Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Monday, 31 January 2011


Little black bugs
buzzing through the traffic
shiny round heads
and feelers

Trying not to get squashed

Perhaps a little too confident
in their ability to outwit

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Seffie goodies

NOW they tell me! I see Amazon.com has a South African section too.

Should be illegal, I tell ya!

I would do much to have a Hunters Gold in front of me now *sigh*

This made me laugh! I had the whole ".... but you're white!" comment earlier when I went shopping.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Tickled my funny bone

Translation: Yes, Captain. Another heart attack.

It's almost 10pm and the current temperature here is still 30ºC (86ºF) and that is *after* rain! Over the next week, the temperature will be varying between 33ºC (91ºF) and 35ºC (94ºF) every day : ( Send some of that spare snow, folks!

Fumbling humanity

A couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend with very different spiritual beliefs to my own. She was asking about how to deal with a child in the class she taught with vastly different beliefs. Just yesterday, I had a chat with Tat about our various paths. This morning, I heard a talk about evolution and where we are in the passage of dramatic change, in terms of spirituality, in the world. Just the other day, I saw a cartoon on how science and religion are finally agreeing - the end is nigh *spoken in an appropriately doom-'n-gloom tone* Needless to say, I can't find the cartoon now.

Among my friends, I have Buddhists, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Christians, Wiccans, Atheists, Agnostics, Scientists... and a host of other spiritual and non-spiritual beliefs besides.

I spend a lot of time between students either reading, listening to recordings and music or just thinking. Sometimes I think too much and my mind just wanders aimlessly. Other times...

I got to thinking about my friends and their beliefs. I thought back to when acts of terrorism became the norm in the media and how my peace-loving, fun Muslim friends were treated. I thought of the misguided verbal attacks I've read on the Mormons and Witnesses, how many Christians are criticized for their beliefs, and so on.

Why? Why don't humans accept that someone else believes differently?

What is the true religion? Is there one? Do you believe your spiritual choice is the 'true' or 'right' one? Of course you do! We all do.

So let's play "What if..."

What if there's a higher power that made everyone different? What if that was intentional... to give variety and to stop us dying of boredom because we're all clone-beliefs? What if each segment of society or even individual was given a belief system that the higher power (I'm deliberately not giving him/her/it a name here) knew would be acceptable in terms of the individual or group's culture and life experience? What if they're all right? What if there is no one belief that is right?

Let's take an example... 'Enlightened' Christians travelled to the ends of the earth to convert the natives. Those natives already had a belief system that served them well, one that existed before the Christians came along. Who got to choose which was the right one? (Apologies to Christians and natives who were selected randomly purely because they were the first to come to mind.) That is without the division within the belief systems - each belief system has orthodox and unorthodox or radical and each of those branches off into yet more divisions.

Years back, I was looking into various religious beliefs and found it fascinating that vastly contrasting religions had similar root stories, a great flood being just one example. Is it so inconceivable that we're actually all the same and no one can really know 100% for sure that his chosen path is the only right one? Aside from a deep faith and heart-felt belief, that is.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


That's only 56 years ago!

'I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $10.00.

'Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $1, 000.00 will only buy a used one.

'If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. 20 cents a pack is ridiculous...

'Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 7 cents just to mail a letter?

'If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.

'When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 25 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.

'I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it.

'I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas.

'Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $50,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the President..

'I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now..

'It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.

'It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.

'I'm afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.

'Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes.. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to government.

'The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

'There is no sense going on short trips anymore, with hotels now costing us $2.00 per night!

'No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $15.00 a day in the hospital, it's too rich for my blood.'

'If they think I'll pay 30 cents for a haircut, forget it.'

Will the Earth Have Two Suns by 2012? - TIME NewsFeed

Ok, guys... get your Armageddon plans in order. Can you imagine how hot Brazil would be with 24 hours of sunlight? No night time relief? I'm moving!


I'm itching from head to toe. Enough with the mosquitoes already. I look like I have measles : (

One of my newer students (started just before Christmas) gave me a belated Christmas gift - a hand embroidered face towel. It's beautiful. I only teach her and her son because of her cat though ; ) He's a huge, friendly, absolutely gorgeous ginger! I keep threatening to take him home with me. I think the towel was a trade-off.

I have two new students. Both seem very nice. One is close to home and the other a Skype student. Now if my old students would just come back. They all seem to be on extended vacations.

I feel as though I've been talking about religion all week. Weird that.

The road at my bus stop... The tar is washed away in many parts,
leaving the original cobble stones showing through.
I love the cobble stones, but they're treacherous in wet weather.

Yesterday, the roads were very wet with random ponds. The heat had evaporated the worst, plunging us into our daily sauna. You could see the mud-water flood mark had reached above the car tyres at the metro station. Shop owners were sweeping mud out of the shops. My student told me of friends whose homes were flooded out. We're so lucky where we are.

Today was a public holiday - São Paulo's birthday. I didn't achieve too much. Prepared for little miss for tomorrow, went through a couple of cases of stuff, read some blogs and generally pretended to be really busy.

The cat is lying sprawled on the dog's blankie. Dog is sulking at my feet, though, in fairness, he's using the cat's soft-foam box as a pillow. Good trade. She never uses it anyway.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Why the Body Bind is My Nightmare

I found this article by the actress, Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series. Before you let that put you off, do stop by and read it. She has a lot of wisdom to share here. This article is for young and old and no, it's not a Harry Potter article, despite the reference in the title.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

On my way to work... tomorrow...

A preview of me going to work tomorrow...

Yep... it's raining again. The thunder just now made me shoot two feet out of my chair. The cat and dog vanished. Apparently this is here to stay. My trip to and from work should be interesting.

Whyyyyyyyyyyyy do they Insist on putting stickers on fruit that leave gummy residue???

Sign Language Opens Music World to Deaf Citizens

I love what this girl is doing. She has a huge heart! One day I hope to take up my studies again.... somewhere else, of course : )

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The good and the interesting

The bench I use at the park next to the Itaú buildings and the leaning tree from my earlier post, except that this is the real tree the post was based on.

Life is immeasurably good! Sure, my finances are a challenge and Jurgis is eating me out of house and home *laugh* But... Life is so good!

As I sit here back in the little park outside Itaú, I look at the cool damp of mossy tree trunks and wet soil. A half-inch long ant passes my foot on its way somewhere important. A light breeze stirs the palm fronds to the beat of the song playing in my ears.

A random stranger just walked up and asked me where I live. I answered that I live on the other end of the city. "Are you American?" he asked. Apparently, I look foreign : )

The song that's been playing in my head for the past few days.
It's impossible Not to grin and want to dance in dizzy circles while listening to it.

Every day, without consciously looking for it, my faith in humanity is being reaffirmed. Wow! There are awesome people out there! Even bureaucrats! Yes, I was dumbstruck too. It's an entirely new experience for me to have a South African official  be kind and accommodating to an expat and to process a document on a same day basis. If that wasn't enough, the document has more info than I originally expected! That a friend bent over backwards to make it work comes as no surprise. I choose my friends well. Even so, I'm so, so grateful!! Thanks Marianne. Have I told you you're a star? : )  I'm now, once again, the proud owner of a drivers licence!! *huge grins*

I finally finished the project for el scrawny one. I'm fairly chuffed with the way it's turned out. Now to finish my other projects for other random scrawnies (and even not-so-scrawnies *laugh*). We packed up two large boxes for donation and burned a box-full of old paperwork. The clearing out process is slow, but we're getting there.

The rain continues. Daily storms and lots of water. We discovered that the water is coming *through* the front door. No, not because it's open, but through it! That is aside from the various other leaks and seepages. (Today is Saturday and the sun shone for a while. Everyone is on their rooftops attempting drastic repairs. The neighbour is complaining that the plaster has fallen off their soggy walls.) Brazilian houses aren't known for their water-tightness.

Then along comes the neighbour with a reality check. He's the guy living in the other house on this property. 11pm the phone rings. Jurgis has been in the land of nod for the past two hours, but the neighbour urgently needs to speak to him. I woke the bear up... The emergency that required an 11pm call from his door no more than 10 metres away? "Could I borrow some milk please?" Eish!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

I'm not here

its me
but i'm not here
i'm a figment of your imagination

if you want
you will find me
out where the eleflowers grow

but then
i may not be there
i may just be jumping in moon puddles

over there
frozen in time
by the icy fingers of the sun

Tint ©

This poem was first posted on Yahoo 360º, quite a while before the move to Multiply. At the time, I was actually looking for a way to tell my friends that I was feeling low. Strangely, writing the poem pulled me out of that. Ah the power of words... at least, words that make no sense whatsoever : )

Eu não sou eu

"Eu não sou eu nem sou o outro,
Sou qualquer coisa de intermédio.
Pilar da ponte de tédio
Que vai de mim para o Outro."

 ~ Mario de Sá Carneiro

I am not me, nor am I another,
I'm something in between.
Pillar on the bridge of tedium
That goes from me to Another.

This poem is on the wall at Metro Paraíso in São Paulo. It just caught my fancy as I passed. Through the gap in the wall, you can see my metro arriving... which I then had to run to catch.

And the daily quandaries start again

Really bad cell phone photo, but there was a security guy lurking
and they get twitchy when they see photos being taken.

I'm sitting here, doing nothing. I don't want to start on the mountain of work I have here at home and getting ready only to be told not to bother irks me.

It's like this... The student hasn't actually started for the new year. She's my student who notoriously cancels at the last minute, often as I'm walking in at her offices. I've been trying to contact her all morning. She's left home, hasn't arrived at work and her cell phone is on voicemail and, if I'm to go, I have to leave now.

Ok, the fact that I'm still here typing tells you what my decision was. There's been no word from my student. I love that I'm #1 priority in her life *laughing*

Yesterday, I got to my student's apartment and was about to go in when I got the text. She was sick and her son (the other student) was taking her to hospital. This student takes me 2 hours to get to her. So, I tootled off home and did some shopping on the way - bare pantry syndrome. The supermarket was empty. What is it about vacant parking lots that make them so creepy? The photo I took was in the well-lit part. I did well and got a week's groceries for very little output. There were flies around the potatoes though *shudder* This is inside a shopping centre, inside the supermarket. This does not bode well for my potato mania. No wonder they serve rice with everything.

There were massive roadblocks around the corner here. Apparently, our nearby favela has started selling drugs. Yay. The break-ins and assaults have escalated lately. The people directly across the road from us were assaulted twice in as many months. They've now moved.

14 people have died in our latest flood. São Paulo is again under water. No surprises there. I'm not even bothering with photos and videos this time. You've seen it all before. I feel for the Aussies though. They're not used to flooding and their waters look rough.

I chuckled at this video Jurgis sent me this morning. I have always avoided parallel parking at all costs. This makes it so easy! It seems my choice of mode of transport was the problem ;)

Monday, 10 January 2011

Ten whatsits - 2

The only time I was ever seen in anything remotely resembling a bikini.
No wonder I refuse to wear them! Traumatised for life! Ouma made that 'bikini' for me.

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever).
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession....

Nine things about yourself

I have a 10 page limit with surfing... I have to, or I could spend all day looking for the perfect picture, video, lesson, etc.

I'm big... pretty big... but my hands are tiny. All watches, bracelets, etc, need to be shrunked for me. No, that wasn't a typo.

I will retype a line a dozen times, each time with typos, but it will not go through with typos. It often makes me slow on instant messenger. Now watch me leave typos in this post :)

I'm not a morning's person by choice, but if I have to get up early, I get going quickly and easily.... and will even smile.

I could easily spend all day every day with my nose buried in a book.

I consider myself an realist with strong optimistic inclinations.

I'm totally mushy and sentimental and I cry easily.

I find it hard to laugh, but when I do, I laugh hard.

I often feel very removed from society down here. I'm afraid that I may have lost my ability to hold an intelligent face-to-face conversation that doesn't involve a lesson plan.

Sunday, 09 January 2011

Ten whatsits - 1

10 little kidlets

I've put off doing this a) because I'm sure I'll draw a blank on some of them and b) because there's a good chance that after a couple of days, I'll get sidetracked and forget to finish.

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever).
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession....

Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

You have SO much talent! I wish you'd recognise it and use those talents.

I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. You're amazing and you don't know it.

I'm so proud of you!! My heart swells with pride every time I think about you.

I say Thank You, from the bottom of my heart, at least once a day, that you're in my life.

I miss your friendship more than you'll ever know. The silence hurts. I know you have many friends around you, but I'm still here.

I don't understand your hate against what was just a 6 year old child, someone who was as hurt by events as you were and had just as little control over them.

You said you wanted to work with me on the project. You sounded like you really cared, but you never return my messages or emails. I'm confused.

I'm happy for you! Can you feel me egging you on from this end?

You can do it!! I know you can! You've done it before. You can do it again!

Come on, woman! This should have been resolved by now, but I'm soooo looking forward to the end result!!

Busy and quiet

Random old zoo photo... or is it a self-portrait?
It says something that I went to type 'hippi' instead of 'hippo' when naming the file.

I woke up to no power this morning. It finally came on just after noon. This is one time I'm grateful we cook on gas. Usually I don't like gas, but for reliability with our unstable power, it can't be beaten.

While the power was out, I made a little something to go with the project that is going to the previously mentioned scrawny little neck. We also cleared out some more stuff and put more into the donation box.

I have an interview on Wednesday. I'm not in the least nervous. I know it will go well. It's just details after all, right?

I had a long chat with Hamish yesterday. It was fun. We laughed a lot. I'm happy for him. Very happy. Even if he sees shapes in flowers ; )

I may cave and do that 10 things thing.

Someone make me work!!! Please?

Saturday, 08 January 2011


Isn't that just the most adorable snowman you've ever seen? And the biggest smile?

Friday, 07 January 2011

2011 in all its glory

The year has just started and I'm already behind! Goodness only knows how many blog posts behind I am. It looks like some of you have been on vacation and typing away madly.

The year has started with student pile-ups. Picture a street crossing where one car blocks the way, then another drives into that one and another and so on. Everyone is having a hassle of some sorts. I've taught exactly one class this week, but the whole week has been dedicated to student-related bureaucracy. Blah!

The weather is delightful. I'm enjoying it. Ok, only half enjoying it. It's hot, but it's raining and I love the rain. Not everyone loves the rain, though... and with good reason. I'm not embedding the video this time, but here's our weather for today. Where we are, we're just above the flood line, thank goodness.


In between trying to sort out students, I have been trying to complete a now-long-overdue project. It's consuming my every waking minute. I can't talk about it though, because the recipient may read this blog. I hope the recipient in question will appreciate my lack of sleep, food, social life, etc to complete this - ok, that is aside from essential procrastination time (necessary for survival, I think). Recipient, if you don't, I'll go there personally and ring your scrawny neck.

I feel better now =Þ

I have made numerous resolutions for the year. A couple are doing well. Not bad for going onto day 8. Even I'm impressed. My biggest resolution involves a whole lot of dreaming, believing and just plain faith. Keeping my fingers crossed.

To anyone who may receive a Christmas card from me before June, please ignore the Christmas part and enjoy the new year's wishes. If the cards arrive after June, just ignore them completely. By then, the new ones will be in the making. I swear... I think I'll mail them in June this year. Or maybe I'll just live somewhere where the postal system is worth something?

Hm... here's a nice project: Krochet Kids - I like what they're doing, except I do wonder about the making of very winter stuff in hot Uganda... unless you're up on the mountain.

Random riddle: What does a bubble and a bruise have in common?