Number 186

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January 31st, 2011



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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?

Hope you all had a wonderful Festive season and that you are safe and sound back home. It was a hectic season with all the snow and then the flooding, I hope you came through it all unscathed.

The freebie is a recipe eBook with Microwave recipes, scroll down to download.

The recipe section features some yummy curry recipes, scroll down and enjoy!

Please also look at the Google ads in the margins of this letter, click if you find something interesting, I get a few cents commission every time.

Enjoy an exciting 2011!

Just to let everyone know that I reserve the right to use anything that arrives in my email inbox either on my website or in my newsletter, unless it clearly states that I am not allowed to do so.

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!

Used Christmas Cards

Our church group is recycling used Christmas cards for charity. If you have any the you can spare, can you please mail them to me? Email me for my postal address

Photo competition - thank you very much!

In my previous letter I asked for votes for my photo in a photo competition. The photo made "Photo of the Month" thank you SO much!

You can now follow me on Twitter - @Peterjasie
This will come in handy when we are on our travels to keep all the followers in the picture!

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

We eat in interesting times
There's no doubt that the last twenty years or so in South Africa certainly bear witness to the fact that we live in interesting times but now I've discovered that I live in an interesting neighbourhood as well. A neighbour from just a few kilometers away was caught redhanded, settling down to a braai on the slopes of the nearby Table Mountain National Park. He was severely fined not only for lighting a fire in an unauthorised place but also for tucking into a porcupine which he had bludgeoned to death.
I wonder exactly what was going through his head as he set off on his foray? Maybe he set out to catch a rabbit and just thought he had caught one with an overcoat on? Why would you want to go after a porcupine with all those nasty quills? Certainly the animals are often trapped by poachers because there is a ready market for porcupine quills in the tourist trinket market and I've even heard that some silly chefs make a habit of incorporating porcupine quills into their towering gastronomic edifaces but this is the first time I've ever heard of anyone eating one.
Apparently the meat of the porcupine is quite strong and often the animal would have a heavy layer of fat so that could have caused a few problems on the braai with flare ups. One person not familiar with the taste once described the meat as tasting of trees - I've not eaten many trees so I'm none the wiser but I think I'll give it a miss and anyway with the prospect of a R 2500 fine, it's hardly worth pursuing the delicacy.

Additional income

I have joined and it works, it is not a get rich quick scheme but with patience it can build up to a useful extra monthly income, it does require a little bit of marketing as well as a low monthly subscription, but, bottom line, it works.
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
an additional income 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. In other words you have nothing to lose.....
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.

I must add that I got just over R500 in commission in December, every little bit helps. It takes some time, but it will happen eventually. Remember to upgrade to start perticipating in the income stream.

I received this email this morning:

Yes, out of curiosity I visited Be Motivated Today during September 2009, but only joined during August 2010, what a waste of time!!!.
If I knew what was happening during the year I wasted, man, I would have joined immediately after I  read the details of the setup.
I now have a waiting list of seven on my downline (one already joined as Silver), the others are bound to join during November and they are jumping around purely from excitement to get started and its rubbing off on me as well.
Just one question: My intention is to place an invitation advertisement on the rear window of my car, do you think it could shake some people out of their dreams and make them joining us?

Holidays - Make your reservations with ACT Travel

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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.

Parent-teacher relationship

It’s back-to-school time for children and parents-a perfect time to remind parents how to ensure the goodwill of teachers towards the education of your child.
Meet your child’s teachers and consciously built a relation with each one. When the teacher knows the face behind the child, he is forced to treat your child with more respect and responsibility. When he knows he is going to see you at sports, cultural and other school activities he will most probably walk the extra mile with your child. Get involved with the school and exchange telephone numbers and email addresses. Praise them when you see exceptional effort from staff. Then they might do it easier next time (maybe even for your child).
When you feel the need to address an issue with a teacher, first make very sure of the facts. A preschool said to parents when she met them for the first time: “I promise not to believe everything your child says happens at home, if you promise to not believe everything you hear happens in my class”.
Your intention should be to resolve the issue and to improve your child’s educational situation. When you address an issue and you already have the “goodwill” of the teachers it is much easier to have success. When you lose your temper during a parent-teacher meeting you can inflate the problem-and be counter-productive in improving your child’s educational situation. Stay calm during meetings with teachers, smile and ask questions rather than make accusations. Share your worry, concern, wishes and dreams for your child with the teacher and ask how you can work together to support your child. The golden rule of relationships is also true here: treat the other as you would want to be treated.
Try to not be disrespectful towards the school or teacher in front of your child-how can a school ensure discipline and order if the children are instigated by the remarks of parents? It does not resolve the issue it simply turns conflict into a war-where your child is the ultimate casualty.
If the issue seems legitimate make an appointment with the school secretary or teacher directly (remember to include your own telephone number and email address). Keep track of the date and if you receive no reply within a week, send a copy of the original letter again, wait three days and then send a copy of the original letter plus a letter of explanation to the subject or grade head and request a meeting with the teacher and grade head. If there is no response within 7 days following the same procedure with the principal. The line of authority after that is the School Governing Body, the Circuit Manager at the EMDC (Education Management District Centre). Always keep documentation of your attempts to make contact with the school. Unfortunately some schools need to be kept accountable by their parent community in order to keep them functional.
Teachers are just people-and when you feel you want to exchange your teenager with another-spare a thought for the teacher that has at least 30 of them for 7 hours per day battling just to keep them seated. Of course it was the teachers’ choice of occupation they do get regular holidays and reasonable salaries. But they are exposed to severe emotional distress - education is considered one of the ten most stressful occupations in South Africa. And teachers are also burdened by overdrafts, fighting siblings, strained marriages and medical conditions. They have to deal with rebellion, crime and civil war in their own classes every day!
It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure the quality of your child’s education-and a parent who is involved with his child’s school will be able to do just that.
Blessings from me to you and your child. 

You are welcome to comment or send questions to her at 

Summer in South Africa - by Helena Graham

We are now in the desperate, dying stretches of the relentless summer. Days are white-hot, clouds promising, but not a drop of rain for the parched earth. Only the well-climatised, weather-toughened, indigenous plants survive the intense heat. I am not acclimatized, not toughened and by no means an indigenous flower of thismerciless sub-tropical strip of coastland I am now calling home. Global warming has us firmly in it’s fist.

My home is where I can stand on a sunny day where the spray of the sea caused by the thunder of waves againstthe rocks can blow right into my face. This is where I can taste the salt on my lips and that makes my heartjumps with joy.

I can smell the sweet aroma of the plants around me. This is the precious strip of ‘fynbos’ one cannot find any where else on the face of this world. I can taste them, rub the leaves between my fingers and palms and sniff and dream. I can pick them, bunch them and put them anywhere at my secret places. I can dry them and later cry when I smell them again. I eat some and know what to eat and what not.

Every time I visit my “home”, I pick Proteas and put them on my parent’s grave and on the graves of old not forgotten friends

I know lots of secrets of the sea, taught to me over the years and experienced by myself in the rock pools as a child. I know to tie a fisherman’s tie, I know about scavenging the high water mark for treasures, picking up shells and “picking up pebbles and throughing them back in the sea”.

I am however, a firm believer in the saying: “bloom where you are planted”…, and untold grief, days of desperately seeking assurance that I am still okay, I try my utmost to “bloom”…in small ways. I find the strength I need, the courage to get up each day and face the world, to do one small thing for somebody else, to do one small thing for myself, and to be thankful in all I see and do , that I have been given another chance at happiness, another opportunity to make good the
the mistakes of the past. I have another golden opportunity to grow as a human being, to become a whole person, to “bloom” and bear fruit in the autumn years…before the chills of winter set in and leaves me without leaves… that I cannot be a comfort to other creatures, without a long cool shadow to allow a fellow traveler to rest a while, without flowers that beautifies and pleases onlookers and without fruit that ensures that another summer will certainly follow…..

When I feel the heat and the perspirations on my skin, it also reminds me that, although not indigenous to the area, this human flower is tough. As long as there is a spark of life left, the smallest amount of love and attention is soaked up eagerly and produces a flower to give a harvest of fruit….. I also realize that every leaf, every flower is the result of the willingness of the plant to live, to give joy and to nurture the future.

The acceptance of my circumstances, the desire to please and in turn being appreciated, is so much part of the human nature, as the seasons is part of the ongoing cycle of life.

What a privilege and a honor to live here, in a harsh climate, far away from my “home” and find myself being a blessing to others, making a difference to lives and accepting my circumstances.

Email Helena

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.

Camdeboo National Park

Formed hundreds of millions of years ago, the Karoo is one of the great natural wonders of the world. Camdeboo National Park provides the visitor with insights into the unique landscape and ecosystem, not to mention awesome scenic beauty.

A unique feature of the 14 500ha park is its location, practically surrounding the historic town of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.

Most of the park lies up against the foothills of the Sneeuberg range, with the Nqweba Dam within the park. At some places, dolerites form jointed pillars - the best examples of which are found in the Valley of Desolation where erosion of the softer sedimentary beds has left dolerite pillars which rise to heights of 90m to 120m.

Year proclaimed: 2005
Current size: 194 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.

maas – noun – Thick curdled milk, also known as amasi; similar to yoghurt. A traditional drink, amasi is now produced commercially by Douglasdale Dairy under the unsurprising trade name Amasi. From the isiXhosa and isiZulu.

Madiba (muh-dee-buh) – noun – Affectionate name for former President Nelson Mandela, and the name of his clan.

madumbe – noun – South African potato-like tuber (Colocasia esculenta and Colocasia antiquorum), cultivated mostly in KwaZulu-Natal, greyish in colour and rather tasty. From the isiZulu amadumbe.

makarapa (mak-ah-rah-pah) - noun - A well-crafted and decorated headgear usually won by football fans in South Africa. It’s designed from miners’ helmet. From isiXhosa

mal (mull) – adjective, informal – Mad. from the Afrikaans.

mama – noun – Old woman.

mamba (mum-bah) – noun – Species of large and venomous African snake – the black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis), the green mamba (Dendroaspis angustipecs), and other species. From the isiZulu imamba.

mampara (mum-puh-rah) – noun, informal – Idiot; stupid or silly person. From the Fanagolo. The Sunday Times newspaper celebrates the follies of prominent South Africans with its Mampara of the Week award.

mampoer (mum-poo-er) – noun – Extremely potent brandy made from peaches or other fruit, similar to moonshine. An Afrikaans word with uncertain etymology; perhaps from the Pedi chief Mampuru. See witblitz.

marula, maroela (ma-roo-lah) – noun – South African woodland tree (Sclerocarya birrea caffra) with sweet yellow fruit. The tree was made famous in the 1974 South African film Beautiful People, a candid camera-type look at local wildlife, in which elephants were shown getting drunk on dropped and fermented marula fruit. The fruit is now used in a locally produced commercial liqueur marketed as Amarula. From the Sesotho morula.

Matabele (mah-tah-bee-lee) – noun – Nguni-language-speaking people of Zimbabwe, and the majority population group in that country.

mbube (m-boo-beh) – noun – Style of South African township music developed in the 1940s by Zulu migrants to urban areas. The first example of the style was the song Mbube by Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds. The song was copied as Wimoweh by Pete Seeger in 1952, and as The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens in 1961. It also featured in Disney’s hit animated film The Lion King. Solomon Linda died in 1962 with less than R100 in his bank account. His family couldn’t afford a headstone for his grave. The song is said to have generated some US$15-million in royalties. Linda’s descendants were only compensated for seven decades of copyright infringement in 2007, for an undisclosed amount. “Mbube” is isiZulu for “lion”.

mealie (mih-lih) – noun – Maize or corn. A mealie is a maize cob, and mealie meal is maize meal, mostly cooked into pap, South Africa’s staple food. From the Afrikaans mielie.

melktert – noun – "Milk tart", a traditional Afrikaner dessert. From the Afrikaans.

MK – noun – Abbreviation of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the African National Congress army in exile.

mlungu – noun – White person. From the Nguni. The plural is abelungu.

moegoe (moo-ghoo) – noun, informal – Fool, buffoon, idiot or simpleton. From Afrikaans and Tsotsitaal.

moer (muh-r) – verb, informal – hit, punch, beat up. From the Afrikaans “murder”.

mokoro – noun – Dugout canoe used in Botswana.

mopani, mopane (moh-paa-nih) – noun – South African tree of the northern bushveld, Colophospermun mopane, and the bioregion associated with the tree.

mopani worm (moh-paa-nih worm) – noun – Moth caterpillar that feeds on the leaves of the mopani tree. Fried, the caterpillar is also a traditional dish.

morogo (mor-oh-gho) – noun – Spinach; more specifically African spinach. From the Setswana and Sesotho "wild spinach" or "vegetables".

Mosotho (moh-su-tu) – noun – A South Sotho person. The plural is Basotho.

mossie (morse-ee) – noun – Cape sparrow or house sparrow, but sometimes used to refer to any small undistinguished wild bird. From the Afrikaans, originally from the Dutch mosje, a diminutive of mos (sparrow).

mozzie – noun, informal – mosquito.

muti, muthi (moo-ti) – noun – Medicine, typically traditional African medicine, from the isiZulu umuthi.

Mzansi (m-zun-zee) – noun – South Africa. From the isiXhosa for “south”.


Can you help?

Chantel lives in the Johannesburg area. Right click here to download her CV, perhaps you can assist her.


The freebie this time is a recipe eBook with Microwave recipes, right click here toe download the book

Tips and remedies

Clean hands and dry eyes

Stain-Free Hands

Rub with lemon juice
Beetroot and berries are notorious for staining the hands. Remove stains by rubbing them with 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice, then washing your hands with soap and water.

Rub with a potato
Chopped carrots, peppers and pumpkin can also leave their marks on your hands. Rub a raw potato on your fingers to help remove the stains.

Odour-Free Hands with Onions, Garlic or Fish

Rub on a stainless steel surface
This strange-but-true chef's trick works. Rub garlicky hands repeatedly on a flat stainless-steel surface and they will soon be fresh again.

Rub with rosemary
Rub your hands with sprigs of fresh rosemary to rid them of garlic and onion smells.

Rub with vinegar
Use a little white vinegar as a hand balm. To avoid oniony hands to begin with, rub vinegar over your hands before you start peeling onions.

Rub with salt
Sprinkle salt onto the palms and rub your hands together to remove the smell of garlic and onions. Rinse and dry.

Rub with sugar
Pour a tablespoon of sugar into your palm, wet it with a teaspoon of liquid soap and rub your hands and fingers together as if washing them. Rinse and dry.

Scrub with toothpaste
Handling fish can leave your hands with a nasty odour. Squeeze toothpaste on a face cloth dampened with cold water, then scrub to remove the smell.

Rub with lemon
Cut a lemon, squeeze a good bit of the juice over your hands and rub hands and fingers together as if washing. Rinse under running water.

Tips for Tear-Free Eyes

'Bread' your knife
Cut a small piece of bread, inserting your knife part of the way down to the hilt. As you slice the onions, the bread will absorb some of the fumes.

Toss onions in the freezer
Freeze onions for 10 - 15 minutes before slicing them. The cold helps to minimise the fumes that cause tears.

Chop near a stove burner
If you can safely position your chopping board on a gas stove, chop onions with one or two of the burners turned on low. The heat attracts the onion fumes and neutralizes them.

Light a candle
Burn a candle near your work area to burn off some of the fumes emanating from sliced onions.

Run the tap
Bring your chopping board over to the sink and run the tap on cold water while you slice an onion. The chemicals released are actually drawn to dampness (hence their ability to make your eyes teary), but will choose the running stream of water instead of your eyes.

Thanks to the Glenacres Superspar Newsletter.

Words to live by 

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes

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Glenacres Superspar Recipe

Glenacres Superspar sends out a really nice newsletter full of super recipes.

Beer Bread with Herbs and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 1/2 tsp dried
3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
# Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp cracked black pepper
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 clove garlic, crushed
375g self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
375ml beer (not bitter) and at room temperature
2 tsp olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 210°C and brush a 25 x 15 cm loaf tin with melted butter
2. Mix oregano, parsley, basil, sun-dried tomatoes. pepper, cheese and garlic
3. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl and make a well in the centre
4. Add the herb mixture an beer - stir with a wooden spoon for 1 minute (it should be very moist - add a little more beer if necessary)
5. Spoon into the tin and smooth the surface
6. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for 30 minutes more or until well browned and cooked through
7. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool

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

An Aussie walks into a pub and takes a seat next to a very attractive woman.
He gives her a quick glance then
casually looks at his watch for a moment.
The woman notices this and asks, 'Is your date running late?'
'No', he replies,'I just got this state-of
-the-art watch, and I was just testing it..'
The intrigued woman says, 'a state-of-the-art watch?
''What's so special about it?'
The Aussie explains, 'It uses alpha
waves to talk to me telepathically.'
The lady says, 'What's it telling you now?'
Well, it says you're not wearing any panties.'
The woman giggles and replies
'Well it must be broken because I am wearing panties!'
The Aussie smiles, taps his watch and says,' Bloody thing's an hour fast!'

You Don't Stop Laughing Because
You Grow Old......You Grow Old Because You Stop Laughing

A widowed Jewish lady, still in good
shape, was sunbathing on a mostly deserted beach at Ft. Meyers, Florida.
She looked up and noticed that a man her age,
also in good shape, had walked up, placed his
blanket on the sand near hers and began reading a book.
Smiling, she attempted to strike up
a conversation with him. "How are you today?"
"Fine, thank you,"
he responded and turned back to his book.
"I love the beach. Do you come here often?"
she asked.
"First time since my wife passed away 2 years ago,"
he replied and turned back to his book.
"I'm sorry to hear that. My husband passed
away three years ago and it is very lonely,"
she countered. "Do you live around here?"

"Yes, I live over in Cape Coral," he answered,
and again he resumed reading.
Trying to find a topic of common interest,
she persisted, "Do you like pussy cats?"
With that, the man dropped his book, came over
to her blanket, tore off her swimsuit and gave
her the most passionate lovemaking of her life.
When the cloud of sand began to settle,
she gasped and asked the man,
"How did you know that was what I wanted?"

The man replied,
"How did you know my name was Katz?"

The telephone bill was exceptionally high and the man of the house called a family meeting...
Dad: People this is unacceptable. You have to limit the use
of the phone. I do not use this phone, I use the one at the office.
Mom: Same here, I don’thardly use this home telephone, I use my work telephone.
Son: Me too, I never use the home phone. I always use my company mobile phone.
Now all eyes were on the maid, waiting for her response...
Maid: So manje yintoni ingxaki apha? ( So what is the problem here?) We all use our work telephones

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

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

In August we visited Kagga Kamma, Sutherland, Wildflowers and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, see albums below:

Photo albums:

Kagga Album -

Sutherland -

Wildflowers -

Kgalagadi -

The Wild Side




click to see larger image

I took this photo in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Rhino Poaching in South Africa
More than 300 rhinos have already been killed by poachers in South Africa since the start of 2010. This is up over 70% from all the rhinos killed in South Africa last year. Now if rhino murder were an event in the Commonwealth Games today that would be a statistic to be proud of. Sadly however, South Africa can claim no such glory.

The black market demand for rhino horn has experienced a huge surge recently. The horn is used mostly for medicinal purposes – largely by impotent South-East Asian men who desperately want to love you long time. Each horn which weighs around 10kg currently fetches over US$ 20,000 per kilo in Asia.

Even Nobel Peace prize winner Desmond Tutu made a public statement last week about the importance of protecting rhinos from poaching:

“It is robbing our people of their precious natural heritage, robbing our nation of its ecological diversity, and severely embarrassing our nation abroad.”

Despite a government ban on the hunt and sale of rhino products in an effort to halt the rampant poaching, there has been little success in curbing the murders. Many game lodges have resorted to employing private armed security to protect their few and precious rhinos. It almost sounds like a replica of the model the South African public will need to adopt if the government continues to remain equally impotent against crime committed on its human citizens.
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,
There is a natural swimming pool on a cold mountain river in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands. At a spot where the Inyangombe River cavorts over an outcrop of smooth, weathered, brown rocks, the river settles briefly into a pool below the waterfalls. Sometime in the past, many decades ago, river sand was brought in and deposited on the banks, creating a perfect beach. The water in the pool is clear and cold, the river base covered in smooth pebbles and when the wind blows in the branches of the overhanging trees and whispers in the pine needles, you can’t help but forget the absurdity of current affairs in Zimbabwe.

When a friend got a hole in the exhaust pipe of his car this week, a simple job turned into a marathon. A visit to a local garage, line the vehicle up, drive onto the ramp and then wait while the car is elevated a couple of metres off the ground and the repair is undertaken. No problem you say? Ah, but only as long as the electricity stays on! Twenty minutes into the job the electricity went off, the car was left stranded 2 metres off the ground. Closing time approached and my friend got anxious. “What about my car,” he asked?
“Nothing to do” the mechanic replied, “I’ve got no way of getting it down. It’ll have to stay there till tomorrow.”
“Haven’t you got a generator?” my friend asked, his wallet, ID and house keys were all locked inside the car which was hanging over his head. The generator wasn’t powerful enough to run the elevator ramp and so the workshop was closed up till the next morning.

Long before opening time my friend was back at the garage. The electricity had come on overnight when no one was around but had gone off again at 5 in the morning.
Close your eyes, can you hear the wind in the pine trees above the Inyangombe River, I thought to myself as I heard the story.
8 o’clock came, 9, 10 and then finally at 11 in the morning the electricity flickered back into life. A simple 15 minute job had taken
19 hours and the loss of business incurred by my friend and the garage owner another incalculable drain on our stone broke, impoverished country.

Every day brings to light another absurdity in Zimbabwe, never more so than now as talk of elections gains momentum. I could hardly believe news reports that a convicted rapist, the leader of an Apostolic Church, has just been released from prison 13 years early because he’s got high blood pressure. My own blood pressure soared at the news, particularly because this church man has long been an outspoken supporter and campaigner for Zanu PF. “High blood pressure!” still the words echo in my head as I close my eyes for a moment and listen for the hiss of the Inyangombe River tumbling over the rocks.

Then came the staggering news from the Zimbabwe Election Support Network who have been conducting research into the state of Zimbabwe’s voters role. One of their findings is that a third of the registered names on the voters roll are of dead people. They also say that 2,344 names belong to people aged between 100 and 110 and that 9 names are of people apparently aged between 111 and 130 years. This in a country where life expectancy is less than 40 years, leaves us all in no doubt that without a new voters roll, change is certainly not coming to Zimbabwe anytime soon. Are you listening Mr Zuma, SADC and the AU?

Oh to sit on the beach alongside a clear, cool mountainous pool!

Until next time, thanks for reading,
Copyright Cathy Buckle 22nd January 2011.
. 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


(A type of pancake filled with curry, or used as bread to mop up all the curry juices)
3 cups flour
1 t salt
3 T oil
enough water to form a soft dough
1 cup soft butter or margarine
oil for frying

Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and add the oil. Rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add water and mix to a fairly soft dough. Roll out on a floured surface and roll to the size of a 23 x 32cm rectangle.
Spread the dough with softened butter and roll it up like a Swiss roll. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 30 minutes.
Break off pieces of dough and form into balls the size of tennis balls.
Roll out each ball into a disc the size of a dinner plate.
Fry in hot oil for 2 minutes on each side.
Serve immediately with a curry filling, or on the side.

DHAL COOKIES A delicious snack. Serve hot or cold.

500 g split peas, soaked in water overnight and coarsely mashed
5 ml (1 t) garlic paste
5 ml (1 t) ginger paste
6 green or red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
half a bunch chopped coriander leaves
half a bunch spring onions, chopped
1 medium-sized banana, mashed
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying
Mix all the ingredients, except the oil, to form a dough.
Roll into small balls, flatten them with the palm of your hand, and make a small hole in the center of each cookie.
Fry the cookies in hot oil until brown on the outside and cooked inside.
Drain on paper towels and serve hot or cold.
Makes about 12 cookies.


250 ml (1 cup) cooked rice
125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
2 extra large eggs
150 ml self-raising flour
7 ml (1 ½ t) mild/medium curry powder
375 ml (1 ½ cup) potato, peeled and grated
310 ml (1 ¼ cup) onion, finely grated
250 ml (1 cup) cooked chicken, diced
100 g whole-kernel sweet corn, drained
15 ml (1 T) parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
oil for frying

Process the rice, milk, eggs, self-raising flour and curry powder in a food processor for 1 minute. Chill the batter.
Place the potato and onion in a mixing bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. Leave for 3 minutes and drain well. Pat dry with paper towels. Add the potato, onion, chicken, sweet corn and parsley to the batter. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry spoonfuls of the batter for about 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and done. Drain on paper towels and keep warm until ready to serve.
Makes 25-30 bites.


1 large onion, sliced into rings
1 sprig fresh curry leaves
15 ml (1 T) garlic and ginger paste
60 ml (4 T) mixed masala
2 ml (1/2 t) turmeric
2 medium-sized jam tomatoes
1 kg de-boned leg of lamb, cubed; or stewing lamb, cubed
4-5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and quartered
fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Fry the onion and curry leaves in a little heated oil until the onion is soft and golden brown.
Stir in the garlic and ginger paste, masala and turmeric.
Add the tomatoes and braise for about 3 minutes.
Add the meat, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes and about 60 ml (1/4 cup) water, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the chopped coriander leaves towards the end of the cooking time.
Season with salt if necessary.
Serve with rice and sambals such as chopped onion and tomato.

1 medium-sized onion, sliced into rings
5 ml (1 t) ginger paste
15 ml (1 T) mixed masala
15 ml (1 T) curry powder
3 ripe jam tomatoes, mashed
1 X 410g can tomato puree
500 g chicken pieces, skinned and de-boned
curry leaves
5 ml (1 t) fennel powder
5 ml (1 t) garam masala
fresh coriander leaves

Fry the onion in a little heated oil until tender.
Add the garlic and ginger pastes, and stir in the masala and curry powder.
Add the tomatoes and tomato puree.
Simmer for a few minutes until fragrant.
Add the chicken pieces and a few curry leaves and simmer slowly until the chicken is done and fragrant.
Stir in the fennel powder and garam masala towards the end of the cooking time and sprinkle the curry with fresh coriander leaves.
Serve with rotis or rice.


My vegetarian friends always asks me to make this curry, but I make extra because it’s not only the vegetarians who tuck in!

15 ml oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large brinjal, cubed
8 courgettes, sliced
250 g button mushrooms, sliced
5 ml crushed garlic
5 ml ground coriander
5 ml ground cumin
2 ml turmeric
1 chilli, chopped
2 ml chilli powder
30 g freshly chopped coriander

Heat oil in a large saucepan, add onions and green pepper and sauté for a minute. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked.
Season to taste and stir in fresh coriander. Serve with basmati rice.
Serves 4.

To make a vegetable curry, omit the prawns and add 500g peas or green beans.
If using large brinjals, sprinkle them with salt and leave in a colander to drain for about 15 minutes. Pat dry before frying. Add breyani spices to oil for frying to add extra flavour.

500g prawns, shelled
15 ml (1T) mixed masala

Curry Sauce:
1 large onion, sliced into rings
7 ml (1 ½ t) garlic paste
7 ml (1 ½ t) ginger paste
22-30 ml (1 ½ - 2 T) masala
1 kg ripe tomatoes, mashed to form a puree
a few curry leaves (or bay leaves)
fresh coriander leaves (dhania)
500g cooked butter beans
500g baby brinjals, whole, or bigger ones, cubed
garlic chives

Sprinkle the prawns with the masala and set aside.
To make the basic curry sauce, heat a little oil and fry the onion until glossy.
Stir in the garlic and ginger pastes, and masala. Add the tomatoes, curry leaves and garlic chives, and simmer slowly for about 15-20 minutes until fragrant.
Fry the brinjals in a little heated oil until done. Fry the prawns in oil until they just turn pink. Add the brinjals, prawns and beans to the sauce and simmer until fragrant.
Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and serve with yellow rice. Serves 4.

BASIC CURRIED STEW (‘Westernised’!)

750g boneless beef neck, cubed, or beef ‘curry pieces’
30 ml cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
15 ml curry powder
15 ml turmeric
1 chilli, seeded and coarsely chopped
5 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 apple, cut in wedges
1 tomato, skinned and cubed
3 carrots, sliced
200 ml meat stock
15 ml cake flour

Brown meat in heated cooking oil. Add onion and sauté till transparent. Add curry, turmeric and chilli and fry for 1 minute. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, tomato and heated meat stock. Lower heat, cover with lid and simmer for 1 ½ hours or till meat is tender. Thicken with cake flour and water paste if necessary. Serves 4.


500g firm fleshed white fish steaks (like hake), frozen or fresh
OR 750g pork fillet, cubed
20 ml turmeric
seasoned flour
45 ml sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
300 g sweet potato, cooked and cubed
3 ml chilli powder
5 ml ground coriander
10 ml garam masala
150 ml seedless sultanas, soaked
410g can chopped tomatoes (use Indian-style if available, for extra flavour)
60 ml tomato paste
45 ml brown sugar
125 ml natural low-fat yoghurt
90 ml fresh coriander leaves or parsley, chopped

Season the fish/meat cubes with the turmeric and toss in the flour, shaking off any excess.
Heat the oil in a saucepan.
Add the fish/meat and cook until lightly browned.
Remove and set aside.
Saute the onion until translucent. Add the sweet potato, chilli powder, ground coriander, and masala and stir-fry until aromatic, about a minute.
Add the sultanas with their liquid, tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar.
Simmer for 8 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Return the fish/meat to the saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes for fish, 10 minutes for meat.
Remove from the heat and stir in the yoghurt and fresh coriander and serve.
Serves 6.

FISH BREYANI (Serves 6 – 8)

Once you’ve tasted this delicious fish breyani, you’ll travel to the ends of the earth (or at least to Durban!) to find all the spices the recipe demands. It’s a bit time-consuming, but well worth the effort in the end and will feed a lot of people.

50 ml oil
1 large onion, sliced into rings
4 cardamom seeds
4 whole cloves
2 pieces stick cinnamon
5 ml chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, crushed
5 ml barishap
5 ml cumin seeds (jeera)
5 ml ground coriander
5 ml leaf masala
5 ml breyani masala
1 kg fresh fish, cubed
5 ml fish masala
6 small potatoes, peeled
200g (500 ml) uncooked rice
5 ml turmeric
125 ml lentils (masoor)
4 hard-boiled eggs

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and garlic until the onion is tender and all the flavours have blended together. Add the barishap, cumin seeds, coriander, leaf masala, breyani masala and a little water. Simmer until an aromatic paste is formed.
Season the fish with salt and fish masala and add together with potatoes to the paste. Fry until the mixture acquires a nice yellow colour. Cover and braise until cooked. The potatoes should be soft but still intact. Add extra water if necessary.
Add the rice to boiling salted water along with the turmeric and boil until tender. Drain and set aside. Cook the lentils in boiling water until soft and drain.
Combine the rice and lentils and arrange layers of the breyani mixture and rice in a saucepan. Add a little water, cover with a piece of waxed paper and lid, and steam for about half an hour.
Slice the eggs into quarters and place on top of the breyani just before serving.


1 large onion, sliced into rings
30 ml (2 T) garlic and ginger paste
30 ml (2 T) mixed masala
1 ml (1/4 t) turmeric
4 jam tomatoes, peeled and grated
60 ml (1/4 cup) soaked tamarind pulp
3-4 green chillies
1 large crab (about 500g) cleaned and cut into pieces with shell intact
fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Fry the onion in a little heated oil until golden brown.
Stir in the garlic and ginger paste, and add the masala, turmeric, tomatoes, tamarind pulp and chillies.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Season with salt, add the crab pieces, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until done.
Sprinkle with the fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice.
Serves 2 – 3


1 large onion, finely chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
3-4 green chillies
15 ml (1 T) garlic and ginger paste
30-45 ml (2-3 T) mixed masala
5 ml (1 t) turmeric
6 medium-sized jam tomatoes, peeled and pureed
500 g prawns, shelled and alimentary canal removed, but keep tails intact
fresh coriander leaves

Stir-fry the onion, curry leaves and chillies in a little heated oil until the onion is golden brown.
Stir in the ginger and garlic paste.
Add the masala, turmeric and tomatoes, and braise for a few minutes before simmering until the tomatoes are fragrant.
Add the prawns, cover and simmer for another 5-7 minutes or until the prawns are done.
Season with salt and sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves.


Recipe CD

I have decided to simplify the way I sell my recipe eBook collection.

I am putting them all on one CD in an English and Afrikaans folder, over 100 recipe eBooks in all. That means less than R1 a recipe book, a real bargain! Most of the books come with resale rights so you can sell them individually if you wish.

Price will be  R100 per CD excluding postage.

Postage as follows, registered mail, add R20, overnight counter to counter add R50

If you are interested in my Super CD just click here and I will send you my banking details. Remember to include you postal address.

As soon as I mail the CD I will email you the post office tracking number as proof of despatch.

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:

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.

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.
Give it a try,   Click Here  .  

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

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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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