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August 31st, 2009


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Greetings everyone!  And a special welcome to all the new subscribers!  Why not ask your email contacts if they don't want to subscribe as well?

Do you like smoothies? The freebie this time is a recipe eBook with great healthy breakfast smoothie recipes. Scroll down to the freebie section to download the book.

We have just returned from a glorious week at Mnarani Club resort at Kilifi in Kenya. Even the Kenya Airlines strike leaving us briefly stranded at Nairobi was part of the adventure, read the story and see the pics below.

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Kitch 'n' Zinc

I happened to find this really nice Blog, please click on the link below and go browse around.....

Following with thanks from Brian at Kitsch'n'Zinc

Bargain bickies
There’s a market just down the road from us on a Sunday where you can pick up 3 packets of Marie biscuits for R10 – what a bargain! I don’t know where they come from, I don’t care where they come from and if the Marie Biscuit Police turn up on my doorstep I’ll eat the evidence faster than you can say Romany Cream. I’m sure they didn’t fall off the back of a lorry cos they’re not broken and to be perfectly honest I haven’t given the matter a great deal of thought but whilst dunking my ill gotten gains in hot milky tea I got to thinking about the origin of the said biscuits.
The strange thing about Marie biscuits is that they are made by different bakers throughout South Africa and the world but they all look the same, almost like a KFC franchise. The top of the biscuit has an intricate border running around the edge which is referred to as a key pattern and the Marie name is engraved. This was quite a common pattern in Russia and can be seen as borders on many of the tiled floors in official buildings. A little research yielded the info that the original was created by Peek Freans in London in 1885 to commemorate the marriage of the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia to the Duke of Edinburgh It was soon copied by another biscuit manufacturing company, Huntley and Palmer. Durban biscuit manufacturer Baumann’s started selling the export version in 1895 and by 1910 had managed to replicate the very popular biscuit. Soon there were up to 12 different manufacturers flooding the South African market with Marie biscuits and since the brand has been eclipsed in the UK by numerous competitors and is not sold in the US or Canada we are now considered to be the world’s largest market. This new found knowledge made me rather smug as I happily dunked my biscuits feeling that I was a small part of something significantly bigger although this state of contentment soon evaporated as successive biscuits melted away on contact with the hot tea and sank to the bottom of the cup forming the Great Biscuit Reef. They don’t make them like they used to!

Kenya holiday - Mnarani Club, Kilifi, Kenya - 9 to 16 August 2009

Click here for the Kenya pictures.


Kenya has for a long time been on our list of “places to visit”. When we visited the QVC website ( and saw that Mnarani was one of the resorts listed, our minds were made up.

The obvious first thing to do was to make reservations.  A phone call to ACT Travel was all that was required and in a flash we got our confirmation, we were going to Kenya!

We believe in taking out travel insurance, and a visit to our local Flight Centre sorted that problem out.

We had in the meantime received documentation from ACT. One of the requirements to visiting Kenya is a yellow fever injection which will last you for 10 years! On recommendation from the doctor we got a tetanus and polio shot as well, so we were pretty well covered.

South African passport holders do not require a visa for Kenya.

Parking was our next problem. We could get to O R Tambo, no problem, but where to leave our car? A few phone calls later we ascertained that the airport had a long term parking facility at R25 per day. There was also a free shuttle service from the parking area to the airport, and we were sold.

One morning we took a quick trip out to make sure we could find the parking on the day of our departure, no point in driving around in circles looking for parking with a flight waiting for you!

We bought about 100 ballpoint pens to hand out to the children we might meet up with in Kenya, it was a great hit when we visited Vic Falls in Zimbabwe and we thought it might go down well in Kenya as well.

Then we started doing our Kenya “homework” finding as much as we could on the internet about the resort as well as interesting things to do and places to go to. The documentation received from ACT also included valuable information and we soon felt like experts on Kenya.

We also bought a 3 point plug which we could use in Kenya to enable us to charge and use our electronic equipment. The electrical sockets in Kenya are similar to those used in England (flat pin). We made sure our camera batteries were charged and that we had sufficient memory cards for the cameras as we intended to take lots of photos. The laptop was also going along to enable us to download and process our photos on a daily basis. If this is left to when we got home it would be a mammoth task, so we rather do this on a daily basis.

In the meantime ACT emailed our eTickets and made sure that our passports were in order with an expiry date longer than 6 months after our visit, and we were ready to go. 

Getting there

Just after dark on the 8th August 2009, we parked our car at the ACSA long term parking facility and boarded the shuttle bus that runs every few

minutes between the parking and the airport. We were too early for checking, but after enjoying a snack at one of the fast food outlets, we checked in our luggage and went through passport control and customs. We were flying on Kenya Airlines and were surprised to hear that their check-in baggage weight limit was 30kg and not 20 kg as we were told.  This meant that we could perhaps bring back a few extra souvenirs from Kenya.

At exactly 00h50 on Sunday morning the 9th August we left the lights of Johannesburg behind and we were on our way to our Kenya adventure. The flight to Nairobi airport only takes about three and a half hours, but taking into account that Kenya is one hour ahead of us the actual arrival time in Nairobi, Kenya was 05H30. We had a choice of a vegetarian dish or beef and noodles, I chose the latter. Really not bad at all as in flight food goes.

We exchanged some Rand for Kenya shillings at the airport at a rate of KSH7.5 to the Rand. Later on at the hotel we got KSH8 for one Rand.

Once again passport control and immigration formalities were no problem and we headed for the Domestic terminal for our flight to Mombasa, again on Kenya Airlines. We were disappointed to hear that the flight was delayed, but an hour later we were in the air again on the next leg of our journey. This was a short 40 minute flight during which a continental breakfast was served. Being a domestic flight there were no formalities, we only had to collect our luggage and find the Mnarani Club representative who would take us to our final destination. He actually found us and in no time we, and other Mnarani guests who were on the same flight as us were in the Mnarani bus and heading towards the resort.

I must mention that this drive is about 65 kilometers is an experience in itself. It took us 90 minutes to complete the journey and at one stage I found myself humming the old Elvis song “All shook up!”

Apart from encountering two accidents, we experienced a very bumpy road, many trucks, that made it difficult to overtake, and also impatient taxi drivers as well as really bad roadhumps, probably put there to help reduce speeds on the road, not that they really worked. All praise to Omar, our fearless but very safe driver who got us to the resort in one piece.

Upon arrival we were greeted by Hein, the resort manager and his wife, Babsie who made us feel more than welcome. After checking in, we were given a short introductory talk over fruit juice on some basics of the resort. Realising that we were all tired after the long journey, we were escorted to our rooms where we enjoyed a well earned rest and shower!  

The resort 

Although tired from the journey there was no way that I was going to waste precious daylight hours by sleeping, I took my camera and set off to explore the resort. The resort is built on the cliffs just outside Kilifi and has sweeping views of the Indian Ocean as well as the Kilifi creek. Our room had lovely creek and ocean views and we could sit on our balcony and just enjoy the lovely view.

A short walk through tropical gardens brought me to the main buildings. The crystal clear water in the beautiful swimming pool beckoned. Some guests were relaxing on loungers while others were enjoying the cool water. I could not help but think that back home they were still shivering from a cold winter.

I made a mental note that this was the ideal getaway from the cold South African winter or from any winter, for the matter.

Like most of the buildings, the main complex is beautifully thatched projecting a tropical atmosphere. The open plan dining and lounge area looks out over the pool. The lounge has a creek and pool view. There is a large buffet area and I looked forward to dinner. Friendly staff hovered around ready to look after guests needs. There is a television room should one want to watch some sport or news.

A walk to the main gate took me past the squash court, putt-putt course and the Conference Centre. Our holiday package included breakfast and dinner. We were not usually hungry by lunchtime after the huge breakfast, but the restaurant offers a really nice lunch menu. One afternoon we actually had a boerewors roll!

That brings me to the food. After the first day I foresaw big problems. The food was so good that unless I also did some serious exercise I would be gaining a lot of weight. Breakfast and dinner are served buffet style and has to be enjoyed “pole pole” which is Swahili for slowly slowly. The first evening we had a really sumptuous dinner and I was surprised to find my favourite dessert, bread and butter pudding on the menu. No doubt, Nanette’s South African influence.

I saw a sign saying “This way to the beach” and of course I just had to follow it. At the top of a flight of stairs was another sign advising me that I was about to descend “Cardiac Hill” which I duly did. At the bottom of the steps I came across a most pleasant private beach. It had the whitest sand that I had ever seen on a beach. Thatch umbrellas and beach loungers rounded off the picture. I noticed that that there was also a dive centre and a beach bar.

The package we were on included free non-motorised water sports so we could canoe, sail and snorkel for free. If you are into snorkeling, this is the place to be, you snorkel right off the private beach, fellow guests took some really nice photos of the fish they encountered. Use of mountain bikes was also free.

The climb back up Cardiac Hill was not really all that strenuous but when I got to the top I headed for the bar and enjoyed a large soft drink with lots of ice.

When my head hit the pillow that night I was gone until just before sunrise the next morning.

After a great breakfast we realized that we had to work off some calories and took a brisk walk to Kilifi, a nearby town. The two kilometer walk took us about 20 minutes and we bought water and some postcards. It is recommended that you not drink the water in Kenya, each day a free bottle of water is provided per room for drinking or brushing teeth.

As we had to be back at the hotel for a briefing by Samira, the Events Co-ordinator or Animator , we took a Tuk-Tuk, a motorized three wheeled scooter instead of walking back.

Samira then gave us a rundown of all the activities and excursions that were available to us. We immediately booked for the afternoon walk to the local reptile park and also for the excursion to Malindi the next day.

Apart from a variety of excursions they have a full entertainment package every day. This includes water aerobics, water polo, squash, putt-putt, fishing from the pier, tattooing, hair braiding, soduko and more. There is no pressure to partake, if you want to you can just relax by the pool.

You can also book on some interesting excursions for instance full day tours to either Mombasa or Malindi, also Ngomongo village half day tour, also to Sokoke arabuko forest and Mida creek, also a sundowner pontoon ride with snacks. The Captain Issa dhow excursion also proved to be very popular.

Faced with all these “things to do” we soon realized that a week was way too short and that we would have to choose only some of them.

There is quite a difference between the water level of the creek at high and low tide. During low tide you can walk on the beach along the creek all the way to where it mouths into the ocean. That managed to burn more calories and I was already looking forward to dinner that night.

The walk to the reptile park, or rather rehabilitation centre, went through the poorer part of Kilifi. It was sad to see that poverty is worldwide.

We were shown ruins of a mosque that was built in the 13th century. We then went to the reptile rehabilitation centre. There they have a variety of snakes, tortoises and chameleons. Once rehabilitated, those that can fend for themselves are released into the wild again.

That evening, after another fabulous supper, we hit the hay early and slept like babies. 

The next day we had booked for the Malindi excursion and after breakfast we boarded the bus and headed North. Malindi is a coastal town about 60 km from Kilifi. The main activity was to be snorkeling. Mnarani provided goggles and flippers at no charge and we were all eager to get into the water and try them out. We were to snorkel at the Malindi Marine and Nature Reserve, a protected area.

We boarded a glass bottomed boat and headed out to a reef about a kilometer out to sea where we had a great time snorkeling or watching the different types of fish through the glass bottom of the boat. Guests who had snorkeled all over the world mentioned that this was the best snorkeling that they had ever done, the water was crystal clear and the fish was plentiful.

Later we lunched at a local hotel and then we headed back to Kilifi. On the way back we visited a factory where they made curious that are sold all over the world.

Further along the road we also visited a mangrove swamp and walked on the long boardwalk which reminded me of an Indiana Jones movie. We arrived back at the hotel just in time to clean up for supper. It was a long and tiring day, but enjoyed by all! Every night after dinner they have some kind of entertainment for the guests, but we were so dog tired after the busy days that we rather went to our room and hit the hay. 

The following day we had no specific excursion planned, so a group of us decided to walk the two kilometer to Kilifi, the neighbouring village. Some of us needed to draw some cash at the ATM’s there.

The local ATM’s did not want to dispense cash to those with credit cards, but debit cards were no problem. I made a mental note  to get myself a debit card as soon as I got home, even if it was just for backup.

We also mailed some postcards (this can also be done at the hotel) and bought some drinking water, it being a bit cheaper than at the hotel.

On our way back to the hotel a sudden tropical shower caught us leaving us drenched. As it is in the tropics, these showers come and go again in a matter of minutes, lasting just long enough to give us a thorough soaking. Luckily we always take plastic bags along to keep cameras and other valuables dry in case of sudden rain.

We had lunch at the hotel (they have an A la Carte menu as well as a buffet) and then spent the afternoon at leisure.

For supper the staff arranged the tables around the pool and we enjoyed a romantic supper by candlelight. Two local entertainers walked between the tables serenading the guests, a very nice touch! 

Mnarani has three highlights that make it very special for us for us, the food, the large, clear, pool and the private beach.

The next day we decided to spend at leisure and headed for the beach. We made ourselves comfortable under one of the thatched umbrellas getting a deck lounger and mattress for each of us.

We decided toe get a bit more active and started paddling up and down the creek in canoes. Then we did some snorkeling and were pleasantly surprised at the number and variety of fish just off the Mnarani beach. Some guests fished from the pier, others sailed on the catamaran and others tried to master windsurfing. All non-motorized activities like the above are free of charge to guests.

After lunch we crossed the road just outside the Mnarani main gate and bought some souvenirs at very reasonable prices.

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing by the pool.

That evening before supper we had a variety of entertainment laid on.  First we had traditional tribal dancing and singing, then a wine tasting of some Kenyan wines followed by a dance demonstration by a local dance school. The demonstration covered dance forms ranging from ballet to Crump. Supper consisted of a selection of Indian dishes.

Our holiday was now drawing to a close and for the Friday afternoon we booked for the mangrove trip on the resort pontoon.

The morning was spent lazing on the beach, rowing and snorkeling.

The mangrove cruise was most enjoyable. We slowly cruised up the Kilifi creek, then across a lake and up the Kalifi river past mangrove swamps, enjoying snacks and chatting with other guests. The sunset over the river was something special. We also saw a variety of birds getting ready to roost for the night.  

Our last day was spent at the beach, swimming, rowing and snorkeling and just lazing about. We finished packing during the afternoon as the bus to Mombasa was due to leave very early the next morning. 

We got our wake-up call at 02h30 and the bus departed for Mombasa airport at 03h30. And this is where the proverbial paw-paw hit the fan! Kenya Airlines staff was on strike and all flights were cancelled.  Five hours later they managed to get a plane ready and we departed for Nairobi. At Nairobi conditions were even worse. Literally hundreds of locals and tourists were trying to get flights and needless to say it was total chaos. People had been waiting at the airport for three days to try and get a flight. Luckily we got a bright idea and asked if we could transfer to a SAA flight. This was arranged in no time at all and after a 12 hour delay we were on our way to Johannesburg. A big YAYYY for South African Airlines!

This was really a very special holiday. For the price it was a real bargain. Next time we come to Kenya we want to take the package that includes the Serengeti or perhaps even the annual wildebeest migration, depending on what time of year we come.

So, next time you want to get away from a really cold and miserable winter, be sure to make Kenya and Mnarani your destination.

Oh yes, and next time I want to learn to sail the catamaran! 

Bits and pieces. 

We took our credit/debit cards and SA Rand in cash. You can exchange Rand at the Nairobi and at the hotel. All expenses at the hotel are charged to your room and you settle the bill before you leave.

Remember to take a flat pin plug if you want to charge batteries, use your hairdryer etc.

Take the minimum of clothes, the climate is mild to hot, you will not need warm weather clothes.

Take earplugs if the air conditioner will keep you awake.

Get your yellow fever injections more than 10 days before you leave for Kenya.

Take malaria precautions.

Our total spending money for the holiday was less than R1500 per person. Taking into account the cost of the package, this was a very reasonable vacation money wise. 

Speak like the locals: 

Jambo = hello
Karibu = welcome

= thank you
sana = thank you very much
Pole pole = slowly slowly
Harake harake = fast
Habari = how are you
Mzuri = I am fine
Hakuna Matata = No problem

Mnarani Club Social Responsibility 

1)      Mnarani Club supports the local school for the deaf. (Kibarani School for the deaf) is a primary school and busy building there secondary school. Donations are pooled and items that are needed are bought and the supplied. Mnarani also buys all their eggs from Kibarani which is a project they started to urn some much needed money for the Hostel children. Mnarani Club in co operation of ACT and various individuals also sponsor children school fees at 6000/- a year.

2)    Mnarani has a local is “lekker” policy and buys as much as possible from the local vendors, suppliers and fisherman. The flag at the Jetty informs the returning seaman that we need fish and ensures a quick and fresh supply.

3)    Mnarani also supplies free conference facilities to the local Kilifi Rotary organizations on a weekly basis.

4)    Local entertainers are show cased at Mnarani club several evening a week. The entertainers also get a opportunity to impress the guests with their skills and raise more funds by tips and selling of their goods.

5)    Once a week the local community of Mnarani , exhibits their craft and goods at Mnarani Club, also the shop does not sell any items that may be considered craft specifically to support the local communities.

6)    We give various donations to groups and individuals that approach us. Donations range from Drinkable water to Bread flour etc.

7)    Our wellness center are staffed exclusively from community ladies doing various tasks such as manicures and pedicures, massaging hair braiding and Henna tattoo’s for their own gain.

8)    Mnarani club offers in house training to young people wanting to learn the trade. They are offered medical, food and accommodation and work in various departments for 3 -6 months.  They are graded and used as preferred employees should positions become available.

9)    Several charities sell their products in the shop.

10) Mnarani club allowed the government to place a Tsunami early warning weather station on the old jetty; we provide security and maintenance to this area.

11)    Captain Issa and his band of merry men was encouraged to moor at Mnarani Club and provide a local experience to our guests. He does not pay any fee to Mnarani club and pockets all he makes.

For Mnarani reservations and other Kenya packages, go to ACT Travel, below.


ACT Travel
"The World awaits - Go Explore!!" 

 For competitive quotes on all  your travel arrangements.

The world awaits you – go explore!

(  012 425 1000 (option 3) Alicia

103 Club avenue

PO Box 35580

7   086 592 1311

Waterkloof Heights shopping centre

Menlo Park


Waterkloof Heights









Mirna van Wyk

Mirna is an educational psychologist from Stellenbosch. She taught at several schools, amongst others Stellenbosch High School, Bloemhof Girls’ High and Jan Kriel School for learners with barriers to learning. She is a mother, loves art, the ocean and children.

You are welcome to comment or send questions to her at

I have received several requests for guidance of children’s homework, especially in the new educational system of OBE. Here is a list of tips to help parents cope with homework headaches.

Parents should act as benevolent taskmasters and facilitators. Too many parents either rob their child of the chance to grow and learn new skills by doing the work for them or serve as harsh critics of whatever the child’s effort was or are passive bystanders to the child’s struggles to survive schoolwork.
1. Help with prioritising and multitasking. A parent can help by helping the child to compile a list of all the anticipated activities of the week. Then these can be rated in terms of how important they are, when they should be finished and how long it would take to complete.
2. Ask the question, “Why do we need to learn this?” and answer it seriously. Connect the concept with “real life” to establish relevancy and interest;

3. Teach your children to read actively by turning bold section headings of textbooks into questions. Then encourage them to find the answers to the question in the text below the heading;

4. Promote self-reflection by asking your children, “What went well today? What did not go well? What happened as a result? What can you do to prevent that next time?”
5. Provide your child with a set of questions to ask themselves while learning and studying. For example, What does this remind me of? What can I associate with it? Can I picture it in my mind? What pops into my head? How can I use these associations to help me remember it?
6. Skills learned at schoolwork are vital and interlinked with most activities your child will participate in. The skills learned in these activities transfer and transcends across life. Focussed mental effort, strategic planning, delayed gratification, time management, and self-discipline for example, are all major ingredients of successful endeavours-that carry into adulthood.
7. Serve as a sympathetic and nonjudgmental consultant. Do not allow homework to become a raging verbal battlefield. Effective parents offer accessible homework consultation without doing too much of the work for the child. Parents should take every precaution not to come across as the child’s harshest critic.
I have tested these tips myself over a number of years with learners from Primary schools up to grade 10, they can really give your child an edge on schoolwork and you some peace of mind.

Next week I conclude on tips on how to be a homework consultant to your children, until then -
Blessings from heart to heart.

 S A Food and Goods all over the World

Click here to see a list of countries and shops that sell S A goods. If you own a shop overseas that sells SA stuff or if you know of one, let me know and I will add it to the page


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Honey and Cinnamon - a mixture of cures

  It is found that a mixture of Honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases.
  Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world.
  Ayurvedic, as well as Yunani medicine, have been using honey as a vital medicine for centuries.
  Scientists of today also accept honey as a Ram Ban (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases.
  Honey can be used without any side effects for all kinds of diseases.
  Today's science says that, even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it will not harm diabetic patients.
  A famous magazine named Weekly World News published in Canada dated 17 January, 95 has given a list of diseases that can be cured by Honey and Cinnamon as researched by western scientists.

- Take one part honey to two parts of luke warm water and add a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Make a paste and massage it on the itching part of the body slowly.
- The pain should recede within fifteen minutes in most cases.
- Arthritis patients can take one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder every day.
- If drunk regularly, even chronic arthritis can be cured.
- In a recent research done at Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon honey and half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week, out of the 200 people treated, 73 patients were totally relieved of pain within a month. Mostly of these patients could not walk or move around freely, but after the therapy, they started walking with less pain.

- Those suffering from hair loss or baldness, may apply a paste of hot olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder before a bath and keep it for approximately 15 minutes, and then wash the hair.
- It was found very effective if kept for 5 minutes as well.

Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of luke warm water and drink it. It destroys the germs of the bladder.

Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey, and apply on the aching tooth. This may be done 3 times a day (daily) till such time, that the tooth has stopped aching.

- Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of cinnamon powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea, when given to a cholesterol patient, reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours.
- As mentioned for arthritic patients - If taken 3 times a day, it lowers the cholesterol level.
- As per the information received in a Medical Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

- Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon of luke warm honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days.
- This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.

- Yunani and Ayurvedic have been using honey for years in medicine to strengthen the semen of men.
- If impotent men regularly take two tablespoons of honey before sleeping, their problem will be solved.
- In China, Japan and the Far East, women who do not conceive, and to strengthen the uterus, have been taking cinnamon powder for centuries.
- Women who cannot conceive may take a pinch of cinnamon powder in half a teaspoon of honey, and apply it on the gums frequently throughout the day, so that it slowly mixes with the saliva and enters the body.
- A couple in Maryland (USA) had no children for 14 years and had left hope of having a child of their own. When told about this process, both husband and wife started taking honey and cinnamon as stated above, The wife conceived after a few months and had twins at full term.

- Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.
- GAS : According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that honey, if taken with cinnamon powder, relieves gas and pain in the stomach.

- Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder. Apply on bread or chapatti instead of jelly and jam, and eat it regularly for breakfast.
- It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from the risk of a heart attack.
- For those who have had an attack in the past, follow this process daily and avoid the risk of another attack.
- Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heartbeat.
- In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have discovered that the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged. Honey and Cinnamon improves blood flow.

- Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks.
- Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts.
- Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases.

Cinnamon powder sprinkled on 2 tablespoons of honey taken before food, relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.

A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient which kills influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.


- Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, and when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age.
- Take 4 spoons of honey, 1 spoon of cinnamon powder and 3 cups of water and boil to make like tea.
- Drink 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age.
- Life span also increases, and you begin to feel younger!

Take three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it the next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.

Eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections are cured by applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts.

- Every morning, on an empty stomach, half an hour before breakfast, and again at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup water.
- If taken regularly it reduces the weight of even the most obese person.
- Also drinking of this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body, even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

- Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully.
- Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month, 3 times a day and continue with the Oncologist’s treatment. No harm lost!

- Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful than detrimental to one’s body strength.
- Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon power in equal parts are more alert and flexible.
- Dr. Milton, who has carried out extensive research on this subject, says that, half a tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder taken daily after brushing, and again in the afternoon around 3.00 p.m. when the vitality of the body starts decreasing, increases the vitality of the body within a week.

People of South America:
The first thing in the morning they gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water. so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

Honey and Cinnamon powder taken in equal parts daily, restores hearing.


Right click here to download you Smoothie recipes eBook!

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My Recipe CD has now been updated and now includes 55 Recipe eBooks as well as 8 Bonus eBooks (4 eBooks on making, marketing and selling crafts for profit) Click here to take a look. (that works out to about R2 per recipe book! sheessshhh!)

Hello Peter,
Just to let you know that I received my recipe CD today in the mail and I'm over the moon about it.
I'm going to spread the word to others to order copies too. It's most certainly worth every cent..........
Thanks again,

Glenacres Superspar Recipe

Glenacres Superspar sends out a really nice newsletter full of super recipes. To subscribe, click here and send the blank email. 

Ostrich Wraps with all the Trimmings

15ml olive oil
1 onion, sliced
500g ostrich steaks, cut into 5cm strips
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
85ml bottled salsa
handful coriander, torn roughly
cos lettuce, shredded
salt and milled pepper
8 tortillas

1. Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté onion for two minutes.
2. Add ostrich and garlic and cook for three minutes.
3. Pour in salsa, reduce heat and cook on a rolling simmer for three minutes.
4. Heat tortillas in a preheated 180°C oven or in a hot, dry frying pan.
5. Serve ostrich and warm tortillas with a selection of fillings like shredded lettuce, yoghurt, chopped fresh tomato, onion, salsa, cucumber, grated cheese and chilli sauce.

On the wild side 

Grey Heron

Click for larger image


Photo by Anna Eksteen

Almost any dam, river or sewage pond will serve at some time or another as the grey heron's hunting ground.

Though not as common as the black-headed heron, the grey heron is just as widespread, occurring throughout Africa, Europe and Asia. It is far more strictly tied to watery habitats than other herons for its food of frogs, fishes and other aquatic animals. It is typically a stand-and-wait fisher and you will most likely see it standing, sometimes belly-deep, in water-waiting motionless for food to swim by. It may swim in deeper water, but is not well designed for this type of travel.

When put to flight, the grey heron may utter two or three loud, strident croaks as it beats its way into the air. Once airborne, it folds its neck into a tight S-shape against its chest and then gives the impression of being quite buoyant.

Grey herons nest in trees or cliff ledges, usually in colonies and often in company with other herons and egrets. The nest is a large stick platform lined with grass or reeds, in which two to three pale blue eggs are laid. Both parents incubate for 26 days and then feed the nestlings on regurgitated food for about a month in the nest. Then the young clamber about the nesting area for 20 days or so before they can fly. They are dependent on their parents for food for a further 3 weeks.

Taken from: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld - Heritage Publishing.

Find your way around South Africa

With this really informative map, just click here:

 Source: The all-in-one official guide and web portal to South Africa.  
Afrikaans Newsletter

Subscribe to my Afrikaans newsletter . Visit my Afrikaans website. Recipes and freebie with each newsletter.
Smile a While

There are only two four letter words that are offensive to men 'don't' and 'stop', unless they are used together.

A preacher retired and moved to the country to enjoy life and practice his hobby of yard work.
Needing a lawn mower, he headed into town to buy one.
On the way he saw a sign advertising a lawn mower for sale.
He stopped at the house and a young lad came out to greet him.
The preacher asked about the lawn mower and the kid said it was behind the house.
The two went to look at the lawn mower.
The engine was sputtering along at idle speed.
The preacher increased the speed of the engine and mowed a few strips.
Satisfied that the mower would do the job they settled on a price.
Later in the day, the young lad was riding his bicycle when he spied the preacher pulling on the engine starter rope.
The kid stopped and watched for a couple of minutes.
"What's wrong?" he asked,
The reply came, "I can't get this mower started. Do you know how?"
The kid said, "Yep."
"Well, how do you do it? Tell me!", the preacher yelled.
The kid replied, "You have to cuss it."
The preacher rose up indignantly. "Now you listen here. I am a preacher and if I ever did cuss, not saying I have, I've forgotten how to do it after all these years."
With a wise look on his face well beyond his years, the kid said, "Preacher, you keep pulling that rope and it'll all come back to ya."

A young woman went to her doctor complaining of pain.
"Where are you hurting?", asked the Dr.
"You have to help me, I hurt all over", she said.
"All over? Be a little more specific". said the Dr.
The woman touched her right knee with her index finger & yelled. "ow, that hurts"
Then she touched her left cheek and again yelled, "That hurts,too"
Then she touched her right earlobe,"That even hurts" she cried.
The Dr. looked at her thoughtfully for a moment & asked, "Are you a natural blonde?"
"Why, yes," she said.
"I thought so," said the doctor, "You have a broken finger"

A man was driving when a traffic camera flashed. He thought his picture was taken for exceeding the speed limit, even though he knew he was not speeding.
Just to be sure, he went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly, but again the camera flashed.
He thought this was quite funny, so he slowed down even further as he drove past the area, but the traffic camera flashed yet again.
He tried a fourth time with the same result. The fifth time he was laughing when the camera flashed as he rolled past at a snail's pace.
Two weeks later, he got five traffic fine letters in the mail for driving without a seat belt.
Men! And they say blondes are dumb.

But you didn't...

Remember the time I made you take us to
the beach and you said it'd rain, and it did?
I thought you'd say "I told you so!"
But you didn't.

Remember the time I took your brand new
car without permission and I dented it?
I thought you'd yell at me.
But you didn't.

And remember the time I wore your
new sweater and stained it?
I thought you'd scold me.
But you didn't.

Remember the time I tried to cook
you a fancy meal and I burnt it?
I thought you'd laugh at me.
But you didn't.

And remember the time I exposed one
of your secrets and it embarrassed you?
I thought you'd leave me.
But you didn't.

And all these things I wanted to make up to you
When you came back from Pakistan.............
But you Didn't.

Some great resorts we have visited

We have just returned from a week at Ekuthuleni, click here for my report and some pictures.
You can also see some more photos here

Since Ekuthuleni we have also been to Hazyview Cabanas, for my write-up and pictures click here

We are just back from a really nice trip to Mozambique - Morrumbene Beach Resort

We have just returned from a glorious week at Mnarani Club, Kilifi, Kenya


Ginger is grown mainly in the tropics, with the best ginger coming from Jamaica.
Ginger is one of the easiest plants to grow, and is also attractive in your garden.
Please note that ornamental ginger is not edible.
Ginger needs deeply dug soil and lots of compost. Plant in full sun, although a little afternoon shade is okay. Give the plants a twice weekly soaking. Flowers appear in summer, and then all watering must stop to enable the leaves to die down. Don't cut them off, they must die down on their own, returning nourishment to the swollen root.
Ginger is harvested in July. Carefully lift the tubers with a fork, and rinse them in cold water.
Freshly grated fresh tubers can be stored in brown grape vinegar in a dark bottle.
They love to be planted near lilies, hostas and elephant ears.

Ginger tea is wonderful for respiratory ailments and nausea, even the nausea associated with chemotherapy.
It is excellent for colic, flatulence, poor peripheral circulation, lack of energy, diarrhoea and nervous exhaustion.
Medical tests have proven ginger helps to lower high cholesterol.
Make a tea using 2 - 4 teaspoons of thinly sliced ginger root in a cup of boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes and sweeten with honey, if preferred. Leave the ginger in the cup, and chew a little of it while drinking the tea.
Ginger circulatory cream (recipe below) massaged into the hands and feet, are good for cold hands and feet.

Add thinly sliced fresh ginger to fish dishes.
Make your own ginger beer with fresh ginger.
Marinades, soups and sauces are enhanced by this precious spice.

Ginger added to a foot bath, helps to deodorise smelly feet and also softens hard skin.
Thinly sliced, or grated ginger, added to your bath stimulates circulation and helps to remove toxins from your body. Remember, ginger can irritate sensitive skins, so always test the mixture first on the inside of your wrists.

Leftover grated ginger can be added to spent coffee grounds, and sprinkled under tender plants to kill snails.
Sprinkle ginger powder and cayenne pepper to deter ants and mice.

1 Cup Minced Fresh Ginger
1 Cup Aqueous Cream
2 teaspoons Powdered loves
½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Peppermint Essential Oil
Gently simmer the ginger, aqueous cream, cloves and cayenne pepper in a double boiler for 15 minutes. Strain and add 6 drops of peppermint oil. Mix well and spoon into a sterilised jar. Seal well.


The FunkyMunky Herb eBook is now available. 48 popular herbs, descriptions and uses with photos. Immediately available, will be emailed to you. Only R50 , send me an email for payment details.
I'm very impressed with what I've read so far. What I really like is that your book is a combination of medicinal and culinary advice, unlike many other herb books I've read.
And the format is great - thanks very much. I have an ambitious project to make a herb garden this year - so your section of herb gardens will come in very handy - Shelagh
Zimbabwe update

For the latest on happenings in Zimbabwe, go to:  and subscribe to their newsletter, a really good source of current information

Cathy Buckle has started writing again from Zimbabwe, her letter is below.

Here is Cathy's letter:

Dear Family and Friends,

A growing number of analysts are starting to say that the "honeymoon is over" for Zimbabwe's unity government. For the last six months the very long suffering Zimbabweans have been patient, very patient. After living through nine years of violence, hunger, disease, poverty and oppression, everyone wanted to try and make this botched up and hugely over-staffed government work.

"Its a transitional" stage, we were told by our MP's in March, April and May.

"Be Patient!" they urged, " in June and July. "The collapse is widespread, the corruption rampant and change is going to take time."

At a local level services remain largely non existent - garbage is still not collected, street lights don't work, roads are full of potholes and water supplies are scarce.

At a business level conditions continue to be extremely precarious. For the last three months the NEC (National Employment Council) have been announcing new wage levels for employees in the business sector.
They are demanding increases for workers of 40% in some sectors, 50% in others and are saying that new wage rates are to be backdated by 2,3 and even 4 months. Employers are saying that if the wage levels
are enforced they'll have no option but to make half their staff redundant and reduce business by 50%. Employees say they understand on the one hand but threaten to strike on the other. It's a time bomb.

At a professional level government doctors have finally reached tipping point and gone on strike. After a minimum of five years university and hospital training and working very long hours with negligible equipment and facilities, they've said enough is enough. They say they will not continue working for 170 US dollars (106 British pounds) a month.

Government teachers are very close to withdrawing their services too. Three or more years of tertiary education, teacher training, classroom experience and every afternoon of every school day spent supervising
or travelling to one sporting event or another, teachers are very disgruntled. In return for their labour they are currently earning only 140 US dollars (87 British pounds) a month.

To put all this into perspective are two pictures:

First is the driver of the truck which killed the Prime Minister's wife, Mrs Susan Tsvangirai. The truck driver was reportedly earning 300 British pounds (US$ 480) a month at the time of the accident.
(for which he was fined US 200. ) A truck driver earning almost double the salary of a doctor?

Secondly are the new NEC rates for security workers. A man standing at the gate of a complex lifting a boom across the road for vehicles to enter is now earning 140 US dollars a month, before transport,
lighting and housing allowances. A gate guard earning more than a teacher?

Zimbabwe's priorities are confused and patience grows ever thinner.

Until next week, thanks for reading,
love cathy

Copyright cathy buckle 15 August 2009
. For information on my new book: "INNOCENT VICTIMS" or my previous
books, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears," or to
subscribe/unsubscribe to this newsletter, please write to:
This South Africa - interesting facts and information 

The A to Z of South African culture (each newsletter features a letter of the alphabet) see archive

Y is for Yum
Two dances of the sea, four guises of salmon, iced peanut butter and kassler soup, chocolate risotto … yum, yum and yum again. And these are just the starters.
Yum restaurant in Johannesburg has developed a new and funky South African cuisine, and was rewarded with an Eat Out Johnnie Walker Restaurant of the Year award in 2005.

Yum has been in the top 10 restaurant list five times before. Owner and head chef Mario de Angeli (33) has no formal training, yet was named chef of the year in 2003.

He describes Yum's menu as "new South African cuisine, our interpretation of global food from South Africa - world food by South African people".

Go to Source:
The all-in-one official guide
and web portal to South Africa.  
Recipe Requests

Looking for a specific South African recipe? Email me and I will do my best to find it for you! 
The Recipes

'Oubos' pudding

2 ready-made Swiss rolls, sliced
100 ml medium- or full-cream
9 large egg whites
100 g castor sugar
500 ml cream
100 g sugar
100 g chocolate

Grease a large, flat, ovenproof dish with a little butter.
Line with three quarters of the slices of Swiss roll.
Sprinkel with three quarters of the sherry.
Beat the egg whites until stiff.
Add the castor sugar gradually, beating well after each addition.
Beat the cram until stiff and stir in the sugar.
Fold into the egg-white mixture.
Spoon into the prepared dish.
Place remaining slices of Swiss roll over the filling and sprinkle with remaining sherry.
Freeze for at least 24 hours.
Melt chocolate and pour over the pudding just before serving.

Baked banana pudding
30 ml melted butter
250 ml sugar
1 egg, whisked
250 ml cake flour
5 ml baking powder
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
pinch salt
65 ml water
5 ripe bananas, mashed
30 ml Nestlé condensed milk
250 ml water
200 ml sugar
15 ml butter

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Spray a 24 cm ovenproof serving dish with non-stick spray or margarine. Beat together the butter and sugar and stir in the whisked egg. Sift the dry ingredients together and stir into the sugar mixture, alternating with mashed bananas and water. Pour the batter into the prepared oven dish and bake for about 35 minutes until the pudding is golden brown or until a testing skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the pudding. Place all the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer until the syrup has thickened slightly, about 3-4 minutes. Prick the pudding with a fork and pour over the hot syrup as soon as the pudding is removed from the oven. Serve with a pouring custard or cream. Serves 4-6.

Baked sago pudding
140 g sago
1 whole cinnamon stick
750 ml milk
220 g sugar
2 egg yolks (beaten)
50 ml apple jam
6 egg whites
25 ml butter

Rinse off the sago.
Add the cinnamon stick and sago to the milk and heat slowly.
Cook over a low heat so that the sago becomes transparent.
Add 100 g of sugar,salt and butter in.
Mix well.
Remove the cinnamon stick.
Add the beaten egg yolks in
Scoop the mixture into a oven dish and pour the apple jam over.
Beat the egg whites stiff and add the 120 g of sugar spoon by spoon.
Scoop the meringue on top of the sago mixture and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 180 degrees c.

Bread and butter pudding with berries and almonds

100 g butter
500 g mixed berries
120 g castor sugar
15 ml cornflour
8 slices of white bread
100 g flaked almonds
4 large egg yolks
125 ml cream
200 ml milk

1 Grease an ovenproof dish with 25ml butter. Heat the mixed berries and 30ml castor sugar in a small saucepan until simmering. Mix the cornflour with 50ml water to form a paste, then whisk into the berry mixture and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
2 Cut the crusts off the slices of white bread. Spread the remaining butter on one side of each slice of bread, then cut the slices into triangles. Layer the bread in the ovenproof dish, alternating with the berry sauce. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
3 Mix the egg yolks, cream and milk in a bowl. Slowly pour the mixture over the bread to allow it to soak up the milky mixture.
4 Bake in a preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Once set, remove from the oven and set the grill to high. Sprinkle the remaining castor sugar over the pudding and place under a hot grill until the sugar has melted and starts to caramelise. Serve the pudding warm.

Cape Brandy pudding
250 g dates, stoned and finely chopped
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
250 ml boiling water
125 g margarine
200 g sugar
2 eggs, beaten
240 g cake flour
5 ml baking powder
2 ml salt
250 ml walnuts or pecan nuts, chopped
300 ml sugar
15 ml butter
200 ml water
5 ml vanilla essence
2 ml salt
25 ml brandy

Preheat oven to 180 ºC. 1. Divide chopped dates into 2 portions. Add bicarbonate of soda and boiling water to 1 portion, mix well and leave to cool. 2. Cream margarine and sugar then beat in eggs. 3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt over mixture and fold in. Add dry portions of dates and walnuts, blending well. 4. Stir in bicarbonate of soda mixture, blend thoroughly and turn batter out into a large baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until firm. SAUCE: Heat sugar, butter and water for 5 minutes. Remove from stove and stir in vanilla essence, salt and brandy. Pour sauce over pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven and serve hot or cold with whipped cream.

Chocolate mealie meal pudding

5 extra-large eggs
5 egg yolks
150 ml castor sugar
250 g dark Nestlé EasyMelt Chocolate, broken into pieces
250 g unsalted butter
65 ml mealie meal
25 ml cake flour
cocoa to dust muffin pans

Preheat the oven to 200 ºC. Butter the muffin pans and dust with cocoa powder. Beat the eggs, egg yolks and castor sugar until thick and fluffy. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler over boiling water or in the microwave oven. Add slowly to the egg mixture. Sprinkle the mealie meal and cake flour over the mixture and fold in. Fill each muffin pan three-quarters full. Bake for 10-15 minutes until firm to the touch. The inside should still be runny. Turn out onto a side plate and cut one side open. Serve immediately with a variety of fresh berries or strawberries and a dollop of cream mixed with plain yoghurt. Sieve castor sugar on top. Makes about 25-30.

Malva pudding
250 ml sugar
1 jumbo egg
15 ml softened butter
60 ml smooth apricot jam
250 ml cake flour
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
1 ml salt
250 ml milk
10 ml vinegar
10 ml vanilla essence
250 ml cream or Nestlé Ideal Evaporated Milk
100 g unsalted butter
125 ml sugar
60 ml hot water

Preheat oven to 180 ºC. Beat sugar, egg, butter and jam until pale and fluffy. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Mix milk, vinegar and vanilla essence. Fold flour mixture and milk mixture alternately into egg mixture. Pour into a buttered 22-24 cm diameter baking dish, cover with foil, shiny side down, and bake for 45 to 55 minutes until firm, or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Remove foil 10 minutes before end of baking time to allow pudding to brown on top. SAUCE: Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Heat, stirring, until butter melts and sugar has dissolved. Pour over hot pudding. Serve with whipped cream.

Mealie meal pudding

15 ml butter
45 ml golden syrup
250 ml slack mealie meal porridge
2 ml ginger (optional)
1 ml salt
250 ml milk
2 extra-large eggs
100 ml sultanas (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Spray a small ovenproof dish with non-stick spray. Melt the butter and syrup and add the remaining ingredients, except the sultanas. Beat well, add the sultanas and mix. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 40-60 minutes until done and set. Serve lukewarm with extra syrup. Serves 3-4.

Vinegar pudding
120 g cake flour
pinch salt
50 ml sugar
12 ml margarine, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
25 ml vinegar
50 ml apricot jam
125 ml milk
175 ml boiling water
125 ml sugar

Sift the cake flour, salt and sugar together, then add the margarine and egg. Mix well. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the vinegar and stir. Add to the flour mixture. Add the apricot jam to the mixture and stir until the apricot jam is well distributed but not completely incorporated. Mix all the ingredients for the syrup and microwave for 4-5 minutes on 100 percent power. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the syrup and microwave for 3-4 minutes on 100 percent power. Serves 4.


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