“When she shifted from competition to collaboration, all the women around her became radiant stars in a dark blue sky, each one striking and rising, without trying to outshine.” The She Book by Tanya Markul
It’s that time of year again, a time when we can shine some light on the sisterhood of Londolozi. Today is South Africa’s National Women’s Day and the perfect day to write my very first blog for Londolozi. Summing up the power of women of South Africa into one blog is a tricky task. So much has been achieved and there are so many stories that inspire me. A simpler task, albeit only slightly simpler, is to start at home and to try and write about the beautiful women who surround me at Londolozi.
Rewind to six months ago when I first arrived to Londolozi to begin my journey as a Camp Manager.
Starting a new job is scary for anyone to say the least. New people, a new environment and new responsibilities. This was to be my first job and a job which is not only situated miles away from my home and loved ones but in the middle of the African Bush! Little did I know that a circle of inspiring women was readily waiting to welcome me with open arms and hearts.
Fresh-faced from university and full of excitement I arrived at this serene space a bit apprehensive about what was to come. I did not know a soul except for my sister, Kelly Odams, who had begun as a Camp Manager the year prior. Having a sibling at your place of work can either be a hassle or a blessing for most people; luckily for me it is the latter. Working closely with my sister has truly been something I will forever be grateful for. That being said, however, you actually don’t really need a blood relative at Londolozi when you are surrounded by the empowering and supportive women that make up the sisterhood of Londolozi.
“One woman is a tiny divine spark in a timeless sisterhood tapestry collective; all of us are Wild Women” ~ Jan Porter
The Londolozi Sisterhood is something so magical that it is difficult to be put into words, but I’ll give it a go. The sisterhood consists of every woman who works at Londolozi – be it a Chef, Ranger, Camp Manager, and anyone in between. It is a community within a community. It is that feeling you get in your heart when coming home – the feeling of ultimate peace, guidance, and protection.
I was taken aback by the friendliness and hospitality that I received from this incredible sisterhood on my first day. Every now and then Shan Varty (affectionately named the Mother of Londolozi) invites the Londolozi sisterhood for a glass of bubbles at her home. We gather just for the sake of gathering and this is where I was taught about the web of resilience created by the women of Londolozi – a place where you will always be supported. One of the highlights of my first gathering was when Shan taught us about Don Miguel Ruiz’s four agreements that we have adopted to the sisterhood…
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
Every time Shan welcomes us so warmly into her home and into the sisterhood it is something that we all cherish. These four agreements are something I keep in mind every day – they motivate me to be the best version of myself.
Download your own copy of the Four Agreements here. A little piece of our sisterhood to share with you this Women’s Day…
Just listening to all Shan had to say that afternoon is something I will not forget. She spoke about us women building each other up instead of tearing each other down, applauding other women’s achievements rather than feeling spiteful about them, and just treating each other with the utmost kindness in our hearts – always. Shan is a true mother figure to every lady at Londolozi and we are incredibly lucky for her guidance. Londolozi is a place that helps you understand what family really means. It’s so much more than genetics. It is support, respect, love, guidance, honesty, dependability, acceptance… the list goes on.
This sisterhood is something so rare and beautiful and something which can be created in any community. It is knowing that someone is always there to catch you if you fall and even if they miss they’ll be there to help you get back up. I am one of the lucky few to be able to say that I work with my sister, but if I’m being completely honest, these ladies here become your family from the moment you enter Londolozi. I can happily say that I have gone from having one sister connected via blood, to having a dozen sisters connected via our hearts and souls. Today I encourage you to form a sisterhood. I encourage you to bring women together and create something magical…
Happy National Women’s Day