Skye is showing Geoff her plié. She bends at the knees and squats, not quite having gotten the idea yet of turning her feet out. It’s been a long morning. Geoff headed off to work early and so I set up Skye’s teepee on the floor to distract her while I caught up on work. Generally, I can get my work done early mornings and when she’s napping, but sometimes I run behind or have more work than I can do in those times.
Putting the teepee on the floor was an invitation for her to pull all her stuffed animals off the shelf and put them in the teepee before crawling in herself, saying “bye-bye,” and closing the flaps. Sadly, distraction didn’t last long.
Back to her locker she goes, stripping off the t-shirt I’d managed to get on her. It’s in the 70s outside most days, so keeping clothes on the child is currently difficult. She strips off the t-shirt and pulls out the tutu, the only thing she’s interested in wearing most days. On goes the tutu and my ballerina proceeds to dance around the boat, then later on the dock when I’m working outside. I can get work done while keeping an eye on her, but it’s slower.
Finally, she goes down for a nap and Geoff comes down to the boat, wanting to explore. We’ve been in Beaufort several months now and I’m already on local mommy email exchanges, so I feel like we know the place pretty well. But there are still a few local sights we haven’t seen and today Geoff wants to visit Oyotunji African Village (near Sheldon Church). I know next to nothing about what to expect as the website is a bit sparce and all you can see from the road is the sign. But when Skye wakes up, we load her into the car and set out.
No expectations is probably good because I’m still not completely sure how I’d describe Oyotunji. I’m glad we went, it was neat, but it wasn’t exactly a fancy tourist attraction. Roughly 20 people live there full time these days (down from their glory days of 200), including several children who were very welcoming to Skye. Our tour guide shows us their buildings and temples and gave us a small overview of their religion, the different gods and goddesses, and a fair amount about the philosophy of the village. It seems to me that the founder had set up a way for Africans to come and live a pleasant life, make a positive contribution to the world, and be happy. There was little in my mind about what they were trying to do that I could disagree with.
They had a drum circle party going on to celebrate one of their goddesses and there was dancing and singing. That part I particularly enjoyed and Skye bounced to the beat, absorbing watching the women dance.
Exploring a location, participating in local festivals, and getting to know people are some of the best parts about cruising. We’re in Beaufort for another month and a half, at least, but thankfully, there’s still more to explore. It’s nice to get to know an area in depth and I think we’ll come back to Beaufort again in the future. But on the other hand, I’m very much ready to start moving again. We’ve got some adventures planned, though!