Travel

!kwa ttu: A day in San culture.

The San, the first people in South Africa

The earliest hunter-gatherers in southern Africa were the San people. The San were also known as ‘Bushmen’, a term used by the European Colonists that is now considered derogatory. The San populated South Africa long before the arrival of the Bantu-speaking nations, and thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.

Source: South African History Online

It is always exciting to use a travel opportunity to learn about cultures and tribes in your country and this past weekend that is what I did. My friend and travel buddy Bee from Bee Du Jour invited me on a day tour at the !kwa ttu education center in the west coast. !kwa ttu famously written as Khwa ttu, is an organisation that offers education and training for San people to deal with tourism and hot to showcase San culture to the world.

At first I was a little reluctant to go because I thought the heat was going to make it very difficult to do anything and plus I have nothing that interests me there, little did I know that it was going to be so worth it! Bee picked me up at my place and we drove about an hour out of Cape Town to what seemed like “the middle of nowhere”. When we arrived, there’s a certain cool breeze that is blown from the beach onto the hot plain land and there it was, !kwa ttu.

What you will need:

  • You are only required to pay a fee of R50 and little bit extra which can be found on their site for all the extra special tours.
  • A hat if it is hot like the day we went, the sun was at 30d/c, plus some sunscreen. They offer you water.
  • A camera because you will learn a lot and you definitely want to capture the moment to probably show your kids one day about the cultures of South Africa.
  • Comfortable shoes and clothing. In this case, shorts and a t-shit plus sunglasses will do. Luckily, ThisGuysZA gifted me with a pair.
  • An open mind and excitement to learn.

What I learned:

  • There is a difference between the San and the Khoi. The San are hunter-gatherers while the Khoi are more like farmers.
  • When a girl comes out of age (start her period), she is taken to a hut to stay with the elder women and for seven days, they will be teaching her how to be a woman. She then returns to her people and she will find a hut already made for her by her father.
  • Courting is something interesting: a boy will have a “love bow” which when he finds a girl he likes, he will follow her and her friends to a river or field and he will hide and try to shoot the bow on the bum of a girl he likes. She will then pick up the bow and ask him if it is his. He will then try to apologise and if she gives back the bow, she is not interested, but if she keeps it close to her heart then it is all systems go and their parents will start planning for their wedding.
  • A San village has huts facing the middle where there must be a bonfire all day everyday all year round. The reason for this is to keep them warm during the winter and to ward wild animals off especially lions because they hate the smell of fire. The huts are placed that way so they can be able to spot danger from all corners, it is a community effort.

We ended the day with a drive to Yzerfontein beach. Please watch video below and enjoy:

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Travel

The cash passport.

You have booked your flight. Got your visa. Bags packed. Now what?

At this stage you are probably thinking of calling your bank to notify them of “irregularities” that will be taking place in your account because you will be swiping your life away and living your best life. Well, not exactly! In most cases, banks block your card if they see unusual activity on your account even if you notify them prior to your travel. Great banks will even inform you of what to do in order to avoid that but hey.

A cash passport is a method of banking almost anywhere around the world without using your official bank card but rather transferring your monies from your bank account to a temporary card which can be used anywhere in the world. You have access to a maximum of 4 currencies on your card which are transferable as you travel and as you shop- NICE RIGHT!

I am with FNB and they somehow offer the quickest process for the cash passport, however, I could not apply for mine in time. Did you know FNB charges you R70 a transaction outside the country? That is a lot of money! That is a cheap burger and drink.

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You are required to have a minimum of $100 which is about R1,500 to start using your card. You can also reload it anytime you want, online. This card is valid for 5 years and the currencies can be changed every time you travel so which means you don’t have to apply for another in order to have a different currency loaded.

Service providers to apply for your cash passport:

  • FNB
  • Standard Bank
  • Western Union
  • Educonnect
  • Travelex
  • ABSA

Ever used a cash passport card before? How did it go? How were the charges?

You may ask how this is different to any credit card like American Express-

Please comment with your thoughts in the comment section.

Beauty and Travel

Hair and make-up tips while traveling

In less than a 24 hours, I will be traveling from Cape Town to the Europe for the holidays and I am pretty much excited about it because instead of just visiting the Netherlands, my babe and I will be doing a couple of trips cross country vibes. Plane tickets booked, accommodation booked, dinners booked and we are well ready for it all.

One thing that always graze me off though is looking beautiful without wasting time when getting ready and also being ready for anything that might happen during the course of a day touring places and meeting friends for dinner. My first concern is always my hair! I would rather not have to deal with my fro during the festive season, I honestly do not have time to be brushing and detangling.

Keeping the skin clear and clean while looking amazing is essential and here are a few tips on how to not burden yourself with all that and still feel great:

For hair:

  • Be versatile about your hair. It’s always great to get it box braided and you just switch up the look every time. Or have simple but funky cornrows which can be covered with a wig to make your look even more interesting.
  • Get a beret or a hat that can help with looking different everyday.
  • Always carry an essential oil for your scalp to help with any climate changes but keep it at a 100ml.
  • If it is cold, it is always best to wear a wig so not to stress out your hair.
  • Visit a local salon for a nice braid wash if possible to keep the scalp clean. I have realised it is difficult washing braids than anything else.

 

For skin:

  • Exfoliate!!
  • Drink water.
  • Stay away from make-up when flying. It is not good for you. Like, who the hell are you trying to look good for? the flight attendants?!!
  • Always have some wet wipes with you to wipe your face during transfers or every 5 hours to help your skin breathe especially during long flights.
  • Drink more water. This is very important.
  • Apply a night cream oil to help getting rid of bags or signs of tiredness.

For nails: 

  • Always have your hands dry (obviously)
  • Moisturise
  • Keep a hygienic habit when it comes to hands and face
  • It helps carrying a hand sanitiser
  • Trim your nails all the time. This helps with breaking and polish chirping
  • Base coat is important to protect your nails from nail polish stain. You can also add a layer of base after every coat for lasting shine and protection.
  • Give your nails a break. The way you give your face a break from make up. Let your nails breathe for a moment. So a week before you travel, just have clear, clean nails before bedazzling them.

I guess the point here is that, try keep your hair and skin routine as natural as possible. Only apply make-up when you know you won’t be sleeping on the road- overnight to help your skin breathe and get used to new climates. Your hair should not be a priority but taking care of it is important- which means, keep it minimal while giving it what it needs.

I hope this helps. What do you do to keep your skin and hair clean during the holidays?

Travel

How to save for your travel plans.

Ever looked at someone’s Instagram or Facebook feed and wondered how the hell are they managing to travel without privilege? I have, so many times and this was during high school all the way to 1st year of my profession. How does one just get up and go to a different country and a week later they are leaving again. It is very possible.

You see then, I had no idea about savings. In the black community, especially South Africa, you are never taught to save. When it happens is because you are lucky that you grew up around people who knew the importance of saving; a family member is in banking or investment and they teach you to invest in small things at a young age. For the rest of us unfortunately, you realise when you are in your 30’s that you could have saved close to a Million if you did not buy bunny chow everyday for 10 years.

Here are the many ways you can afford a R10 000 trip within 6 months:

  • Draw a budget for every single month and stick to it.
  • When going grocery shopping, stick to the things on the list. We tend to walk out of the store with more things not on the list than the ones on the list, so avoid that.
  • Instead of getting your hair done every month, get yourself a wig. It will last you longer than paying 600+ every month for a hairstyle that lasts you 2 weeks.
  • Buying in bulk helps. All the hygiene stuff, don’t buy them one-by-one.
  • Focus on one debt at a time. Trying to pay off everything at once will not help you.
  • Instead of incurring interest on your debt, make a payment arrangement.
  • Eat at home everyday instead of take outs.
  • Buy sale items. Always compare prices. I know it is annoying and tedious but you want to travel right! So get on with it and make it a habit.
  • Instead of a girl’s night out, call your girls to your house or go to theirs and drink at home instead of VIP section and transport costs plus expensive bottles, not to mention dressing up and wasting make-up.
  • If you are in a relationship, you and your partner need to sit down and focus on the most important debts first and leave the little ones a bit.

In this case, you will find yourself saving more than you planned to save because not only are you stingy, but you are taking care of your financial health.

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Or maybe just go with this style of saving below:

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Where to compare flights and packages:

Below is a video I took when I visited the Netherlands. Hope you enjoy it after pondering this travel saving plan.

Karabo Goes to Amsterdam