“Finally its Saturday morning!” my little sister shouted, bursting into my room. Yes, it was indeed Saturday morning, the day my family and I were travelling to Mpumalanga. I got out of bed and heard my brother taking a shower with the song Between us blaring from the speakers.

“Sesizoze siyikhiphe ngamakhala phela le ngoma,” shouted my mom from the passage.

“Welcome to Mpumalanga”

We were away from home, in another province. I’d always seen pictures of Mpumalanga and admired its beauty but seeing it live, I was in awe. We arrived at Hazyview where we were staying at a resort near the border.

“Nibangaki?” Asked the security guard.

“Eight,” said my dad.

We were actually nine. My little cousin hid in the car because only eight people were allowed in the house.

“Can I come out now, Mommy?” he whispered under the blankets.

The car bursts into laughter. “Yes, now you can,” Mamkhulu replied.

I woke up the next morning, greeted by the sun’s rays. We were going to the caves today. “This should be fun,” I thought.

I went outside and sat on the balcony drinking a fresh cup of coffee, breathing in the scenery in front of me. There was a river down by the bank with a sign that said there were hippos and crocodiles. The trees were going along-side the river, disappearing behind the mountain.

My mom called me from the living room, “It’s time for the caves.”

There was a flight of stairs.

“Yhu, sifika nini kanti phezulu bakwethu,” Mamkhulu panted.

“Abanye bethu siyajima, izinto ezincane lezi,” Mom replied.

That just reminded me of how unfit I was. My mom was out there saying this is a breeze while I felt like my lungs were on fire.

We finally got inside and I was amazed at how tall the walls were. You could see water lines which made me realize that caves were once under water.