The month of January took an unexpected pivot and rather than staying home in the cold and building up inventory by knitting and weaving, I joined my husband in traveling to Eswatini formerly known as Swaziland.
It was summer. In Ohio, a polar vortex sent temperatures plummeting to negative 27 degrees windchill, in Sidvokodov, it was in the mid 90s for several days. Not only was the heat a shock, the food was as well. Most of the food was grown locally and largely consisted of butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, beets, corn and chicken. It was delicious.
And chickens could be purchased live, on the side of the road. Refrigeration is an issue only if the meat has already been, well, made into meat. But a live chicken won't spoil on the way home several hours in the heat.
The land was mountainous, green, rocky, and frequently red. It was hard to get my head around the fact that the rivers housed crocodiles, that the trees, even outside our rooms were filled with monkeys. The birds sang different tunes that the ones to which my ears were accustomed. I listened to them every morning and evening on the deck of our lodging.
I had hoped to find fabric and crafting, weaving or spinning, but that is not the way this journey went. I did find a batik market and brought a few pieces home with me along with the desire to explore that wax resist manner of dyeing fabric. What I found instead were people-- sincere and loving, with music and movement as bright and free as the land.