Saturday, 28 February 2015

Laughing with Alexander

I am having a great time reading Alexander McCall Smith's The Miracle At Speedy Motors (from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series) - again. I love this particular series of his books. I have read every book from the series and any chance I get I re-read any of the books I come across.

You get me every time  Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni. You guys are comical. Thank you for making my day (in fact week) Alexander McCall Smith. You are a brilliant writer with an amazing imagination. When I am reading your books it is like I am right there with all the characters and talk about the laughing - I laugh a lot. I can't help it cause these books are hilarious. Just my cup of tea.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Apelhult Scout Camp Outing

Off we go again down memory lane. This is another re-cap from past my travels and activities, this particular one is a continuation of my time in Sweden.

About 3 weeks after my arrival in Goteborg (5-7 September 2007), Sweden I went for a Scout Camping Outing in Boras (a town near Goteborg) as a volunteer. I was eager to be engaged in as many activities as possible so when the opportunity came along I couldn't say no.

The Boras Train Station. Boras is a city wich is just 60 km from Goterborg. We caught a train from Goteborg station and whala we were in Boras were a friend of a friend  (name forgotten) was there to pick us up.
Before heading out to the the Camp Site in the nearby forest we hung out at the friend of a friend's house. This was the view from the balcony.
Var Redo (Be Prepared) is the Scouts motto. Here is the moto in swedish.
This guy was our main Photographer. He took awesome pictures. Actually he took most of the pictures in this post.

Getting the kids together in the morning so as to work out the activities for the day.
The Swedish Flag being raised whilst we all looked on. 
Some of the campers with their luggage.
One of the children hard at work in one the activities

Lets us build a fire. This is one skill that is essential for any Scout.
How about taking a break? I am exhausted.
Fun putting up a tent
Playing around during one of the breaks.

This bell was rung as a signal for different activities and things.
Beautiful Forest. Tall trees and thick under ground vegetation.
Look at that mushrooms and leaves on the ground.Beautiful!
After a long activity filled day it was time to wind down.
Another Swedish update coming soon. I think I have two more before moving on to the next country.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Celebrating 100 posts and Lots of Memories Captured

I cannot believe that I have done 100 posts. This post is my 100th post; and my word it took long to get here - 6 years to be exact. I haven’t been a regular blogger and there was a time when I completely went off the radar. Anyway...

Browsing through old posts I was so surprised when I discovered that I never shared much about my travels on this blog. Maybe it is because I started this blog when I had done most of my travelling but really it is no excuse. For a while now I have been feeling restless. I miss travelling – the thrill of visiting new places, meeting new people and all that goes with it. Things have been up and down so travelling has not been on my list of priorities in a while but I want that to change. Going through my pictures of the places I have been has been stirring me up. To keep me motivated and focused I am going to be sharing pictures of the different places I have been and some of the interesting things I have done in the past. First up is Sweden.
Sweden was the 1st European country I ever visited and it was in August 2007. I remember getting off the plane at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, going through passport control where there was a very friendly officer and then heading straight to a Bureau de Change to convert my dollars into Swedish Kronas. Then I made my way to the train station to get the train to Goteborg my final destination. At the station I met a Somalian woman who approached me after seeing my confusion. Although she could only speak Swedish and Somali and very little English we somehow managed to communicate and she promised to make sure I would get to the place I was going in Goterborg. She kept her promise. She only left me when the person who was picking me up came to get me. Sweden will always hold a special place in my heart and I surely hope to visit again someday.

Goteborg boasts of having the biggest harbor in Scandinavia. Its all ships and water  all around the city and that is one of the things I loved about it.

One of the local trams. The transport system is very good. I was impressed.

A Beautiful Swedish Sunset
The Guilty Pleasure

Ooooh how my classmates and I  used to eat cinnamon rolls. We used to call them 'evil rolls' because no matter how much we tried to resist we ended up eating them anyway. Gained a couple of kilo along the way. Even today when I eat cinnamon rolls I think of Sweden.

One of the local stadiums captured from one Swedish Colleague's house where we had gone for a party.
My Hood

I walked this road a thousand times because it led to the supermarket (where that sign is). It's where I did most of my shopping.
This is the building where I stayed. Lovely place.

I just love the way the snow is hanging on the trees and is falling in these two pictures (above and below).
Some of the other flats near where I stayed.

 The Place to Hangout and do shopping in Goteborg.
Welcome to Nordstan - Goteborg's main shopping mall. There was always something interesting happening and here was one such time.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

A Future Mum's Dream

Picture from here

History was my favourite subject when I was in High School. When I was reading history it was more than an academic experience for me. I would enter the world of King Lobengula, Shaka the Zulu, Peter the Great, Napoleon, the Renaissance and Reformation. I loved it. 
Today I am still very much of a reader. Reading is my get away, the place I can unwind and I get to chill out. This is one of the reasons why I try as much as possible to avoid reading sad books. There is already too much sadness in real life and taking a break from it all through reading is worth it for me. I know it sounds crazy but I secretly long that my children will also be readers like me. I already have a list of some of my favorite the books which I would love to read to them or for them to read on their own:

1.       Heidi by Johanna Spyri – this book started a long term longing which I still have even today. I will share more about that in another post.

2.       The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – I won this book when I was 7 as a prize at school. I still have the copy somewhere at home, just need to go through all my old stuff.
3.       What Katy Did by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey – I enjoyed this so much that when I saw it in a bookstore a few years back I bought a copy.
4.       The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis - I remember reading the book first and the some Anglican priest and his wife coming to our school and showing us the movie.  Both made a big impression on me.
5.       Annie of Green Gables and all the subsequent books on the life of Annie by Lucy Maud Montgomery - I was introduced to this book my friend Ruth who also bought me my very own copy which I treasure.  I don’t know how I never read this when I was young. Anyhow it makes my list.
6.       Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Although this book made me sad especially when Beth died. I still love it and I think it is a beautiful classic.
7.       Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren – came across this one when I was in Sweden and thought it was another great children’s book.

So many good books out there and the list could get too long because this future mamma has big dreams for her children. Any good books anyone?

Monday, 9 February 2015

Hello, I love Co-washing

In my search for tips on how to maintain and style natural hair I came across the idea of co-washing (washing hair with conditioner instead of shampoo). I researched about it and I liked the idea because every time I wash my hair with shampoo it gets very dry and ends up breaking. So this weekend I decided to try co-washing. From my research I found out that co-washing needs a lot of conditioner and as a result it is better to go for the cheaper conditioners and then after use a more expensive conditioner. I went and bought one of the cheapest conditioners I could find in Shoprite and then went home to wash my hair.

I must say co-washing worked for me. I wasn't sure if my hair would be clean but it was squeaky clean (I did 2 washes) and then afterwards I used my usual Organics conditioner. 

Image from here.
I was pleasantly surprised when my hair dried and it was not dry and the breakage much much less compared to when I use shampoo– my hair retained its natural oils. So I am a convert to co-washing. My hair will only see shampoo once in a blue moon. Hello co-washing let us see how far we go. 

Friday, 6 February 2015

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3 talks about there being a time for everything but I think one of the saddest times is when someone dies. Last week Simba Mhere (he was only 26 years old) one of the presenters of one of the local programmes Top Billing died in a car accident. I have watched Top Billing for years and I always feel inspired because the programme show cases the good life and many other interesting things. The show has opened my eyes to the many wonderful things out there and it keeps the dreamer in me alive.

Although I do not know Simba personally, I feel like I know him because I have watched him grow - from the time he won the Top Billing Presenter Search in 2010 to today. I watched his 1st show and have watched many many others through the years. I saw him growing as a presenter and a person in the 4 years since winning the search. So I was enveloped with sadness when I heard the news that he had died. Simba had a great future ahead of him and it really touches me that his life was cut so short before he reached his full potential.  Last night Top Billing had a show in his memory - everyone said more or less the same thing - he was a genuine person, he had a sunny personality and loved people. From all what people said one thing stood out for me - although he died young he lived his life to the fullest, with purpose and he accomplished so much and touched so many lives.

Time is not ours to claim. We could be here today and gone tomorrow. The passing on of Simba reminded me that it is important to live life with a purpose and be the best I can be. May your soul rest in peace Simba.

Picture form here

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Finally! What A Joy!

Remember this post. Well the waiting is over. My nephew my sister's son was born end of January. The first grandchild for my parents and it officially makes me an Aunt. I am over the moon. Welcome to baby AA. I can't wait to meet you. Aunty will be jumping on a plane soon to come and see you.

Isn't he handsome? Our little man. I knew I would be falling in love again and I have. Have been wondering, if I am feeling like this for my nephew, how will I feel when I have baby myself?

Monday, 2 February 2015

Back In The Day

This was way back in 2007 (aaaaaah time is sure flying) when I was a student. See the two at the back, sitting by the back window in the 1st picture? Those were our lecturers Peter and Elisabeth. Two wonderful people I must say. I always enjoyed their lectures.
2007 was a an awesome year for me. I remember being overwhelmed with the many amazing things that happened that year. I miss my class mates we had so many wonderful times together.

I have been reminiscing a lot about my university days because I have been thinking about studying again but am not sure what to study. Maybe I just need to give it more time.  

The Good Changes

Perhaps I am a person of contradictions but here is the thing – I like doing new things but I am not a huge fan of change. I like planning ...