropop Mango Groove and, our definite favourite, Napalma made up of members from Brazil and Mozambique.

On our way to the festival we came across the town of Bulembu just over the Swaziland border. Bulembu was abandoned in 2001 when the mining company that had operated there for decades ceased operations. With no jobs, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the orphan crisis the town essentially shut down. Today volunteer organizations have taken over, creating a thriving and vibrant self-sustaining community. It was incredible to see the transformation and to explore this would-be ghost town. We also sold maize at R's farm, visited another shisa nyama and picked up ten hitchhikers outside of Bulembu, so all in all a pretty stellar African weekend!

This coming weekend Chelsea's road tripping to Durban to watch our friend Murray run Comrades and Charlotte is moving into her and R's new house in White River. Then straight after we fly to Cape Town and then only a week after that Chelsea's heading back to Canada. Time flies...but we won't think about that quite yet.

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