My first We Love Summer

Events, Fashion


I finally attended my first ever We Love Summer…and it definitely won’t be my last!

This has to be one of my favourite events I have ever been to. Everything about it was so on point and of course the crew I went with…made it even better.

The venue – Bluerock Waterski Club in Somersetwest – was breathtaking and the weather was perfect. The set up was organised and easily accessible. I never stood in the line for the bar longer than 2 minutes. The only hack I found was the line for the ladies bathrooms (though this seems to be a problem at most parties or events).

 

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Dressing up and getting ready for this much anticipated event was a serious glitter-flash tattoo-bindi-face jewels-festival outfit kind of do. The sun was out, the excitement was building, the laughter was on point – We were ready to attend our very first We Love Summer (after waiting a whole year). I would go on and on about the incredible human-beings I went with, but I’ll just leave it at “I wouldn’t have had it any other way.” We were in my little car (My dearly beloved white Toyota Tazz, we call her Tazmin) and on our way. The girls were popping bottles of champagne on the backseat and the deep house tunes were blaring. The exact sort of vibe needed to get seriously keen for a good party.

The arrival was a bit of an anti-climax. Firstly, getting pulled over before we even entered the event parking lot we were told to discard ALL alcohol…might I add, there was a lot. Luckily my alcohol free beers could stay and I was even allowed to take it in with me to the festival area. Then finding out that THIS specific event, they decided to be super strict about the “no-under-21s” (please note that if you know Lauren Cowing, you can just imagine how the stress-pot was reacting) and with pretty much half the crew being under-21, it was a major let down…but of course…the oldies (Danielle and myself) had a plan. After some chatting and giggling like little girls and planning, it worked! We got the youngsters in and we had finally entered “paradise”

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The drinks were expensive (but lucky for me, the water and cold drinks weren’t too bad), the food was pretty average, but the music….Oh the music! After all, that is what we came for right? I hadn’t danced in a while before WLS. All I can say is, I danced my little heart out. Let loose the trance fairy in me and the silly stomper. The day time was cool, but the evening was even better. The lights, the flashes, the music, the fire dancers, the massive bonfire…it was so rad. Im not sure I stopped moving the entire evening (while also not drinking, which is still a huge accomplishment for me). I guess when you haven’t been out or able to party in so long and also know it won’t be for a while again after this…you kind of just take full advantage of it.

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After an evening of receiving a little angel from some random guy( who apparently gives one of these little items to one specific person at every festival he goes to), trying to get rid of the little foreigner who would NOT leave Amy alone, bunting an old man who wanted to “party” with us and searching high and low for Amy’s missing/stolen shoe…

We left the party with sore feet, happy hearts, a million photos and memories I will hold on to forever.

Till next time WLS, the crew will be seeing you again

 

Roxanne!

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Our Chasing Cars Roadtrip (Part 1)

Personal, Travel

This is one holiday my mind always goes back to and my heart always longs for. The holiday I went on a roadtrip with the love of my life who also happens to be my best friend.

It all started with wanting to go camping in Hogsback for a night or two. Then my dad jumped in and said, “Or…why don’t the 2 of you do a camping roadtrip up around Lesotho to the Drakensburg then back again. You can take mom’s kombi too. It’s perfect to travel in.” It took no convincing at all for Sean and myself to decide…That’s exactly what we want to do!

After months of anticipation, planning and excitement…we had planned out a route that would take us through Graaf-Reinet, Gariep Dam, Goldengate National Park, Drakensburg, East London and back home. My mom’s old model VW kombi was packed with all our camping gear, food and supplies…and we were en route to our first destination – Graaf Reinet. IMG_3741.JPG

I never actually realised how beautiful this little town is. It is clean, the people are friendly and it holds so much history and culture. We stayed for 2 nights at Profcon Resort, a little campsite in town. There was a lovely gazebo provided on our campsite and had clean ablutions, hot showers and a swimming pool (which we used VERY often). Whilst we were there we took a drive up to Camdeboo National Park to see The Valley Of Desolation – how remarkable. Just another part of South Africa where God was showing off His divine majesty. We also got to explore an old military museum in the town centre. All of these activities were always followed by a swim in the pool to try rinse off the blistering heat of Graaf Reinet. This was also where Sean and myself had to stock up on a cooler box, ice, a fire grid, pins for the tent and camping chairs – because we are idiots and forgot some of the vital items needed for camping. But hey, live and learn.

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On our way to Gariep Dam we decided to make a quick stop in Nieu Bethesda to see the infamous “Owl House” which I had written an exam on for my first year in English. I had always wanted to see it so Sean agreed to stop off (even though it took us on an hour long detour). It is a lovely, quaint little town with an artsy vibe you can’t ignore. The “Owl House” though, I would not say is as bubbly as the word “artsy”, more creepy actually. Alas, creepy or not, I believe this house is something any tourist or “lover of beautiful things” should see. All I know is, Miss Martins (the deceased owner of the house) must have been cooked!IMG_3885

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We left Nieu Bethesda and headed for Gariep Dam, we stayed here for 2 nights. Hot is not the word I would use – Blistering? Searing? Sweltering maybe? But, despite the heat, we were luckily traveling quite early in December so the campsites weren’t too busy yet. This left us with a great amount of options, including sites with massive trees which shaded us from the sun. While we were there, even though it was what felt like 45 degrees, Sean and I went on a little hike around the dam. The dam was sadly very very dry. Though this did give us more space to explore and gave us more of an idea on how desperate this part of the world is for water.

I think my favourite part of our time there had to be the one night where we just could not sleep because it was just too hot. So Sean and i got our swimsuits on and decided to go for sneaky midnight dip in the pool. I was standing outside the tent waiting for Sean to zip the door closed when something told me to look up – I should thank God every day for making me look up that evening – to behold something so indescribable. The black sky was lit up by millions, billions and trillions of stars. The sky was so clear you could see the milky way spread up above and over our heads. As though this evening could not get any better and could not be more blessed – We were walking hand in hand, both of us looking up at the sky and talking of it’s excellence, a shooting star shot straight across the sky. We both saw it. Together. How many people get to say that? It’s these little brilliant moments in my life I could cling to forever. It brought the biggest smiles across our faces and I remember just looking to my side, to this divine human being I was walking with and I leant over and gave him a big sloppy kiss on his cheek and I squeezed his hand. It is so odd how that sort of thing can make you all gooey inside. The stars I tell you, they are the most romantic thing.

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I’m going to leave this post there for now. I could write about it forever and a day. So I think it’s best I break it up into parts.

Watch this space for more stories on our unforgettable adventure

 

Love, Light and Blessings

Roxanne

 

My Adventure In Israel -Part 4-

Travel

Its time to get right down to the family I was part of at Kibbutz Yotvata.

One person I met, who actually needs a whole post dedicated to just her, was a young Dutch girl from Holland, Mirjam. Ahh, Mirrie….my heart is filled with so much love for her. The softest and kindest of hearts. She was one person that would stand through all life’s storms and chaos on her faith and love for Christ. I still told her, and I share this with everyone, that if God’s only purpose for me to go to Israel was to meet her, I couldn’t be happier with His plan. I was lucky enough to have her as my roommate and eventually, a best friend, a sister in Gods love.

It was myself, Mirjam and my next dedication, Nir, who were, well, 3 peas in a pod? Nir, my funniest, craziest, silliest and most wonderful Israeli friend. Man, did I have fun with him. Nir is someone who really just doesn’t care what people think when he pulls those funny faces and comes with his quick, witty remarks. I have him to thank for teaching me to be outrageously silly in front of whoever I wanted to. He helped me find a part of me that was able to talk about deep things, or laugh at the stupidest jokes or dance like an idiot without being embarrassed or ashamed. I will forever be grateful for that.

I was able to work with some really amazing people, and get to know them.

Almog, for instance. A heart of gold. A stand-up guy who knows what he wants and is willing to work hard to get there. An Israeli friend, Itay, still said that one day, he is going to send his daughters to him to either marry Almog, or his own daughters – i couldn’t agree more (sorry Almog, but you have no choice).
Then there’s Tal. A man with one of the biggest hearts. He is always able to make anyone laugh when he starts talking about Ace Ventura or Borat. And another thing…this guy can DANCE.
There is Silvina from Uruguay, a little girl with a big voice. Dynamite really does come in small packages. She says what she feels and just doesn’t give a flying duck (I’m not going to curse here, so duck will have to do). But with all her craziness, she has a soft heart and a love for people you cant break. I learned that if anything, she is a friend EVERYONE needs.
I worked with incredible people like Nave – a big sweetheart who didn’t say much but expressed himself on the dance floor every Shabbat. His dance moves will never be forgotten. Juliana, who was also one of my roommates, the Princess of the Dates. She really is one of the most beautiful and cutest things that walk this earth. Anne and Daisy were two Dutch girls that joined us in House Nr. 3. Both being at Yotvata once before, they knew all the “ins and outs” and were always able to wangle ‘off days’ or trips with our boss. Anne, also being someone that tended to just look after all the volunteers as a whole – if we needed to know something, we’d ask Anne. Two, beautiful natures I was lucky enough to come across. Abigial, a young Kibbutznik who I have very close to my heart. What a beautiful girl, Im still waiting to see her on the front cover of all the magazines. Tash, a crazy Australian who could put a smile on anyones face. A favorite expression used by her friends at Yotvata was “Where’s Tash”….she was always wondering around or just plain missing. I had some of the strangest, most lovely conversations with her.
There was Hun, a Korean boy who would always ask another South African volunteer, Pierre, to translate little “expressions of love” into Afrikaans so he could read them to me in the mornings at breakfast. Man, that guy never failed to make me smile. Maayan, an Israeli worker who is now traveling all over Europe. A free spirit with so much love for everything around her. Her soul shone at all times and I was always mesmerized by her creativity and kind spirit. Shaked and Ina, the 2 Israeli girls I firmly blame for my fractured foot – I mean come on, giving me vodka at that time?? Really!!! Yet alas, I had such a good ‘jol’ with them. I got to know Shaked a bit better over time and realized more and more how a like we were. Music, life and the Kibbutz was what we talked about and it was some of the best evenings I could have asked for. Pierre was another South African volunteer who I was able to speak “die taal” with. He always had love to share and a beautiful heart. Itay, an Israeli I got to know while watching Batman or playing chess. I could always have the most interesting conversations with him, hearing his side of things then giving mine. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone, and I admire that. And of course Nathan, our Brit. Wow, did this guy make me laugh – with his appropriate and his, well, not so appropriate comments . As I mentioned before, I went shopping with him and its exactly there that I got to know the great guy he is. I learned some things that made me realize how strong he is and he taught me…’STOP caring what other people think’. Marine and Eva, the twins that lived on the Kibbutz. I will never forget them coming to me one morning to give me a necklace that was given to them about a year before. Their words were something like this, “This was given to us by a friend to give ‘hope’ and strength with our last year of school. We have noticed that you seem a little down lately and we thought it was time to pass this ‘hope’ on.” They gave it to me at the exact time I needed it. I now wear that chain close to my heart.

There were so many people I met who I wish I could have gotten to know so much better. Beautiful people like Kevin (the Ballagan – big mess – from Korea), Diego (a big softie from Colombia), Daniel (Diego’s right hand man from Colombia who was always up to something), Hannah (a little gem from Sweden), Karam (one of the most beautiful Koreans I have come across), Lorena (a beautiful and soft natured soul from Colombia), Gisse (Ecuador), Paula and David (they met at Yotvata and have had the perfect romance since then) , Oliver (California – this guy has the most dry sense of humor you’ll come across), Svenja (Germany), Olivia (Germany – We had some STRANGE conversations while working), Shai (a friend of Tal’s who I was lucky enough to get to know), of course there was also our Volunteer Leader Voulla. Ah, the mother of all the volunteers. We were all so privileged to have her look after us all, make sure we were doing ok, have her to talk to about anything, take us to the hospital in the emergency of a broken foot….the list goes on. Someone I really do have a very special space for.

Closer to the time that I left, I made a very special friend. Someone who has stuck himself like glue to my heart. Not only did we become really good friends, but we clicked…you know, sometimes you just meet someone that you just get a long with right from the start (though that wasn’t exactly the case for us) and you are able to talk about anything and everything. I was lucky to have that with Lior. In such a short time I got to know him so well. Share so much with him. As well as learn so much from him too. He now, heads off to the army for around 4years. The possibility of seeing him again until those 4years are up are very slim…but I will forever be sending love, peace and blessings his way…in all of his trips, adventures and training.

That goes for all these beautiful people I met at Kibbutz Yotvata. I know that the chances of seeing a lot of these people again are really slim. I know thats life. Thats travel. And as we meet people we appreciate what we had with them then move on, meet new people. Different people. But, I know that a lot of these people meant too much to me to just replace or forget or have no attachment to. No sir. I plan on seeing you again. Or as many as I can.
Some day
Some where
And until then,
God Bless
Roxanne xx

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My Adventure In Israel -Part 3-

Travel

I really wish I traveled more in Israel. I wish I saw more of that beautiful country. Though, Im sure I saw what I needed to during my 2months there.

I was able to do some shopping trips in Eilat with the volunteer girls, other trips (which I was very fortunate to do) with our much loved Volunteer Leader, Voulla. Then I really made a dent in my wallet when I went on a shopping trip with the one and only, Nathan (who, might I add, bought more than i did).

A miracle happened where the “boss of the dates workers and volunteers”, Ran, organized a trip to Masada and The Dead Sea for the volunteer girls. Wow, what a trip to remember. The Dead Sea really is one of the greatest wonders of this world we live in.
You float! You literally can only float. There isn’t exactly sand at the beaches that are along this sea. The shore line is just crystallized salt (which is rather painful to walk on).
We had the opportunity to go to the Dead Sea Spa where we could use the different mineral baths, the outside pool to wash off all the salt and the amazing Dead Sea Mud which us girls had lots of fun with smearing all over our bodies and faces (we looked like idiots, but our skin was loving it).

What I really loved was the drive from Yotvata to The Dead Sea. Literally just driving through barren desert – which is, as I now realize, one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The desert is a scary, powerful thing. Like the ocean, it has so many dangers – natural and man made. Here in the deserts of Israel, they have the Iron Dome – in short, it shoots missiles to collide with incoming missiles so it doesn’t hit the ground and cause chaos (as far as I know, this was Israeli invented, Viva Israel).

The work I did in Israel was “date picking”…for the life of me I have no idea why they call it that because not once did I actually pick a date. When I arrived I was on the Efron, bending the dates branches and tying them to the palm leaves, prepping them for harvest. Then I moved on to bagging dates, pretty much where we take these black bags and wrap them around the bunches of dates so that when it is harvest time, the dates drop in the bags. Just before I left I was able to experience a bit of the harvest. You sit on this “efron” that grips onto the tree then shakes it. All the dates then fall in this machine then need to be sorted – thats where I come in – I then sit at the end of a conveyer belt and make sure that the “good” dates are put into separate crates the ones with the “not-so-ripe-yet” dates.

I am sad though that I was unable to experience more of the harvest. I, unfortunately, left early due to a broken foot.

As much as I would love to say that I fractured my foot while climbing the trees, or maybe that I fell off the efron, I cant, because I broke it in a much more embarrassing, “not-so-hardcore” way. It was the Shabbat evening I decided to really just let loose and have fun. In short, I had one too many to drink and fractured my foot, while dancing at the Phsara. Yeah, I know. How lame. But we have a saying here in South Africa that applies very well here, ‘Die Sambok het my LEKKER gevang’.

It was tough, I will admit. Being on a kibbutz in the heat we had and a cast on was not easy. But hey, I even worked the last week of my time there, with crutches and casts and all. What I hated though, was that I had to rely on my friends (one friend specifically, who I was SO blessed to have during that time) to help me dish up food, make coffee etc. But, i was surrounded by good and helpful people who always tried their best to make “light” of the situation.

Which brings me to the next and second last part of My Adventure In Israel – the people.

Much love, light, and blessing,
Roxanne

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My Adventure In Israel -Part 2-

Travel

On my arrival at Yotvata I was overwhelmed by the greetings of all the workers, kibbutzniks, volunteers and the scorching sun. I was introduced to people from Colombia, Uruguay, Korea, Holland, Germany, Australia…the list goes on. After coming from a small town – somewhat living under a rock – its quite exciting meeting people from all over the world. You experience different cultures, languages, personalities and mannerisms. Like for instance, if an Israeli gives you a drunken slap, its actually because he likes you (really though…its true).

I was assigned as a Date Worker…and man am I glad about it. I learned so much in this field and was literally thrown out of my comfort zone. Climbing trees, bending branches, heights, insects, dirt, waking up at 4 every morning…it was all there and I took it with a “as brave as I can be” face. Im not sure what the big deal was. What the fuss was about that was screaming in my head. But I truly, and really was…proud of myself. I pushed through some really bad migraines, anxiety attacks, countless scratches and bruises all over my body. It felt like I was really stretching the seams of my comfortable little bubble…I think all I have wanted to do was break away from it…have enough space to stretch my arms and not care that a little spider had just fallen down my shirt or that i had sand in my shoes or that the cuts on my arms would probably scar forever.

Maybe what I really loved was the time to think. Even though I went to Israel hoping it would take my mind off things and I would stop thinking about failed love and my future…I ended up thinking there the most. My body was working hard and my hands always busy, but my mind was on a different planet – i would be on the efron up a tree in the fields but my mind was a battlefield. Turns out…its exactly what I needed. Sometimes I found myself trying to stop tears from rolling behind my glasses so colleagues wouldn’t see and sometimes all I could do was smile at some of the things that would come to thought. All in all…I think that time alone with God was all I needed.

Not to mention the impact the people I met had on me. If ever I had met amazing people…it was in Israel. They taught me so much about myself, I can only be forever grateful.

You really get to know people when you spend everyday together – breakfast, lunch and supper. Sleep in the same little house. Swim together. Listen to music together. Drink together. Watch movies together. You become part of a family that no other can compare. Ill never forget this family I was so lucky to be part of.

Anyway, more detail about these beautiful people and our adventures in the next post.

God Bless,
Roxanne

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