Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

HIV-AIDS

December 1st, 2009, posted in Uncategorized

1 December is World Aids Day.

Today we choose to honour Tony Moll a Doctor at the Hospital in Tugela Ferry. This wonderful man and his family have been serving the rural community for as long as I can remember and he was the one who told me about HIV AIDS in 1991.

Living in Africa is the dream of a life of living on the wild side, surrounded by natural beauty, amazing cultures and awesome animals. However, with this beautoful continent comes pain, suffering, war and disease. Our HIV AIDS battle is not only against time and soaring numbers of infections, but it is also against a lack of education and distrust. In some rural communities even aspirin is considered a white-man’s medicine and the locals would rather resort to their medicinal herbs and home-made remedies than take anything from foreigners. There seems to be mistrust and corrupted thinking, sometimes it is ignorance, but most often their sangomas, a shaman or medicine man/woman have warned them not to take anything the white people give them so as to avoid a curse.

This makes it very tricky top reach out, educate and build trust so that HIV can be treated before the full blown affects of AIDS is felt. Sometimes it feels like you are swimming upstream and not getting anywhere. It is at these times when we take a deep breath, keep swimming and “vasbyt” somehow, through love and acceptance trust does form, then treatment of HIV can take place and our war against AIDS gives us strength to find another family in need of the treatment.

• Tugela Ferry Second most economically disadvantaged community in South Africa
• Estimated rate of HIV infection: 36%
• Rapidly growing number of destitute orphans

To find out more about Tugela Ferry and their projects please visit http://www.tugelaferry.co.za/index.html

Enjoying a safari I usually organise

November 19th, 2009, posted in Uncategorized

Planning other people’s safari is what I do best. Why? Because I want them to have the best experience possible. I choose the best venues to suite their budget and interest and then send them on their way. I’m passionate about wildlife safaris, but rock art and wilderness safaris come in tie for second spot!

Anyway, everyday of my life is dedicated to helping someone somewhere take a safari in Africa, but the best project I run is the Bush Therapy project. We find that when people are in a place of serenity, with awesome scenery, the sounds of running water or simply watching animals out in the open, they tend to discern a stirring that takes place within their soul.

Pieter; my Trails guide, game ranger, field guide and husband; told me at breakfast yesterday that we were going to have some Bush Therapy as a family! We spent the whole day together! We took a slow drive, watching birds, finding insects, taking pictures of animals, soaking up the sights and sounds of the game reserve and ending it off with a picnic! By dusk we had a hippo keeping an eye on us in the dam in front of us and rhinoceros grazing behind us, toads croaking, birds tweeting their good night song and our souls became saturated with that warm fuzzy feeling!

Ranger Pieter’s sun-downer table

November 16th, 2009, posted in Uncategorized

I enjoy decorating tables; I use things that are around me, items that will become talking points at the dinner table, and it’s fun to do! BUT, I had no idea that a field guide from the African Bush could decorate! Last week, Pieter set up a dinks station in the bush for a fellow ranger. If anyone thought Rangers were bushmen who wore khaki clothing, had an incredible understanding of nature and bore superior senses, you are right! However, I need to give credit when it’s due and as you will see from the pictures below, the guests taking a wildlife safari were treated to a very well decorated drinks table in the bush where they could really enjoy a sun-downer, prepared by Ranger Pieter!

wildlife safari guests stop for drinks in the bush

wildlife safari guests stop for drinks in the bush

sunset drinks table

sunset drinks table

a bush bar whilst on safari

a bush bar whilst on safari

welcome drinks stop on safari

welcome drinks stop on safari

game ranger decorates

game ranger decorates

snacks and refreshing cold beverages in the bush

snacks and refreshing cold beverages in the bush

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Terminalia Fumes

November 10th, 2009, posted in Flora, Uncategorized

Flowers are generally associated with a pleasant fragrance but not always. Some flowers give off a terrible smell and we have them all around the Nyala Breeding Camp in which we live.

These trees play an important role here providing their foliage as food for browsers. Thankfully they only flower for 2-3 months of the year. This morning I had a slow run through the reserve, past a Terminalia tree and for about 500m had smell or breath in the fumes!
The smell can be described as the smell of toe-jam or that stinky shoe smell in sports changing rooms after a game and before the showers!

The species of Terminalia that occur here is the Silver Terminalia or in Afrikaans it is referred to as the Vaalboom.

Silver Terminalia trees

Silver Terminalia trees

Heavily and unpleasantly scented flowers

Heavily and unpleasantly scented flowers

Slender branchlets, Terminalia sericea

Slender branchlets, Terminalia sericea

It grows into a small or a medium sized tree of up 4 to 6m, but can reach a height of 10m; occurring in open woodland, frequently in sandy soils and often at vlei margins. The Bark is a dark grey and deeply vertically fissured; the slender branchlets are dark brown or purplish, peeling and flaking rings and strips exposing light brown underbark. Leaves are clustered towards the tips of the branchlets. The leaves are pale green covered with silvery silky hairs. The Flowers are small and cream to pale yellow colour, in auxiliary spikes up to 7cm long. The Fruit is rose-red when mature, drying to a reddish-brown but can be parasitized and develop into deformed, tangled masses of twisted, rusty-hairy structures.

Among African Tribes this tree has a wide variety of uses. A decoction of the roots is taken for diarrhoea, relieving colic and can also be applied as an eye wash, while a hot infusion of the roots’ outer layers makes a fomentation for treating pneumonia. The silky, silvery leaf hairs are used by Tswana potters for glazing their wares.

The wood is yellow and hard; it provides a useful general purpose timber and is suitable for fencing posts.

Looking up at a Silver terminalia tree

Looking up at a Silver terminalia tree

Notice the difference?

Notice the difference?

Bark of the Vaalboom, Silver Terminalia

Bark of the Vaalboom, Silver Terminalia

Hello world!

September 15th, 2009, posted in Uncategorized

We live in Africa, so our first post wil introduce you to our world…. We live in Southern Africa – it’s easy, just look at the bottom of Africa on an atlas, or take a better view on one of google earth’s maps! Ok, this might also work, think Mandela – well, Madiba was also born here, yip, that’s the same country we were born in!

Wild Flowers

July 13th, 2009, posted in Flora, Uncategorized

Wild flowers are bush-girl’s best friend, they bring a new dimension to the veld, the trees come to life and it’s enough to make me smile…

 
 
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