Today I heard that a colleague of mine is going to Swaziland in a few weeks. I have to admit, I’m slightly envious. Nestled entirely within its much larger neighbour South Africa, Swaziland is a beautiful country and has a special place in my heart.
When I visited a few years back, I was struck by its vibrancy. Endless vistas bathed in gold as the sun rose and set. The vivid contrast of burnt orange against green where the landscape meets the dirt roads. Fabrics of blue, pink and red hung on lines, fluttering in the breeze. It was life in technicolour; a world away from the monochrome and minimalist so many of us have come to embrace.
Of course, Swaziland is not a place that can only be seen through rose-tinted glasses. Poverty is rife, the cities are crowded and chaotic, and the cloying scent of smoke and petrol hangs heavy in the air.
But for what it lacks in economic prosperity, Swaziland makes up for in the richness of its culture. It is simultaneously surprising and shocking; homely and unknown; beautiful and barren. It pulls you in, shakes you up, and sends you out with fire in your belly and ideas running through your brain. Swaziland is unique, and wonderful.
I hope to go back one day soon, but for now – here are my postcards from Swaziland…