||Issue No. 337 --15 August 2005
Quote/s of the Week
Ad Hoc Article/s of the Week
Bits and Bobs
The Legal Beagle
Where are they now?
Club and Other News
Credits and Contact Info
Subscribing and Unsubscribing
|Send this Issue to a Friend!
Seems like we are having an early spring here in the Johannesburg area. Afternoon temperatures of around 25 (and 27 – 28 at the dam) have encouraged lots of trees and bushes to put out new leaves. Overnight ‘lows’ have been around 10 – 12 and I have started to dig out my more summery clothes.
According to the vet who is treating Snowball, global warming is the reason behind the increased temperatures and also behind the fact that more and more animals are getting skin cancer here in South Africa.
I heard that part of Siberia’s permafrost has now started to melt.
Snowball is having three radiation treatments each week and the vet is very pleased with his progress. He has always been a happy car traveller so is not fazed at all with his current regular trips to the Rand Clinic in Berea. There are about seven or so animals at any one time undergoing treatment and we all meet in the car park at the Rand Clinic waiting for the human patients to be finished with so that the animal patients can take their turn.
Snowball has another week of therapy and then the vet will let us know if he needs more treatments.
And talking of helping others... here is a mail from Des. Please see if you can find a bit of spare change to sponsor her. Big change is also very welcome. I totally admire the effort that she is putting into this project.
“The response verbally has been good, but not so fantastic when it comes to actual commitment.
Training is going well, I’m not a runner, so it’s been a struggle, but I’m enjoying the challenge and really looking forward to being able to say “I did it” and I’m sure the reason “why” will become clear at some stage.
Thanks for the well wishes, I really do need and appreciate them.
The money I raise will help Kids to provide a range of services and support for families and children with additional needs, including sibling support services, respite care, save and inclusive play and leisure facilities and training and advice programmes.
Please take a few moments to sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/des4kids
Thanks for supporting Kids and sponsoring me, this will help raise funds towards my ING New York Marathon 2005 challenge.”
These from me...
Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller
The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true. J. Robert Oppenheimer
Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. Norman Schwarzkopf
What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. T.S. Eliot
Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next. Jonas Salk
It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. Lena Horne
These from Des Cowie...
Forget mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day. - Will Durant
Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you. - Nathaniel Hawthorne
This from Daniel Jan le Roux...
To achieve the impossible; it is precisely the unthinkable that must be thought - Tom Robbins
|Ad Hoc Article/s of the Week
Each week we will feature a question and answer sent in to the Company for Immigration. We hope these will help answer any questions you might have regarding any part of the coming home process. If you would like to send in your own question, please feel very free to do so.
We will also be featuring a great amount of information on the SAW Website (www.saw.co.za) under the Coming Home section. You can also find out info by visiting our newly relaunched site, South Africa Online (www.southafrica.co.za) and checking out the Coming to SA section.
Here is a bit more info...
Whenever and wherever South Africans meet, the surest way to start a lively discussion, is to ask someone for an opinion about emigration from or remigration back to South Africa. In 2002 we (i.e. the non-profit immigration service, Company for Immigration, and the trade-union, Solidarity) realized that the return of South African expats had become a fact and that their inputs are essential for the growth and development of the country. We are neither interested in a debate about the reasons why people leave or come back, nor about the merit of their decisions. We prefer to provide a practical service instead:
offering advice and assistance to prospective remigrants;
addressing the problems which cause people to emigrate; and informing people about the pros and cons of emigration, to help them make an informed decision before leaving.
Interested? Want to receive our monthly newsletter by email? Have questions or suggestions? If so, please visit our mirror sites www.comehome.co.za or www.komhuistoe.co.za and leave your details on the visitor's page, or contact us at email@example.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
This week’s Q&A:
John, London: Are there any special programmes to help South Africans re-adjust after returning to SA from abroad?
Yes, such a programme is currently being launched by Dr. Barry Tolmay. The first course will take place from 18 to 20 October 2005 and it is most affordable. For more information, you can contact me at Alana@solidariteit.co.za or Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alana & Annatjie
COME HOME CAMPAIGN
Migrasie / Migration
Solidariteit Alliansie / Solidarity Alliance
P O Box 8766, Centurion, 0046, RSA
The whales are back!
This from Guy Lundy...
South Africa's whale watching season is in full swing, and the coastal town of Hermanus in the Western Cape is gearing up for this year's Whale Festival from 23 to 26 September.
Hermanus has good reason to claim its title as the home of the best land-based whale watching in the world, with 12 kilometres of cliff paths along which tourists are virtually guaranteed of seeing large numbers of female whales and their calves. The whales can be seen as close as 5 metres from the cliffs. Boat-based whale watching is also available with licensed operators, who must stay at least 50 metres from the whales. Without a permit it is otherwise illegal to come within 300 metres of whales by boat, kayak, aircraft or any other means.
The town is also home to the only Whale Crier in the world, Wilson Salukazana, who blows a series of coded blasts on his horn made from dried kelp to let visitors know where the whales have been sighted. Keeping with the times, Wilson is also available on his cell phone to provide up to the minute information on sightings.
The Southern Right whales, the most common species in the area, start arriving in June to give birth to their calves and to mate, but the peak season is between August and October, which is when most of the calves are born. The calves are on average 6 metres long at birth and they drink around 600 litres of milk per day for the first 4 to 8 months. Between January and June the whales return to the Antarctic, 2000 kilometres south of the Cape coast. In addition to the Southern Rights, the South African coastline is popular with Humpbacks, Bryde's whales and even Orcas, otherwise known as killer whales.
Two hundred years ago, concentrations of Southern Right whales along the Cape coast were so high every summer that whalers came from as far afield as America, Britain and France to hunt them. Hermanus still has the sloping pier in its old harbour where the whales would be dragged out of the water and cut up. As many as 400 whales could be killed in one season. Whales have been protected in South Africa for the past few decades, and as a result their numbers have increased dramatically. It is estimated that the population of Southern Rights grows by 7% a year, with a doubling of the population every ten years. At this rate they should be back to their previous numbers by 2040.
Whale watching is one of the fastest growing sectors of the South African tourism industry, contributing in excess of R450 million in revenues each year. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has identified it as a key source of poverty reduction and job creation along the coast. The department is working with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to develop whale watching and other coastal ecotourism activities in Africa.
For more interesting and exciting news about developments in South Africa, subscribe to the International Marketing Council's regular BrandSA newsletter by visiting www.imc.org.za/goodstuff.htm or www.imc.org.za/subscribe.asp.
If you would like to contact Guy, visit his web site here.
Please help Des!
I need some motivation for all the training and sponsorship has been slow.
Less than 13 weeks to go!
Des Cowie runs the ING New York Marathon for Kids
Des is taking on the 26.2 miles challenge on the 6 November 2005 to raise funds for disabled children’s charity, Kids.
She needs your help to raise £2000.00
If you feel you could sponsor or support Des, please log onto her Just Giving website at
www.justgiving.com/des4kids, where you can make a safe, secure online donation/pledge, quickly and easily.
Thank you in advance for supporting Kids by your sponsorship, your valuable support is much appreciated.
Kids provide a range of services for disabled children aged 0-19 and their families. They believe that disabled children should be given every opportunity to fulfill their potential, play and learn alongside their peers, and contribute as full members of society.
Kids works with over 7 000 children and their families every year.
Kids has been delivering services for 30 years, including: education for the under 5, play and leisure, family support, information, training and advice.
One of JuxtaPower South Africas Dance & Song Dancers need your Vote for Esquire's Best Dressed Contest!
This from South African Culture in New York email@example.com
To All in YeboLand!!!!
The voting has now begun in Esquire Magazine's "Best Dressed Real Men in America" contest. Please, we urge you to vote for YeboLand's Michael, who is in the final five. All you have to do is log on to www.esquire.com and under the features section click where it says "The Best Dressed Real Men in America." To vote for Michael, click on "Michael Forde, The Performer," and submit your vote. There is a photo of the five guys together, and if you click on Michael (the tall, thin black guy on the far right), you can also see the bio/interview and a very large photo of him. As of yesterday he was in second-to-last place, and we can't have that!!! It is just a matter of getting the word out, so please forward the e-mail to all your friends and colleagues... and vote as many times as you want!
Thank you so much for your support!
SA Culture Team
South African Culture in New York Social Group
Promoting the Cultural Diversity of SA
Choice Coach – Work in Progress
A relationship ends
More and more frequently lately I have found that people who seek me out as their coach for one reason or another also have relationship issues, and that our coaching sessions frequently focus on those issues.
One especially painful area for any of us is the ending of a relationship. Perhaps we are the "ender" - the ending is our choice. Perhaps we are the "endee" and we are shocked, devastated, and in deep emotional pain at the other person's decision. Perhaps two wise and mature people have simply realized that there are differences between them that cause them to decide that they have no future together despite a loving past. Wherever we may be on the continuum of relationship endings, the end is rarely without pain of some sort. There are almost always "what if's?"
Recently I was corresponding with a client on this topic, and some words came to me. As I read them (sometimes I'm not sure what I think until I see what I have typed) it occurred to me that these words, plus additions that I have made since, might be helpful to others, also. Naturally I have changed them to hide identities, and to make them more generally applicable.
Remember that you had good times in your life before you met this special person, which proves that you do not need that person in your life in order to enjoy yourself. Remember that you have learned and grown while you have been in that special relationship, and that perhaps that growth was, in the grand scheme of your life, what was important.
Know that what will be, will be, and that sometimes we find the most peace by going with the flow. Perhaps the two of you will find that you can continue in a friendship, perhaps not. Perhaps a miracle will occur and the two of you will find a way around the difficulties that seem to be driving you apart. Perhaps, on the other hand, it is time for your paths to diverge. Whichever way it goes, you cannot impose your will on someone else. It takes two to tango, and it takes two loving people who are willing to work hard at it to make a healthy and happy relationship. Unfortunately, it takes more than that. Whatever the two hold most valuable must be compatible. They do not have to agree, but what makes one happy must not be what would make the other unhappy. If that cannot be achieved, then what is most important is that you continue to live your life in a way that is rich, fulfilling, and that furthers the growth that you have seen seeking, whether it is with the loved one or without.
The fact is that doors open, doors shut, doors open. It is the same with windows. Every ending is just one side of the coin - the other side is a beginning, for no phase of our lives can end without another phase beginning.
Hang in there, and know that what matters most is that you be true to who you truly are, at your innermost core. To go into, or to stay in, a relationship that denies a part of who you are is to kill off a part of yourself. If it should happen that a way can be found for you to be accepted fully, without changes, then that would be wonderful.
However, always remember that you as your whole self are more valuable than any relationship can ever be, for when you are not whole you cannot be wholly in a relationship, and that relationship therefore cannot be all that it needs to be for both of you. If you are not whole, then your partner is not partnered by a whole person, which is something that all of us deserve. Equally, you deserve to be a whole person, and not to deny yourself to suit somebody else.
An ending will hurt. That is inevitable. Yet it is the end of something. It is not the end of everything. You existed before, you laughed and were happy before. You can laugh and be happy again. Give it time.
Celebrate our siblings, celebrate our partners, celebrate ourselves.
Some festivals to emulate.
In my other newsletter, the spirituality-oriented "Grounded in the Earth, Reaching for the Sky," I regularly list the festivals and holy days of a wide variety of religions. As I looked at those for August I saw a couple that we might all be wise to celebrate regardless of our religion.
On August 19 there is a Hindu festival called Raksha Bandhan which honors the loving ties between brothers and sisters. Perhaps you might care to add this to your calendar? To make an extra effort to reach out to a sibling with whom you do not have the closest ties, as well as to those with whom you are close? Might this be a day for attempting to close a rift, to bury a hatchet? We do not have to be of the Hindu faith to love our siblings, or to show that we love them - which may be a different thing altogether.
The following day, August 20, is known in the Jewish faith as Tu B'Av, and is an occasion for celebrating the ongoing romance between couples. If you are partnered, have you tended to take your partner for granted lately? Do you frequently make an extra effort to be nice to people you know less well, who matter to you less, and to just assume that your partner understands that you love and appreciate him or her? Would this be a good day to show that love and appreciation a little more than usual?
How about putting both days on your calendar, just as a reminder?
I have not forgotten that some of my readers are not partnered, and may not have siblings. I don't think there is a "love thyself" day, but there definitely should be - or perhaps not, because we need to do that every day of the year, whether we are partnered or not. On doing a search for a "singles day" I found that most of the indicated sites related to dating, which implies that there is something wrong with
singlehood. However, I did find one site that suggests that a celebration of singlehood would be a good idea. At www.liwomen.com/turning40-14.htm
Laurel Ross proposes her ideas for Singles Day and suggests that this day should take place early in May. She writes, "It would be a celebration of the freedom and independence of those who are not a part of a couple." Check out her other ideas for celebrating singlehood including restaurant specials, greeting cards, and the obligations of our partnered friends to singles on that day.
As the previous article also suggested, leading a life alone is not a recipe for disaster. We are who we are. Enjoy it. Enjoy your siblings. Enjoy your partners. Enjoy your self!
An important privacy issue that you can fix if it bothers you
I do not know if this works in countries other than the US - you might want to try in in your local search engines. However, in the US, if you go to Google and put in your phone number, including area code, with no spaces, dashes or parentheses, see what you get.
If you have not previously removed yourself from this system, you will find your name, your address, and link to three different maps to your house (Mapquest, Google and Yahoo). So anyone who has your phone number can find out your name, where you live, and how to get there. In fact, anyone could enter random numbers just to see who they could find. Some people don't mind this. However, for people who value their privacy, this is scary.
Never fear, there is a way out. Above the name is the phrase "Phonebook results for..." Click on this link and it will take you to another page which provides a link to a form requesting to have your name removed from the Google phone book. Complete this form, and from then on (I don't know if it works instantaneously) the search for your phone number will produce the words "Your search did not match any documents."
Copyright 2005 Diana Robinson, PhD., PCC. Work in Progress may be reproduced in its entirety only, including this copyright line. Disclaimer - The contents herein are solely the opinions of Work in Progress owner, and should not be considered as a form of therapy nor advice. There is no guarantee of validity or accuracy. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
2604 Elmwood Avenue #230
Rochester, NY 14618
'..[a] head with hair (Hair!)
Long beautiful hair (Hair!)
Streaming, flaxen, waxen...'
Hair is a fantastic mindfulness trigger.
Ready for a comb out? Hair we go….
In this issue:
*Mindfulness and Hair: Revealing Roots
Mindfulness and Hair:
Back in 1981, I made the mistake of getting a perm. In Italy.
I'd been traveling around Asia for nine months, and felt like I could use a bit of a boost before spending a few months in Europe. Thanks to a few uninteresting illnesses, my hair was thin and I had sprouted numerous grays. I opted for a perm--it was the 80s, after all.
It seemed surprisingly painful, this perm process. I tried to explain this to my stylist, but she patted my back soothingly, and said it was normal. 'Pain for beauty,' she said with a wink.
As I sat under the heat lamps, I could feel my scalp burning. It was, in fact, blistering. It bled for days.
You would think I would have sworn off hair processes altogether after that, but no. The next two decades carried me through every style and color imaginable. I was the hair chameleon. I was absolutely fearless.
In fact, the first time I shaved my head, I asked a couple of local skateboarders (we owned a skateboard shop at the time) to help, and they happily whipped out their mother's haircutting kit and proceeded to give me an eighth-inch buzz cut.
I loved it.
The next time I had it shaved, I was sitting back-to-back with my husband in a tiny barber shop in Pokhara, Nepal. It's one of our family's fondest memories.
Now that my family is in the process of shedding virtually all of our possessions (except for a few treasures packed in our five foot by five foot storage unit), it seems like a good time to explore shedding my current hair as well.
To be honest, I went into the salon with the idea that I would have the fake color stripped from my hair and let it go gray.
'No, no, no!' the stylist protested. 'It will make you look old!'
'But it's my natural color. I want it, even if it's gray.'
'You might THINK you want it gray, but I assure you, you would not like it,' she insisted. The other stylist agreed, nodding sagely.
We negotiated. We discussed various color options for gradually allowing it to grow out gray. Finally, I opted for the most natural solution--just hack it off and start fresh.
So, I released my attachment to hair color and hair length in one fell swoop. Or several snips.
I love it.
As I watched the copper-colored tresses drop onto the floor all around me, I considered all that I had been through with my hair. I remembered the long and short, the platinum, scarlet and mahogany. I recalled the good, the bad and the ugly.
And I smiled at the idea of letting it just be--hair.
I live in a place and a culture in which hair is golden--and I mean that literally. At every parent gathering, the carefully highlighted halos of the moms around me is striking. These women take their hair seriously.
I've decided not to do that anymore, despite the protestations of others--including my mother, who just last week insisted that she herself will never, ever allow her hair to go gray.
It doesn't make me feel better or smarter to make this decision. There's no sense of success, failure, or smugness involved. I'm simply looking at it as an opportunity to be mindful of hair.
Instead of hassling with my own, I’m shifting my attention to the hair of others. I’ll marvel at the colors, styles and accessories modeled by those around me. I'll pop out of the shower without a second thought about my own hair, but notice the way the sun brings out the tones and textures of the hair of my children, my husband, and total strangers.
It will be like a hair parade all day long, and I can relax and sit back and just enjoy the show.
Gray roots and all.
“Here baby, there mama, everywhere daddy daddy…Hair!”
Don’t worry—I’m not going to suggest that you cut off your hair!
This week, pay attention to hair. Notice the lengths, styles and colors. Watch for accessories. Sniff for scented shampoos and conditioners (surreptitiously, of course!) and look for ways you see others using their hair as a means of self expression.
And then, watch yourself. In what quirky ways are you attached to your hair? What do you enjoy about it? What annoys you? What inspires you? Do you use it as a tool for creativity? Do you use it as a way to conform or as a way to establish your individuality? Do you care about your hair?
Things continue to progress at lightning speed. We are now moved out of BOTH houses, and the four of us are staying with various friends and relatives until we move to Mexico on August 26th.
It's strange not having a home. It's wonderful not having any stuff to take care of. It's exhilarating to feel more present than ever because there are very few details cluttering up the day.
To read more about the Frost family's move to Old Mazatlan, visit
Maya Talisman Frost has taught thousands of people how to pay attention. Through her company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, she offers playful and powerful eyes-wide-open ways to get calm, clear and creative. To receive her free special report, 'The Dirty Little Secret About Meditation,' visit her website at MassageYourMind.com
(C) Copyright 2005, Maya Talisman Frost
52 Best Stories – God and the Spider
During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades.
Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed. As he waited, he prayed,
"Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will though, I love You and trust You. Amen."
After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He thought,
"Well, I guess the Lord isn't going to help me out of this one."
Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave. As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave.
"Hah, he thought. "What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor."
As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on. Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while.
"Lord, forgive me," prayed the young man. "I had forgotten that in you a spider's web is stronger than a brick wall."
We all face times of great trouble. When we do, it is so easy to forget the victories that God would work in our lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways.
~ Author Unknown ~
I am attaching the pics at the end of Charles’ narrative in the order he sent them to me.
How to do a lightning tour of parts of the US and Canada in three days or “1600km’s, a million trees, mega gallons of water and thousands of towns as a background blur”
The next morning I woke up to the sounds of the TV. CTV to be exact. Perhaps you remember that old song, “So many channels and nothing on”? Well that describes the TV in the Motel. I think there were 6 channels available and CTV was one of them. It soon went off when I noticed that the idiot on the box was interviewing some Imam about the violence toward local Muslims in Canada. The sheer innate bullshit that this chap was spouting made my blood pressure jump immensely and I was supposed to be on leave, in the States and so this sort of drivel was now verboten. Besides I was now raring to go again. Except that Clayton doesn’t open until 9am either. Which gave me an opportunity to at least snap a few shots around the place. And discover that they have an Opera House. Which is startling to say the least, but probably not as startling to note that the local 1000 Island museum is given over to displays of hunting decoys!
Clayton is the home to the Antique Boat Museum as well. This is worth a look-see if you like old wooden boats. Lots of them. In well preserved states too. These are mostly boats from an era when wooden boats were the epitome of grace and style. Looking at all the carefully restored and polished examples that were there I can see why.
After an extended stay there and with the sky’s overcast and threatening rain I moved on. First of all to Alexandria Bay to have a look at Boldt Castle. I was reading some information the night before and this caught my eye:
“Mr. Boldt came to America in the 1860's from Prussia, the son of poor parents. A man of tremendous industry and organizational skill, with daring and imagination, he became the most successful hotel magnate in America. He owned the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, and the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”
Boldt invested over $2.5 million to build this replica of a Rhineland castle, bringing in the finest of artists and the most skilled craftsmen for this project. He planned on presenting it to his wife on Valentine's Day as a monument of his love for her. Work was underway on the eleven buildings that would comprise the castle complex when tragedy struck. In January of 1904 Louise Boldt died, ending the dreams of a lifetime.
Heartbroken, Boldt telegrammed his construction crews ordering that all work be stopped. Three hundred workmen dropped their tools and left the island. Boldt never returned to the island, leaving it instead as an unfinished monument of a love story cut short
Intrigued I decided to look for more information and found this:
“For 73 years the Castle and the other structures on the island were left to the mercy of the wind, rain, ice, snow, and vandals. When the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property in 1977 it was decided that through the use of all net revenues from the Castle operation, it would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. Since then several million dollars have been applied to rehabilitating and restoring the Heart Island structures”.
There is a lot more but I think I will write a later article about the whole affair. Suffice it to say that this old cynical romantic was intrigued.
Alexandria Bay seems to be a town like Margate.
Everywhere I went it was crowded with people sightseeing and buying the obligatory t-shirts, caps and candyfloss. I gather it is a holiday town that caters to people who wish to see the 1000 islands area. There were boat trips galore being advertised and all the sorts of carnivally things you associate with a holiday town. Anyway I managed to find a good spot to take some snaps of the Castle and watch a freighter sailing past.
Some of my friends, when I was in the Merchant Navy, sailed up the St. Lawrence regularly. So I was interested to see from land how small this freighter looked even though it was a fairly good sized one.
The pictures don’t really do justice to the full spectacle of the castle itself. It is quite a site and well worth another visit at some time to get a closer look.
But I had had enough of navigating through hordes of people and time was getting shorter if I wanted to see more of the coast on my way east. So off we set.
Go East Old Man. Go East. Which is when I noticed that the American roads are really well maintained. All the way through the States I very rarely drove on a bad road. Canadian roads by comparison seemed to take their lead from the Torruna roads and had bumps and cracks and potholes all over the place. The trip up the American side of St. Lawrence is scenic with lots of parks and a view of the river continuously. Lots of those quintessential American Gothic type houses as well.
The trip from Cape Vincent to Cornwall is part of the Seaway Trail, which stretches all the way to the Lake Erie. A distance of some 500 miles. It seemed rather deserted when I drove it but that was probably because everyone was in Alexandria Bay eating ice cream. When I got to Ogdensburg there on the highway was a Wal-Mart.
OK so it is supposed to be my vacation but even I can be nosey when it comes to seeing how the States differ from us. So I popped into the TLE and introduced myself to a very startled and taken aback TLE manager there. Unfortunately he wasn’t too keen to let me take pictures there so I will have to give a verbal feedback to my colleagues when I go back to work. Let us just say that I am still happy with the standard and cleanliness of my TLE.
I was also astonished to see that the American Wal-Marts sell cigarettes. No porn mags but cigs are OK! Probably more profitable. You can smoke as much as you like but not after sex. OK?
At this stage I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to go South and then loop up to Quebec or go to the border at Cornwall, cross over there and take the 401 to Montreal. Because it was a bit later than I would have liked I decided to go to Cornwall.
Now you have to realise that I had spent just 24 hours in the US. I had gone to Clayton to stay the night for reasons of ego and to get the odd souvenir and then gone on a drive to enjoy a new vista. I was now going back to Canada to continue my road trip.
Which is exactly what I told the little troll at Canada Customs. She however seemed to find this impossible to comprehend.
That a single male should go on a road trip was beyond her belief. That anyone would buy a few baseball caps with their name on it stretched her imagination beyond the single brain cell that she had borrowed. That I was a Canadian citizen infuriated her more. It was obviously forged or something. Or I was a terrorist. Or a drug smuggler. Or who knows what the hell was getting her knickers in a twist. The upshot was that I was pulled over to the side and had to wait for some youngster to now go through my car and check everything.
While waiting I took out my maps, spread them on the hood and began to at least try to formulate a plan for the next day. Which is where I discovered that there is a Clayton in Ontario. Plan B was forming. When the lone defiler of cars sauntered over at last, my looking at maps seemed to annoy him and he told me curtly to wait on the bench. Which I did. Watching him intently the whole time. Which seemed to unnerve him a bit. But not enough to stop him going through everything with a fine toothcomb. The medicine I had in my travel case was of particular interest although whether it was because it was “shock horror possible drugs” or his inability to read pharmaceutical terms is open to conjecture.
The old rusty bullworker I had in the back (I forgot to remove it when moving) was a source of my amusement for some time as he battled to open it or, more probably, find some hidden recess where I had stashed my drugs. The last straw though was him looking through every picture in my camera. While he was doing that I watched a bead of sweat drip off his nose onto some part of the interior. At least I hope it was sweat.
Anyway the fact that I had hidden my drugs too well, erased the porn pictures and already drunk all my illicit booze proved too much for HM Customs finest and he told me I could go.
That little exercise in futility took an hour and annoyed me immensely. The really stupid part of it is that I had some pictures of the bridges on my camera, which, if I was a terrorist, would have been very interesting. I won’t explain why. Just take my word for it.
So I looked at him, put on my Coast Guard cap, which he had also had a long look at, and said:
“Yes. I am a member. We tend not to lie. Oh and by the way did you know there is a Clayton in Ontario?”
“Ag shame” crossed my mind as I looked at a truly bewildered face in my mirror as I drove off. I have the strange feeling that the little troll who sent me over in the first place may just have got an earful later.
Interestingly the local First Nations members seemed to go in and out through a special lane with impunity. I gathered they had to have some form of sticker as there was a sign informing them that they could win a car if they used it, but if I was really trying to usurp the system that is where I would look to commit my sins.
This then lead me up and over what has to be the oldest, worst kept international bridge in the world. Even though there was a road crew working on the bridge, and making the flow of traffic impossible, I didn’t see any place where they had made the slightest effort to improve the road. I have driven on dirt roads that were better.
Cornwall will have to wait for me to give it another chance. Sorry Cornwall you suffer because I was annoyed at the troll. Banish her! Or at least replace her with the very pleasant young lady at the gas station where I filled up.
I however had lost a lot of time. Which is why I got back on the 401. Torontonians will understand what I mean when I say that even though I was making up some time traveling at 130km/h I was still the slowest car on the road.
So what else can go wrong? Well. Rain. Of course. At the Quebec border as well. Which is where I ducked into the information bureau for some maps and advice.
This is one of the more impressive kiosks I have been in. Actually a full office. With computers linked to accommodation so that you can book a place to stay even before you arrive there. Unless, that is, it is during the builders holiday in Quebec when, as I discovered, accommodation is at a premium. The French have a good way of being supercilious. I felt like an idiot for wanting to actually see Quebec without making long and copious plans beforehand. Not to mention my bad French. But then what do you expect when it is mainly gleaned from the packets of food I eat? My French teacher at school is now spinning in her grave no doubt.
Interestingly while most of Ontario has bilingual signs (French English in most of the Province except Toronto where English Chinese is rapidly taking precedence!) there are NO bilingual signs in Quebec. None! So much for making Canada a bilingual land. A’bas le Anglais. Mind you I did notice that Leons suddenly became Lon but interestingly enough Canadian Tire stayed Canadian Tire.
I just have to make up my mind whether the abysmal driving was imported from Torruna or exported there from Quebec. Think of a bunch of drunken Parisians driving on highways and you have some idea of the standard I encountered in Montreal. And yet I never saw an accident. Amazing.
I did however arrive just in time for rush hour. Now you need to understand that the highways around Montreal are signposted in French. They have this quaint habit of merging lanes just before the turnoff and they have exits on both sides of the road.
Which, if like me, you try to stay in the middle creates the odd problem. So I did what I do best. I got lost.
I haven’t a clue where but I do know that there was a magnificent Cathedral up on the hill (which I now understand is St Joseph’s Oratory and the Hill is Mount Royal itself) which I kept as my landmark for a while until I was buried in what appeared to be the African immigrant section of town. I think I drove around here looking for the downtown section in ever diminishing circles until with a pop I found myself on the highway again. Heading west.
So I made a decision again. Montreal will just have to wait for a time when I can give it more than a cursory glance. It isn’t a city that can be sped through. It needs to be treated like a good red wine. Sipped and savoured for a while. And like a good red wine it probably costs a lot as well. Which is why once again I was traveling in the evening.
Only this time out toward Ottawa. Our nations capitol. Which curiously seemed to get further away the longer I drove. At least that is what happened when I asked an attendant at the gas station how far it was still to Ottawa and on being told 45 minutes found I was only 26kms away. Even I drive faster than that!
It had now been raining all the way through and so when I got into Ottawa I could not really see much. Including any motels either. Seems that the largesse being dished in Ottawa means that you can afford to pay hundreds of dollars to spend a night in a hotel rather than roughing it in a cheap motel.
So I consulted my map (I can be taught you see) and decided to drive along Wellington Street to look at Parliament and then carry to River Parkway and travel that way to look for some accommodation out of town. Out of town being the right word. When I looked again I was in Kanata. And despite the map I was once again….you guessed it! Lost.
I did however manage to get back to the highway and head back toward Ottawa. At which stage I noticed a sign with accommodation logos and took the off ramp in search of a place to stay. I was however way out again. Napean I think and close to the airport too apparently, which means once again high priced hotels. Motels appear to be a forgotten art in Ottawa.
So back to Highway 417 and back east again. This time I tried another off ramp further on and found a bunch of other hotels. So I decided “Ah stuff it. Time to check in for the night” and went to the nearest one. A Travelodge as it turned out. Reasonably priced as well. I was too tired and hungry to argue anyway.
The only place open at that time was called “Monkey Joes” which at least had decent looking food even if their décor was derived from the fevered brain of someone who, not having a clue as to where monkeys may live, found it necessary to include every possible continent just in case. I settled for their special, which was Rib and wings and my choice of coleslaw or something. The food was like Ottawa politicians. The promise wasn’t anything like the reality. Nevertheless it did fill me since I hadn’t eaten since the night before.
This night I fell asleep while looking at the map for my next day’s travels. Which given my track record was probably a waste of time anyway.
Note: Move your mouse over the images to see descriptions.
Boetjie Worldwide - Civilisation
No, I am not going to mark my return after a long absence with a treatise on civilisation, so you can relax, dear reader! This week I want to revisit Sir Kenneth Clark's landmark series "Civilisation", and share a few thoughts on the subject with you.
It was in those heady, wonderful days as an undergraduate student at Stellenbosch University that I first saw the series. Every Friday afternoon a growing number of students and lecturers filed into the Van der Sterr Hall for the screening (on 35 mm film) of the week's episode of Lord Clark's views on Western civilisation. These Friday afternoons are indelibly etched into my memory, for reasons I will soon give, and immediately became the highlight of my week; strange, actually, considering how many other highlights or potential highlights each week normally contained. Not least of these were the numerous parties!
"Civilisation" inspired me. I clearly recall leaving the hall after each screening and feeling that I was indeed fortunate to be an heir of something enormous and glorious, something vast, intangible, yet part of every fibre of my existence. It was not only what Sir Kenneth had to say, not only the way he presented his views; nor was it the stirring beauty of the music so carefully chosen for each episode -- it was learning, or being reminded of, how fragile, yet how potent the stream of ideas, events, people and artifacts that constitute Western civilisation is. From the narrow squeak of the Dark Ages when the Roman Empire had been brought to its knees by wave upon wave of barbarian invaders, through the bright wonder of the Renaissance to the grim times of the Industrial Revolution, Western Man had managed to keep the spark of creativity, the ember of glory and the flickering fire of greatness going, so that we find ourselves where we are today with an unbroken line tying us to the early days of the Greek civilisation, where most of what we have today was engendered,
More than a continuum of Western thought, art and architecture, this line also serves to remind us who we are and where we come from, and hence where we should be heading.
Clark makes the point that the Roman Empire crumbled and fell, among other reasons, because it ran out of impetus. Roman society became bored; it ran out of intellectual and artistic challenges. Life became too easy, too comfortable. But I also believe that every empire eventually fizzles out because it is the very nature of an empire that it cannot endure. Like an elastic band it can only be stretched so far before it snaps. First the Greeks, then the Romans, then the Holy Roman Empire and eventually the British Empire, to name the most prominent ones, attained their peaks only to decline, to run out of steam. We have seen the same happen to the Soviet Empire, and some may say that the writing is already starting to appear on the wall for the US Empire, amorphous, yes, and yet pervasive as it is at present.
How does this affect us South Africans? We are, after all, a special breed in that many of us have Western roots, but with definite African influences, too. Those of us of European heritage have always found ourselves in a rather peculiar place -- Westerners living on a continent that, in Western terms, at least, still is rather dark in its very heart, meaning that Africa is essentially and stubbornly non-Western in most things. This dichotomy is something I experience on an intellectual level, but never emotionally. South Africa, as part of the African continent with all that implies, has always been my home, both physically, spiritually and emotionally. Yet, I am just as stubbornly Western as my ancestors who set foot in the Cape in 1688; as much a Westerner as their ancestors who went through the persecutions of the Cathars and the Templars. This I cannot and do not want to change.
What of South African civilisation, then? What of this strange amalgam of European and African? Much of what was done and said in the past should never have been, we all agree. Much of what happens today should not be, either. Every time I find myself in South Africa I am both heartened and saddened: heartened by the pervasive goodwill that is so easy to see on the streets; heartened by the way the youth faces the future with hope and a willingness to accept the challenges of being a South African... but saddened by the old spectre of viciousness that manifests itself in racist outbursts reminiscent of the bad old days (the only difference is now the racism comes as easily from the other side of the ethnic fence, as evidenced by Blackman Ngoro's attack on the Coloureds recently). I am saddened by the old disease of corruption, the plague of unwillingness to accept responsibility for one's action that continues to infect the politics of the country.
Much is said about the so-called African Renaissance. Unfortunately, that rebirth is still in the womb, it seems. While despots like Mugabe are tolerated, while civil wars and tribal or ethnic conflicts rage through Africa, while so many people are unwilling or unable to rise from the mire of famine, poverty, mismanagement, indolence or moral impotence, Africa -- and with it to a lesser extent South Africa -- still lingers dangrously in a gloomy age.
It was missionaries like St Patrick and St Columba and the small band with them who kept Western civilisation going through the dark ages. It was the indomitable will of Europeans to survive revolutions, wars, tyrants, plagues and ideologies that has kept Europe where it is: a civilised, progressive and enlightened spiritual and cultural beacon in a world ravaged by hordes of threats to its very existence, be they political, religious or whatever.
So who will carry the torch of civilisation for South Africa? I will be castigated for this, but have to say it: not the people who have turned their backs on the country of their birth and now belittle or besmirch it from safe places far away. It is not the people who see only the dark side, who are burdened and blinded by the negatives they see everywhere. The ones who will ensure the future of South Africa are the ones who, wherever they may be, are prepared to face the challenge of the future with hope, faith and an unquenchable determination to safeguard and maintain their heritage; who are prepared to work for what they believe their homeland should be. The St Patricks and St Columbas of South Africa are and will be ordinary people of all races, all creeds and all languages -- humble, unknown and unsung guardians of a cultural heritage -- who face the future with courage and a determination to achieve what they believe in and to maintain what they hold dear and achieve what they see as worthy goals.
Little could I guess, in those days when I devoured every word of Sir Kenneth's Clark's, that one day I would sit in Australia and ponder the future of South African civilisation. But, as I watch the series nowadays (I was fortunate enough to be able to buy the set of four DVDs here), the same awe fills me, and I am still inspired by the wonder that is Mankind's greatest moments of creativity, of glory and by the long line of achievements that is Western civilisation.
We have -- each one of us in his or her own infinitesimal way, even -- the means of safeguarding into the future the very things that have made us. All that is needed is to accept the challenge...
raytheron at iprimus.com.au
Legal Beagle - SA
My husband, two daughters and I moved to Australia nearly six years ago and last year became Australian citizens. I still have a current South African passport but my two daughters passports have expired. I have not notified the South African Authorities of our Australian Citizenship.
I have heard that you can lose your SA citizenship so I want to know if this happens automatically and how one can go about finding out if we are still South African Citizens and whether I can apply for new passports for my children or not. We are going back to South Africa in December and I want to know if I will still be able to use my SA passports for entry or if we now have to use our Australian passports.
I noted that you moved to Australia in nearly six years ago and became as citizens of Australia last year. I also note that you still have current South African passport and that your daughters’ passports had expired.
In terms of section 6(1) of the South African Citizenship Act of 1995 you would have lostyour South African citizenship status automatically by the “formal and voluntary act”of taking up citizenship of Australia. You would not have been notified of this fact and the first time you would become a way of the situation would be if you applied for a new passport or to extend an existing passport. You remain a South African born person who would have the right to enter South Africa freely and to reside in work in South Africa and in fact to apply for resumption of your South African citizenship status if you ever returned to South Africa. However your citizenship has definitely been lost.
You do not state what the position is regarding the ages of your daughters and I need this information in order to assess the situation as a minor cannot be deprived of citizenship status of South Africa under the circumstances.
Technically when you return to South Africa in December you would have to land on your Australian passport as your technically not a South African citizen. However I would suggest that you bring your South African passport with you and, if asked for it, that you present it as well.
Your daughter should apply for new South African passports in view of their expiry. they should enter South Africa on their South African passports as they are in fact required to do in terms of the 2004 amendment to the South African Citizenship Act.
The situation is complex and I invite any questions you may have in this regard.
Nobody needing help this week.
If you are looking for a lost friend... if you would like old friends to contact you... If you want to find old school friends... if you just want people who used to know you to find you again for a chat...
Send in your info, the info of anyone you are looking for and let’s see if we can find them for you!
USA – New York
I have read your newsletter for quite some time now and really enjoy it.
Could you please advertise the next New York/New Jersey Springbok Club Get Together in New York.
Next New York/New Jersey Springbok Club Get Together in New York
Date: August 18, 2005
Time: 6:30 PM until 11:00 PM
Place: Pig and Whistle Pub
Address: 165 West 47th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue in Manhattan.
Upstairs (the stairwell is near the back of the pub, just before the restaurant area). We have the whole 2nd floor to ourselves.
For more information: www.nynjspringbok.com.
South Africans celebrating the end of Summer at Central Park.
To All in YeboLand!!!!!!
South African picnic marking the end Summer is going to be at Central Park, on the west side, off 72 street, the name of the area is CHIEF MEADOW, it is the biggest and the greenest part of the park, bring your own snacks and drinks.
The event is on the 21st of August, and we shall start meeting at two thirty, the event is hosted by the Hlongwane family and Sduduzo Ka-mbili, in hopes of keeping us connected.
Come and celebrate.
For more information you can call Sduduzo 212-694-7959
No humour sent in this week.
I found this recipe on the net (where else??) but have not tried it as I do not eat eggs and milk etc. It seems like a good recipe though for those who do eat animal products.
Here is the link to the site: http://www.sanzim.co.nz/recipes.htm#milktart
Allison's Milk tart:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
125g (4oz) margarine
2 teaspoons baking powder
Cream margarine and sugar
Add egg, flour, baking powder and salt
Mix well then press into 2 pie plates
Cook for 15 minutes at 190 degrees C
4 cups milk
1 Tablespoon margarine
2 + 1/2 Tablespoons flour
2 + 1/2 Tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch
1 cup sugar
Boil Milk and margarine.
Mix rest of ingredients to a smooth paste and add to boiling milk
Return to heat, stir until thick
Pour into shells and sprinkle with cinnamon
Smith: ODIs don't need fixing
Why try to fix something that isn't broken? That was the reaction of South Africa's cricket captain Graeme Smith about the new experimental rules in one-day cricket being tested in the next ten months.
Boks to 'tower' over Wallabies
Dominance in set piece play will be a crucial part of Springboks' tactics against the struggling Wallabies in their Tri-Nations Test at the Subiaco Oval in Perth on Saturday.
South Africa hopes World Cup kick-starts economic growth
When the World Cup of soccer comes to Africa for the first time in 2010, South Africa hopes an economic windfall follows.
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