Monday, February 18, 2013

Your best one ever?

I was fortunate this weekend to camp with my family at a very secluded camping spot near Greyton. As usual my son was having the time of his life building shelters, catching fish with no bait on his hook and swimming in the river. At some point I heard a cry and realized that he must have hurt himself. Expecting the worse I rushed down to him while he was still sitting halfway in the water crying. After he explained to me what had happened I tried to calm him down and make use of the opportunity to teach him about the dangers of jumping into shallow water, especially when you cannot see the bottom. I carried him back to the camp while explaining to him that he might not be able to walk for a while. He gave it a long silent thought and then replied: "Dad, it was still the best camp ever!"

I had to smile. How many times do we still say those words ourselves? We go on holiday and come back complaining about the traffic, the poor service and the weather that did not work in our favour. I thought the safety lesson on jumping in murky water was a valuable one to ponder over, but the lesson he gave me on the day left me with more to think about. Why can't we enjoy every opportunity we have with the same enthusiasm and excitement than what children do? No matter how it ends can we still say in the end "Wow, this was the best one ever"?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Natural Insect Control

I have various creatures in my garden that help with insect control. I prefer to live in peace with them, but they do have their own habits that sometimes make me wonder what the easiest is to live with, the insects or their predators. Twice in one evening my security alarm was triggered at around two in the morning. If you are in a deep sleep and the alarm suddenly goes off the first thing that you think of is a possible intruder in your house. In South Africa this is very common, that is why most people have alarms that they set at night before they go to sleep. I took me some time to discover the culprit though, it was a home gecko that was walking across the Passive Infra-red Sensor, or PIR. When the security company installed it they told me that animals won't trigger it, but the gecko for sure does. Although I appreciate the gecko's efforts in combating insect invasions, I had to take it outside hoping that it would not return.

As I was leaving the house I nearly walked into a different insect pest controller. This time I got the fright of my life. Hanging on one of the most perfect webs I have ever seen was a large white spider looking very intimidating. My first thought was the kids and if it would be safe to have him hanging around in my neighbourhood where the kids play. Is this spider dangerous or not? It for sure looked rather venomous. I know my mom always killed everything with six or eight legs without asking questions first and this one surely would not have survived in her house. My mom was not going to take the chance of finding out if it was dangerous or not, so no benefit of the doubt for the poor creatures. Myself on the other hand first want to find out, and despite my effort to identify it on the Internet, a friend of mine eventually did that for me and told me that it was one or other Orb Weaving Spider. I then did some reading up on the spider and what was quite interesting, apart from the fact that it is as harmless as a mosquito (not the malaria kind), is the fact that the spiders spins a web every night and then breaks it up in the morning. So despite leaving his web where I have to walk every day, the next morning the web is gone. Compared to the geckos that mess on my wall and never clean up this creature has the decency to remove all his insect trapping devices in the morning. Such a nice gesture from a very ugly looking creature. Now can you imagine if I had to kill that dude just because I "wasn't taking any chances"....

Monday, February 11, 2013


Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, yonkontê
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, kiye
Ni kêra môgô
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, yonkontê
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, kagni
Ni kêra môgô

Some of the smartest dummies
Can't read the language of Egyptian mummies
An' a fly go a moon
And can't find food for the starving tummies
Pay no mind to the youths
Cause it's not like the future depends on it
But save the animals in the zoo
Cause the chimpanzee dem a make big money
This is how the media pillages
On the TV the picture is
Savages in villages
And the scientist still can't explain the pyramids, huh
Evangelists making a living on the videos of ribs of the little kids
Stereotyping the image of the images
And this is what the image is
You buy a khaki pants
And all of a sudden you say a Indiana Jones
An' a thief out gold and thief out the scrolls and even the buried bones
Some of the worst paparazzis I've ever seen and I ever known
Put the worst on display so the world can see
And that's all they will ever show
So the ones in the west
Will never move east
And feel like they could be at home
Dem get tricked by the beast
But a where dem ago flee when the monster is fully grown?
Solomonic linage whe dem still can't defeat and them coulda never clone
My spiritual DNA that print in my soul and I will forever Own Lord

Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, yonkontê
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, kiye
Ni kêra môgô
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, yonkontê
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, kagni
Ni kêra môgô

Huh, we born not knowing, are we born knowing all?
We growing wiser, are we just growing tall?
Can you read thoughts? can you read palms?
Huh, can you predict the future? can you see storms, coming?
The Earth was flat if you went too far you would fall off
Now the Earth is round if the shape change again everybody woulda start laugh
The average man can't prove of most of the things that he chooses to speak of
And still won't research and find out the root of the truth that you seek of
Scholars teach in Universities and claim that they're smart and cunning
Tell them find a cure when we sneeze and that's when their nose start running
And the rich get stitched up, when we get cut
Man a heal dem broken bones in the bush with the wed mud
Can you read signs? can you read stars?
Can you make peace? can you fight war?
Can you milk cows, even though you drive cars? huh
Can you survive, Against All Odds, Now?

Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, yonkontê
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, kiye
Ni kêra môgô
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, yonkontê
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, kagni
Ni kêra môgô

Who wrote the Bible? Who wrote the Qur'an?
And was it a lightning storm
That gave birth to the earth
And then dinosaurs were born? damn
Who made up words? who made up numbers?
And what kind of spell is mankind under?
Everything on the planet we preserve and can it
Microwaved it and try it
No matter what we'll survive it
What's hu? what's man? what's human?
Anything along the land we consuming
Eatin', deletin', ruin
Trying to get paper
Gotta have land, gotta have acres
So I can sit back like Jack Nicholson
Watch niggas play the game like the lakers
In a world full of 52 fakers
Gypsies, seances, mystical prayers
You superstitious? throw salt over your shoulders
Make a wish for the day cuz
Like somebody got a doll of me
Stickin' needles in my arteries
But I can't feel it
Sometimes it's like 'pardon me, but I got a real big spirit'
I'm fearless.... I'm fearless
Don't you try and grab hold of my soul
It's like a military soldier since seven years old
I held real dead bodies in my arms
Felt their body turn cold, oh
Why we born in the first place
If this is how we gotta go?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pemba Boats

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Your view to the right....

When you are approaching Pemba in Mozambique from the south and you are sitting on the right hand side of the plane, this this is basically what you see before landing.....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Getting Airtime

I was fortunate to be at the Red Bull King of the Air competition which was held in Cape Town recently. The event which went into a dormant stage for 8 years because of the lack of sponsors was brought alive again by Red Bull. Choosing Cape Town as a venue cold probably not be matched easily. Most pro’s are “hibernating” in Cape Town during the “off” season in the northern hemisphere.  I guess most of the participants were not invited, they were here already. This also gave the opportunity for some locals to enter as “’wild cards”. Talent there is in South Africa, they just need a stage like they had at Big Bay. Well done to the Saffas who competed and did exceptionally well against some of the world’s best. 

The jumping was amazing. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for the photography. I realized that a photographer cannot be a spectator at the same time. I went early to get a nice spot with a good view over Big Bay. That is where I stood most of the time trying to get a good snap of some of the jumps. It wasn't long before I experienced the difficulties of taking action pics from one spot over a long distance. Apart from the fact that the distance was a bit more than what my lens could handle, focusing was also a problem. Secondly the backdrop of the ocean was also “interfering” with the outcome of the detail.  I have certainly not mastered the skill yet of capturing kite surfers from a distance. I guess in the end one has to decide what is more important; getting nice shots of the action or keeping your spot where you can view the action.

Whatever the outcome of the pictures, the day was still awesome. It is amazing to see what some guys are capable of doing with their kites. Maybe I should work on my own jumping skills and leave the photography to the people who know what they are doing.