Posted in Africa

Faces of Africa – 41

About friends and a small, adorable brother.


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Posted in Writing101

Homemade Soup and Pancakes

I remember my childhood days, when I sat at the dinner table with my parents and siblings. We had soup every day. Thick, savory, appetizing, healthy soup, made by my Mom. There were things floating in it. Green, orange, red and brown, sometimes white. And weird worm-like creatures, called vermicelli. Or white grains, that were supposed to be rice, but looked like tiny maggots. At that age, one could get suspicious about the ingredients. Seems I never grew up, though I learned to love rice – but the dry one. I don’t like my food to swim in liquid.

In those days, soup was eaten from a soup plate. Not a fancy bowl, with a touch of cream in the middle, no. Just a plain deep plate: the food was important, not the casing. Well, in one particular case the casing was important, for on special occasions – the special occasion for my mother probably being a lack of time – after soup we’d eat pancakes! For us youngsters, pancakes were a treat. And the absolute fun part was that during these meals, we were allowed to turn the plate upside down and eat the pancakes from the bottom! YES!

We used to scrape the plate as clean as possible, perhaps even lick it – only to save Mom the cleaning, mind you – flip the plate and then sit with knife and fork in hand, ready to attack. Only to put them down again, since we had to add sugar to the pancake first. Not sweeteners or Stevia. The real stuff. The stuff that would slowly break your teeth apart, but tasted heavenly. Who cared about the table getting dirty. A sweep with a cloth and the formica would be shiny and new.

This brings back other memories too. My brother never had to help with doing the dishes. Just leave him be, we will finish sooner without him anyway. And my sister who miraculously disappeared to the toilet whenever the hot water was running. I really had to go, if you want proof, then come and take a good sniff. Which I didn’t, of course. My nose is too valuable for that.

When I grew older, I became a vegetarian. My mother continued to make soup. And she knew the soup love of her daughter. The shrewd lady combined her concerns over my vegetarian diet in a special soup, which she blended into a smooth green tasty broth. One could no longer see the separate ingredients… As if I didn’t know that she added lots of ground beef, to ease her conscience. Everyone needs meat!, was her motto. And I let her, because her love was dipped deeply into this brew.

Over the years things changed. With the arrival of dish washers, clean tableware no longer is scarce. No need to use both sides of a plate. And I’m no longer a vegetarian, for the men in my life always demanded meat. And I don’t have time to prepare two, at times even three different meals a day. So tomorrow I’ll make soup and pancakes. And teach my eldest son how to eat them properly. I have neglected this for far too long.

Did your family have an unusual eating habit too when you were younger?


I wrote this for Writing 101: Happy Memories: “Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.”

I’d love to get feedback.

Posted in Six Word Saturday

6WS: Autumn Smoothie

My Saturday in Six Words:

Avocado, Nectarine, Apple, Seeds, Water. Blend.


PS. You might want to add a bit of lemon juice, to spice it up. Though that would be seven, so I didn’t. But you should. 😉


Posted in Photo challenge

Travel theme: Inviting

Come, friend, and have a look.


Have a bite.


Have a seat.


Have a drink.


And stay as long as you want.


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   < For more inviting scenes, Ailsa’s Travel Theme Challenge

Posted in Photo challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime


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check out the other entries in the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge

Posted in Africa

Faces of Africa – 40

Such a gentle smile. I love her expression.


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Posted in Culture/History, Education, Inspiration, Writing, Writing101

TED Talk? No, JEFFREY Talk!

His eyes shine like a beacon of hope. They draw me in like a moth is pulled to a flame. Not to be burned, but to be submerged in a pool of energy, humor and passion. His name is Jeffrey Titus Maganga, and he is the most charismatic man I have met in a long time.

Mister Maganga works at Lilongwe’s Teacher Trainer College in Malawi, where he tells us all about TALULAR – Teaching And Learning Using Locally Available Resources. In Malawi, resources are scarce, and the help of the government is not always available. He teaches his students to use their imagination, creativity and common sense beyond the knowledge of college.

In the beginning, his never ending search for free materials drove his wife mad, whenever he returned from a trip to for example the supermarket, with bags full of useless stuff, junk even. Think of used sheets, of corks and reeds, paper boxes and cans, Useless.., until Jeffrey thinks of new ways to convert them into educational materials. Now she even helps me to collect them! He winks.

His enthusiasm is contagious, and my heart swells with pride. This is a man all of us can learn from. No fancy talk, no expensive materials. Just a man and his passion, his love for teaching, and for the environment.

Mister Jeffrey Titus Maganga!





I wrote this for Writing 101: A Character-Building Experience: “Today, you’ll write about the most interesting person you’ve met in 2014. In your twist, develop and shape your portrait further in a character study.”

I’d love to get feedback!

Posted in Africa

Faces of Africa – 39

140921FoAclick for a larger view


Posted in Writing101


The unexpected white on black stopped him in his tracks. Hands on knees, he tried to catch his breath, while sweat dripped down his face. It was a fresh piece of paper, caught in the thistle thorns that grew near the running trail. Curious, he picked up the letter and unfolded it. All of a sudden the words danced before his eyes and he jerked upright. In the distance, near the edge, he could see the flashing lights of a police car. His gaze swept over the words again and slowly he turned the letter around. ‘To Carmen’, it said.


A variation:

A soft click
the door closed

On the table a letter

She waited for years
in vain


I wrote this for Writing 101: Be Brief: “You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.”

I’d love to get feedback!