acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Friday, February 27, 2009

Desert Diamonds

I am sitting in a hotel garden in Gaborones surfing on wifi and feeling very sophisticated. Two hours to kill. I remembered this as a quiet place, but now coming from a quiet place i am astounded by the level of noise pollution.
Not that Bob Marley can ever be described as such - i love his sound, but there is music, football on TV, voices trying to conquer the decibels, kids in the pool, fans and generators humming. Its a lot.

Anyhow its kind of nice to sit here on the periphery and watch the world in progress. lunchtime, big city. The sun is shining but the day is bright and fresh after a big rainstorm in the night. There is a multi cultural feel as various nationalities are represented, mingled with regional accents. I am enjoying trying to work out where in the world they are from; and the body language...

Botswana is a semi desert country - land of drought and diamonds; sand rivers and salt lakes; the worlds only inland delta flows in a blue green ribbon from the Angolan highlands bringing life to kalahari sands, fanning out between exotic islands of palm trees and acres of papyrus. It can be seen from space. From a small plane it is a giant stained glass window reflecting skies, moved by Africas great animals that inhabit its waterways. Lit by flocks of white birds that circle and wheel.
A kaleidoscope of light and colour and life. This is the last journey of the Okavango River as the delta fans out and drains into the kalahari sand. Beyond the deltar is a basin of ancient lake beds filled with fossils of creatures lost in climatic events over aeons of time. Shimmering salt white in the midday sun. Place of mirages. At night a wonderland of star scapes dangle tantalisingly out of reach - unaffected by light polution. It is the place to travel the milky way in your dreams and wonder at the giant moon.

A desert home filled with subtle life forms and the tools for survival if you know where to look. The San Bushmen know where to look. They have been here for ever.

This is a mineral rich land too. Diamonds. Lucy in the sky with Diamonds. The hardest substance known to man. Multifaceted they reflect the spectrum of colours. Sparkling on wealthy necks and fingers worldwide. They lie in the ground here. They bought wealth to this country. With responsible government and use of revenue, the country has prospered and grown. It is as if the wealth of clean water, soaked into the ground, and hardened eternally into fossilised ice.

Diamonds built this city. Brought the first world to the desert. Made this polyglot of people in this moment in time. How would it be here if there had not been diamonds? would i be sitting sweating under a small shepherds tree, batting flies and wondering where to find some water to drink? Watching out for snakes and scorpions. Hoping to tag along with a band of San people who know what to do in the wilderness? My laptop would have no more use than a hat, or stone to sit on.

oh waiter, can you bring me a glass of cold cold water. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Life is Grand hey?

best blog thinker award

Its cool and windy today. The wind always makes me feel restless and unsettled. We have had soft rain through the night too which is great for the green stuff, but not enough to create run-off into the dams.
Tree branches are scratching and scraping on the tin roof contributing to the edgy feeling.

Yesterday there was a shoot out on the road. A vehicle wrapped in police tape and covered with a tarpaulin, next to the road. Anxious faces looked from afar - trying to make out the nature of the event. Emergency vehicles raced to the scene. The crime wave has arrived at this quiet backwater - like the ripples on the proverbial pond, danger now laps at these shores too.

It doesn't have to be this way. But while corruption in the corridors of power is seen as opportunity rather than a bad thing - the crime tsunami will continue to build and build. No-one can say that crime doesn't pay any more and leaders here lead by example.

Anyhow, there have been a couple of memes in the pipeline. Firstly one that started on Fire Byrds blog where you must say five good things about two people on your blogroll - the newest and the first...

The first person on my blogroll must have been Miranda - of The Times of Miranda. She was the one who first introduced me to blogging and gave me all those encouraging comments as i took my first babysteps in the blogosphere.
I am still a huge fan of her blog - its so fresh and funny and original. Miranda is also the daughter of My Great Friend; She has that wonderful ability to mingle positive upbeat energy with enough encouragement to make you believe you could actually do that thing! or at least have fun trying. Miranda is having a baby soon. This is a wonderful thing she is doing - bringing so much joy to all her family and friends. It is said that anyone who has a child influences the course of history.

The most recent addition to my blogroll is I think Pink Dogwood of Wandering Mind.
She is a fellow tree lover and has a wonderful angelic mother who steps in with home cooked dinners after a hard days work; There was a really cool recipe for no-knead bread recently - if only i could cook!; and gorgeous pictures of the two new puppies in the family. Also she writes really kind and friendly comments on my blog - which I love!

OK Miranda and Pink Dogwood - you are tagged to write about two of your blog rollers!

Then there was another meme from Marilyn at True Blue Texan called the Life Is Grand award - "because you make me smile with your posts"; rules here are to list five reasons why life is grand and nominate five more people.....

ok so - deep breath -
Life Is Grand Because....... we live on the best planet in the entire known universe. And i am willing to bet, in the unknown universe as well. It is like a blue jewel marble whirling about between dun coloured pebbles. We have sky, air, water, land - trees and plants that defy imagination, creatures so tiny we cant see them and so big they can block out the sun. I could go on, but you all get my drift?

Life is also Grand because we have each other to love and learn from; to fight with and bond with and grow old with.

Life is Grand with creativity - music art writing performance in all their forms, that heighten the senses and stimulate the imagination

Life is Grand because we have humour!!!! thank goodness. Humour is free medicine. If you are ever feeling blue, laughter can solve all that. Find friends that can make you smile. Even just laughing out loud with no reason can become quite funny if you try it.

Lastly - Life is Grand in the Blogosphere! here i have found great friendships and inspirational people; living in diverse continents and environments - i can see how it feels to be in Washington today or knee deep in snow in Toronto or hiking in California with bells on my shoes for mountain lions...
(you know who you are!)

and thats just five reasons......

so I tag

Angela of Letters From Usedom
Rob from Inukshuk Adventures
Janelle from Ngorobob House
Chesapeake Bay Woman from Life in Matthews
Janet from Under The Blood Red Sky Angela from Letters From Usedom gave me a very lovely award.

In the words of the person who created it:
"This award acknowledges the values that every Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values with each message they write. Awards like this have been created with the intention of promoting community among Bloggers. It`s a way to show appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."

Wow - I'd like to thank Geli for this, but also everyone who has ever encouraged my strangely random writings and word pictures. And i must tag five blogs who i think deserve this so much more than i do, and that havent already been tagged by Geli...

Reya from The Gold Puppy
Adrianne from The Bhodi Tree
Katherine from The Last Visible Dog
Chamira from Holey Vision
Tam from Fleeing Muses

I hate having to choose a limited number so anyone else that feels like participating in any of the above is welcome to consider themselves tagged by me.

Its now dark and there is a bat flying around in the house. The porcupine will be looking for biscuits and the frogs are chirping after the tiny rain. I suppose i should get up and lock the doors.

Blog on everyone!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

votes count

I have just been interviewed by the blog master - or at least blog interviewer. See also Inukshuk Adventures where Rob was also interviewed. you can read mine and then there is a voting opportunity with a possible prize of US$50 which i would donate (if i won)to Angela's Africa Project which aims to raise funds to raise a roof on a small school in a remote coastal village near Sao Sabastiao in Mozambique. The previous roof was destroyed in the cyclone of 2008.

So thanks for hanging in with me, for reading my blogs and whoever nominated me for this interview and feel free to give me the thumbs up if you think its the right thing to do.

apparently the link above doesnt work so here it is in full

thanks Adrianne!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Catfish dreaming

Well I am back from the lovely lively waters of the Okavango. Cruising on the Catfish Running on waters dark with crocodiles, yet reflecting bright skies of travelling thunderheads and graced with the flat leaves of waterlillies.

Night time star scapes of such bright audacity that bow and retreat as the full moon rises like a burning coal over the sea of papyrus and reeds. Driving through flooded plains tyre deep in bright waters. Long grasses swaying in the wake like mermaid hair. Tall lillies and yellow butterflies highlight the lush greenness of everything. After a long road, and hot sweaty day, bathtime by moonlight, in a tin bath filled with river water. The moon reflected in the smooth waters shone a double spotlight on the scene with showstopping brightness, making our candles look yellow and dull by comparison.

Waking to dawn light and a flock of open billed storks take off from their roosting spot in a tall riverine tree - filling the air with their broad wingbeats and whirling away out of sight for the day. Laser beams of sunlight pierce the tops of the reeds and papyrus heads; mares tails of cloud shapes pattern the broad blue sky.

Midday, we are motoring quietly between walls of papyrus, peeping over to secret islands of pheonix palm trees held aloft by grey termite mounds. The midday heat flattens us out, sapping energy. Behind us a rain curtain of dove grey steadily obscures islands and floodplains, moving swiftly towards us. We are slow to react and the rain catches us, splattering large cool droplets that increase in speed and intensity until we are rushing to pack away bedding, close windows and doors. We retreat downstairs where the rain pours in down the canvas sides, and through a strategic hole in the roof. We move into the side of the river and settle in with the papyrus fronds to wait out the storm.

Convection winds arrive, belting us sideways, tearing at canvas stays and angrily trying to free loose objects and steal them away - robber winds. Rivulets of water run over the floor. Papyrus bob at the doorway like nosy neighbours nodding , shaking their diamante bedecked heads knowingly.

The rain passes. The sun comes out and so does our soaked bedding - drip drying off the rails of the upper deck.

Then the phone rang - news from home. There was another armed robbery. Someone was shot. There was a roadblock by armed men in military uniforms, stealing money and cell phones from each car they stopped. It all comes rushing back like an ill wind. The river pushes steadily on. We are in a loophole on the river - all around there is crime and no punishment. We must return soon, but will carry the river in our dreams.

Friday, February 6, 2009

sixth photo meme

Pink Dogwood from Wandering Mind gave me this meme a while back. Before you all gasp in amazement that i have finally figured out how to load photos from my mac, i have reverted to my old faithful for this one....until such time as i get my first mac badge.

So the meme is to go to my sixth photo file and choose the sixth photo and tell you guys about it. Well i went there and unfortunately that pic of the baby warts has already been exposed in an earlier posting. hmm what to do. so here is a selection of six photos instead...

this leguaan (monitor lizard) spent a long time pretending to be part of the mopane tree while listening intently to some small movement deep in the hole in the bark - he was also watching us quite intently. When we moved, he upended himself into the tiny hole and squeezed his whole body upside down into the trunk of the tree until even the tip of his tail was out of sight. How on earth he ever got out again we shall never know. Perhaps he is still in there.

Here is a white rhino peeping through the bushes. I just like this one because for such huge, tank like, fiercesome creatures - you would not expect them to by shy and fearful

now here is a strange thing - a land cruiser driving through remote northern Botswana - which is a semi desert country - with a boat on its roof carrying two passengers. I invite you to add your own captions, or scenarios.

this is what we do after it rains - race out to see how much water has run into the dams. The idea is to collect as much water as possible in these dams, so that it sustains the wildlife through the oncoming dry season.

porcupine on the trail of the banana biscuit stash

have you ever been tempted to wave back to a cloud?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

awards spot

Some time back the lovely Tessa from the wonderful Aerial Armadillo blog very kindly awarded me "Luz en el Alma"
and i am still struggling to add the image to my blog so this is a further attempt. I am hugely honoured to be on her illustrious rollcall of worthy blogs
and would like to pass it on to other blogs that have "light in the Soul"; its such a beautiful award and there are so many blogs that inspire and shine brightly.
Many have already been named but i shall persist - please follow the links on my sidebar - they are all so talented and individual, and a journey of mind and spirit in each visit!

Holey Vision
Chesapeake Bay Woman
Inukshuk Adventure
Wandering Mind
The Bhodi Tree
The Gold Puppy
The Times of Miranda
Letters from Usedom
Fire Byrd
Absolute Vanilla
Fleeing Muses
Lori Times Five
Ngorobob Hill House

infact everyone on my side bar!!! how can i choose?

Then Miranda very kindly gave me another award - Superior Scribbler -which i would also like to pass on to the entire roll call of my sidebar .
blog on all of you - you make the world a finer place. thank you

(dang the pictures still didnt appear - please find the Luz en el Alma at
and the Superior Scribbler at - anyone know how i can do this on Mac please help - links are also a problem)

Pink Dogwood - the same problem delays me on that lovely meme for the photographs. I think you are an IT wizz - any ideas?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

word games

This word game came from Fire Byrds blog - she had the letter B; she has given me the letter R to play with. I now have to choose ten words beginning with R that are (r) important to me. I suppose important can mean in a good or bad way - just that the word has Relevance, but i am inclined to go with the things i like as usual so here they come - in no particular order

REIKI - i became fascinated by the concept of energy healing some time back. I think its something we can all do - and should do to make life happier and easier for each other. I have always found reiki treatments to be deeply healing, and have always come away with some new insight of understanding or comfort along with the renewed inner balance. It works for me, and i have since received the three reiki attunements which enable me to practice but not teach. One day i will try for the Masters but the time is not right now.

READING - I have a pile of books by my bed - some esoteric, alternative, educational and some good engrossing works of fiction. I like to intersperse a higher read with some great escapism and feel lost if there is not a book nearby or in my bag when travelling. Imagine not being able to Read? I might be a bookaholic.

RESPECT - we should always respect each other, and also ourselves.

RELATIONSHIPS - these are huge for me. From my nearest and dearests, to my far flung friends and family. I am extremely bad at letting people go - its something i should learn apparently. but once you are in with me, i tend to hang around forever sometimes on the edges - checking in from time to time - sometimes really in your face :-)

RAIN - since I came to live in Africa some long time ago, I have become acutely aware of the need for seasonal rain. As dry seasons progress and water shrinks before your eyes, our primate hearts get anxious and start watching the skies. Water is life. We learn that we cannot make water when it isnt there - rain is the only answer.

ROMANCE - ah the stuff that makes our hearts sing - not the slushy predictable tales of TV movies, but that real honest connection that makes our feet want to dance and our teeth get dry from smiling.

RELIGION - as in soul food. I dont subscribe to a particular creed or sect because i feel that is a cultural issue and misses the point. Learning to love in a higher way - each other...ourselves..thats the main thing, and it works for our bodies too. Good things happen to our chemical soup when we give and receive love.

REST - phew at this time of year when the heat really comes down, and thunderheads cruise by in the stratosphere - that midday siesta takes on a new importance. It usually starts with a book open, and ends with my readers crushed beneath my cheek;

ROCKS - we are surrounded by granite koppies and boulders - great planetary sculptures shaped by millenia of rain, wind, heat, plant growth, seismic shifts.
They remind me of the beginning of time and our transience in this space. The rocks will remain. They catch the afternoon light in shades of gold; loom ghostly in the moonlight - store the suns warmth on a winter evening; provide habitats for a myriad creatures and always astound us with their visual drama as shadows play on their surfaces throughout the day.

RED - splashes of red in the jungle green; blood colour; colour of heat and power. I hadnt thought it was important to me until i started this game, then i tried to imagine a world without red.

If you want to play this game leave a comment and I will send you a letter.