Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DIY: How to Live Out of a Backpack for a Month

So, today was officially finished term one of the new year! If you've read this blog before - you know what that means. If not, let me tell you: IT MEANS ADVENTURE TIME.

The last time I went meandering around the African continent, I headed north to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. This time, I'm going to be going west instead, to Botswana and Namibia.

I'm leaving tomorrow morning, bright and early at six o'clock to catch a bus to Johannesburg from Swaziland, and then hopefully it will all unfold from there! I don't have much to say about a trip in advance, other than how to pack, and so I figured that's what this post can be about. So...


First, you need a tent. I'm borrowing a backpacking/cycling tent from a maths teacher here at Waterford (because that's just how we operate at Waterford). I mean, you could try and not bring a tent, but it's much harder to find places to stay if you don't have a tent. If you're absolutely loaded with cash, skip the tent. But, let's just say that I'm planning on relying heavily on the house of cloth.

Then, depending on where you're going, you need a sleeping bag. I'm going to be in the desert for lots of this time, where it will get crazy cold, so this is definitely a "yes" for me. I'm borrowing one from my tutor here at school (that's kind of a boarding school thing - your tutor is like your parent, but not really). I didn't know what it was going to look like, but I just went and picked it up, and it's perfect for backpacking (small and such), so it's all great!

Then, you need water. I never carry less than two liters, and for this trip, considering the fact that it's the desert, I'm planning to bring three liters. I used a canteen last time, but it was somewhat annoying, as it didn't fit in the pack, so this time I'm just bringing five or six 500 ml bottles.

Speaking of packs, you need a decent pack. Some people go on about weight distribution and frames and blah, blah blah. That's silly. Get a small pack that's big enough for what you need, and not big enough for anything else. That way, you won't bring too much and hurt your back. Just make sure it's comfortable and sturdy, and you're good to go.

Other than that, just make sure you're wearing decent shoes that dry easily (don't pack any extras - that's silly), enough toiletries and meds, and that's about it! Extra clothing, while usually on the top of a packing list, is on the bottom of this. I bring one extra t-shirt, a jacket, and a flannel shirt. That's it. I mean, if you're living out of a backpack, expect to look like you're living out of a backpack.

And then own it, because backpacking is awesome, and even though you are going to look like a homeless tramp, enjoy it.

Yeah, so that's about it! I'm leaving tomorrow, and I'll be back to the Kingdom of Swaziland near the end of May! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

No Water? No Problem.

We woke up this morning to a campus without water. I kind of paused, and then brushed my teeth with the little bit of water left in my water bottle. I threw on a shirt, and left my room to go to breakfast. This is rather a normal thing here in Swaziland, at least in Term Two, when it stops raining, because that's where we get out water from ("god bless the rains down in Africa...").

But, upon opening my door to the big, wide world, I had to practically climb over the mangled ruins of IB1s who had never dealt with a lack of water before. I could hear screaming, quite a few moans, and one siren wail of "what are we doing to dooooooooooo?" It's like they were incapable of remaining human without instant water.

I'm not sure if I should say I helped or anything, because there's not much you can do (other than wait) when the water stops coming out of the taps at school. So, I went to breakfast, where there was Muesli, which is massively special, and none of the other IB girls got to see, because they didn't dare go out in public without a shower.

I just laughed. Not showering for one day? That's fine. I once spent five days in Malawi without a shower, and that wasn't even considering the cow pie smeared across my back.

Anyways, gotta go do my siSwati prep. Which can also be done without water, no problem. I mean, other than my tears at the fact that it's so much harder to reach the word count in siSwati because words are combined... example: Ngingatijabulisa = I am able to make myself have fun. DO YOU SEE WHAT AN ISSUE WORD COUNT IS?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Performances - Waterford Kamhlaba UWC Day 2014

(Please read the original post about this year's UWC Day here - this post is just some of the videos of performances from the day)

Here are some of the videos of the performances that took place yesterday at UWC Day - some are full performances, and some are just clips. Apologies to Russian Choir, Indian Dancing, Finnish Duet, Zimbabwean Choir, and Zim-Zam-Malawi Dance, which I didn't get the chance to film. Other than that, here they are!