South Africa – Stan Hodgson

Hello gang,
My day to write a blog has come towards the end of our stay in South Africa, so forgive me if I stray into melancholy.
This trip was my first ever to South Africa. I’m not a well-travelled person, I can’t stress enough, and so there were a lot of thoughts and anxieties rolling around my head before we set off. And, of course, a lot of my initial thoughts were ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a host of new experiences for me to get stuck into.
We’ve eaten amazing South African food, watched some engrossing South African Theatre, got caught in some phenomenal South African Storms (they’re like British Storms but turned up to 11!!)

There’s also the South African pace shift. I didn’t realise this was a thing, but as someone who storms around all over the place (more often than not because I am late!), I couldn’t get over how everyone just saunters at their own pace. Nobody’s in a rush. It’s glorious!
In many ways, Johannesburg and Newcastle KZN are like any beautiful, welcoming city. But sometimes, something will blindside you, and remind you that you are in a new place, with different customs and cultures. But, for me, one of the big joys of the 2 Newcastle’s Project is actually finding the commonalities. What are those things that bind us at Curious Monkey and the group from NADO together? We’ve spoken a lot about being an artist, music, family and, of course, love. 
So, as our time for this phase is drawing to a close, what will I take away with me? Well, for starters, we have spent every day playing music, writing and riffing together. So I’m leaving with a head full of new tunes. But, most importantly, how often do you get to meet and work with a brand new group of people, only to discover that they are all insanely talented, generous and funny? I think it’s a rare thing. And I shall hold onto that on our 11hour overnight flight on Saturday
Til we meet again,

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