Showing posts from June, 2009

Disastor! Joy! Birthdays! and Working Hard at the Office!

There I was all set to pop the African giveaway prize into a padded envelope when I realised that I wasn't quite ready to post it... I needed to enclose a little card or note with some kind words for the recipient. I turned my back for what must have been only seconds and when I turned back... the little flip flop key ring was gone!! Trouble was I didn't notice that it had walked until after I had written the card... and by the time I discovered where it had got to... it looked like this.... . yes... the top of the flip flop is missing and its covered in tiny teeth holes!! Billy Fergus simply didnt understand my wild screeching at all, ... so I chose something else that I had brought back from Africa to send to Sara... it's this little stone heart with carving on it... not as practical as a key ring... but pretty all the same... and definitely from Africa! I hope she is not too disappointed. So that was the disastor... now for the joy.... we have at last got an al

And the winner is!!!!!!!!!!

Sara of untidy farm fame !............. I love Sara's blog because she seems to be doing all the stuff I dream of doing one day... and her farm, give or take a few of the unusual predators that she seems to have is practically my 'dream farm'. I especially like her no nonsense approach to the hard work that it must be that doesnt seem to diminish her enjoyment of it! So congratulations to you Sara. I have to confess that I didnt put the numbers into a computer programme as promised but simply asked my daughter to pick a number from one to five (since there were five of you) and she did so. Well it was her 21st birthday and she doesnt read my blog (shame on her) so I thought it would be fair. Just waiting now for Sara to send me her address and then I shall post her gift. Small as it is... I hope that she will be pleased. Getting back to normal life has not been easy after all the excitement of Africa. But am I in danger of thinking that my life is boring? Absolute

The African Giveaway!!!

Yes I do have something to give away... a little souvenir from my visit to Port Harcourt for a lucky reader... but first... a little round up of what I think everyone gained from the whole thing... Our hosts ... ESI... Empowerment Support Initiative . Empowerment is a very strong word and its not always easy to empower people. People have to be open to the concept of empowerment before they can be empowered. ESI have certainly set themselves a very high goal, but a necessary one... it is no longer acceptable to simply hand out 'freebies' to people in need. Our Trainees ... Opportunities in life can also not simply be given away... unless people are ready to reach out and take advantage of these opportunities, ready to put in the hard work that is required in order to be successful... and as is evident everywhere, only those who are prepared to do this will ultimately be successful. With careful and considered support and back up by ESI we may well have sewn the seeds for f

And then it rained!

I hadn't planned on devoting a whole post to the rain but when I looked at the photographs I realised that it needed it! We arrived in a thunder storm. A very scary fork-lightening-illuminating-white-terrified-faces type of storm. And the rain simply fell in sheets. We were told it was just the start of the rainy season and that it wouldnt necessarily rain every day. It didnt rain every day but when it came it was so welcome. The dark clouds would approach very slowly and the air became hotter and heavier and we would get so warm and sweaty that it looked like we had been caught in a shower of rain anyway. Rumbles of thunder would be punctuated by sharp flashes of lightening and then out of nowhere a wind would whip at our empty soap moulds and scatter newspapers all over the place. Once the rain fell the wind would die down. Usually the rain would last only a short while and within half an hour you would not know that it had rained at all. The tent kept the rain off us

Food Glorious Food!

I dont think I thought too much about what kind of food we would get during our visit to Port Harcourt. When we thought we would be staying in a hotel we had the option of several restaurants but as it turned out that we were staying at a Governement Guest House, and we were very much at the mercy of our housekeepers, Margaret and Joyce, and their staff. The first couple of meals that we had were very English and after a request to try local delicacies we had more adventurous offerings. As some of these were not eaten, we settled back into a more English diet, with one or two oddities remaining on the menu. Breakfast would be porridge, fruit, eggs, toast and honey, fruit juice and tea or coffee. We also had non-sweetened custard one morning which was strange. I think breakfast was my favourite meal, closely followed by our picnic lunch which was bussed from our guest house to the training venue every day for us. A firm favourite in the picnic lunch was a spicy chicken pastie thi

The Tailor of Port Harcourt

Two tailor's actually! The first lady of Rivers State - Dame Judith Amaechi - made us a gift of a traditional Nigerian outfit using fabric made in Rivers State. We were so excited about this, all of the traditional outfits we had seen so far were stunning, and we couldnt wait for the tailor's visit. The tailor came one evening and brought with him a couple of fashion magazines for us to choose the style as well as a large bag full of fabrics, both from the Rivers State and also from other areas of Nigeria. We were in heaven! The fashion magazine was called Trendy Birds and I was hoping to be able to nab it to bring back to show my friends but I soon realised that it was an expensive purchase for the tailor and without it he would not be able to show prospective customers the latest styles. I quickly chose my fabric... a lovely green leaf print - green is always a safe bet with my complexion and hair colour. I also picked my style and then changed my mind and chose another o