Saturday, March 30, 2013

Africa!! Swaziland, Joburg, and Botswana

The spring brought me back to Africa - twice.  The first was a trip to Swaziland, South Africa and Botswana.  The first and the last for work, and the middle to catch up with a dear friend.  It was my first time in Swaziland and I was amazed at the beauty of this little country.

Flying in, thegorgeous view from the plane:

We stayed waaaaaaay up on a mountain top, about 20 minutes from Mbabane.  But we still managed to get a pizza hand delivered!

Swaziland is famous for their candles (who knew?!).  So in between meetings, we went to see some candle craftmanship:
And do other craft shopping/looking: 
Scenes from a beautiful morning hike:

It was a very quick trip, and before I knew it, I was on to Johannesburg, South Africa!  I stayed with my dear friend Estelle and her family.  Estelle was my roommie when I lived in South Africa in 2008, and we've stayed dear friends ever since.  And I absolutely adore her family.  Look how cute they are!

When I lived in South AFrica, I never really had the chance to get to know Joburg.  Estelle is its best ambassador, so it was so fun to explore with her as my guide.

Nelson Mandela's house in Soweto
The Soweto Cooling Towers
While on my trip, my first neice-in-law was born!  Happy birthday Stella!
Geese at a park in Joburg
After a wonderful few days in South Africa, I was on to Botswana!  I managed to take exactly 2 pictures on my trip.  One of the empty airport:
And one from the taxi:
After all of those stops in such a short time, I was delighted to see my bag at the end of the trip.:)
It was a dizzyingly fast few days in three countries, but it didn't stop there... I was back just a couple of weeks later.......................

Sunday, March 17, 2013

DC part 2: the marathon!

March took me a second time to DC - this time to volunteer to be on the cheer squad for runners who were running on behalf of our organization.  We had... a lot of fun.
We woke up at the crack of dawn, and cheered through the entire marathon at different milestones.

Heading to the finish line... with apparently the rest of the world.
After the race, we took the rest of the weekend to enjoy the city, and to meet up with old friends.  I have SO MANY loved ones living in DC.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Parade Day

New Haven has the grand tradition of starting the St. Patty celebrations a week early.
This year we kicked off the party with a giant Irish fry, and then headed to the parade.  

My high school t-shirt comes in VERY handy once a year ;)

Monday, March 4, 2013

DC part 1: My girls!

March has brought 2 trips to DC. 
The first was a reunion with two of my nearest and dearest.  We had a long overdue and soul-enriching girls weekend together.  We explored the city, ate ridiculously good food, square danced (?!) at an Episcopalian Church, toured the Department of the Interior, lounged in bed and girl talked, walked through farmers markets, introduced old friends to other old friends (all time favorite activity of mine), etc etc.  I always forget, and then remember again, how much it means to have friends who have seen you through thick and thin, highs and lows, love and lost love, and are there to remind you of your dreams and values and who you are.  J & E, thank you for a weekend that I didn't even know I needed.  Love you.