Number 182

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July 31st, 2010



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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?

We have just returned from a really nice break at Sandy Place resort in St Lucia on the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Click here for story and photos. In two weeks time we leave for the Kagga Kamma nature rteserve and on the way back home spend a few days at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park as well as the Witsand reserve. Hope to get some really nice photos to share.

The recipe freebie this time is an eBook with yummkilicious veggie recipes. If you have missed out on the recipe book freebies that accompany each newsletter click here to go to the archives and download to your heart's content.

The recipe section features some more great soup recipes. It's not quite spring yest so soup is still on the menu.

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US$ 87,000,000, US$252,000,000, USD$143,000,000, US$158,000,000, US$15,000,000, the aforementioned amounts are the current jackpots on overseas Lotto's. Click on the banner to the right and get yourself some tickets. It's completely safe and who knows, your life could just change drastically, first time players also get a free ticket!

SA Food and Good in other countries

Click the link below for your favourite SA goodies


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

Barking mad
I know that the English are often accused of loving their pets more than their children but usually barmy ideas of this ilk start out across the pond in places like California where there are more nuts per square kilometre than raisins. This summer someone has decided to roll out ice cream vans with tasty treats specifically for canines which will have man’s best friend howling with delight. A team of scientists investigated the perfect combination of temperature, texture and taste, ensuring the treats would be delicious to dogs and completely safe and instead of offering the traditional vanilla whip cones topped with a flake, these frozen feasts contain gammon and chicken ice cream - complete with a crunchy canine biscuit bone.

They came up with two flavours - 'dog eat hog world' - a gammon and chicken sorbet topped with a biscuit and served in a cone - and 'canine cookie crunch' - a combination of mixed dog biscuits and ice cream. There is no truth in the rumour that these delights were developed by Blumen Hestonstein in an effort to boost takings at his pub in Bray or that doggy beer would also be available. The K99 van will be found in parks this summer and, rather than the traditional chimes, the van will be playing the theme tune to Scooby Doo.

Holidays - Make your reservations with ACT Travel

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Check out the holiday specials on my FunkyTravel page

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.

Strategies and Life Skills for ADHD and ADD

We have been discussing how ADHD and ADD impact on children for the past two letters. This month I would like to give guidance on life skills and strategies that can make the lives of ADD/ADHD suffers easier (not to mention the lives of their parents!)
The following method works well for children with ADD, as well as those displaying ADHD behaviour. It is as easy as 1-2-3.
All tasks can be broken down into a 1-2-3 process. 1 is Getting organized -a child gets where he or she needs to be and gathers the supplies needed to complete the task. 2 is Staying focused. Sticking with the task and learning to say "no" to distractions. 3 is Getting it done. Finishing up, checking your work, and putting on the finishing touches, like remembering to put a homework paper in the right folder. With a more complex task, like completing a book report, the steps would become more involved, but the basic elements remain the same. The task would then be broken down into several smaller tasks to make it more manageable for the child.
A child must learn to say NO to distractions and distracting thoughts by filling her head with the words for example: “Just do it!” and “The sooner I am finished the sooner I can do my own thing”. Reward your child with a hug or cookie when she has put effort into staying on track and finishing a task.
Your role as a parent is to be a kind but persistent coach. You can ask your child questions that will help him or her get on track and stay there. But use these questions to prompt your child's thought process about what needs to be done. The self-satisfaction he or she will feel will be a more powerful motivator. Also, be sure to ask your child's opinion of how things are going so far.
Encourage your child to start seeing tasks as a series of questions and answers. Suggest he or she ask these questions out loud and then answer them. Start by asking the questions and having your child answer. Later, transfer responsibility for the questions from you to your child.
It will take time to teach your child how to break down tasks into steps. It also will take time for your child to learn how to apply these skills to do what needs to be done. Sometimes, it will seem simpler just to do it for him or her. It certainly would take less time. But the trouble is that kids don't learn how to be independent and successful if their parents take over every time a situation is challenging.
Create a routine. Your child must learn to get ready for school the night before by putting all necessary bags at the same place, in the same way, every day. Teach your child to make lists of what needs to be done in order of importance or urgency and then to tick it off as it is completed.
Your child will learn new skills that he will need and he will develop a sense of independence. This kind of teaching can be a very loving gesture. It's like you're filling up your child's toolbox with very necessary tools.
Not only is it practical to teach these skills, but knowing how to get stuff done will help your child feel more competent and effective. Children feel self-confident and proud when they're able to accomplish their tasks and responsibilities. They're also sure to be pleased when they find they have some extra free time to do what they'd like to do.
Blessing from heart to heart.

You are welcome to comment or send questions to her at 

South African Folkolore

Check out my new page with South African folklore

South African National Parks

I will now start a series on the South African National Parks. National parks offer visitors an unparalleled diversity of adventure tourism opportunities including game viewing, bush walks, canoeing and exposure to cultural and historical experiences.

Fifteen of South Africa's 21 national parks offer park or camp-run accommodation. Most parks and rest-camps have retail facilities and restaurants. Across the parks, there are a total of 6 000 beds and 1 000 camping and caravan sites, which can accommodate almost
12 000 overnight guests.

Addo Elephant National Park

Deep within the shadows of the dense bushveld of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape lies the Addo Elephant National Park. Originally proclaimed in 1931 with only 11 elephants, today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 450 of the animals - the densest elephant population on earth. Other wildlife includes the Cape buffalo, black rhino, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.

A unique combination of the Big Seven - elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, whales and great white sharks - makes the park a major attraction, as does its rich heritage of archaeological and historical sites. The park also contains five of South Africa's seven major vegetation zones.

Future plans include the proposed proclamation of a 120 000ha marine reserve to include islands that are home to the world's largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and second largest breeding population of African penguins. This reserve also incorporates the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere.

Plans are being implemented to expand the 164 000-hectare Addo into a 360 000-hectare mega-park.

Year proclaimed: 1931
Current size: 1 642.3 square kilometres
Province: Eastern Cape



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South African English

A new section to the newsletter, by Mary Alexander
English has been spoken in South Africa for over 200 years, at least since the British seized the Cape of Good Hope territory in 1795.
Over the centuries the language has evolved into a distinct dialect, with a vocabulary strongly influenced by indigenous languages.
The strongest influence is probably from Afrikaans, a local language that developed out of Dutch. But there are also significant influences from African languages such as isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, and the Khoisan and Nama languages.
Here and there are words imported from other British and Dutch colonies, such as India and Indonesia, as well as from the languages of other immigrants, such as Portuguese and Greek.
According to South Africa’s 2001 census, English is spoken as a home language by 8.2% of the population, one in three of whom are not white.
Roughly half the population is estimated to have a speaking knowledge of the language.
Below is a glossary of the more common words unique to South African English.

I am going through the alphabet, starting with A.

Egoli – noun – Johannesburg, and the title of a local soap opera set in the city. From the isiXhosa and isiZulu for “place of gold”; Johannesburg is historically South Africa’s primary gold-producing area, and the country’s richest city.

eina (ay-nuh or ay-nar) – exclamation and adjective, informal – Ouch! or Ow! Can also mean “sore”. Example (exclamation): “Eina! I just cut my finger.” Example (adjective): “That cut was eina.” From the Afrikaans, perhaps originally from the Khoikhoi /é + //náu.

eish (aysh) – exclamation, informal – Expression of surprise, wonder, frustration or outrage. Example: “Eish! That cut was eina!” From the isiXhosa and isiZulu.

Fanagolo – noun – Pidgin language that grew up mainly on South Africa’s gold mines to allow communication between white supervisors and African labourers during the colonial and apartheid era. It combines elements of the Nguni languages, English, and Afrikaans. From the Nguni fana ka lo, from fana (be like) and the possessive suffix -ka + lo (this).

fixed up – exclamation, informal – That’s good, yes, sorted. Example: “Let’s meet at the restaurant.” The reply: “Fixed up.”

flog – verb, informal – Sell. Example: “I’ve had enough of this laptop. I think it’s time I flogged it.”

for sure, sure, sure-sure – exclamation, informal – Yes; general affirmative.

frikkadel (frik-kuh-dell) – noun – Meatball or rissole. From the Afrikaans, originally from the French fricandeau (fried sliced meat served with sauce).

fundi (foon-dee) – noun – Expert. From the Nguni umfundisi (teacher, preacher).

fynbos (fayn-baws) – noun – “Fine bush” in Afrikaans, fynbos is a vegetation type unique to the Cape Floral Region – a Unesco World Heritage Site – made up of some 6 000 plant species, including many types of protea.

gatvol (ghut-foll) – adjective, informal – Fed up. From the Afrikaans.

gemsbok (ghems-bok) – noun – Large African antelope (Oryx gazella) with long, straight horns. From the Afrikaans gems (chamois, a European goat-antelope) and bok (buck).

gogga, goggo (gho-gha or gho-gho) – noun – Insect, bug. From the Khoikhoi xo-xon.

gogo (goh-goh) – noun – Grandmother or elderly woman. From the isiZulu.

gramadoelas (ghram-ah-dool-as) – noun – Wild or remote country. From the Afrikaans, perhaps originally from the isiXhosa and isiZulu induli (hillock).

grand apartheid – noun – The most systematic and rigid implementation of apartheid, such as the creation of the “homelands” under the policy of “separate development”, during the 1960s and 1970s.

graze – verb, informal – Eat.

Griqua – noun, plural and singular – South African population group, or a member of that group, descended from a mix of early (from 1652) European blood with that of the indigenous Khokhoi, San and Tswana. They generally speak Afrikaans, and have their own church, the Protestant Griqua Church. “Griqua” is a Nama word.

Griqualand – noun – Two South African regions historically occupied by the Griqua. Griqualand East, on the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal frontier, was settled by Adam Kok III and over 2 000 Griquas after a trek across the Drakensberg mountains in 1861. Today the region is centred around the town of Kokstad (Kok’s city). Griqualand West is the area around Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape. “Griqua” is a Nama word.

grysbok (gh-rays-bok) – noun – Two species of small South African antelope (genus Raphicerus). From the Afrikaans and Dutch for “grey buck”.


Rugby Statistics

Loot Eksteen put together some interesting rugby stats, just right click to download the files or click to open the files. Contact Loot by email

Internationals - 2010 - Logs

Internationals - 2010 - Data

Internationals - 2010 - Stats

Currie Cup 2010 - Fixtures


Right click here and download a recipe eBook with yummilicious veggie recipes. File size 1.07 MB.

Weird remedies

I have been collecting Traditional South African Home Remedies (Boererate) for a few years now, mainly to preserve an old tradition. Some are funny but some actually work and have been used since the 1800's when doctors were not easy to come by and people had to make do with what they had. I will be featuring some of the weirder ones in this and future letters. These are for information only, I accept no responsibility if something should go wrong!

HANDS...If you suffer from winter hands and feet…go to the Pharmacy and purchase empty capsules. Fill the capsules withcayenne pepper and drink one every day.
HANDS…Apply Dubbin liberally to hands when they feel rough.
HANDS…For chapped and dry hands…that are also rough…applythe salve used for milking…apply liberally and cover the handswith plastic to allow the salve to be absorbed....especially atnight so that you don’t get the oily salve onto the bedclothes.
HANDS…For ladies who want soft hands…take 3 tablespoons ofolive-oil and warm in the micro-wave and rub into the hands. Itworks very well.
HANDS…For rough…winter hands apply Dubbin…good oldmilking salve…obtainable at Farmer’s Co-ops. It is cheaper andbetter than any hand creams on the market today.
HANDS…For winter hands and feet you must go and walkbarefoot in the frost in the early morning….wipe your handsacross the grass so the frost can get to them properly. Thefrost will soon get rid of the roughness.
HANDS…For winter hands just mix equal quantities of candlewax and paraffin and apply liberally to the hands morning andevening.
HANDS…For winter hands or feet…Take a piece of cotton-wooland dampen it with Lennon’s Witdulcies and apply liberally tothe hands and feet. For the first couple of days it will seem as
though your hands and feet are getting worse…then you willstart to see the difference and your hands and feet will healnicely. Apply morning and evening. It is inclined to itch for afew minutes after application…then it will ease off.
HANDS…Mix olive-oil and sugar well…rub into your hands…thenrinse the sugar off…and pat your hands dry. Rub your hands sothat the oil is absorbed into the skin.
HANDS…Recipe for hand cream…Take 1 small tin of babypowder…1 bottle of Vaseline…2 small bottles of glycerine and 1 small bottle of almond-oil and mix well. Keep in a wide-necked jar with a screw-type lid. Use as you would hand cream.
HANDS…When your hands or feet feel sore and are rough and chapped in winter…mix the following paraffin salve and apply liberally. Melt the wax of 2 candles in an old saucepan over a
low heat setting. Add ¼ of a block of crushed camphor. Stir continuously to mix and avoid burning. Stir till the camphor is completely melted. Remove from the stove to avoid the mixture smoking. Add enough paraffin to form a soft lotion…stir to make sure it is thoroughly mixed. Allow to cool and decant into a jar with a screw-type lid. Apply as needed…to the hands and feet.

Words to live by 

I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

Always keep several Get Well cards on the mantelpiece so if unexpected guests arrive they will think you've been sick and unable to clean up.

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Glenacres Superspar Recipe

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

Spaghetti with Garlic and Chilli

500g spaghetti
125ml extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped

1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of rapidly boiling water until al dente - drain and return to the pan
2. Just before the spaghetti is cooked, heat the olive oil in a small pan until warm
3. Add the garlic and red chilli and stir over a low heat for 2 minutes
4. Add the flavoured oil to the cooked pasta and toss to combine

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

Keep this in mind the next time you are about to repeat a rumour or spread gossip.
In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.
One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?"
"Wait a moment," Socrates replied, "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
'Triple filter?" asked the acquaintance.
"That's right," Socrates continued, "Before you talk to me about Diogenes let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man said, "Actually I just heard about it."
"All right," said Socrates, "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?"
"No, on the contrary..."
"So," Socrates continued, "You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you're not certain it's true?"
The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?"
The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.
It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was shagging his wife.

A man walks into a bar, notices a very large jar on the counter,and sees that it's filled to the brim with R10 notes. He guesses there must be at least ten thousand Rand in it. He approaches the bartender and asks, "What's with the money in the jar?"
"Well..., you pay
R10, and if you pass three tests, you get all the money in the jar and the keys to a brand new Lexus."
The man certainly isn't going to pass this up, so he asks, "What are the three tests?"
"You gotta pay first," says the bartender, "those are the rules."
So, after thinking it over a while, the man gives the bartender
R10 which he stuffs into the jar.
"Okay," says the bartender, "here's what you need to do:

First - You have to drink a whole quart of tequila, in 60 seconds or less, and you can't make a face while doing it."
"Second - There's a pit bull chained in the back with a bad tooth. You have to remove that tooth with your bare hands."
"Third - There's a 90-year old lady upstairs who's never had sex. You have to take care of that problem."

The man is stunned! "I know I paid my
R10 -- but I'm not an idiot! I won't do it! You'd have to be nuts to drink a quart of tequila and then do all those other things!"
"Your call," says the bartender, "but, your money stays where it is."
As time goes on, the man has a few more drinks and finally says, "Where's the damn tequila?!"
He grabs the bottle with both hands and drinks it as fast as he can. Tears stream down both cheeks -- but he doesn't make a face -- and he drinks it in 58 seconds!
Next, he staggers out the back door where he sees the pit bull chained to a pole. Soon, the people inside the bar hear loud growling, screaming, and sounds of a terrible fight -- then nothing but silence!
Just when they think that the man surely must be dead, he staggers back into the bar. His clothes are ripped to shreds and he's bleeding from bites and gashes all over his body. He drunkenly says, "Now ... where's that old woman with the bad tooth?" 

Tips 'n Tricks

Handy Hints for the

Fighting Colds and Flu with Home Remedies!

Kick chicken soup up a notch
When science proved that chicken broth really does help to fight colds, it secured it's place as a healing food. Chicken soup works in two ways. The steam rising from the bowl, helps clear congestion, and anti-inflammatory compounds in the soup slow the movement of neutrophils, white blood cells that spur the formation of mucus in the lungs and nose. To notch-up your chicken soup even further, add 2 peeled and crushed garlic cloves to the simmering soup. Garlic contains antiviral sulphur compound and it is said to boost the immune system.

Fire up the hair dryer
When you feel a cold coming on, inhaling heated air can stunt it's severity. Warm air kills rhinoviruses that are working their way up the nose. In a U.K. test, subjects who breathed warm air had half the symptoms of those who inhaled air at room temperature. Set your hair dryer to warm (not hot) and hold it at least 45cm from your face and inhale the warm air for as long as you can, preferably 20 minutes if possible.

Sip and gargle Echinacea tea
Echinacea purpurea can help to prevent colds, and relieve the symptoms of colds and flu. It works partly by boosting levels of the chemical properdin, which strengthens the body's defence mechanisms against infections. Drinking 3 cups of Echinacea tea a day will guard against colds. Don't drink them all at one time. Limit your consumption to three weeks every four to avoid nausea, fevers and other side effects. You can also gargle the tea up to 3 times a day to soothe a sore throat. Be careful when you drink this, it may interact with certain medications you are taking, so discuss it with your doctor before you try this one.

Cool a fever
In the first stages of a cold, you can help your body to bring down a fever by giving yourself a sponge bath every hour or so. Dip a sponge in tepid (not cold) water, lightly wring it out and use it to bathe your face, shoulders, chest and extremities. If the fever persists, drink 1 - 2 cups of ginger tea every few hours. The ginger promotes sweating, which is the body's way of cooling itself.

Fight coughs with thyme
Thyme is a natural expectorant, so brew a pot of thyme tea to fight a nagging cough. Just steep 2 Tbsp of dried thyme in 1.5 litres of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain into a teacup, sweeten with honey, if desired, and sip a cupful two or three times a day.

Three simple sore throat gargles
Invade the kitchen pantry to cure your sore throat.
Honey - it coats the throat and has mild antibacterial properties. Stir 1 - 3 tsp honey into 1 cup warm water and gargle 2 - 3 times a day.
Salt - salt has been used as a gargle for many centuries because it works so well. It draws moisture from the mucous membranes and helps to cleanse the throat of phlegm. Dissolve 1/2 tsp salt in a cup of warm water and gargle the mixture 3 - 4 times during the day.
Peppermint - the menthol in peppermint helps open the nasal passages, especially when you gargle strong peppermint tea. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 3 peppermint tea bags and let them steep for 4 - 5 minutes. Gargle with the cooled solution 2 - 3 times a day.

A fiery gulp
For a practical way to get rid of a congested throat, use kitchen staples honey and Tabasco sauce. Whisk 1 tsp honey into 1 cup of warm water. Now whisk in 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce or hot chilli sauce. (if this is too spicy, experiment by adding a few drops at a time). Drink the concoction slowly. Follow it with a small glass of ginger ale, which will cool the burning sensation.

Drink a hot toddy before bed
I still see my Granny making us drink this concoction when we were little kids. In a small glass, mix 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 slice of lemon, and add 100ml of ginger brandy to the glass - heat in the microwave, but do not overheat. Climb into bed and drink this mixture as hot as you possibly can. You sweat your cold and flu away whilst you sleep. You can add 2 soluble disprins to the mixture, but this is not necessary.

The power of red
Over a century ago, one of the most common cold cures was bought by the yard - red flannel, which was associated with warmth and healing. Why red? Because of the superstition that the colour red kept evil spirits at bay. Less metaphysically, flannel was said to 'draw out' a cold when worn next to the skin.
Flannel came on the scene in the late 19th century, when a napped cotton called flannelette became widely available. While considered inferior to wool, this new fabric didn't feel itchy on the skin as wool did. Mothers tied red flannel scarves around their children's necks to relieve sore throats (in addition to keeping away the evil eye). Many men wore red flannel underwear to protect themselves not only from colds and the flu, but to prevent attacks of gout and rheumatism. For back pain, flannelette bands were worn around the waist. In time, the fabric that sealed in heat without itching came to be known simply as flannel, and widely used for the tartan shirts worn by lumberjacks, and the checks, stripes and paisleys used in several generations' worth of flannel pyjamas.

Thanks to the Glenacres Superspar Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

Some great resorts we have visited

We visited 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

We also had a really nice stay at Hole in the Wall and Caribbean Estates

Beacon Wharf in Mossel Bay, Eagles Nest in Sedgefield, and Ocean 11 in Mossel Bay

In June 2010 we visited Ukuthula and Modumela in Botswana. Click the links for stories and photos

Earloier this month we visited Sandy Place in St Lucia, for story and photos click the link

The Wild Side

Green Backed Heron

Photo by Anna Eksteen
click to see larger image

The Green-backed Heron belongs to the family of birds classified as Ardeidae. According to the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology it is also known by these other names: Green Heron, Striated Heron and Little Green Heron. It is neither endemic or near endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident. The height of the bird is about 41cms and its weight is about 215grams. The male and female have the same plumage and colours. The head is black, eye is yellow, and bill is black. The throat is white; the back is black and grey. It has a spear-like bill that is yellow at the base and brownish-black at the tip. Chin, throat and upper breast are white with blackish stripes. It has yellow legs and feet. The male's legs turn orange when breeding. The bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Feeding Habits
Green-backed herons feed mostly on small fish, amphibians, crustaceans and aquatic insects. When hunting for food, a green-backed heron stands at the edge of the water with its neck folded back on its shoulders. It then quickly lunges for prey with its spear-like bill. Green-backed herons will also drop twigs or leaves into the water to attract fish to the surface.

Breeding Habitat and Nesting Habits
It is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying it will seek out a new mate. They are considered semi-colonial because they create nests both solitarily and with other herons and egrets. They nest in shrubs and small trees or sometimes create a nest on water. They usually begin arriving at their breeding areas in early April. During courtship, the male heron extends his neck feathers and swells his throat in a sharp call, then hops from one foot to the other in front of a female. The female heron lays clutches of three to six eggs twice per year which is blue-green in colour. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 23 days. Newly hatched stay in the nest until they are able to fly. Fledging occurs at about 30 days, and most birds depart the breeding colonies from mid-July through mid-October. Immature green-backed herons are brown above with brown and white streaks below.

The preferred habitats for Green-backed Heron are woodlands. They also live along lakes, ponds and wooded streams. You will normally see them by themselves rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Interesting facts
When alarmed, a green-backed heron may stretch its neck, raise its crest and jerk its tail. It will also call a piercing skew. In flight, green-backed herons hold their neck in an S-shaped position. 

Words and photo by Anna Eksteen, click here to see more photos on her TrekNature page.

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,

When businessman Temba Mliswa was arrested and charged a couple of weeks ago for allegedly seizing shares worth US$1 million in a local company, our eyebrows went up. Having been right up there at the top of the indigenous empowerment actors, Mliswa had obviously stepped on someone's toes. Was this the beginning of something big, we wondered, could it really be possible that Zanu PF were going to bring down one of their own? A big fuss ensued as one of the others accused in the case was Martin Mutasa, the son of Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa. Newly appointed MDC co Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makoni went to the aid of Minister Mutasa and that caused even more of a stir and the worms have continued pouring out of the can ever since.

Moments after being released on bail, Mliswa was arrested again; more charges had been raised and he was taken back into custody. This time the charges related to farms and involve generators, tractors, bulldozers, trucks and cattle. Was someone finally going to be held to account for the decade long looting of assets, livestock and equipment from commercial farms we wondered?

At the he earliest opportunity, Mliswa started squealing. In the brand new independent daily paper, Newsday, came the tantalizing
headlines: 'Mliswa spills the beans... implicates Chihuri, Chiwenga.'
The former being Zimbabwe's Commissioner of Police, the latter being the wife of the commander of the Defence Forces.

The next day NewsDay's front page was even juicier: "Chihuri threatens Temba Mliswa."

At the time of writing there are apparently more than 70 charges hanging over Mliswa's head and possibly more to come.

The real question is whether the sudden rash of charges against Temba Mliswa is a serious case of police investigation into the looting of farms or if dirty politics is really behind this matter.

The most famous, or infamous statement used by the police for not investigating incidents and reports from farmers for the last decade is :"it is political." Behind these three little words are hidden hundreds of thousands of reports from farmers. Reports that involve illegal entry, breaking and entry, theft, stock theft, malicious damage, abduction, extortion, beating, arson, rape, murder and many, many more.

Just one lawyer interviewed on SW Radio Africa said that he personally had over 600 cases relating to farms that have been pending for over five years.

Temba Mliswa is the tip of a gigantic antheap. An antheap that is festering underground, hot and humid and crammed with a seething mass of criminals, small, big and very big. Is their day finally coming?

Until next week, thanks for reading,

love cathy.
. For information on my new book: "INNOCENT VICTIMS" or my previous
books, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears," or to
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Recipe Requests

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

Asparagus and pea soup

400 g fresh green (young) asparagus spears
250 ml water
30 ml butter
10 ml sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
400 g frozen peas, defrosted
500 ml chicken or vegetable stock
salt and milled black pepper to taste
250 ml thick cream
Cut off asparagus tips and set aside. Chop stalks coarsely. Bring water to boil and steam stalks for 3 to 4 minutes (see tips).
Set aside. Using same water, cook tips until tender (2 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness). Reserve water for soup. Heat
butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and sauté until glossy but not browned. Add potato and toss to coat with
butter mixture. Add reserved cooking liquor and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until potato is tender. Add peas, asparagus
stalks and a quarter of the tips. Add stock (use 2 cubes) and bring to boil, then reduce temperature and simmer for 10
minutes. Purée soup until smooth, then return to saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, reheat (but don't allow to boil)
and stir in cream and remaining asparagus tips. Serve in heated bowls, with crusty bread.

Bacon and bean soup
Preparation time: 15
Cooking time: 30
15 ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
150 g rindless bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
400 g tinned mixed beans, rinsed and drained
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
1 small Savoy cabbage (about 90g), thinly sliced
2 pinches salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 handful Italian parsley, chopped
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a moderate temperature. Fry the onion and bacon for 3-4 minutes or until the
onion is soft and begins to colour.
2. Stir in the garlic, carrot and celery and stir-fry for another few minutes. Add the tomatoes, beans, stock and cabbage and
bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup (with the lid on) for about 20 minutes.
3. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir in the parsley and serve.

Bacon and cabbage soup
125 g streaky bacon (rind removed), chopped into small pieces
Pg No: 5
1 onion, finely chopped
15 ml olive oil
500 ml potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 head of cabbage, shredded
2 litre chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
lemon juice
100 g Brie cheese
few extra rashers bacon, grilled
Fry the bacon in a saucepan until done. Remove from the pan and set aside. Fry the onions in the remaining fat until glossy.
Add the olive oil and stir-fry the potato cubes until glossy. Add stock and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer
until the potato cubes are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a dash of lemon juice. Remove the rind of the
Brie and cut the cheese into 1 cm cubes. Place the cheese cubes in the bottom of soup bowls and ladle the hot soup on
top. Garnish with grilled bacon and the remaining cheese cubes and serve. Serves 6-8.

Beef Soup
Preparation time: 30
Cooking time: 150
3 medium carrots, peeled
2 large celery stalks
3 large leeks
3 bay leaves
500 g stewing beef pieces (with bones)
250 ml celery leaves, chopped
20 ml butter
100 ml semolina
10 potato fritters and ready-made apple sauce, to serve
1. Pour 2½ litres of water into a large saucepan. Roughly chop one carrot, one celery stalk and one leek and add to the
saucepan along with the beef and bay leaves. Cover the saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer
for 2 to 2½ hours until the meat comes off the bone easily.
2. Remove the vegetables and bay leaves and discard. Take out the meat and remove the bones. Cut the meat into smaller
pieces and place back into the stock in the saucepan.
3. Chop the rest of the vegetables and add to the soup, along with the celery leaves. Return to the boil, then reduce the
heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the semolina and fry over a medium heat, stirring until golden. Remove
from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the semolina to the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season well
with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with potato fritters and apple sauce

Beef and barley soup
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 1hr 45 min
2 litre beef stock
Pg No: 6
400 g beef shin, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
400 g chopped tomatoes
250 ml pearl barley
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
45 ml freshly chopped parsley
4 crusty rolls to serve
Heat the stock in a large saucepan.
Add the beef and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 1 hour.
Add all the remaining ingredients, except the parsley and allow to simmer for a further 45 minutes.
Remove the meat from the soup and discard the bones.
Dice the meat and return to the soup.
Stir in the parsley and serve with crusty rolls.

Bean soup
Cooking time: +/- 4 hours
500 g sugar beans
25 ml butter
1 onion, finely chopped
250 g streaky bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
few pieces beef shin
65 ml fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 litre cold water
finely grated rind of lemon
45 ml fresh parsley, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Soak the beans overnight or according to the quick soaking method (see Tips). Drain and rinse. Heat the butter in a large
saucepan and fry the onion until glossy. Add the bacon and stir-fry until done. Add the drained beans, shin, parsley, bay
leaf and cold water and simmer slowly for about four hours until both the beans and meat are tender. Mash the beans
slightly and season with lemon rind, more parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve hot with vetkoek.
Serves 5.


Two Recipe CD's

These CD's are very popular and I have sold quite a few, if you are overseas you can even pay with Paypal (US$20). Here are the CD details once more. they make an ideal gift and are light and cheap to send to someone by email. Much cheaper than sending 50 recipe books by mail!

I now have two CD's available, one English, one Afrikaans, each with more than 50 recipe Ebooks on them, here is a list of the recipe eBooks on the English CD:

FunkyMunky Traditional South African Recipes - A comprehensive collection of Traditional South African recipes.
Tradisionele Suid Afrikaanse Resepte - Traditional South African Recipes in Afrikaans
Christmas Recipes - A selection of Christmas Recipes for you to try!
101 Camping and Outdoor Recipes - Recipes for you to try next time you go camping
400 Refreshing punch recipes - Some great ideas for liquid refreshment at your next party
Favourite Christmas Cookies - 34 Great cookie recipes for you to enjoy!
Christmas Cookie Recipes - A delicious collection of Christmas Cookie Recipes
A Homemade Christmas - 100 Simple and delicious recipes for your special holiday meals
Holiday Candy and Fudge - 42 Great candy recipes, a hit with kids of all ages!
Kids Fun Recipes - 120 Fun and Delicious Recipes
Delicious Puddings - A Collection of 167 Pudding Recipes
Pumpkin Pie - Pumpkin pies and more!
Salad Recipes - A Collection of Easy to Follow Salad Recipes
Summer Party Cookbook - The name says it all!
Pampercat and Pamperdog - Recipe treats for your feline and canine friends
80 Seasonal Recipes from around the world - A selection of festive recipes from the four corners of the globe!
Crockpot Recipes - In South Africa we would probably call this Potjiekos
International Recipes - A selection of recipes from all over the world
Fish and Game Recipes - A selection of mouthwatering recipes
Lemonade - A large selection of lemonade recipes
Pizzeria - Try some of these great pizza recipes
Casseroles - 17 pages of mouthwatering casserole recipes
Low Fat Recipes - Watching your cholesterol? Then this is for you!
Soup Recipes - Ideal for those cold winter evenings
Chicken Recipes - 300 Delicious Chicken Recipes
Amish Recipes - 65 Tried and True Traditional Amish Recipes
Apple Recipes - Mouth watering apple recipes
Blue Ribbon Recipes - 490 Award Winning Recipes
The Bread Book - The bread and biscuit baker's and sugar boiler's assistant
Chocolate Delights - Deliciously decadent and delightful recipes for the chocaholic in you
Carolina Mountain Cooking - Created from the recipes and memories of two of the Carolina Mountain's most talented cooks.
Egg Recipes - 111 Great Egg Recipes
Great Gifts in a Jar - A personally made gift is usually more appreciated!
Italian Recipes - A collection of 185 delicious Italian dishes
Smoothies - 126 Easy recipes for maximum sports performance
Top Secret Recipes - Top secret famous recipes
Wings - The ultimate chicken wing cookbook
The Barmaster - Essential tips and techniques for bartenders
Be a Grillmaster - How to host the perfect bbq!
101 Good Jam Recipes - Make your own jams, 101 recipes for you to try
Deep Fryer Recipes - 101 Recipes for the Deep Fryer
Frozen Dessert Recipes - From ice cream to yoghurt - 170 pages of mouthwatering recipes.
Recipes from South of the Border - 247 pages of typically Mexican recipes
Various Rice Dishes - 32 Great Rice Dishes
The Appetizer Collection - More than 150 pages of great ideas for appetizers
The Big Book of Cookies - From Almond Bars to Zucchini Bars, they are all here, 233 pages of cookie recipes
Salad Recipes - A Collection of Easy to Follow Salad Recipes
Delicious Diabetic Recipes - A Collection of over 500 yummy recipes.
Cheesecake Recipes - Nearly 100 pages of yummilicious cheesecake recipes!

Bonus eBooks

Something for the gardeners
Organic Secrets - Everything you wanted to know about organic food

Profitable Crafts- Vol 1
Profitable Crafts - Vol 2
Profitable Crafts - Vol 3
Profitable Crafts - Vol 4
20 Vintage Crochet Patterns

Everything you wanted to know about making, marketing and selling your crafts.

Big Fat Lies - A shocking expose of the 12 biggest scams, cover-ups, lies, myths and deceptions
in the diet and weight-loss industries.

10,000 Dreams Interpreted

And here is a list of the recipe eBooks on the Afrikaans CD:

101 Kraakvars slaaie, 101 Onweerstaanbare poedings, 110 Spyskaarte vir die werkende vrou
5 Beste van alle geregte, 217 Egte Afrikaanse resepte, Aartappels, Beskuitresepte, Afrikaanse Resepteverskeidenheid, Brood resepte, Vul die beskuitblik, 'n Broodjie vir die blik, Blokkieskoek, Burgers Patties Frikadelle, Brood resepte, Drankies, Drinkgoed, Gemmerbier, Groente, Eet jou groente, Hoender resepte, Happies en Poffers, Kaaskoek, Ietsie anders resepte, Kerskoeke, Karavaan resepte, Kleinkoekies, Kinderlekkerte, Koekiedrukker resepte, Koeke, Likeur, Lekkergoed resepte, Nog resepte, McCain resepte, Moedersdag resepte
Mikrogolf resepte, Peterjasie se boek, Pastageregte, Peterjasie se Kersresepte versameling
Peterjasie se eBoek van vernoemde resepte, Poeding, Peterjasie se Tradisionele SA resepte
Resepte met biltong, Resepteverskeidenheid - ook grootmaat, Slaaie, Sommer net resepte, Sop in die pot, Sop resepte, Terte, Sous, Verskeie resepte 1, Souttert & Pannekoek, Vis en hoender, Veelsydige hoender, Vleisgeregte vir Kersdag, Verskeie resepte 2, Warm en koue drankies, Vleisresepte, Wille samies, Wafels en Pannekoeke, Wors en worsies


Annette se Boererate, Boererate en Verbruikerswenke, Hartstigting dieet, Lennons medikasie, Mate en gewigte, Sop dieet, S A Boererate eBoek, Metrieke omskakelingstabel, Werk van die huis

Pricing: The CD's are R100 each (R130 for next day Speed Services delivery in SA). Order both and the price is R160. If you prefer the Speed Services option I will give you a parcel tracking number once payment is received.

Click the appropriate link below:

Send me banking details for the English CD
Send me banking details for the Afrikaans CD
Send me banking details for both CD's

Silversands Online casino

We usually go to Carnival City, our local entertainment complex about twice a month for a movie, a good meal and a flutter at the tables or machines. Most times it is crowded and my favourite machines are taken. Then I came across Silversands online casino. You simply sign up, download some software and you can practice with fun money to your heart's content before you play with the real thing.
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This company is definitely not a scam. Be Motivated Today provides a motivational service and has great motivational products. The CEO, Arnfried Klein-Werner, is an International Motivational Speaker. He has tried and studied many systems that don't work and after 13 years developed a system that actually does work and is creating wealth for many South Africans already. He understands people's fears and therefore offers a 100% money-back guarantee, if you don't make money after 6 months.
You have nothing to lose. I encourage you to visit the website and register to try the products and service out for free. Click here for more information. Register as a free trial member then upgrade to start your income stream.

Children's Stories on CD
Find it hard to get quality children’s stories? Join the popular Anna Emm Story Club in Afrikaans or English, and start adding to your child’s CD collection at an early age! Collect al 96 original stories (on 48 CDs!) over 2 years, or join for a minimum of 3 months - you decide! Receive 2 new CDs with original children’s stories every month! Anna Emm Productions has already produced more than 500 new children’s stories on CD. Click here to join . Ideal gift for children and grandchildren.

Just another reminder to join the Africam fan page on Facebook. They will be posting photos / videos and other udates and articles on the fan page from now.
join at
Also visit the Africam  website

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

Subscribe / Unsubscribe / Contact

To subscribe to this newsletter and view previous newsletters,  click here, to subscribe to my Afrikaans newsletter, click here. To unsubscribe, click on the appropriate link above and unsubscribe or email me at :


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