This Christmas, I decided to give myself a gift of love, luxury and to be completely responsible for my own happiness.
I admit, I felt sorry for myself, especially without a home to go back to, and I missed my three sons during the holidays. I’ve been on the go all year, starting with my divorce after a 28-year-marriage, studying for the TESOL certificate in London, volunteering in Spain, Thailand and a school in California, applying for the Peace Corps and then moving to Lesotho, Africa, in October 2015, I can say this has truly been the “Gutsiest” year of my life.
2015 is Chapter One of my new life, and I look forward to making the next two years of my Peace Corps life meaningful. I want to learn about the Basotho culture, to speak Sesotho and to start working on my secondary project which I want to benefit the people in my rural village. I’m drawn towards helping girls and women start a business that can offer them an income, so let me know if you have any suggestions. I have some ideas, but I’m curious what you think. It has to be sustainable.
This Christmas, I wanted to pamper myself, after ten weeks of intense Peace Corps training, and living without electricity and running water.
Why Maliba Lodge?
Because it is located in the beautiful mountains of northern Lesotho, and I needed to relax and get showers, baths, and meat and fish, which I haven’t had in my rural village since I don’t have a fridge.
So I ordered a private taxi to take me there, which happened to be a joke, because private, means 4 of us inside the taxi, 4 in the truck bed, and then stopping to pick up a dead pig to deliver at the next village.
I finally got my private taxi in Maseru, and the drive took three hours. We listened to Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey, all the way to Maliba, and I think Whitney sang “I Will Always Love You” fifteen times.
Maliba is like being on another planet. My room is so beautiful, that I keep taking photos from every angle, saying this is how I want my shower to look when I move back to the U.S. Who needs a shower door when the open concept works?
Can I get a thatched roof in the U.S.? This is how I shall get an architect to design my bedroom and I love these doors made of solid wood, and the light coming in from the patio. This room could be my entire house, and I’d be so happy when I move back, to design it just like this. I fall in love with the room and forget how expensive it would be to have a custom designed small home.
Video of my morning at Maliba. So quiet and peaceful.
When I walk outside the main lodge overlooking the mountains, I find a group from Australia, South Africa and Europe. They are all related and I ask them if I can join them as I’m alone. They say “Yes,” and I end up looking at Eland through binoculars on the mountain slopes.
The food is outstanding.
Breakfast is a buffet with cheese, smoked salmon, yoghurt, cereals, flaky pastries, nuts, meats, bread and butter.
Then a cooked breakfast of your choice.
Lunch consists of salads, gourmet burgers, and a dessert.
Dinner is filet mignon, rack of lamb, fish with asparagus, and tarte tatin, all beautifully prepared and presented.
I interviewed the chef, Nico Vorster, who is only 28, the age of my oldest son.
He is South African, from Cape Town, and at such a young age, he’s worked in Orlando, for Disneyworld, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. He also worked on Disney cruise ships as a chef, and was hired by the Ruperts in South Africa, (one of the wealthiest South African families.) Nico was also a chef at Terra del Capo, and a private chef for two wealthy South African families.
Nico has been the chef at Maliba lodge for 5 months, and I asked him if he is bored being isolated in the mountains of northern Lesotho. He says, he loves nature and, “You must adapt to your location.” He also loves hiking with friends, and eating lunch at the top of the mountain. He has many creative ideas for his restaurant and says it’s important to “Bring the warmth into the place from the outside.”
I am now back at my rural village and shall blog about my new home next weekend. Please come back to see photos of where I live, and how I’ve started decorating my rondavel.