I left South Africa for Minnesota for a couple weeks for work. Besides the weather and being away from P and my puppy it’s lovely to be able to see my family, college friends, and high school friends and their babies. I’m going to use one or two of Minnesota’s 15,000+ lakes to do my running around. I brought a long sleeve mositure wicking shirt and fleece just for this purpose but I hope the cold air doesn’t make my lungs burn and turn my lake running dreams into a nightmare. My South Africanized lungs will have some adjusting to do, but I hope they think the cold weather is a fair trade for the lower altitude.
We had a lovely weekend in Durban full of Indian food, sea food, and photo oppors. I hustled to get some good shots for P’s article and I hope they will suffice. Since we live in land-locked Jozi, it was a special treat to be able to do my running along the ocean. They have a great wiiiide paved sidewalk next to the beach and it’s full of Durbanites working out. If I had an ocean to run next to on a daily basis I imagine I’d do a lot more of it. Life gets crazy over the next month for both P and me so it was nice to chillax together before it all blows up. This week I’ll be working on editing my photos for P’s article and chilling with the dog before we go on a hike for Easter (sadly, mini daxy puppies are not equipped for hardcore hikes).
What kind of expat would I be if I lived in South Africa and didn’t safari as much as possible? A sad one. And what is Land of Nams without a good dose of wildlife photography? Being close to wild animals never gets old. (Okay, it got a little old- since P is now officially a birder. He has a book and everything. A thiiick book.)
We went to Madikwe Game Reserve with my sister and Brian & Kari, lovely friends who were visiting us from Boston. We saw a pack of wild dogs on their morning hunt. Wild dogs are endangered species. And a first! I saw my first wild cheetahs. I don’t have a lot of apex predator firsts anymore and so that was wonderful. Also
terrifying wonderful- being in the middle of a pride of 15 lions while they roared away. At night. Observe:
we headed up to Limpopo with our friends for the long weekend (monday was Heritage Day in here in South Africa), to a big house in the Waterberg. after a torturous drive up (friday after-work traffic before a long weekend is never an easy task), we had an idyllic weekend of lazing, swimming, cooking, eating, game playing and even celebrating my birthday a bit. of course there was also a little wine involved and lots of games. i got some sun on my face to get back in the swing of summer and it was nice to relax after almost a solid year of (very cherished) guests. i didn’t take my camera, but a few shots from my iphone were taken- my favorite is of our friend’s dog Ninja who lazily plopped down in the middle of our game of Viking Chess as if it was the most obvious spot in the world to take a rest. thanks to the homies for a great weekend!
I went on safari and all you got were these photos. We took P’s family to Hluhluwe-Umfolozi and isiMangaliso for safari, and we went deep sea fishing on the Indian ocean. We caught 7 Yellowfin tuna, and we’ve been eating it in all kinds of ways (mostly raw) since then. I continue to be floored by the flora and fauna we come across in South Africa’s national parks. We saw lions but my lens wasn’t powerful enough for a good shot. Maybe, next year it will be! Also, I made you a little stop motion video of a couple mama rhinos and their babies. Enjoy!
our first wedding anniversary is coming up in a few days on August 5th, since we’ll be hosting P’s family starting this Friday, we took last weekend to explore the southern tip of Africa. the past year has gone by SO FAST, it feels like we’ve been married closer to a month than a year. we stood at the bottom of the world on different oceans, ate our weight in oysters and champagne and went on a serious hike through a national park next to the ocean where we were alone with dolphins, almost walked into a blue duikker, and caught a glimpse of a Knysna Lourie. to get positively GUSHY: i feel incredibly lucky, sometimes i can’t believe our life is real.
this one of the songs from our wedding. a few of our talented friends performed it and i was in heaven listening to them.
We spent the weekend in the South African countryside with friends…these weekends usually consist of renting a giant house, eating lots of food, and drinking lots of wine. The scenery in South Africa is casually breathtaking wherever you go (except inside malls and all of Fourways in Johannesburg), and it’s a privilege to live here and enjoy it with friends. Our friends’ ‘puppy’ (a pony sized Rhodesian Ridgeback) has me jones-ing for a puppy of our own. I think P is right that life is too full of travel to be tied down with a dog at the moment. But if a cute one showed up on our doorstep I wouldn’t turn it away.
My Photoshop print series will be back tomorrow…
Two of my best girlfriends have been visiting us for the past two weeks. We went on safari in Kruger and flew down to Cape Town and explored Johannesburg thoroughly. It was a blissful time and I wish your best friends could always be across the hall, a few steps away like they were in college. It was sad to take them to the airport yesterday but if we all lived in the same place we probably wouldn’t have spent the last two weeks spotting lions together in Kruger, wine tasting in the Western Cape and eating meat and pap with our hands at a shisa nyama in Soweto. I feel so thankful that so many of our friends have come and visited us here in South Africa (and when we were in Berlin) and all the priceless memories we have running around the world with them.
Thanks for coming, Anna and Mo! xx
Last Thursday P and I had the privilege of attending the opening of the new Wits Art Museum in Braamfontein. It’s exciting to finally have a proper art museum in Joburg! The first exhibit is called ‘WAM! Seeing Stars’ and is filled with works ranging from bronze statues by Sydney Kumalo, to charcoal drawings by William Kentridge to wooden masks from Nigeria and beadwork from the Eastern Cape.
It’s housed in what was a former petrol station and re-designed by Nina Cohen, Fiona Garson and William Martinson into the current modern beauty, with a lovely view of the Nelson Mandela Bridge. My favorite pieces were a photo of the inside of the Ponte City building and a charcoal piece by William Kentridge that is the left pane of a tryptich. It features a the Businessman from his animations, and on the bottom is noted “London is a suburb of Johannesburg.’ Ha! Indeed.
Scroll your mouse over the picture to get the address and opening hours of WAM, which opens to the public on May 19th.
**For my WAM image I layered three pictures I took of the opening to get a multiple exposure effect, and used the gradient tool to get the pink ombre, as well as the Super Braggadacio font to create a clipping mask in Photoshop, and some html/css code to create the image rollover. The entire(ly tiny) scope of my Photoshop knowledge is entirely because of the lovely blog Pugly Pixel, and how to do all of these things can be found on her generous and helpful blog.