“The World That We Live In” has called: places we’ve discovered…

Life’s been busy – kids are back in school, which helps a lot, but also requires new planning, on a daily basis. Back to work. Already tired, believe it or not! In order to temporarily stop the madness, found Brooke‘s  (The World That We Live In) request for the State Dept Blog RoundUp. Theme:  “Favorite Places” – and in Brooke’s words: places you have discovered on your travels that you have loved or that have kept you sane in some way or another.

My favorite places? I hold Southern Africa in a very special place, really close to my heart, for several reasons: our first overseas experience as a family, the first encounter with a reality that I never assumed existed, in good and not so good ways; and my first experience as a single full-time working parent… All in all, great moments, which I’m sharing now:

We moved from Washington, DC to Maputo, Mozambique in October 2006, for a 2-yr hard-to-fill assignment. Our only child then, had just turned 1. Little did we know, I’d end up staying until Oct 2009 with our two children, honoring a work commitment – while husband had to return to DC – but this is probably a too long of a story, and I’ll leave it to another opportunity…

We were very fortunate to meet many different and attractive personalties, each one with an unique life story, with whom we share work experiences, concerns, happy moments. We did travel quite a bit throughout the country: for work and leisure. Visited all the ten provinces, bringing back home material mementos, as well as pictures we could have taken only with our hearts.

Catembe, Maputo

During our time in Southern Africa we also visited the neighboring Swaziland, a couple of times. Calming, relaxing, intriguing country. We got to attend the internationally famous Reed Dance, and were quite moved by it.

I couldn’t forget to mention another neighboring country, South Africa, birth place of our middle child, who’s now 3,5. Between safaris at Kruger Park, visits to the wine country and the cosmopolitan Cape Town, caravan trips with friends to Richard’s Bay, visits to avocado farms (and also med-evac flights!), South Africa was a sure choice for a delightful getaway…

A view of the tip of the continent
Kruger Park

Some people say that the sunset over African waters is almost like a poem… it might very well be!

But the best part of traveling and visiting places, is getting to know people, making true friends. I’m very grateful to the ones we met during our time in Africa, and the many more who’ll come along…



Friends are, in fact, the most special gift one could bring from any new place… Khanimambo!


Asante Sana, Swaziland

This is the third post on our time in Southern Africa, while posted in Mozambique with the State Dept (2006-2009). Swaziland is a living wildlife sanctuary, a great place for a restful weekend, and is covered with tradition, history and excitement. We had the opportunity to witness the Annual Reed Dance, a unique spectacle, only described by images – no words would do justice to the exotic beauty!

Swaziland is home to glass (Ngwenya Glass Factory), batik and candle factories and Swazi candles (Ezulwini Valley) are handmade using the age-old trade bead technique perfected in the glass making city of Murano, Italy. This technique is called Millefiore and it was adapted and utilized in the African candle making craft. Millefiore means “thousand flowers” and was first used in ancient Alexandria and perfected in Venice and Murano and it is now a major attraction in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Find here wonderful images of the Candle Factory in Swazi! The website owners did a much better job than I could’ve ever done!

%d bloggers like this: