Thursday, April 26, 2012

#ThrowbackThursday Deephouse, New Friends, and a serious roadtrip!

I haven't posted in forever, call me lazy *kanye shrug* or what have you, but a nudge from a friend reminded me that maybe people care what I have to say on this thing so I'll be doing a retro-post every Thursday:) I'll also be posting on tumblr to give me an out on days where my brain doesn't feel like constructing witty sentences for your perusal lol.

I journeyed to South Africa to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Durban, a city on the eastern side of the South African coast home to Zulus, Xhosa, and descendants of both British and Dutch colonial rule. The city is also home to South Africa's largest Indian community, brought over as workers in the 1860's by the British.

Let me backtrack and say that the decision to head to UNCCC was last minute meaning all accommodation was close to booked, I arrived in Durban with what I thought was a confirmation only to learn that I had been duped. I ended up camping out with the lovely volunteers at the UNCCC helpdesk until an independent cottage owner decided that she would let me stay in her own PERSONAL home while I was there - yes you read that correctly - the traveling gods were with me! Not only did she agree to let me stay at her house on "the bluff", she and her hilarious husband even came to pick me up from the airport (for a small fee).

After my experience at the airport and a long first day, I was ready for some fun. Leaving the conference center and the melee of my fellow foreigners I stumbled upon a bar blasting what to me sounded like soulful techno music - low and behold I discovered DEEPHOUSE and have never looked back. Check out the fellas

I sat down, grabbed a Savannah (apple cider beer similar to Manger's in the UK or Woodchuck in the states). The ocean breeze was phenomenal! A group of firefighters, concerned for my safety as a solo female traveler - and also interested in a dance, introduced themselves and instantly became my Durban tour guides. We spent time on the beach, talked history, and ventured into the townships. They even took me to a salon as the Durban humidity was not kind to my natural tresses. I befriended my stylist ended up on Florida Rd., the SPOOOOOOOT in Durban.

On my final day, I opted for a tour with a company called "Street Scenes", these guys are covered in AWESOME-SAUCE! Please check them out for a true taste of Durban life and society. You can choose a tour to match your interest choose from a number of themes including "hipster" "green" "bachelor party" "beach" or my favorite the "shebeen shuffle" a taste of true African nightlife. I ended up hitting it off with my funny guy operator Sthembiso and hit up Florida Rd. once more before heading straight to the airport!

You'd think my week in Durban was enough but my trip to SA could not be complete w/o a visit to Johannesburg, affectionately referred to as Jozi. I met an amazing videographer on a previous trip to Nairobi who agreed to show me around Soweto. The experience, especially the Hector Pieterson Memorial, was both stunning and chilling at the same time. The similarities between the apartheid and civil rights movements are just another reminder of the need for the African Diaspora to unite - but I digress.

After hanging with the homie, I met up with my beautifully talented Zambian sister friend Cathy and dropped by the MTV Base offices (she runs the world lol). A few quick chats and I was off to meet a fellow member of the Nomadness Travel Tribe photographer extraordinaire Conner Varin also known as Stephanie. We hit the ground running at an ad agency party at the trendy #1 Bar where I was introduced to the fabulous Buhle - I won't detail the evenings events (we have to save something!) but needless to say, we found ourselves returning home in the wee hours of the morning. Enamored with my Tribe compatriot I agreed to a roadtrip the next morning, before realizing it was to another country!!! The road to Lesotho was supposed to be just 4 hours, however, the pimped out DJ van we traveled in with two of South Africa's hottest entertainers DJ Nutty Nys and Actor/Host/Artist Miza Mobedi, made the actual 8 HOURS bearable. Throw in Jameson and Appletini and you have an amazing weekend.

I literally cried leaving SA, the friends and memories there will last a lifetime. I'll be Skymile crunching to get back soon!



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