Cold Hands and Warm Hearts


Each year the children of Chintsa gather together to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

Local teachers help little hands to craft colourful lanterns and these are lit as the moon begins to rise.

Together, lanterns as a guide – they walk around the park together singing into the starry sky.


A simple celebration led by soulful folk with warm hearts.


An experience lacking in hype but running deep in richness and meaning.

A celebration of simple blessings – the passing of time, candle light, children’s voices, crisp winter air….

and togetherness.

Celebrating Chilly Winter Nights and Children together Under an African Sky. Chintsa: June 2014



A surprising gust of winter wind had me hauling the kites onto the beach in late June. It had been a while. The summer east winds transform into calming westerlies over the winter months, soothing the sea – great for surfing but useless for kiteboarding. Gear, usually dumped by the door ready to be grabbed at pace gets folded and packed away for a while.

Having not flown for sometime, these surprise re-entries into the sport can be a tad disconcerting and I have to remind myself what to do….I find that the rituals of the set up process help me manage my adrenalin. I don’t like to rush – launching a 9 square power kite in 20 knots of wind, only to find that your safety line isn’t connected can distract from the fun.

My hardcore wingmen find my pace a bit tiresome at times, but they cope;) Being the only girl on the water seems to have created an obligation on their part to ‘keep an eye’, further entrenched by their ongoing need to have rescued either myself or my gear at times during various learning curves. I guess letting me drown just wouldn’t do really… bless them.

A winter kiting session wakes up your stomach muscles. For days after I cringe in pain every time I get a ‘mommy hug’ around the middle.  All worth it.

Wind was never my favourite thing. I have enough noise in my head without the additional distraction. But over the last few years my view has changed….An afternoon of 16-25 knots of steady east is fantastic and because we are not endowed with the regularity of the monsoons, when it does blow all else is put aside because there is no guarantee when it will blow again, no matter what promises…. Kiters completely get this.

Eric taught me to fly. He has given me some cool gifts in our time, but this one is ‘The Bomb’. Hours and hours of commitment and sacrifice. It takes a strong man to drag his wife around by the scruff of her harness along a lagoon bank, tolerating her stream of fear-induced verbal abuse for an extensive period of time while his buds are in the ocean kiting giants along the backline….but them he is one of the best.

Eric Kitesurfing

I am by no means a good kiter but am gradually becoming more competent, braving the water, even when Eric is away- although I do get major support from my backup wing-man also known as ‘High’ 😉 which I do appreciate!

Nowadays when I crash the kite and get dragged back to shore by size swell, gasping for air each time I get hammered by another set pushing me through the impact zone, Eric stands on the beach with his hands in the air and a ‘what are you doing ???’ look on his face – as opposed to rushing into the water to rescue me like before – I have chosen to understand this as progress…I think?!

I am deeply grateful to Eric for taking the time and having the patience to teach me. It has enriched my 40’s immensely in many ways – but it is a shared gift.

He no longer has a wife, waiting at home, frustrated at his long kiting absences, and what to get me for my next birthday? Seriously – no issues there either….

Thanks Baby!

Celebrating Winter Kiting Sessions and Special Gifts – Chintsa June 2013

River Crossing

The Chintsa Lagoon has been closed for sometime now but with recent heavy rainfall it flushed itself out into the sea.  At the moment it is tidal, with a trickle running at low-tide and a river flowing at high. This  causes complications for folk using the beach as a short cut home after a long day’s work. A few years back when it was flowing with strength we helped mothers with babies on their backs, wade across, watched labourers strip down to their undies and take on the flow, cloths held high above their heads and saw couples of all ages piggy-back each other. In the flurry cell phones were dropped and keys consumed by the sea. Amid all of this children on boogie boards dodged the river pedestrians, taking advantage of the current, as it pushed them along. These brightly clad women heading home in the early evening had timed the tidal flow well.  Although I suspect  that they have had many other rivers to cross in their time.

Chintsa East Beach, early evening on a Saturday in July 2011