Guest Blogger: Jordan Semrow

Sawubona from Swaziland!

When we started planning our trip to Swaziland in late 2012, we had expectations of what the trip would entail. Without a doubt, our entire view of this part of the world has shifted immensely. Our preconceived notions were derived mostly from animals we had seen from the zoo, stories from family that had travelled before, and, yes, The Lion King. To anybody who is wondering, none of those compare to the reality of southern Africa. Where I expected pure desert, everything was green. Where I was looking for scorching sun, I found a moderate, pleasant temperature. While tumultuous at times, we loved our experience in Swaziland and South Africa and have been inspired to continue our world travels with much more vigor than before.

Where a trip of two weeks in a relatively small country would normally put us on edge quickly, because of the variety of activities we had to choose from, the trip held our interest the entire time. From game walks and drives to learning about Swazi culture to the zip lining canopy tour, we had little time to slow down, and even less time to consider ourselves bored. What struck me the most was the beautiful landscapes we had encountered. Most notably, watching the mountains surrounding Swaziland rise and fall all around us as we looked around us at the Khopho Hut was absolutely breathtaking. While this was one of the last places we stayed, it may well have been my favorite for the view and the spectacle of God’s creation around us. We had our final home community cooked meal there and, while it was not the end of the trip, there was a certain finality about it. It was calming, relaxing, and overall, wonderful. In a trip to Swaziland, I would highly recommend this as a destination worth looking forward to.

This landscape was second only to that which we saw on our drive to the canopy tour. I can safely say that few moments have made me more proud as a husband and a friend to my wife than seeing her conquer her fears by ziplining across the gorge. As someone who is deathly afraid of heights, this was a big step for her. This trip has brought her adventurous side to light and has helped her understand first hand that defeating her anxiety can lead her to new and wonderful experiences that she never would know if she had let herself buckle under pressure. Our experience ziplining is among the most memorable adventures I have had in my life, and I feel confident that Brittany agrees. Without a doubt, this was the best activity in our trip to Swaziland.

We loved our trip from start to finish. Seeing family we hadn’t seen in years was wonderful. We loved seeing the work that they are doing and seeing the people they interact with on a daily basis. I cannot wait for them to return. They have inspired us to continue with our world travels and even expedite our future endeavors. Swaziland is a beautiful country. While I never had aspirations of travelling to this part of the world, I can say without a doubt that I am glad that I did. It was an experience unlike any I have had and I believe that it will stand out as unique among our future travels. While we look forward to coming home, we are sad to leave this amazing country.

-Jordan Semrow

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