life under the milky way

Happy New Year to you all!

Boy, this new year is already off to a memorable start. I brought in the new year with my mother in our Guesthouse 1109 room in Maputo, Mozambique. It was a very simple New Year celebration but one of great reflection too. I found Maputo to be pretty quiet around the holiday; it was a ghost town! One thing I did find fascinating was the fact that the primary language was Portuguese. The city felt like an Afro-Caribbean influence; one similiar to Jamaica or even Costa Rica. Bright flowers flourished throughout the town and homes were covered in eye-popping colors. I felt right at home in my orange, pink, and yellow dresses.

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After venturing Maputo for a few days, we traveled southwest to Swaziland, or better yet the Kingdom of Swaziland. Our first stop was to Hlane National Park where the impala roam and the lions roar! We spent our days in a hut made of clay and thatch. The days were warm and the nights were cool. There was no electricity in our huts so we made due with candles at night to light up the rooms. Hot water was not absent though—gas heating made our showers more pleasure!

The most memorable part about Hlane National Park is the view from up above, the stars! Settled just below the Milky Way was my family and I gazing up above at stars we had never been fortunate to see shine so bright before. There were more specks of stars in the sky than there are spots on 100 Dalmatians. It was simply magical! The only thing that could distract me from that sight was the grunting of the hippos and the fluttering of bats near my head. In other words, I was outta there!

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After our adventurous time in Hlane it was off to our next destination, Ezulwini, to visit the Mantenga Nature Reserve & Swazi Cultural Village. Once there, we were greeted by one of the Swazi men. He guided us through their village and explained the differences between each hut. If I remember correctly, there were separate huts for young females and another for young males. There was a hut for a man’s 1st wife and also another for his 2nd wife, as they believe men should have multiple wives. There was a distinct hut for the Sangoma, or rather a spiritual healer/medicine man. In his hut people would go to get either holistic remedies for illness or ask for protection during long travels. The sangoma could also contact the spiritual realm and receive messages from his ancestors to pass it down to the patient.

imageI did find this to be right up my alley so after the previewing of the Swazi traditional dances I headed back to the Sangoma hut to get some spiritual advice. Afterall, I had been searching and waiting for the right “psychic” if you will to help me communicate to my spirit guides, or in Swazi culture they use the term ancestor. After crawling inside a bite-size doorway, the Sangoma and myself began the divination to the ancestors. Now, there were no sage burning or chanting in different tongues preformed. He just simply inhaled and exhaled a few times and focused on his “tinhlola”, which was stones and shells, for guidance.

I had about a 15 minute reading and in that time he pinpointed exactly what I asked my spirit guides to validate for me. He described everything that my birth natal chart had also revealed about my past, present, and future.This did calm any doubts I had. After my reading I decided to do a little investigating for myself. My Sangoma seemed like he was in his 30s so I felt comfortable speaking frankly to him. We started talking about his journey and how he came to get in his field, this was helpful to me as I wanted to also follow similar paths related to counseling or healing people. Coincidentally, I inquired about his zodiac sign because I wanted to know if he was a Pisces or not since Pisces are naturally very intuitive. He did not know what zodiac meant so I asked for his birthday instead, turns out he is a Pisces. Not just any Pisces though, his birthday is the next day after mine so we are nearly birthday twins! No wonder I enjoyed his company and felt much at ease. Overall, I’d say my time with the Sangoma will be remembered for years to come.