I wrote earlier about my return to Swaziland during the Bushfire Music Festival in May. My first trip back was fantastic, and I was excited to get to return with my parents. I looked forward to hearing their stories and perspective on how things have or haven’t changed. Moreover, if there’s one thing that’s fun about revisiting places with your parents as an adult – it’s hearing the less edited versions of stories.
Several years ago, on a long road trip with my father, I remember rehearing lots of tales that I hadn’t heard since I was a kid. So while most of the anecdotes were familiar, all the sudden they had a few more honest and scandalous details. (Of course that’s what you were doing/smoking in Amsterdam in 1967.)
Anyway, we loaded up Ingrid and hit the road. Our first few nights, we stayed at Riley’s Rock Lodge in the Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary. (Same game park from May, just better digs.)
During the day we returned to some of our old stomping grounds. We found our house that went down the mountain. We even visited with current residents and their kids. Of course it looks a little smaller than I remember, but not too different.
Now this was really a blast from the past! The hot springs pool is no more or less rundown than it did when I was 6.
At night we sat around a big bonfire and ate dinner with the other guests. You are sure to meet a variety interesting international visitors when traveling in Africa, particularly in Swaziland, since it’s definitely off the beaten path.
I didn’t get any particularly juicy details from my parents’ expat life, but nevertheless it was enjoyable and interesting to hear stories of working in southern Africa at the end of apartheid and during the release and subsequent election of Mandela in neighboring South Africa.