“When your hands smell like the food that you have cooked for your village. When your clothes smell like the fire that brought everyone together. When your feet are tired from service for the greater good. When your cheeks are sore from the smile that wouldn’t leave your face. That’s when you know that it’s not all for nothing. That’s when you know you’re part of something magical.”
These are the words that ran through my mind as I stood in our Londolozi Staff Village looking from smiling face to smiling face, all of whom were contributing a palpable buzz to the air after another successful 2020 Service Walk.
Our 2020 Service Walks are integral to our village living at Londolozi. Once a month, we get together as a community in order to further our 2020 Vision of becoming a futuristic African Village, living in harmony with each other and the natural world. We spend time with each other. We open up lines of communication and discuss things that need to be discussed. We band together and complete jobs that benefit not one, but all in our village. We spend the time creating harmony between our people, our diverse cultures and nature
This month, we made a slight change to the schedule by starting a little later in the afternoon. As many of you will know, the Sabi Sands is heating up, and being of service at midday is no longer an option. This time-change proved successful as a congregation of 50 members of our community (our biggest service walk yet!), spanning all departments, congregated in our uBuntu Hut. Donning the 2020 Vision bibs (the physical act of putting one on solidifying our mindset of service for the community), we began with an affirmation of why we were all there from Jess MacLarty, our 2020 Vision Maestro, and coordinator extraordinaire. As Boyd Varty said, “ Londolozi is not about the bricks and mortor. Londolozi is about the people”. It’s about the heartware of it all. The 2020 vision is about sustainability- yes. But it’s also about the creation of a community and an atmosphere that allows each person to be the fullest expression of themselves. It’s about becoming a model for village life that will inspire guests and staff alike to live in a deeply conscious way.
After a prayer from Rexon Ndlamini, Londolozi Village Manager, we grabbed rollers, brushes and buckets of dark sea-hawk paint and created a bright yellow, human snake, leading to two staff houses in the village that needed a new lick of paint.
Everywhere you looked there was laughter, chatter, and strict instruction from the older generation to the young not to mess paint all over the place! Gardeners, housekeepers, Londolozi Living assistants, finance managers, PAs, Camp Managers, Rangers, Trackers, and Chefs (to name just a few) all contributed their time for the betterment of the village- building on the 2020 vision that it’s about the realization that new systems for living can be created, systems that- at their core- create a sense of wellbeing and belonging in all the sentient beings that reside at Londolozi.
There was only one problem that we had to face that day. There were too many helping hands with waiting brushes and the paint ran out- a wonderful problem to have! After a buoyant group photo was taken to commit this day to the archives of yet another successful 2020 Service Walk, we all ambled down to where fires were smoking and food was being cooked. Here we congregated- once again in laughter and a sense of achievement.
I looked through the smoke from the fire, my feet and cheeks aching, and all around me was the feeling of hope and commitment. It made me confident beyond measure that our 2020 Vision for Londolozi to become a beacon of light in the world- a place that people will look to as a model of the possibility of living in deep harmony with each other and the natural world around them, and a place where each person belongs to the movement to restore our planet is absolutely, 100% possible.
2020 is a shared endeavor towards a more conscious life.
2020 is an example of what South Africa could be.
2020 is about harmony.
2020 is a place of love.
Written and Photographed by Amanda Ritchie- Photography Studio Manager and 2020 Vision Advocate.