Majestic mountains, green valleys, blooming trees, running rivers (and the risk of being eaten by a crocodile if you go to close to the water).
The PULSE team in South Africa crossed the border this weekend and spent some great days in Swaziland – an independent kingdom with amazing nature and lots of strong traditions.
The PULSE team was filled with new energy and motivation after a nice Easter break and were eager to plan all our upcoming events and work tasks. At our lodge in the beautiful Ezulwini valley, not far from the capital Mbanane, ideas concerning music and health and gender workshops, reports, new research, lesson plans, movies and co-operation projects were developed. We have some exciting months to come!
In addition to all our interesting work tasks we feel privileged to get to know the area we are working in better and better too. In Swaziland we took a nice walk passing a traditional Swati village and a beautiful waterfall. Luckily enough PULSE visited Swaziland during the king´s birthday weekend. A huge public event was arranged to honour the king. We got to see the king, his 13 wifes and his people dressed up in their nicest traditional costumes. The 47 year old majesty got lots of songs, dances and speeches as gifts from his people.
Driving back home to the Free State and to Johannesburg felt nice after a relaxing weekend, but coming back to a country where a lot of violence and xhenofobic attacks are happening is tragic. The recent attacks and killings are totally opposite to the equality Mandela was fighting to achieve for several decades. PULSE finds the recent xhenofobic attacks a huge step back for the Rainbow Nation.
Read more about the attacks here: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/18/africa/south-africa-xenophobia-explainer/
Hanne Johansen and Siri Thorson
Pictures: Siri Thorson