Remembering…

I am not an American, I have never been to the USA.  But today I want to bow my head in silent remembrance to those people losing their lives on 11 September 2001.

I also want to bow my head in silent remembrance to the victims of terror attacks all across the world. All those people dying for other people’s ideas and systems, without ever having a choice in the matter.

And finally I want to bow my head in silent remembrance of Reeva Steenkamp. Her death was echoing  all across the world in the Oscar Pistorius court verdict today, as broadcasted on all the major news channels like CNN, BBC, Sky… Not guilty of murder- the rest to follow tomorrow…

As a Christian I would love to live in a world without violence, in a place where one would also respect people with different cultures, opinions, religions, races, creeds. A world where people even love their enemies.  A place where everybody can feel safe at night. A world without fear? Maybe that is not possible in this world. But that is what I believe in.

So tonight, no fancy words, no photos or graphics. No jokes.

Only a silent prayer for a world without hate… I still dream of a world where love would reign supreme…

And (apologies to Mr Lennon):

I am not the only one… 

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Need a smile? Go watch a kitten!

I have been on sick leave this week, with a nasty stomach bug, leaving me dizzy and weak.  I really needed a smile this week…

We have been thinking for a while now. Our Einstein Cat went on a walkabout 2 years ago, and still have not returned. But there are a lot of little grey and white kittens turning up all over the district.  Our lady cat, Pandora, is now the Queen of the Castle. She is the most peaceful cat, fitted with a diesel engine (it purrs a lot…)

We are being overran by a lot of the neighbours’ cats, making love or fighting World War III on our lawn every night. So I thought to start looking for another cat male. It must be ugly, his mother must have yielded her virtue to a Wild Cat one evening, and the kitten must be vicious. That is what I was looking for.

Then one of my wife’s fellow teachers, living on a farm outside of town, announced that her cat was molested in just such a way. And the kittens are now 6 weeks old.  So yesterday, while firmly clenching my sphincter muscles, we went to fetch our new wild beast- I do not wish to call it a pet… yet…

And here he is:

The face of a monster- turning grown cats into salt pillars...

The face of a monster- turning grown cats into salt pillars…

It still must earn it’s name. My thought would be “Terminator” or “Killer”. But the children are starting to call it “Eduardo”… And they usually win these fights… by pure numbers.

There are a few problems however (in a Jeremy Clarkson droopy voice…)  I never knew it would be so difficult to distinguish between the kittens sex organs to know if  it is a male. This kitten  monster’s mother was also named “Stoffel” because everyone thought it was a male, till it gave birth to the first litter of kittens… That must have been a surprise…

The second huge problem- our peaceful loving female cat, Pandora, suddenly became the vicious bitch out of hell. She hates the kitten, and wants to kill it.  Now I have two monsters on my yard, and it is not my mother in law and my wife… (*this time…).

This is the very first meeting between them- look at the demonic glare of Pandora’s eyes:

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But we are starting to train our monster to do all vicious kinds of things. It must be proficient in a vast array of weaponry and driving skills. A real terror in training, that is our Terminator Eduardo…

IMG_1029Before the SPCA or Greenpeace descends on me- we love kittens, and we look good after our cats, They are delicious in a Thai style samoosa… no, just joking.

But seriously, I need some advice to win my Pandora’s heart back, she just hates me and tells me and the kitten monster to Fffffffff….

Vandag, 13 jaar terug…

I hope the English Translation function works today- we are so thankful for our son’s 13th birthday, that he survived a traumatic birth and is normal and going strong…

Bileam se Donkie

het ons nog ‘n apie in die berg gevang en hom mak gemaak…

Toe:

_MG_0487en nou: soek die verskille:

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Ons maak grappies, maar eintlik- eintlik het ons 13 jaar terug groot genade ontvang.

  • Groot genade, dat hy in Pretoria-Oos hospitaal gebore is, en nie in ‘n staatshospitaal nie.
  • Genade dat daar ‘n hartmonitor band om my vrou was.
  •  Genade dat die suster aan diens wakker was om te hoor daar is groot fout met die baba se hartklop.
  •  Genade dat die ginekoloog naby was, en dadelik ‘n noodkeiser kon doen
  •  Genade dat hy nie ‘n minuut later gebore is nie.

Want daar was twee knope in sy naelstring, wat styf getrek het met die geboorte. Dit het sy suurstof afgesny. Toe hy gebore is, was hy potblou van asemnood.  Die Here se genade was baie groot, en die ginekoloog en die mediese span was uiters professioneel daardie dag.

En ek…

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At the University…

where we have been for the past 3 days, I have missed my cameras! So, from the Samsung Galaxy S3 I bring:

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It was peaceful to see the doves descending, and landing on top of this fountain, and drinking water, while we were drinking from the fountain of wisdom at the University of Pretoria’s Advanced Postgraduate Centre…

This morning, on my way to the last workshop, I also saw this daylily at one of the campus’ entrances:

ImageI chose a 3 day workshop lead by Elize Morkel, on the Empowerment of Women, and it was amazing. But not without some pain- here in Africa we are so used to strong patriarchal systems that women really have a hard time to just be accepted and honored as equals to men at work and at home… A workshop like these challenge your own perceptions and point of view. It opens your eyes to your own behaviour and careless words towards women. So it sometimes gets uncomfortably close to the heart… and that is what is needed in our country- men learning to respect women…

So I have learned a lot. I have been sensitised… I hope I can be part of the solution in our country in the way I behave towards women, and the way I treat them even with every day’s words…  I know I am a man, and I make mistakes… I can even think of a few I have made on this blog! (Can you?)

It was hard to hear, but it is good! Thanks Elize!

Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Bare

http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/eses-weekly-shoot-quote-challenge-bare/

Prompt 5 – BARE

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. /K.Gibran/

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In 2011 I walked a part of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. This old pilgrim route of more than 1000 years old was for me a life changing experience. One of the old traditions that I read about, was that when you finished the route at the Cathedral in Santiago, you walk on to Finisterre, the most western point of the European Continent.  And when you reach the Atlantic Ocean, and can walk no further, the tradition says that you must burn your old clothes, and jump BARE into the sea. When you come out of the ocean, you dress in new clothes, and start a new life.

I found the tradition a little hard to do. Where the most western point is, there is really high cliffs and a dangerous current- if you jump into the ocean there, your body will travel to Ireland or the USA, but you will emerge playing a harp somewhere on the other side of the clouds… 🙂

So- people burn a sock symbolically at the lighthouse at Finisterre. (which is forbidden, but tolerated…)

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Other pilgrims burning their socks at Finisterre, see- you would not want to jump into the ocean here…

As a true pilgrim, I went for the whole experience. The sock was burned. And then I went for the BARE at the back side of the harbour wall at Fisterra, the nearest safe place to do that. Of course- the Spanish authorities also BAN your ARSE of swimming there- look:

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But a true pilgrim find a way forward. So I found the harbour wall:

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And left all my walking clothes on the dry land, while the ME got BARE into the ocean…

ImageAnd no, I did not try a selfie butt-naked BARE, I am still a shy SAFFA…

So that is my story of BARE, hope it is in the field of play for this one… 🙂

Camouflage in the Bush- Nature at it’s best…

Between these trees there is a Zebra hidden, but you will not be able to see it easily… it is so well hidden…

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Some, who do see it, may ask where it’s face is. So I called it closer for a little chat- Image

The same with the Impala Ram- first you don’t see it:

ImageBut if you ask really really nicely, maybe they will show themselves to you…

ImageAnd finally: a Blesbok:  They don’t want to listen at all…

ImageJust some of my friends I went to visit in this past week, when I tried to escape from civilization for a few days…

The Angry Sea…

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: SEA

by Sara Rosso on August 30, 2013

Sea. What kind of emotions does the sea or ocean make you feel?

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The sea does not always give them back…

Sligo Fishing harbour, Ireland

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ImageWhat is she looking at?

ImageThe harbour where he won’t be coming home to…

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The Angry Atlantic next to Ireland…

William Whiting ‘s beautiful Hymn for those at sea:

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea…