Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Love Life Live

I can't remember where I read this, but I came across it last night in my diary and it made me smile and think..."how true"...
"The gods where bored, so they invented humans.  But the gods were still bored, so they invented love.  The gods were not bored anymore.  The gods decided to try love on themselves. And then they invented laughter to make it all more bearable..."

Sometimes life and love is so utterly messed-up that all you can do is laugh.  In the beginning the laugh might be bitter and hollow, but eventually, however painfully slow, it becomes meaningful and genuine.  Because in the end, despite it all...we do still have a lot to laugh about!

So maybe it's not so much about loving and living as separate entities or carefully constructed acts, but about loving the life you live as a sometimes perplexing, but beautiful whole...

Ps...about the picture - The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli...I remember growing up paging through my mom's art textbook and being completely fascinated by this painting.  I would sit for hours and dream up stories about the mystical creatures spread out on a double page nestled in my lap.  When, years later, I was lucky enough to stand in utter awe in front of this masterpiece in the Uffizi Gallery in Florance, I could not stop the tears.
So while we are on the subject of love and gods and gods in love...I find Plato's interpretation of the above painting quite beautiful..."Venus had two aspects: she was an earthly goddess who aroused humans to physical love or she was a heavenly goddess who inspired intellectual love in them. Plato further argued that contemplation of physical beauty allowed the mind to better understand spiritual beauty. So, looking at Venus, the most beautiful of goddesses, might at first raise a physical response in viewers which then lifted their minds towards the Creator..."
Got to love Plato, man of The Forms, philosopher, mathematician, writer of dialogues and humble admirer of Venus.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gotta love it... painting your nails in Dar

WWAHHHAAAA, I can't download the photo - what is it with these Blackberry's ... (or is it Blackberries?!) Sorry - picture will follow.

Anyway, so Andizi and I went for a pedi/mani combo on Saturday afternoon. It was just great.
We settled in the local "nail shop", feet up, new magazine - courtesy of Impi - jewelry off, kid at the playground with the dada and water on the side table. We were in heaven. Nothing like getting your feet properly scrubbed while trying to make out what the "plastic-nail-attachment-lady"is saying ( in Swahili) to the French speaking, hip, young lady next to me with curlers in her hair.......

You absolutely just got to love the noise, the noise of a local nail shop aka SPA. I'll show you the business card, special.

So while we were sitting in this wonderful establishment, I saw the "plastic-nail-attachment-lady" winking to the sheet guy outside the window. No problem with that, other than the fact that he had approximately 17 sheets on his head and 3 proudly draped around his arm in a  red-rose-with-yellow-trimmings pattern.
So he waltzes in and immediately the bickering starts:

Plastic-nail-attachment-lady: Mambo? (Howzit)

Dodgy sheet guy:                   Poa, mzima (Cool and chilled)

Plastic-nail-attachment-lady:  Bei ghani i shuka ya rangi ekundu....

Dodgy sheet guy:                  ah! EXCLAMATION: Tsh 5000 (approx. R25)

Plastic-nail-attachment-lady: Sawa, asante, kesho! (i.e. bugger off- way too much!)

End of conversations and life resumes with it's normal buzz....

It was priceless.... you had to be there though!

~ desert rose ~

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Packets of Love

In the quaint little town of Prince Alfred Hamlet, right across from the notorious Hamlet Hotel, stands a little piece of my soul.  What started as a labour of love has turned into a fulyl fledged bakery called MamaMac's.
Even before all things homemade and wholesome became a big news trend, this is exactly the way my mom lovingly made rusks in her farm kitchen. First for us, then friends enquired and soon in 1995 she started supplying to a well-known delicatessen. Using and perfecting traditional, family recipes she has grown the business from a one woman show to a bakery that employs 8 women and my sister.
Given our communal passion for good food and instinct to feed those around us, I suppose this should come as no great surprise.

When I go home to visit, the three of us can sit for hours in the office drinking coffee, "testing" our biscuits (very important by the way!), talking and laughing.  Or my sister takes me into the bakery to teach me the fine art of the perfect shortbread, or better yet, we dream up new products or ideas pouring over magazines and clippings we collect along the way.  On Friday's my sister, a pastry chef by profession, whips up some delicious treat to savour over the weekend and friends from all over Hamlet and Ceres drop in to stock-up on some freshly baked carrot cake, double-chocolate cupcakes of spicy cinnamon buns.

I recently had friends that came to visit from South Africa.  The biggest treat the stuffed suitcase revealed - a packet of MamaMac's Health Rusks and Shortbread Biscuits...a crumbly piece of home, packets of yummy love.

Lourensia Mackenzie

Tel +2723-3134338
Rina-Marie Mackenzie
Tel +273-3134338


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kitenge prints spotted on the runways

Yes, Africa is infiltrating the world spotted at Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 on the Sartorialist.
And on the streets of Atlanta.

So Girls, use your taylors and have some up to date fashion made!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Choo etiquette

Choo's (toilets) come in many shapes and forms in Dar es Salaam. Some require feats of great balance and strength for hovering, for others the 'toilet paper halo' will suffice before sitting down. And then, there is the occasional choo that boggles the mind and should require a 'how to use' sign. As this particular choo in the domestic airport demonstrates (note the shoe imprints), sometimes even what is considered normal can be perplexing and call for creative maneuvers...


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Phantom ghost pain

Phantom pain sensations are described as perceptions that an individual experiences relating to a limb or an organ that is not physically part of the body(anymore, was at a time).

Treatment: Various methods have been used to treat phantom limb pain. Doctors may prescribe medications to reduce the pain. Some antidepressants (or loads of wine) have been shown to have a beneficial effect on reducing phantom limb pain. 

Phantom pain is not just limited to physical limbs but extents to the heart too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Weekend and UDI's

The Beginning
Somewhere in the Middle

The End
So I am a little older and Frangipani a little younger.  That is the ffirst of many, many polar opposites, but somehow our friendship!  The result of this unusual union has been the broadening of my horizons in many ways - I have been introduced to various things, methods and habits that seemed to have given my generation a skip!  The list is long and I would rather not go into too much detail lest I loose all of my street cred, but there has been one discovery that has added a little flair to my life - that of the acronym.
Living with Frangipani I have had to learn the meanings of these gems that pepper her everyday conversation otherwise there could have been some serious misunderstandings!  FML, BTW, LOL, NP, TGIF - just a couple of the hidden codes I have mastered.
The one that has particular reference to my life right at this instance is the UDI - Unidentified Drinking Injury.

The place: Kendwa Beach, Zanzibar
The occasion: Weekend away with friends, in particular, beach party Saturday night
The time: Between 00:00 and 04:30
The UDI:  Bruises that seem to stretch from my knees to my ankles, in all shades of blue and black.
The cause: Various, but most likely dancing till we drop, midnight swimming and illegal dow access.
The verdict: Ab-so-lu-te-ly worth it!

The Very End


Friday, September 10, 2010

Watch this space

Well, most of my fellow bloggers are on Zanzibar this weekend....

Hence the lack in posts this week. I think they couldn't stop thinking about this 4 day weekend on a tropical isle and got side-tracked! I mean, I probably would've too!!!

Watch this space for their comments AFFFTTEERRR the weekend!

I've decided to put a few pics on, special ones, ones that made memories.

Fish market Dar es Salaam

Driving to the Selous

Secret Beach Spot


Mikumi Buffalo

The heart of Lukula 

Mara Lion
Kilimanjaro in all her beauty
Cheetah and cubs - Mara Plains

Wow, should probably stop, but will do more later......

~desert rose~

Monday, September 6, 2010

Life Lessons

                                               (Google Images)

Disappointments. What are you supposed to do with them?

My precious family has recently been the direct hit of a malicious and child-ish person/persons. And I tell you: what an incredible disappointment this has that been for us. We were shocked, shattered and sad.

After a lot of thought and picking other people brains of why someone would do something so degrading to someone else, I've come to the conclusion that the reason for their actions, must be because of jealousy.

This post is short, but all I want to say today is that, if you've got bad vibes with someone, or you don't like that person, don't be malicious, don't shame that person in public. It is not welcome. Go and talk to him/her, sort it out. We are all adults and don't need to be treated like "bad citizens" because of someone's hatred and jealousy.

Be the better person.

I'll have to pick up the pieces and learn from this disappointment and try again.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Steel Magnolias

We have a theater in Dar rather fittingly called The Little Theater.  Every once in a while when we feel really culture starved, the local amateur actors put on a small production and we all meander down there for support.  It usually is a real laugh as there is bound to be someone you know in the cast and actors and audience alike take part in the fun!  A particularly hilarious scene was in Mamma Mia, when a good looking older lady played the part of sexy Tania and got fondled by a "beach boy", who in real life happen to be a surfer looking lad in grade 9 at the International School..."Does your Mamma know" indeed?!
So Wednesday night Frangipani and me headed down to The Little Theater for Steel Magnolias.  Remember the movie with Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts and Sally Field that made us laugh aloud and cry uncontrollably?
It is the story of several small town women who's lives revolve around meeting in Truvy's, the local beauty parlour.  It's all about friendship and love and loss. The plot is rather predictable, but even so, I could not help leaving the theater a little teary eyed, loving, appreciating and missing my girlfriends more.

And yesterday life happened and two of my dearest friends received bad news that caused broken hearts and many tears.  Aan my vriendinne...sometimes my words are just too insignificant and all I can do is give you a big hug, make you some cottage pie or sit with you under the stars and sip wine...not saying much...just sitting...
And if I am too far away, there are always The Girls, rallying around, laughing, talking, crying, drinking...being me, there for you...I love you all and miss you terribly!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spring(and hope) has Sprung

A lot has been said about the lack of seasons in Tanzania. I arrived in Joburg in the middle of one of the coldest winters and had to survive a black frost with ice on the windscreens one week in. Sharp contrast to the 40degree 90% humidity in Dar.

The 1st of September marks springday in South Africa and is the official beginning of Spring. I must say I am enjoying the passage of time being marked in milestones. In Tanzania one day just seemed to flow into each other and just like that a year would have passed.

Here spring is palpable. You can smell the jasmine in the air, feel the heat of the sun on your skin and see the smiles of people on the streets. They say it’s the season to fall in love so braais are organized and picnics planned. No one misses the chance to be outside to soak up the sun on a Sunday. And meet new people ofcourse!

With the budding trees and blossoms comes hope, hope for a new beginning, hope for a better world and also the promise that things that die or hibernate for winter have the hope of coming alive again in Spring.

Like a budding tree showing signs of life, a small voice whispers; you might just be fine.