Sawubona friends, welcome back! I'm so glad you came back to read more about my adventure in Eswatini!
It was a bit of a drive to get to the canopy tour. I could have taken my red air balloon, but then I wouldn't have gotten to visit with my new friends during the car ride. We talked about games they like to play and food they like to eat.
Qiyana likes a game popular throughout Africa called Mancala. It's a fun game of strategy that really teaches you to think about what you're doing. Each player controls one side of a row of holes with marbles or stones in them. The players take turns taking the marbles from one hole and spreading them out one at a time across their holes, trying to keep as many marbles as possible in their winning hole, or mancala. Here's a video that has a great explanation of how to play. The person in the video also talks about another game called Uthini.
Itembe really likes to eat, and shared with me a treat his mother makes called "mealie bread." It tastes a lot like American cornbread, but has a very different texture to it. I thought it tasted amazing! Here is a great recipe you can try at home from Global Table Adventure! If you have a gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy, you can easily swap the flour out with rice flour. If you are avoiding dairy, you can use grapeseed oil instead of butter, it works just as well and can be a one-to-one substitute. I hope you try it out with your family and let me know what you think. I would love to see a picture of your mealie bread creation! You can ask your parent, guardian or teacher to email your picture and feedback to email@example.com and I'll post your picture on my website.
We drove to the Malolotja Nature Reserve. For a while, we drove through a wide open area and I saw several zebras and a herd of impalas. The impalas were so fast! The zebras were grouped together, and with their stripes, that made it hard to count how many there were. Do you know if zebras are white with black stripes, or black with white stripes? The answer is both! It depends on what species they are and, some experts believe, even the climate can affect their coloring. Thanks to the Eswatini Tourism Board for sharing their beautiful pictures with me to share with you.
The canopy tour was a lot of fun, almost as thrilling as riding my red air balloon! You climb up to a platform in the trees and the guides put a harness around you, then you slide down a cable to another platform. It's fast, and makes a loud "zipping" sound, and you get to see the tops of the forest rush past you!
Afterward, I had to get back to my balloon, so we drove back to where I'd landed. On the way, I talked to my friends even more about food. Eswatini grows a lot of sugar cane, corn, rice, citrus fruits, pineapples, sorghum and peanuts. It also has many cotton farms. A common dish here is called emasi, or porridge, and is usually made with sorghum or corn with rice and potatoes. Stews are common here too, made from the tastiest stuff like spinach, pumpkin, or even beans. They like their salads here too, especially with avocado and beets! Yum! The video below by Sasha Martin for Global Table Adventure shares her family's experience on making and eating Swaziland salad and mealie bread.
Itembe was happy to go on vacation, and meet a talking sun bear (that's me!), but he was excited to go back to school too. School here is much like anywhere else, with a primary school followed by secondary school, or high school, and then college.
I'm excited because next week I'll get to write to you about the MTN Bushfire Festival. It's a fun, week long festival where artists and musicians gather to celebrate many different cultures. I'll also write to you about some of the amazing caves here in Swaziland.
Until next week, take care my friends!!
Thanks for reading and goodbye (sala kahle),
-Joy Sun Bear