Letter from SASMARS (or Rivendell?)

I’m writing this (for the most part) at Mont Fleur in Stellenbosch where the SASMARS Conference for 2016 was held from 25 to 28 August. What an absolutely wonderful experience! I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m sharing some of my photos here and on my Facebook author page (there is also a few on my Instagram account).

Mont Fleur 3

The venue is simply wonderful and awesome and all good things rolled into one. It’s situated in a valley, so you are surrounded by mountains (”Mountains, Gandalf!”) and with only the twinkling lights on the horison at night to show you that there are other people also inhabiting the planet. It’s that quiet.

The conference papers were absolutely fascinating and were on a vast range of topics and specialities. I also had the chance to meet wonderful national and international scholars. The great thing about the conference is that, no matter what you’re interested in researching, everyone else becomes interested in as well. There is a great curiosity among everyone and you get a bit on a high from all the great conversations you get to have throughout the day and over meals.

I also went on part of a hike (curse you, busted knee!), which was definitely worth it (photos of the view below…) even though I ended up not being able to complete all of it.

Mont Fleur 1

Mont Fleur 2

All in all, the experience was one which was incredible to have. To also get away from the city and be in a beautiful valley for a few days was just what I needed to get excited and rested again. Excited because I have so many new ideas, excited because I am now the webmaster (webmistress?) for the society, and excited because a PhD might be closer in my future than I thought!

Mont Fleur 4

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.


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