A HELLA HONEY
When this much woman walks into a room, you notice. Aside from the fact that she is jaw-droppingly stunning, she speaks with intellect and grace. Her ability to speak 5 different languages alone is hella impressive.
My second night in Bali, a small group of us sat around the table in the common area and unsure of how the conversation stemmed, we got into a deep political chat that completely captivated me. I wish I had a notebook and pen as I sat there in my ignorance. I couldn’t even pretend to know what they were talking about—so I sat hypnotized by all of the information I was absorbing from the context across the world. Tsholo has an impressively compelling demeanor as she talks about things she is passionate about. In those hours, I was in awe of her intelligence and the impact she was having on my life. I left the room wanting to go Google everything they were talking about and knew that perspective in my life had been shifted.
Towards the end of the trip, I told her I didn’t watch the news because I believed that ‘ignorance was bliss’ when it came to politics. I hated watching the news because it created fear and anxiety in my life and it just bored the hell out of me honestly. And instead of her making me feel small, she told me she completely understood and that the news had a way of always delivering the negative without any solutions. In my fear of her thinking I was the biggest idiot in the room, I respected her even more. By the way, I’ve read the news nearly every day since then.
As strong as we all are, we all have fears too. Mine is BUGS. Tsholo—hers is FROGS. On this adventure to Tirta Empul which means ‘holy water spring’ we were presented with chaos, fear, and comedy. The Balinese go to this temple for ritual purification. They have 13 different spouts that pour into an intensely cold fish pond. With hands pressed together, you pray to the Gods and then cleanse yourself three times with the water from 11 of the 13 spouts. The last two are reserved for purification purposes in funerary rites only. One of the spouts we lined up for was for bad dreams. I noticed Tsholo took a little longer at that one probably due to the fact that she had been having some bad dreams. As we head to the last one, she turns around and can barely catch her breath. I asked her what was wrong and she starts motioning and saying there was a frog on the wall in the fountain in front of us. I never spotted it as I was behind her. I highly underestimated her fear as we got out of the water. Her response was quiet in her panic where as mine is obnoxiously childlike when I see bugs.
When panic and chaos had passed and we put on our appropriate attire, we entered the temple where the holy song was being played and took a seat on the ground. We mimicked all of Madeh’s moves for prayer. At one point, the priest walks over and flings holy water on each of our faces. Then he presents you with a bowl of rice (which I didn’t know what it was previously) and we were to place the rice on our forehead and neck. I grabbed so little that I may have had one piece on my forehead. It was comical. I could barely look at Tsholo and AyrÏd to restrain my laughter at how silly the whole thing was because we didn’t know what was going on. As she said afterwards, I wish we were given the backstory and instructions prior to going into the temple. Instead I felt like we were moving along with the cattle of tourists. There is definitely a story to be told.
Speaking of stories, as a producer of two different TV shows, Tsholo is a natural at delivering a story and hosted a workshop for all of us the last week in Bali. Couple of my favorite notes from it:
WE CHANGE so why wouldn’t our CAREERS CHANGE?
People buy into people, not a product or service.
VERBAL MANIFESTATION. Tell the world.
NO is a complete sentence.
Not always a MASSIVE STEP to our dreams…it’s a thousand BABY STEPS that make you realize it’s not so massive.
She is also a hell of a bargainer. She helped me snag a dress in the Art Market for 60,000 rupia which is 4 USD. Thank you, Tsholo. I tried out her persuasion and wasn’t so successful, but she saved me lots o money implementing those skills.
This little Gemini turned 27 while on her trip and celebrated on the beaches of Bali. I am so grateful to celebrate the life of this inspiring young woman. She has a wise soul and you better be a hell of a man to handle all she has to offer. 100% honeeeeeyyyy!
To continue reading her chapter, check her out @tsemenya