The Naked Barista 8 May 2018 Continue reading “Van Reenen”
Queen of Hearts 1 June 2018
Lloyd & Katie
Two of my absolute favorite people…
Katie were born in America, but she loves where she lives now in Mosselbay – for the last ten years…and according to her… living the dream.
Katie is a ray of sunshine, but has a serious job as the CEO of African Campus. This is a training education center.
The goal is to bring mainly foreign students from overseas to South Africa.
She works with various companies, Marine Research, a terrestrial research and a media company.
The students, mainly undergrads, come to do field training.
Obviously with marine biology, there is quite a few different directions you choose from, whether it is physiology or biology or behavioural studies etc.
It is really difficult to decide what you want to do, for example a two year’s masters program without actually knowing what that means. So when the students come over for month long periods, she usually already have between six and ten different research projects running at the same time. Each day the students do a morning activity as well as an afternoon activity and so cycle through all the different projects. By the end of the month they have had exposure and training in the data collection and the data analyses with all the projects. This helps them figure out what they love or not and so can help them with their career choice. This is how the research program works.
With the media program, one has to have a portfolio filled with photography, filming and journalism. You have to have proof that you can do it…with the month long program, students get exposure with sports and wildlife photography. Their first week and a half, would be learning video and sound skills, building their story. Then they go to a game reserve for two weeks and there they film. When they come back, they edit this until they have a three to five minute film which they can submit to possible employers, film festivals etc.
All of the various projects are conservation based.
It started with just the research, but research only takes you so far and the research aspect can be really boring…so it is good to have a wide variety of skills and different people want to learn and be taught different skills…so the idea is that no matter what your passion, if you want to be a conservationist or if you want to get involved, the various training is available. The website is www.african-campus.com and they have been stationed in Mosselbay for nine years.
Recently Katie decided to improve every aspect of her life by concentrating on her health and fitness…inspiration to all of us. She keeps challenging herself to be a better version of herself…words for all to live by…
Lloyd is always smiling and have the most positive attitude. He is all about love and laughter. His laughter is infectious…he is all heart.
Lloyd is an excellent chef and up until recently owned a restaurant in Mosselbay, which is now sold.
After this he was asked to chef on a beautiful boat.
For this, he had to get his STCW and is now available for some more of the same.
About four years ago, we were superblessed to have Lloyd chef for us in our very own kitchen which afforded him celebrity status when he were featured in celebrity newspapers.
Seems like they love their celebrity status as it happens quite often.
They have been married for more than a year and I felt honored indeed when they asked me to do their ceremony for them. A stunning forest wedding.
They are a unique couple, well loved and forever sharing the love with everyone…
They have a loving support from their family. We have had the pleasure of meeting both of their parents and relatives and all of them awesome. Lloyd’s beautiful daughter is with us on this photo below.
…we are superblessed
with gratitude to have them as our friends!…
Queen of Hearts
30 May 2018
REINHARDT & NADINE
What a privilege to know these two amazing friends for so many years and to now also have our long time dream come true…to own this piece of the Garden Route together with them.
We met Reinhardt when he was just about to be teenager. He grew up in front of us as his parents, Johan and Este used to work with me in Potgietersrus at our Estate Agency.
Even then, while still at school, Reinhardt and his brother Marnitz, did some maintenance and other odd jobs for pocket money. They were keen entrepreneurs of note…selling sweets at their boarding school in Oudtshoorn and always planning inventive ways to earn an income.
After school, Reinhardt was unsure of a good income in South Africa and so he went traveling and ended up in London where he met his lovely wife, Nadine. They stayed on in London, working hard and smart together and even more important, living frugal, saving every pound they could for nine years.
All those years, they kept inviting us to come visit them in London. They came to visit us often in South Africa and just before they left London for good, we eventually went to visit them in 2009.
We had the most awesome experience as they took time off and became our tour guides.
In my high school years, my friend Ronel and I had a saying – ‘that one day we would shop in Harrods of London’ – well, I had the opportunity to do just that…and what a magnificent building.
Then we had the opportunity to sleep in one of Reinhardt’s clients’ apartment in Chelsey.
After this we traveled the countryside…
I remember a few places…Bakoven comes to mind…we saw magnificent castles…
We went to Nottingham castle as well and had a beer inside the oldest pub.
We so enjoyed spending time with them in London, but even better was when they came and lived in South Africa. They used their savings to buy an awesome home in Milnerton, Cape Town. Working smart once again, they renovated a flat onto their home and the rental income paid for the most of their outstanding bond. They kept renovating and now even have enough space to work their business, ‘Custom Fit’ from home. With the renovation, came celebrity status.
Reinhardt and Nadine has two handsome sons of their own now and he is working with what has always been his passion…wood. Reinhardt loves treehouses and so build one for his sons….
As mentioned, Custom fit. Check out the fancy furniture on their website as well as his facebook page. He can also help with whatever request you have.
Reinhardt also loves designing something new…this is one of the two he hammocks he designed for Africa Burn.
His other passion includes his self-build pipecar. This is his pride and joy and he is talking about making a business of this…
I believe he is onto something once again…
Nadine recently stopped working as she has a lot on her plate with their toddler, as well as their special needs baby who was born with Spina bifida. I tip my hat as to me, she is definitely superwoman.
I have seen Nadine in action work wise, raking in bonus after bonus. She was an excellent employee working from her office in Cape Town, as well as from home. This is the reason I would like to mention what she did as someone reading this, might know of a job where she might be able to work from home. All she needs is a computer, which she has…
Nadine dealt with all the direct bookings for Asilia Africa…setting up properties on booking.com, expedia, agoda…all sorts of different online travel agents on those platforms. She also took bookings via those platforms, dealing with the international guests. She put together tailor made itineraries for South Africans as well as International tourists visiting Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya.
The firm she used to work for has a preferred number of agents they work with. Once she had the booking, she would pass it on and they would then advise on all the necessary travel flights, transfers, extra accommodation etc. Usually it would not just be straight forward. In the Serengeti for example to go from point A to point B, would require park fees or maybe guests would be flying in etc. The agents is better equipped to put together itineraries in that regard, but if it is for Southern African residents or East African residents, she would take those bookings directly and could make all the necessary arrangements. Zanzibar were also one of her destinations, but could be booked through their website….www.asiliaafrica.com.
Together this family makes an awesome team and I am superblessed to know them.
Superblessed with love!
Gratitude for such a beautiful friendship indeed!
The Queen of Hearts
30 May 2018
Martin has been our friend and masseuse for a very long time. He is the most positive person I know and I have learned so much from him and still this continues…
He lives on Southern Comfort Ranch, a farm in Harkerville close to Plettenberg Bay. His family have been living together on this farm for many years. Southern Comfort has always been a horse ranch, where horse riding services were offered with around 35 horses. Only later on the four wheeler’s were introduced. Recently, the horses have been relocated and this part of the services terminated.
I met Magriet, Martin’s Mom, in the year 2000, when I had my advertising business…’The Holiday Maker’. I use to sell advertising space to them for seven years.
They have been trying slowly, over the years, to migrate away from tourist related income, especially with the horses. There was a time where they were one of ten horse riding services available, but in their area this number has now ventured down to just two.
Volunteers are welcomed on Southern Comfort.
Martin is one of the best masseuse as this is his passion and when someone works his passion, he becomes the best. Martin also offers massage courses and approaches the body with all its elements – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, energetic and ancestral. He believes that if we can grasp the importance of what we are about and consistently work with these bodily elements, we can access our super powers. I salute!
Martin prefers to have only two students per course as he wants to forward this importance to his students and therefore needs to provide them with individual attention. In having only two to teach, he knows that the recurring procedure will be easiest to remember. This way of teaching, will provide the student to not only feel (lying on the table) where muscles are in his own body, but when his turn arrives to massage, he will also know how it feels when you are the receiver. This procedure can easily be remembered as it will be done three times per day, because of fewer students. So Martin will have one student on the table and show the other student what to do, teaching them about the bodies’ anatomy. The student on the table gives feedback the whole time on what he is feeling. They swop after the session and he goes through the whole teaching again. Afterwards Martin receives a massage from each of his students and gives them feedback throughout. This is done either in three to five days. Martin says that this simple way of teaching has proven the most effective. In the beginning of the course, there is too much chatter daily, but within three days they work in silence, because of this simple method of teaching. Martin wants to be absolutely sure that his students have confidence and the knowledge that they are equipped and one hundred percent ready.
He has not been disappointed as his feedback on his courses has been amazing.
Contact Martin for course prices as he is best able to work out a cost to suit your budget.
Recently Martin and his girlfriend Chi-Chi, (about her skills coming soon) took some time out and traveled to Thailand. Usually this would mean expenses and no income. The greatest attribute of being an amazing masseuse, is the fact that you can work anywhere and Martin came back from his holiday with more money than he went with.
Martin became more mobile by buying a bus to have a treatment space easily accessible on the road.
Last year we were superblessed to have Martin and Chi-Chi travel with us to Mozambique. We were on holiday for more than a month, visiting new places and every now and again, Martin made some moola just by doing what he loves to do…how superblessed is he!
Martin also provides a healthier alternative to tobacco which he aptly named ‘Holy Roly’.
Holy Roly is a combination of 15 different organic material and medicinal plant varieties. Martin claims that this tobacco can be healing for lungs and other organs. It can be made into a tea as well which will be beneficial as intestinal bacteria support. Some more uses includes smudging/ incense and even using it in food.
Martin can also be contacted for sacred ceremonies of all sorts.
We were superblessed to have enjoyed a good few Afrika Burn’s with Martin being one of the fire chiefs. He has become one of the favorites on and off photographs!
…Superblessed to have this fabulous friend!…
Gratitude for your friendship…♡
Queen of Hearts 23 May 2018
Too often, especially when we have been married for such a long time, we take our spouse who is closest to us for granted…always thinking there will be more time to express gratitude for how incredible they are…well I believe that the most precious commodity there is, is time…so with this post, I want to thank my husband for spending so much time and so much more…
We have been together for more than 23 years and I believe we make an awesome team. He still makes me feel special, by opening the car door for me.
I am truly amazed at the ‘MAN’ with capital letters, B has become, with all the trials and tribulations that comes with a marriage. I am superblessed that he has been my mirror for learning so many of my own life lessons.
B studied at TUKS and aced a B.Com Marketing degree.
He started his journey with construction at a very young age as his father was in the construction business and B is an only child. He used to work with his dad in the school holidays for pocket money. He was also extremely inventive of ways attracting the tool we call money.
Here is a man who when we met were a mere ‘boy’…but, at a young age already impressed me so…so much so that I just had to marry him… Continue reading “My Fabulous Friends – My husband…Bethesda”
Queen of Hearts 22 May 2018
Introduction to my Fabulous friends
On my life’s journey I am superblessed indeed with such a variety of treasured souls whom I can call friends…
As I have been told and now regard myself as something of a connector (social glue) or a maven (definition “one who understands”). An explanation of these terms can be found in the book of Malcolm Gladwell – “The Tipping Point”… ” The fact that Mavens want to help, for no other reason than because they like to help…”
Soulgrower by trade…
As I am always in awe with what humans choose to do with their lives…I am seduced into sharing my friends skills and so connect them for their prosperity…
…this is why I am going to be writing about my fabulous friends…
This will be a lifetime project as everyday brings new souls on my path…please let me know if you want a write up.
I shall start with my number one best friend (present company excluded…I am fast becoming my own bestie)…
Queen of Hearts 12 August 2017
Part 2 – Mozambique / Transkei / Morgan’s Bay
Wow! We are driving away from spending a super interesting night at our friend, Louis Magwa.
Louis lives in Transkei, about a kilometre from the magnificent Magwa Falls…
What a feeling of pure serenity!
Louis has been carving his own eccentric way of life here for the last 10 years. He is a man full of character, amazing manners…a brave and lovely man, bursting with interesting new ideas.
He has even brought his Mother to live with him about a year and a half ago. For anyone, it was clear to see how much they adore each other and this blessed my heart.
The two of them live in his huge rondavel. This is an extra-ordinary rondavel, as he build it so as to meet all their needs. He even has his leather works machinery inside as well as a top floor build with mezanine. The inside feel of their home is very inviting, calm and peaceful.
This morning he took us for a sightseeing tour where we came to understand why anybody would want to live here. The spectacular views and history of this part of the world is absolutely amazing.
As we wound our way out of a huge forest on the dusty roads of Transkei, we reminisced on our evening well spend around a fire.
Our food were a huge pot filled with an array of fresh vegetables. Delicious!
We were welcomed to stay in another rondavel and loved it.
There were also a third rondavel with six beds as he often have volunteers stay over.
The fact that he has two rivers (or one might be a fountain) that feeds his property with water helps a lot.
Before we left, Louis also showed us his amazing invention which is a rocket stove. I really hope that this will cotton on as it is very effective. If you would like to contact him regarding this…0832685611.
We stopped off at the Magwa Falls for a quick view…
Today, we are on our way to Qolora after a lovely week spend with Tobie and Charmaine. (later more about this amazing piece of heaven)
We met Tobie and Charmaine at Mozamboogie and they invited us to come and stay with them at their holiday home in Morgans Bay for a visit. They are absolutely awesome people and so we did.
We have never been to Morgan’s Bay and ended up staying for a week. We were only going to stay for a few days, but we were going to Coffee Bay next and the weather predicted heavy rains. We were superblessed with our stay at Tobie and Charmaine who spoiled us so much that it was hard to leave.
B and Tobie…
B says that we achieved our ‘PHD in Nothingness’… we became one with ourselves…pulled ourselves toward ourselves…we really just lazed around…and had fun…
Martin, our travel buddie / long-time friend as well as our Massuese, did a bit of work, as both Tobie and Charmaine had become aware of Martin’s magical hands. Martin had his hands full (pardon the pun), with quite a few massages.
I also did my part in thanking them for their generosity with my very own
Chi-Chi reminded us of how much we ate. She had a lot to do with it as she loves making food and does it so well. She is a vegan and loves creating healthier options…her brand name being ‘Raw-Chi’…lovit! My personal favorite being seaweed chips which she harvests herself…so a love process from beginning to the end product…and you can taste the love!
Back to Morgan’s Bay…
The absolutely beautiful view complete with bird life kept us captivated. The beautiful song of the fish eagle; gliding in front of us, catching fish…when we looked carefully, we could even see where their nest were.
Hummmingbirds, heron and various other birds song rang in our ears all day long and we kept the binoculours close. Nonnie (in the photo below) of course were my favourite.
We canoed and could even access the beach, which we did.
When the weather were really cold and wet, we watched movies in front of the fire or played scrabble. Their doggie, Vlooi was also to be kept busy with a bit of ball play.
Tobie drove us through the town of Morgan’s Bay and Keimond. We visited some of their friends, Billy and Annemarie next to the Kei River. They are lovely people and we were blessed with avo and coffee trees.
After our welcoming stay with Tobie and Charmaine, we are on the pond on our way to Qolora for an overnight stay…
So…Qolora did not work out for us as they could not confirm our overnight stay and we decided to move on to Coffee Bay.
On our way we passed this amazing sculpture alongside the road, carved from a tree stump.
We slept that evening at the Kings Cottage of Coffee Shack. This is their biggest cottage as it has 2 double rooms with kitchen and bathroom as well as an upstairs loft area with more beds. Chi-Chi loved the decor and I even remember being there when our friend, Cindy van Schalkwyk, was busy working on the tiling of the murals.
The staff there remembers us well as we have visited many times over the years. Coffee Shack is definitely our favourite as we have so many awesome memories here. Friendships for life has been solidly forged here. Continental friends made.
Next day we went to visit our friends who lives close to the Maphusi cliffs. While driving to Nadine and Johan, we could not help but stop in awe of the splendorous views. We walked to the cliff overhanging onto the vast sea below. As we were standing there captivated by this view, it got even better…we first saw one turtle swimming in the waves. As our eyes fixed on it, we became aware of three other… four turtles riding the waves. We felt superblessed with nature…as we always are when we take time to appreciate… We were superblessed even more as our eyes feasted on a whale and some dolphins…all of this happening just because we stopped to appreciate…Gratitude.
Nadine and Johan has acquired a piece of land and have build two rondavels to live in. They are a lovely family, complete with a healthy baby boy, Benji.
Working hard to achieve a peaceful, pure life and enjoying every minute of it. Nadine use to live and work in Cape Town. Rat race got her down and I love the conscious awareness happening…as if most nowadays are seeking a purer life, growing our own food and in this process living in symbiosis with and honouring our earth.
B said that he got the feeling of back in the day…the wild west frontier…where you aquire a piece of land, arrive…and now you have to cope…get water on the land to start building a home for your loved ones and growing some food. Johan and his buddie also spearfish for food in the ocean.
A few metres from Johan and Nadine, lives an Israeli, who we met. He shared with Martin, that he swims out into the ocean for about 15 minutes, shoots good sized fish and then swims back…hardcore… then barter transactions take place, depending on what the other man have to offer.
Everybody eats and everybody helps each other…this is community!
What a magical visit this was to connect again with her and now also with her beautiful family. So much gratitude for this awesome experience.
Back in Coffee Bay, we saw on social media that our friends, Christie and Marius, were also in the area. Christie arranged a surprise breakfast for the next morning with us as Marius did not know that we were there.
After our breakfast the next day, Karl took us all on our next adventure to the opposite hill of Mdumbi at the mouth…Ethuleni is the area. Situated here is ‘Freedomoclock Backpackers’. What an experience this was..WOW!
Freedomoclock is the home of Otto and Lu with their confident little girl of six. They are lovely and we were very blessed. The accomodation is well recommended.
Camping can also be arranged, which Martin and Chi-Chi opted for.
Marius and Christie said their goodbyes, but we would meet up again soon for an adventure in Hogsback.
I loved all the beautiful signs everywhere. Chi-Chi loved the incredible invention of an amazing rocket shower.
Lu and Otto have worked very hard to establish this haven of tranquility. Everything just works well together, the kitchen and buildings and finishes…
We had a delicious seafood meal…oysters and crayfish, which the locals supply fresher than fresh and so cheap; white wine and lovely conversations as Johan and Nadine also came to join us for a few hours.
The sunset was unbelievably spectacular as we had uninterrupted views over the mouth and beach.
The sunrise the next morning after a good nights rest, was even more remarkable. We woke up with the crowing of roosters. All the amazing sounds of abundant nature…
We could not help but to put on our coats as it was still very early and quite chilly…B and I took a walk down to the beach. The more we walked the fresher we felt, as if the air was filled with healthier oxygen and with every breath we felt invigorated.
We came to a stunning tree and being very silly started with a photoshoot in and around this.
Then we saw Martin and Chi-Chi who was also on the beach. They joined in our photoshoot before we walked on the beach. We did yoga stretches and headstands…feeling healthy and vibrant.
It was a perfect morning, but as we were walking back, the wind started up with a speed. We could not believe how quickly it could became so windy. I picked up a small planter pot which blew into the middle of the road with something inside. At first I wanted to just take the planter pot to Lu and Otto, but my intuition made me keep the little something inside as well. When I gave it to them, they were amazed as it were their own, complete with lemon seed still inside.
After our walk, the locals deemed us special enough to take us for a day out to a secret place…which was on the beach and absolutely lovely. Martin and Chi-Chi opted for a long beachwalk to the secret spot.
As we were driving, we passed a wide river and Karl, who was driving with us, told us about a day when he was in his rubberduck on the river and were blessed with a scene of a Fish Eagle catching a fish right in front of him…these definitely is the moments in our lives which is most memorable.
After being cajoled to have another meal,we drove away fairly late…we would spend the evening at Mdumbi backpackers, which is just on the opposite hill as the crow flies, but quite the drive around…
We found Mdumbi in the dark and after we settled in…here the staff also knew us…we decided to have a bath. A ‘donkey’ (also a rocket type stove) has to be fired up first and after waiting quite some time, we had an awesome bath…
…after this we slept like logs…
The next morning was quite windy and cold, so we opted to not have a walk down to the beach, but rather have breakfast indoors.Martin and Chi-Chi on the other hand braved the outdoors and were rewarded with sightings of many dolphins swimming and jumping with the surfers. On their morning hike, they were also accompanied by Eco, the same dog living at Mdumbi for many years.
We left enroute to Hogsback…for another adventure…but first we had to show Martin and Chi-Chi the hole in the wall…just a quick drive past…as the wind were still howling…
Christie and Marius decided to join us for a Hogsback mission. They are an amazing couple. They have a very interesting business named Share a Villa. Accommodation for single professionals in Cape Town. Contact Christie at +27609800339.
Hogsback was the coldest with snow on the mountains and frost in the stunning gardens of The Edge, where we stayed…
We arrived with rain actually turning into frost. We went to eat in their cosy restaurant, warming ourselves in front of the fire and only opting to sit at the table when our food was already placed. Be sure to try their Dark chocolate drink…lipsmacking…
The Edge is situated, yeah, you guessed it… right on the edge of a mountain peak overlooking a valley. There are houses to rent, but we would rather do this in summer time when the view will value the cost. For now we are renting a little house with fireplace where four of us can stay.
We did try some walks to the edge, but it was too cold for me, as I have been there before in the summer. Martin and Chi-Chi were blessed to see a magnificent Crown eagle in the Arbirithium when they braved the cold for this walk.
I am always looking for a better price on essential oils, for my perfume Alexia and we decided to check out Amathole. We found the owner, Ian, who shared so much with us. Martin also found him very knowledgeable. He will be having some workshops on oil extracting that I am interested in.
We all went for a walk in the Botanical Gardens later and the most amazing big old Redwoods towered over the other trees.
Afterwards we had a absolutely delicious lunch at the Butterfly Bistro where we could order vegan food as well.
Chi-Chi (+27834194658) is vegan and she makes her own range of food – seaweed chips, which she harvest herself, (I am so impressed), seed crackers, vegan pesto, sauerkraut, chi bars which is an amazing substitute for chocolate (it is a superfood bar), dehydrated veg patties, vegan chocolates… She sells these at the Vegan Goods Market in Plumstead, Cape Town which is on the first Saturday of each month…and Midweek market in Plett.
While we chattered on the recorder, we drove through the little town of Alice. Click on the blue, as I just had to research and see what it is about…
We do get around hey…
We are on our way to Port Elizabeth and will be stopping for lunch with our friends at the well known Nanaga farmstall…
We had an exciting stop to make at the most awesome Salt Restaurant in Port Elizabeth. Martin had a meeting for the upcoming Wildeburn. We also join in on the meeting as we are avid Burners. (more about what happened at the Wildeburn in a next post)
After a very good meeting we were ready to head home to Sedgefield as our friends, Marius and Christie were waiting for us and were going to stay with us for the night.
Next day the fun continued in our own backyard…
…What a trip…feeling Superblessed with Gratitude…
1 December 2017
It was a week before my 50th birthday on the 24th of July that this sweat lodge experience came to me.
I am always joking about my birthdate 24/7… because, this is exactly like I used to work…
March 2016 I became very sick and needed to get to grips with it. (read more about sickness clicking on the blue sick)
So, on my healing conquest I became more aware of how emotional and physical health are linked. This made so much sense after not dealing with challenges for a long time. By not dealing with emotional challenges, it will manifest into sickness.
The fact that I would be 50 and have hormones out of whack, also encouraged the disease of course.
After so much time has passed, I now believe firmly that being sick guided me to get to the root of the challenges…
So…on such a note, speaking of this guidance, brings me to Pachamama retreat.
It was Saturday the 8th of July on my Mother in law’s birthday. My son Juan, his girlfriend Katja and I were celebrating with Mom for her birthday with a breakfast at our world famous Saturday Market.
A friend of Juan and Katja, Chris, walked by and we were introduced. He proceeded to tell us about the Sweat lodge happening the next day. I have always been intriqued with the idea of doing something like this, but have never before felt such an urgency to participate as I did then. I do believe this was the moment I made my mind up to do it…
Katja and Juan also felt like going the next day and it was settled.
As it turned out, it started to rain lightly in the night which was truly a blessing as this was the first rain after the terrible raging fires in Knysna and surrounds.
The next day found me enjoying lying in bed as it was cold and raining.
Everyone cancelled the trip as it was an apparent 35 minute drive into the forest to get to Pachamama. This does not sound too far, but my vehicle to travel there was a tiny Chevy Spark, left to us by my Mother who died December. Also I have never been there and did not have the faintest idea how to get there.
So, I stayed in bed enjoying watching the light misty rain fall and toying with the abandonement of an idea to get up and go SWEAT…
Once again, I felt an inexplicable urge to do the sweat and made the decision to get up and go.
I had to visit the petrol station before such a drive, as the Chevy these days wanted more oil (5th litre for the week) than petrol. At the petrol station, Petrus, who have been working there since I can remember, was surprised to find me at the wheel. He only found out then that my Mother had died in December.
I do believe that the way in which my Mom died had a huge impact on me and probably this had to do with the urge I felt of going to the sweat.
In her last days, my Mother’s body was in an unceasing spasm. She could not move and had to be turned every two hours. She also had to be changed regularly as she had to wear nappies.
I was blessed to find space with The Living Cornerstone just around the corner from me, a 24 hour care facility. We were super blessed that this state of being lasted only three weeks before she left us. If you knew my Mom, you would know that she was very independent. She would not have wanted this state of being one bit. I was thankful for those last three weeks as I am an only child and we did not have the best relationship. It was healing to be at her side for most of the time.
Here I want to add that just last night, I found the note that came with two handkerchiefs gifted to me, during this time by my Mom’s side. It was gifted by Annemarie and Johan. These are the parents of our friends, Fanie, Christo and Joe Moller. We can always be sure of parental guidance from these two wise humans as they love reading and researching and thus share a wealth of knowledge. I am filled with gratitude to have them on our life journey.
As I believe that I was in perfect flow, the message for directions from Chris came through on my phone…at least now I knew kinda where I had to go.
It was an adventurous drive for sure, driving into the forrest passing farms with cows grazing in the fields. Just that morning, I saw a video about cows and it felt as if everything happening was connecting dots on my journey. At one point I stopped next to the cows and walked over to the fence, locking eyes with them. It was an awesome feeling of connectivity…
It felt as if I was in a foreign country going to a sweat lodge, but here it was offered to me right in my backyard, so to speak…
Onwards I drove and got there just on time.
There was no time for me to change as it started raining. I stripped down to my lingerie in a dorm and luckily had my scarf to cover up with until we were inside the darkness of the very low hut. Nothing mattered at all as I felt as if I was absolutely at the right place and at the right time.
We walked pass a fire filled with big glaring red stones which were obviously readied for us for a while.
The hut was small and we had to crawl in through a tiny opening. I counted nine people. We were told to sit in a circle and settled in.
Then the fire glaring red stones were brought and carefully placed in the middle of our circle. As each stone were brought in, a chant was heard …”Welcome Grandmother”…and this chant continued after every fiery hot stone…”Welcome Grandmother”
Nixiwaka said that he wanted nine stones, but only seven were able to fit the small firespace and then…the flap of the hut were closed and we sat in pitch darkness with only the glaring of the fire…water was added and a lot of steam were forming in the small space…
It was the strangest feeling and totally out of my comfort zone as I am claustrophobic.
But alas, it was not my own urgent voice which rang out; it was two of the men that pleaded to leave the hut immediately.
They were told that if they left, they would not be able to join in again. This made my decision clear to suck it up and stick it out.
I have come this far with the adventure…and again I felt an overwhelming sense of being at the right place at the right time. I had to smile nervously, as I sensed a confirmation because of the two people leaving, as now we were seven and seven has always been a profound number for me. Not only is it widely considered to be the perfect number, but my first relationship as a teenager lasted until it’s seventh year, my first marriage lasted seven years, my first business…yes, seven years when I sold it…my second business exactly the same…
Now I fully believed that I was at the right place…at the right time…
Nixiwaka started a guided meditation with his melodious voice… chackra number one (red) was confronted, cleansed, cleared of any bad energy, surrounding it in soft healing light and then only moving on to the next chackra.
This felt so amazing and I could feel my body and mind responding well…the next chackra (orange) was addressed and lovingly cleansed and healed… all the while the water was poured on the stones…and steam was enveloping us…
I was sweating profusely by this time, but it did not matter at all…I felt giddy with expectation…
Chackra number three (yellow) was up and here was a different story. This is the chackra that has to do with nurturing…
…while writing this article, I figured out that this is probably why I love giving foot treatments… while nurturing others, I am giving out what I most need…
I wrote a book and published it in 2010 – Bury the Past, Unlock the future. I thought that I have dealt with all my issues relating to nurturing.
My Dad was an alcoholic when I was born and because of this I had a very angry Mom. My Mom had also had a few miscarriages before me as well as carrying a baby boy full term who died when he was born and this was two years prior to myself. So as can be expected…a lot of hurt and anger. To add drama to chaos, I was born with asthma and remained a daily asthmatic until my late teenage years when I “outgrew” it. So just imagine how much trouble I was to try and keep alive…
Well, clearly chackra no three was communicating to me that it was still out of whack as I started hyperventilating. I have been battling with panic attacks on a regular basis for the last year and I knew exactly how it felt when it was revealing itself…and it was definitely revealing itself…
I started feeling pins and needles on the sides of my hands…I tried to take big gulps of air and was relieved that it was so dark that no one could see me. The pins and needles started spreading and my hands began to spasm. I took some more air and tried to calm my mind, but when the pins and needles reached my face, I knew I had to get out… or I would probably land face down onto the glaring Grandmother stones.
I had calming pills prescribed by my doctor in my bag which was in the car and it worked with immediate effect if I could only get to it fast enough…
Everyone was in deep meditation and a young lady was sitting entranced next to me. I felt so awful to bother her, but I had to get out as I was seeing grey and knew that I was about to faint.
I motioned that I wanted to get out, but she reprimanded me to stay for awhile longer. I think I conveyed to her in some more urgent tones as she gave me a little space to meander around her…then I still had to get pass Nixiwaka, our most peaceful guide…
He must have sensed how urgent it was as he opened the flap for me, but as I passed him, he whispered that I would be welcomed back when they open the flap for some more stones, which will happen another three times.
Crawling to get outside, I stood up in a downpour of rain with my bare feet sinking into thick mud.
…my car was about a kilometre away, but my carkeys were in the dorm about a kilometre in the opposite direction…and I was contorted in spasm and in no condition to walk anywhere by this time…
This was the point when I knew with certainty that there was nothing I could do and no one to help me… I simply had to let go…
I saw a bench next to the dam and somehow made my way there…
I stumbled onto it and let my head fall back. The downpour of rain felt very cool and cleansing.
My face and mouth were totally scew by now (it looks like you are having a stroke) and I began embracing the fact that I would die here…
It felt as if I could just drink more and more of the pure life-giving water, the more I let go and let the rainwater run into my mouth. It felt as if the pins and needles and even my sore right kidney were being flushed.
The rain poured over me and I kept drinking, feeling strangely soothed.
I started thinking about my life and a feeling of complete and utter calm began spreading through my body. It dawned on me that we all knew that we are going to die one day; in fact this is the only certainty of our life.
I also thought about the recent raging fires and the people who died horrifically in those fires and all the others who lost everything. This was the first downpour of rain after the raging fires and I felt somehow refreshed and as if all my aches and pains were being exorcised…even my sore neck felt better.
Feeling more calmness and absolutely superblessed with my peaceful setting, I prayed then, giving gratitude for the perfectly serene space and beauty all around for my last breath.
I was extremely grateful that I ended up going alone as I would not have wanted my loved ones to see me like this.
In my prayers, I expressed gratitude for each of my loved ones, my husband, my children and all my amazing friends…
…and the most awesome experiences I have had during my lifetime.
Gratitude for having been at the hospital to meet my most beautiful granddaughter, Alexia when she was born…I remember first standing behind the glass window and watching her proud Dad with his newborn. Then he came to us and handed her over to me. As I looked at her, she tried her best to focus and look into my eyes and I could not have imagined that it would happen, but it did…our eyes locked for just a brief encounter, but an eternity…
Yes, I have surely lived a rewarding life!
Feeling absolutely relaxed now with feelings of utmost peace, I heard something and when I turned my head, I saw the flap of the hut opening and more stones being fetched.
I realized then that I was actually able to get up and making my way slowly through the mud once again I felt determined to go back in…
Inside I went to sit on the opposite side where the two men that left had sit for more breathing space.
Again the glaring red stones were welcomed as grandmothers and this is when it dawned on me that I too, was a grandmother…
I felt honoured by this realization, as if I was meant to feel welcome and then the flap closed again.
Again the water were poured on the glaring stones…again I started hyperventilating…
…but this time I was determined to stay as now I knew for a fact that I would live to tell this tale. (And this is exactly why I decided to share.)
I was here for a reason, to clear the imbalances which had my Mom in a paralised spasm when she died…and myself…as I was in a spasm and ready to go just now.
Not only was my Mom caught up in this spasm state, but she kept asking me for her daughter. I tried to comfort her by staying with her and reminding her that I was her only child (as far as I know), but she just said, ‘not you, my other daughter’…
Yes, my nurtering chackra was definitely out of whack…and this I probably handed down through my cell memory to my children and onto my granddaughter.
I was here to do everything possible to stop this downward spiral. To give the gift of forgiveness…This was my quest…I was here to let go for me and my loved ones…
I would be eternally grateful to know for sure that my children never have to wonder if they were good enough for me…I have the most beautiful children and I would be superblessed to get to a point where I know that they definitely know this…that they would know that I love them unconditionally, they do not need to prove themselves, they have already proved themselves by showing up in my life…by bringing me to this point of knowing…and doing…
There were a bottle of water being sent around with the utmost reverance and gratitude and now, (because of the experience on the bench), I could better sense just how important life giving water is and how easy it becomes for us to take it for granted. Not only water, but how often do we just gulp down our food because we are in a hurry and then we wonder where all our health problems stems from.
When last have you enjoyed the actual taste of a banana or avocado or name it…how do we taste better?
By using all our senses…
seeing – (wanting it because it looks good),
taking it (touch) and then smelling the flavours first and having our brain help by thinking (enticing) how it should taste. This is conscious/mindful eating and I definitely want to do more of it from now on…which brings us back to gratitude once again.
After these mind blowing revelations, it became tough for me to breathe again and as it was dark and I had so much space around me, I laid down on my tummy.
There was a glimmer of light coming through the bottom of the hut and I put my nose closer for some more oxygen. This actually helped a lot and I could listen once again to the melodious voice of Nixiwaka.
He proceeded to tell a story which I am not going to share details of, but it was exactly what I needed to hear. As he told it, I felt my sore kidney being warmed by the fireside. It also felt like little droplets of water was being sprinkled on it. I felt completely at ease with being there prostate on the ground.
My message for the longest time and also the strongest to come through at the SWEAT, is to be more still and present. I have always been a doer (always working or doing something to feel validated). I had a tough time to relax.
This again, yes, stems from my Mother, as I always had to perform to perfection, to make her happy. I am not saying this as a judgement, but it is just what it is…took me a long time to figure this out as well. We can use abusive behaviour as an excuse or an opportunity…
When the flap was opened again, I sat upright and ready to receive some more profound messages…which I did…and completed the sweat!
Afterwards I had a shower and we shared a meal together in Nixiwaka’s home. His son, Adam, were there and I surprised him by knowing his name, before he could say it. (I read up on Pachamama the day before and he was on the website.) Even the cats welcomed me while I ate mindfully.
I had to rush home as it was late afternoon and getting dark fast. With the downfall of rain it was no easy road for the Chevy.
Instead of turning right, I turned left and when I suspected I was on the wrong road, it luckily became too narrow for me to continue driving. I immediately turned around and hightailed out of there. It was getting dark super fast and I was still in the forest.
I whizzed past the cows who strangely enough came to the fence when they saw me coming as if they wanted to enhance our earlier experience.
Unfortunately I was in too much of a hurry to get home at this stage. It was cold, wet and dark by now and on I speeded.
Coming around a bend, I saw a huge white horse in the road. I am a card reader and this means huge opportunity…
Upon arriving home safely, drenched as it was raining hard, I made myself not just a cup, but a pot of chamomile and rooibos tea with honey and even took the cinamon spice bottle with as I went up to my room for some ‘well deserved’ relaxation. Even the way this sentence was written, is new to me as it took me a long time to feel like I ‘deserve’ if I did not put in hard work first… I proceeded to spoil myself even more with a candle lit bubble bath to feel absolutely unconditionally superblessed.
I basked in this newfound insight.
It was truly an amazing experience which I felt I could not fully comprehend, so I decided to immediately record my feelings so as to make sense of it all. (and now I am able to write about it)
I shall embrace anything that comes…
In the week after the sweat, my son gifted me a Dorn therapy session with Lisa, which confirmed everything that I found out at the sweat and could be even more released.
…superblessed with gratitude…
by Queen of Hearts September 2017
So…this exciting trip started on Sunday the 30th of July. I was planning on writing about this holiday trip in one article, but alas, I realize that it would be much too long, because we were superblessed to extend this trip for more than a month.
So here goes ‘Part 1’ with so much gratitude.
…the weather was slightly overcast, which makes for perfect road tripping, I find.
Our lovely travel companions, would prove to be absolutely perfect for this amazing journey…
We travelled for eleven hours and arrived very tired at Tsi tsa falls for a welcomed overnight stay. It was dark, windy and very cold and we were so thankful to our hosts, Adrian and Angela Badenhorst, for the warm fire awaiting our arrival.
We created a quick feast of a dinner with leftover ‘padkos’ and Chi-Chi’s very own delicious brand of foods, ‘Raw Chi’ (for orders 083 4194658). Chi-Chi Love is a vegan. We felt superblessed on this trip to have learned so much from both Martin and Chi-Chi about good nutrition.
(Just some quick info on our friend, Martin… he is the fire chief at Afrika Burn)
With our bellies satisfied, we were quite pleased to enjoy a cup of tea by the welcoming fireside…
We talked a bit about our travel for the day. We travelled scenic, winding roads through Ugie and Maclear which was a first for us.
Bethesda, my husband, really is the best driver I know. He commented that he had a much easier than usual drive, as there were far less cattle on this road which we had never travelled before. He observed that this might be because the towns were further apart and we observed more fences to keep cattle off the roads.
Tsitsa falls is an “off the grid farm” which boasts with its own waterfall. The Badenhorst family bought the property 12 years ago. It was barren land, but they fell in love and started plotting their own livelihood.
It is just a 5 min walk from the house to the view of the waterfall, but after a good night’s rest, we opted for an extended guided tour of about one and a half hours.
We had the best volunteer as our tour guide, Mieke (7 years old), who confidently shared so much more than her wealth of knowledge with us. Her whole being radiated with an energetic zest for life. I do believe the fact that she could get away from her books (home school) early in the morning just added to her enthusiasm.
She guided us along rocky pathways into the unknown. We could not believe our eyes as we were superblessed to be surrounded with the most splendid views all the way until we arrived right at the back of the waterfall. Mieke showed us historical ‘Bushman paintings’ (left)…left from long bygone days. She even showed us most interesting fossils that she found.
We were also trusted with information on treasures she had found and left…
The homestead has more than enough water because of the river as they use a ram pump. It was awesome to experience rain water tanks used for inside the home overflowing when we visited.
After an amazingly informative guided morning walk, we said our fond farewells and excitedly took to the road for day 2 of our journey to Mozamboogie.
We decided to stop for lunch in a stunning forested area close to Kokstad at Ingeli Forest and Spa . After perusing the menu and not finding the good nutrition that we were looking for, we had a brainwave to ask for a vegetarian option. Low and behold, another menu were brought for our viewing. We found exactly what we were looking for and proceeded to order some fantastic vegetarian curries. I opted for an amazing lentil cottage pie.
Martin’s face were sweating profusely after indulging in an amazing chilli sauce. He loved it so much, that he made a special request for a take away of some chilli sauce.
(On hindsight, this proved to be totally unnecessary as we were going to “Chilli Country” and could negotiate good prices for the best ever chilli…even I had chilli with every meal we had…so delicious!)
With our palates well pleased, we took to the road again, excited to spend a night at our friends, Geoffrey and Ashleigh’s backpackers.
Sensayuma is situated on and have uninterrupted views of the Tugela Mouth. We highly recommend a visit to Sensayuma whenever in the area, but alas, for us it did not happen as planned.
Plans changed, as they so often do, when we decided to have coffee with our friend, Nadia van der Merwe in Ballito Bay.
We were enroute to buy our AA stickers needed for the border, at Midas in Ballito Bay, when we were held up by traffic because of an accident.
We whatsapped Nadia, who offered to purchase our stickers for us as the business would be closed at our eta.
We were super excited to see her after a long time as she moved away from Plettenberg Bay after completion of her studies. Nadia studied at “Equi-librium” to be an Animal Vetenary Therapist. Horses and dogs being her main focus. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HMAsVtP0A6cFgJ9FeN9_BPnpZPJMCcS6dcmVbrWMBx4/edit?usp=sharing
Beautiful Ballito Bay…
It was early evening when we arrived. We were super pleased when Nadia invited us for an overnight stay at her home.
We spend an awesome evening of catching up…quality time with her… while preparing a simple, but absolutely delicious meal of roasted vegetables.
We had a lovely evening of good wine, delicious food and amazing conversation.
Next morning we felt refreshed and ready to drive to the border of Mozambique.
First we did some last minute shopping at Ballito Lifestyle Centre. This proved to take some time as there is definitely more than you bargained for. As we had another 5 hours drive to the Border, B impelled us to hurry and off we went excited to get through the border.
Our border experience were exceptionally friendly and easy, in my opinion, because our paperwork were in good order. We were very well received and fairly quickly we were on our way to the boogie…
In the capable hands of our experienced driver, the loose, sandy roads to Ponta Malongane proved to be fairly easy for our Ford Ranger 4×2. Our eyes widened quite a number of times in anxious anticipation as we all focused on the treacherous road. It is not advisable to take on these roads with just any ordinary vehicle. You definitely need good ground clearance to avoid the unusually high “middelmannetjie”.
After an exhilarating drive which felt a little like an extreme sport of sorts, we arrived unharmed in the exotic town of Ponto Malongane. The town consists of small shops, a liquor store, curios stalls, but mostly restaurants and bars. The friendly locals are very tourist orientated as they know this is their main income.
Driving through the town, awakened the feeling of being on holiday. As we just wanted to get settled first, we drove through the town to our overnight spot which would be at Ponto Malongane rest camp.
Our friends, Ruan and Bridgette, would be camping already and we arrived at their stunning campsite under an umbrella of majestic green trees. They invited us to share their spot and this proved to be the best decision we would make. We had booked a chalet, but at closer inspection, we found this to be literally on the dancefloor. So we opted to stay under the majestic trees at the best campsite with amazing neighbours all round. We even had our own secret pathway directly onto the beach.
Luckily we made a last minute decision to take our tents on this trip just for in case…now we had our own adobe at least.
We did not however have much else for a camping expedition, but we have great friends and I must say that our friend Ruan definitely has camping down. He had anything and everything and there were no lack. Bridgette worked her magic decorating with beautiful cloths and lanterns. We had the best camping experience.
We had an abundance of fresh produce we had purchased from the farm stalls along the road. We fabricated an ‘evaporation fridge’ from a big box container by taking off the lid and stretching a wet cloth over it. We tried to always keep this cloth wet. It is amazing to see how well this works keeping produce fresh.
The next day found us very excited, waking up very early. We obviously wanted to start with a good cuppa of Java. Out came the Barista…
We were not ready for what happened next. Everyone warned us about the mosquitos in Mozambique, but we are pleased to report that this is definitely bee country. We take our Barundi (organic) coffee black and with honey.
The bees were so attracted to our honey, that we had so much difficulty drinking our coffee. There were so many of them. We had fun and games dodging them with each sip, eventually running with our coffee cups through the secret pathway and onto the beach. They followed us and we had to run upwind to get away from them, changing direction often as they were not deterred easily. We were fighting to drink our coffee which resulted in so much laughing.
Afterwards I could not resist the water and went in for my first swim in Mozambique. We were excited to explore and went for a beach walk. There are resorts all along the coast and we saw a wooden walkway behind a dune which we promptly took. We ended up inside the resort next to ours. It was absolutely beautiful with many wooden walkways to different homes. We had an awesome experience with Loerie birds flying around green tree top canopies. There were so many birds, chatting excitedly. Massive Hornbills were everywhere. They are huge and have a look about them of prehistoric times. It felt like we were on a different planet.
We continued on and onto a road. Then we saw a big gate. As we approached, the security guard must have thought that we were staying in the resort. He opened the gate for us with a huge smile and we ended up smack bang in the middle of the town. Here we did some shopping that we had to fetch later as they offered to do some engraving on our gifts. I splurged a little then, buying some wooden ‘fish bones’ for our deck back at home. Fish bones are definitely their signature emblem, I do believe, as you see these carvings everywhere as well as printed on fabric.
After our shopping expedition, we walked back, well pleased through dusty roads to our resort to see if anyone else was up yet.
When we arrived at the campsite, everyone was up and ready to do something amazing. We decided to have an exploration expedition to Ponto do Oira.
We were a little weary that we had not taken Malaria pills. Martin had told us about Vitamin B1 which is a much healthier option as it is easier on your kidneys than Malaria pills. Martin said that if we take this daily, mosquitos would be repelled by our smell. We were a little sceptical at first, but I have to admit that I do believe this worked well for us. When we were still in the city on our journey, we tried to purchase these vitamins, but it was super expensive.
Arriving in the town of Ponto do Oira, we decided to take a last chance in purchasing said tablets and we were very lucky to find them super cheap. We purchased enough for us for 10 days and it definitely pulled us through.
Back at campsite we chilled hard and saw a stunning sunset that evening.
When the sun set, we always have Ruan on the ready to entertain us with a fire show.
We had the best neighbours as they were the event’s paid entertainment. They had so many toys and we were superblessed to sit on our hammocks and watch while they practise right in our campsite.
We arrived at our campsite on Tuesday, but the actual event Mozamboogie only started on Friday and lasts for 5 days. Sound check started on Thursday evening though, so add another evening of electronic music.
Hats off to our friends Karen and Royston, hosts of this magical annual event. Also to our friend Frans, aptly nicknamed Legend, who was a pioneer of this event.
To everyone involved, well done, it was absolutely magical and we shall hope to be there next year. We have been trying to be there for the last 5 years and I hope that we would never miss it again.
To add to this magic, were the most splendorous supermoon eclipse. I have fond memories of dancing under the moon overlooking the soft waves ebbing and flowing…
We were superblessed as so many of our friends were there too. There were more than 500 people and we were happy to party, but also happy when we witnessed more and more beings leaving after the weekend.
When I reminisce, I think of an amazing seafood braai we had one evening which Ruan handled for us, complete by organising prawns, crayfish and everything else fishy through the locals. Ruan is also our usual braai master and we had a lipsmacking meal.
We met the most amazing new friends, Tobie and Charmaine, who we think could be family (on the Gagiano side)…
…and we found out that they actually live close to us in Mosselbay…
We were invited to their beautiful holiday home in Morgan’s Bay…on our way home… an invite we happily accepted. (Part 2)
The last evening of the event, it rained, and after 10 days camping, we were quite ready to leave for some more adventures.
We travelled with our friends, Nic, Jerrith and Engel to Ponto do Oira for a sleepover. We rented a house from the locals. After we got settled, we went shopping and out to dinner at a restaurant…
We left the next day and after the border, we were sad to part ways…as they were going to Pretoria and we had some more holidaying to do and headed for the Transkei…
…Superblessed with more memories…