Photographer's Note

While driving back toward Mbabane from Komati Dam, I had my husband pull over to take some pictures of this beautiful valley. Just as I got out of the car some kids came up soon followed by their mother and a friend. They obviously lived in one of the little houses in the valley and spoke no English. I speak no siSwati and was stuck there trying to say how beautiful I thought the valley was, while they looked at me like I might as well have been from outer space, or just crazy. Then another women popped up who spoke a little English and probably translated what I said to her friends. They started to laugh and then called to a friend who walked up to the road, and also started to laugh. I mean really laugh, clapping their hands and bending over laughing. All I could imagine them saying to each other was "This crazy white woman in a big car thinks this little valley is beautiful. Ha! Look at her funny looking white husband. Ha!" Things couldn't get worse, so I just took some pictures and then tried to say goodbye as gracefully as possible and left. I like communicating with people and could definitely feel I had failed miserably in that situation, but at least I got my picture and they had a good laugh out of it.

So you tell me, is this a beautiful little valley? This is just one part of it, but it was the best picture I got under the circumstances. To add a bit of perspective to things, we went to a nature reserve in the area, just afterward and found out we were the only visitors that whole day. This area is off the Swazi tourist track, and so they probably didn't see a lot of outsiders.

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Additional Photos by Kate EarnestDeyoung (KateinDenmark) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 382 W: 42 N: 296] (1634)
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