Posted In South Frica | Posted On 22 January 2022 | Written By Candace & Jamie
South Africa, known as the Mother City, has already proven to live up to it’s name because, for nearly all of us, we are finally home. Maybe it’s the warmth of the sun, maybe it’s the energy of
our ancestors beaming up pulsing through all of us or maybe it’s the vibrancy and intimate
nature of the local people, but being here has ignited something in all of us.
Our first day here was filled with so many different experiences. Everyone was able to have an
introduction at their own pace. Some of us took leisurely walks around the property, admiring
the lush landscape, while others were pampered and treated to bedside coffee & tea service…
As the day went on, we discovered new sights like the multi-colored row homes of Bo-Kaap, the
Malay Quarters that once housed enslaved people from mostly Malaysia and Indonesia. It has been said that the homes were painted by their owners as an expression of their freedom (once
it was finally gained).
Boulders Penguin Beach, home to one of the largest indigenous African penguin colonies in
Africa was also explored. It was like a real life Happy Feet moment!! And, if that wasn’t enough, the Bay Habour Market provided us with all the local flavor! Beats, Eats & Local Crafts were on
the menu as we swayed to the DJ’s Sunday vibe. We thoroughly soaked up every drop of
goodness as it was obvious that the blessings were not only abound but abundant.
Let’s talk about dinner: you know it’s going down when the FIRST night is the all-white party
(traditionally held on the last night). It has been said that African spiritual leaders paint
themselves white because this establishes a mystical connection between them and their
ancestors, which is why it was only appropriate for us to dress in white as it was our right of
passage into South Africa.
All of the senses were engaged!
We were introduced to the Djembe, a traditional West African drum, that translates to
"everyone gather together in peace. Thel physicality of the drumming, interacting with the
performers and feeling the vibrations transported us to another time. Africans believe that the
drum is a vessel thru which the spirits and voices of their ancestors are communicated. Y’all, the
spirits were showing up and showing out!! It was pure #blackgirlmagic #blackboyjoy
Beautiful native women commenced tableside hand washing with rose-scented water. Then our
faces were decorated with unique patterns created for each individual face and person. This tradition is known as Umchokozo and has roots in the Xhosa tribe. Within moments, the room
was transformed. Kings & Queens stood tall.
The food!!! The food!! The food!!
We indulged in a 14-course tasting menu featuring dishes from nations around Africa, exposing us to the varying differences between each country. Throughout the evening, we were surrounded by the sounds of native voices and were treated to beautiful displays of tribal dancing.
Two of our very own even blessed the stage by dancing alongside the performers! The word on the street is, Joyce and Mr. Woods have been asked to join the cast but have humbly declined
because they didn'want to steal anyone's shine! (LOL!)
Despite the very many challenges we were presented with prior to departing the States, we ALL made it here safely - a blessing we can all be grateful for. All we can say is, the Ashtae Getaway to South Africa has started out OFF THE CHAIN!!
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Travel Expert; Ashtae Life Tour Guide; Wine & Food Enthusiast