Category Archives: Environment

My Three wishes at 12:12pm on 12-12-2012

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My three wishes on 12-12-2012 at 12:12pm

For the Earth
I wish that all human kind realizes the damage they are doing and creating by their lifestyle and greed. I wish for an end to pollution, damage and desecration to all forests and lands and we all learn together to save what we have left.

For the Community
I wish for an understanding and communication. I wish for education and peace and love. We should all learn to work together for our futures and the futures of our children and their children

For Myself
I wish for a life with more security, more happiness, a home, abundant love, friendliness, success in all my undertakings. Safety and care for all my family and all whom I love. I wish for this Company we have started to succeed and be all that we hope for.

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Changes

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Changes

My life is a huge bunch of changes at the moment and I feel discombobulated.

Change A
We have decided to sell the restaurant and the house and leave Mozambique to go back to Zimbabwe. It is only a three hour drive from Beira, Mozambique to Mutare, the Zimbabwe border town, but we don’t plan on stopping in Mutare. No, when I choose to do things I make sure I do it on a large and grand scale. We are moving all the way across Zimbabwe right up to the snout of the “pigs head”, Victoria Falls. In my craziness I have opted to pack up the house in Beira, my flat in Mutare, my son’s flat in Mutare as he is joining the venture and transport six cats and two dogs and about six or so various people on a journey which, hopefully, will take two days of slow and careful driving. I am dreading it and whereas, normally, I can picture stages in my journeys and imagine how things will work out, this time my mind is a total blank.
This change was decided two months ago as we have a friend who owns a restaurant in The Falls who has gone through a huge amount of bad changes himself suddenly and was ready to give up his dream and life’s work due to all of his problems. My other half has been constantly moaning about his lot in life here and wanting to change things, so I suggested why don’t we join up forces with the Falls contingent. The offer was leapt upon!!! I was quite amazed at the response as from listening to both parties moaning for a couple of months this thought had been in my head for a while and to my way of thinking it was a natural conclusion. Why hadn’t they thought of it? Within a weekend we had planned it all. Both my sons also needed to change their lives so were giving up what they are doing and coming into the business with us. We were going to sell the house and the restaurant here and invest in various things that side starting a company in the process and everything was go, go, go and we were all very excited with plans and dreams.
This is Mozambique, don’t make plans or deadlines and expect them to be kept. Due to seriously dumb administration it turned out that both the house and the restaurant weren’t actually owned by my other half. We couldn’t find out who owned it at all. No deeds had been drawn up, no papers signed, no transfers. I was amazed. Never in my existence had I ever heard of someone owning a piece of land for twenty years but not owning it!! Paying taxes and rents and dues etc but having absolutely no paperwork showing ownership!! Unheard of and unbelievable and so, so stupid in any country in Africa, never mind one that is not your birth country. Land here can be taken away from you on a whim and if any of the power hungry politicos heard about this gross mess, we would certainly be out on our ear. Luckily – we found a very good lawyer and with much “under the table financing”, slowly things have progressed and maybe, maybe, another two weeks.
I am not even thinking about it. I have stopped packing and am living out of the boxes I had already packed. I refuse to jinx the whole operation again by hoping and planning so I have stopped and moved over to a path where I sort of wander along daily trying to keep myself busy.
Christmas is coming and every year I craft and decorate and love celebrating Christmas. This year my craft stuff is mostly packed with some in Mutare and as I am so determined not to think anything negative or plan anything, I have kept a few crafts out and am crocheting and sewing things for little nephews and nieces. Cannot say if they will actually get them as I probably will pack them and forget where but anything to keep my mind busy.

Change B
The Change!!! Why the hell is it happening now? I had a hysterectomy nearly twenty years ago and have had a very hormonally crazy life since then, but I thought I had missed The Change, The dreaded mad Menopause. Now, going into the hellishly, hottest months in Beira, when I am trying to plan and coordinate a huge move and start of a new life and have to have all my wits about me as the males in my life sincerely aren’t the brightest lightbulbs, my body has let me down. I am breaking out in horrific sweats, my joints ache, I can’t sleep and lie awake panicking about the future and I have turned into a forgetful, snapping witch.
Over the past couple of weeks I have watched in astonishment as my middle area suddenly ballooned and I developed a roll!! For no reason that I could see. I wasn’t eating any different or behaving any different and yet my jeans wouldn’t do up. If anything I was eating less as it is too hot in this place to eat. I upped my running, yoga and other exercise and kept as busy as possible. Then my body seemed to pack up, my joints started to ache and pain, sometimes continuously. I thought I was overdoing the exercise so I cut right back and only did yoga.
The pain has continued though and some days I cannot rest at all as my ankles are so sore. Nights are a nightmare, I wake up in a bath of sweat and realise I have pain in some joint, either my ankles or my back or my shoulders and then I cannot get back to sleep again as I start worrying about things. Really pointless, stupid worrying about totally mundane ideas that suddenly develop into huge mental problems which keep me awake trying to solve and sort. I read somewhere that not sleeping enough can make you fat so as I lay not sleeping I worry about that as well, and of course don’t sleep.
Days have become a an exhausting cycle of battling to get up in the morning and then struggling through the day with aches and pains popping up everywhere and sweating, always sweating. Its actually so hot in Beira that I often cannot figure out if I am sweating normally or from a hot flush. I have lost all my energy and mojo and to do anything is an exhausting trial, even to think about doing something exhausts me.
For months now I have been scratching. I thought I had an allergy, then excema, maybe the stress, the heat, I have spent hours on the internet trying to see why I am scratching. I have had to rub tonnes of cream on to prevent myself scratching my skin raw and bleeding. What really worries me though is my mind has been taken over by aliens, my memory is now a sieve and I have lost what little intelligence I had. When I first noticed this happening I was seriously worried that I was developing Parkinsons or Alzheimers or some such age disease.
This morning I woke up and just lay in bed wondering how I could get up and try to do a bit of yoga, or even just get through the day. Friday is my grocery shopping day but the thought of trying to go round hot smelly crazy town just drained me. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t even seem to open my eyes! I just lay there for maybe an hour just trying to be, you know the feeling, just be, at one with the bed and the cool air conditioned air. Then as I felt another hot sweaty flush starting to roll over my body, I suddenly thought to myself “Duh, you stupid woman, its the menopause”. It was like a flash in my brain.
I googled all my symptoms, I googled menopause, I googled menopause blogs, I googled treatments, natural and medical I googled everything remotely related. It all matched up! The knowledge doesn’t help me much as living where I do there are no doctors to speak to, I am going to have to wait until I get to civilisation to get it all confirmed and sorted. I am not sure when that will be so I have searched the town for some of the more natural products I saw on google. Not much luck there either surprisingly as I had thought with the number of Chinese and Indians we have here that surely I would find some natural remedies. You can buy any drug you want here over the counter and without a prescription so this was quite disappointing. It’s a males town.
I am going to have to learn to live with the discomfort and keep as positive as I can and take it slow and easy. One step at a time. What an awful phase to go through though and I hope it ends soon. Any advice would be appreciated.
Menopause

Herbs are so healthy, so beautiful and their smell makes me feel healthy

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Sweeping the world away

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I have lived in Africa all my life, specifically Southern Africa; Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa.  I love walking and exploring and finding out about anywhere I am living or staying and I spend hours exploring new towns and cities.  I find it very relaxing, as well as fulfilling and educational.  It has certainly trained me to be more observant of all that is around me, for my safety as well as for the knowledge factor.  My favourite time for my walks is the early mornings, although I go at any time of the day whenever I feel the urge or interest in something or when I have a problem which needs a lot of thought.  But early mornings, starting just before the sun rises, are my best times.  There is something so encouraging and exciting to watch the world wake up.  A whole new beginning starting for every living thing.  Be the first to hear the birds wake up, to see the owls going to bed, to make my footprints in the newly washed beach.

Something I have noticed in all my walks is the sweeping!!  Is sweeping a cultural tradition to Africans?  I certainly cannot remember reading about it anywhere, or learning about it in Culture and Geography in school.  Where and why did it star? Now it seems a very set tradition, practised, seemingly, by a certain class level, either male or female, young or old.

Growing up on farms and ranches in Zimbabwe I used to watch the mothers and wives sweeping their little areas of ground surrounding their round, beehive huts.  From my memory this wasn’t done first thing in the morning but it seems more like after the breakfast period, so I would say mid morning.  It always seemed the wife or mother of the family group did the sweeping and cleaning, never do I remember a male or a child doing it.  I used to watch their bent  bodies, invariably with a baby tied on their backs, leaning close to the ground with a hand brush made of sticks or twigs and using only one arm rhythmically sweeping the ground in front of them.  Step by step, from one end of their home space to the other.  Then they would turn around and make their way back again.  There was always a rhythm and pattern to the procedure, around obstacles, over mounds, until they reached something too large to go around, or the edge, then they would turn around.

At the end there would be a work of art with sweeping rows of arcs on the earth.  They never stood up until the whole job was done, I could never bend over at that angle for that long!!!  The wiser people sprinkled water before sweeping – if they had enough to spare – otherwise this was all carried out with billowing dust clouds.  It fascinated me to be driving through the bushveld checking for cattle or animals and to suddenly come upon one of these clearings.  The earth is swept to hard ground and most trees are chopped out so you find an area of bare, hard trodden earth with a hut or two and a fire circle and a table for pots etc then, the bare earth comes to an abrupt end and the surrounding bush, litter or crops continue again.

I have seen this all over in the rural areas in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.  In a way I understand the reason for this, protection as you can see approaching danger i.e. snakes, wild animals, cleanliness, tidiness.  But now I see it in towns as well so I cannot understand what it is about.  Why would someone sweep the small area of road outside their property wall up to the half way line and only to the borders of their property?

Now  I see the same rhythmic method of sweeping everywhere.  I know it annoys people who are trying to sleep to have the swishing noise start up outside their windows before the sun has even risen.  I can turn into a road on one of my walks in the mornings and  for as far as I can see down the road there will be the bent bodies of people sweeping, men or women or children.  What has happened?  They sweep and sweep with brooms made from sticks, twigs, palm leaves.  They sweep right into the roots of trees growing on the side of the roads so they look like startled old ladies holding up their petticoats and trying to tiptoe to a more earth with their exposed roots.  You see huge holes in the pavings and road edges as all the soil is swept away daily into piles which is carried away and dumped on a rubbish pile.  If there is a broken area of road, wall or pavement, they sweep around each piece of crumbled concrete and tar, but don’t pick it up.  It is left in exactly the same place.  I have seen areas where the road edge has been swept away to such an extent it is now a hazard for vehicles to drive off the road.  Some yards are swept so much they are now below the street level and you can see the foundations of the buildings.

Its no longer the wives or mothers who do this, it seems every household has a designated person to sweep in the morning.  Are they a poor relation, a useless, unemployed member of the family or a destitute person who does it for a meal and bed?

They are sweeping the world away.  Why do they have to do it, don’t they understand the sand and earth s there for a reason and if it is swept away grass and trees will not grow.