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Monday, April 30, 2012

Chapatis

In Kenya I've tasted the most delicious chapatis. The ingredients in chaptis are few but I've never tried to make them. Today I tried today using this recipe from Allrecipes.com My chapatis didn't look anything like what I thought they should look like and it took awhile to get the hang of the correct heat for the pan without setting off my fire alarm from smoke, *laugh.

The dough is rolled into balls and ready to be rolled into chapati circles.

These chapatis were fine and look more like the one's I've had in vegetarian restaurants here. I need to continue to make these to 'perfect' them.  I also need to make sure the heat source is right so they bubble up like they are supposed to. Some of my chapati pieces bubbled up and others did not.

One recipe I reviewed didn't oil the pan first. I tried that approach and it didn't work. It only smoked. Perhaps I had the heat too high.  I found lightly greasing the pan worked much better. I also preferred my cast iron skillet to my metal pan for this recipe.  I also checked on line and found some native chapati makers from Uganda and Kenya. They used much more oil in the pan than I saw in the recipe and one used no oil at all. So I guess I will experiment as I know all stoves are different. Unfortunately my burners are either too hot or not hot enough so I probably need to use the oil until I get my burners fixed. Not sure how to do that. Perhaps I need a new fuse in the stove that controls the burner.

Next time I will also use more whole wheat flour next time as today I was low on this ingredient. I will also play around with increasing the recipe next time so I can make larger chapatis.

This one is puffing up properly.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water or as needed

    Directions

    1. In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the olive oil and enough water to make a soft dough that is elastic but not sticky. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth. Divide into 10 parts, or less if you want bigger breads. Roll each piece into a ball. Let rest for a few minutes.
    2. Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot, and grease lightly. On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the balls of dough until very thin like a tortilla. When the pan starts smoking, put a chapati on it. Cook until the underside has brown spots, about 30 seconds, then flip and cook on the other side. Continue with remaining dough. 

    Ready for dinner.

    So overall the taste was fine. It's just the appearance that needs work. Have you ever tried to make chapatis? If yes, what are your tips?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What I Found Along the Waterfront


Lots of activity on the water. If you click on the photo you will see all the sail boats in the upper right corner.

I like how the tree leaves frame this photo. Look at all the big tankers on the horizon.

This is the planetarium where you can learn all about the stars and planets. This April 28th is International Astronomy Day.



It has been years since I've gone to the Planetarium. There are all kinds of educational programs for children and adults alike to inform and education about the stars and the solar system. I also understand that they have had laser light shows set to popular music for many years. I think I would have enjoyed one of those shows but they are no longer available as the planetarium has moved on to high definition video for their shows.  What I remember most about my long ago visit was the 360 degree view of the night sky which are made possible through the planetarium's state-of-the-art Zeiss projector.

You can view this short video and you will be introduced to "Harry" one of three German made Zeiss projectors made for Canadian cities. Harry is the only surviving projector of the three.




Some residents enjoy boats like this for going out on the water. You will see a lot of them in use when the fireworks displays happen on the waterfront during Celebration of Lights.

The countries participating in this year's annual Celebration of Lights, a fireworks competition, are Vietnam, Brazil and Italy. Vietnam will show it's fireworks display on July 28th, Brazil on August 1st and Italy on August 4th. 

The displays always draw a huge crowd on the water and on the beaches and the shows are always exciting. It is difficult to go down to the beach because parking is at a premium so you really have to walk a far distance once you park or you must take transit.

I hope you will take a moment to leave your comments and to visit other scenes from around the world at Scenic Sunday.



Friday, April 27, 2012

Skies over this past Week

I dislike moaning about anything and that includes the weather. I am quite tired of all the rain we've been having though I hesitate to complain too much as I know it could be worse, much worse, given the terrible events in weather happening all around the world with seemingly increasing frequency.

We have had some nicer days of sunshine here and there but nothing sustained and weather temperatures are still on the coolish side. I wanted to show you the sky above my home in a series of photos taken this week.

I also wanted to show you one of the few plants in my garden. I just haven't planted anything new what with all the soggy weather.

Sky on Monday, April 23, 2012.

Sky on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

Sky on Friday,April 27, 2012. You can't even see the mountains.

Solomon's Seal on Friday, April 27, 2012. Though it grew a lot since the photo taken below, I'm finding the growth is not as lush as it was last year. This might be attributed to the incessant rain and lack of sustained sunshine.

Photo taken on Monday, April 16, 2012.  The growth had sprung up overnight after one nice warm day of sunshine.

Thank you for your visit.

Please check in at Skywatch Friday and see the sky in many other places around the world.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Boy Needs Help

Hello friends and fellow bloggers,

I hope you are well wherever you are in the world on this Monday.

My post today deals with a story you've read about before on my blog.

It is about a boy named Edwin and his battle with chronic myeloid leukemia. Through the help of two of  my blog readers and myself, we have been able to get Edwin to different hospitals for observation, testing and treatment.  He has been able to get to Tenwek and Nairobi, Kenya on several occasions, have multiple tests and be seen by the very best specialists that Kenya has to offer. For all this we are grateful.

God has been good and he has had mercy. He has given Edwin favour and the bills for tests and doctor examinations have been much lower than expected.  Edwin has also been treated so well by hospital staff.  All of this gladdens my heart so much  and I give all praise and glory to God the Father. It is like the story of the loaves and the fishes  for God multiplied the small amount we had and made a way to give Edwin the help he needed. Now we need more loaves and fishes.



Edwin needs to return to Nairobi in about 4 days for follow up treatment. He will need to make one more trip after that. I am not sure exactly when his second trip to Nairobi for follow up will be but probably at least 4-6 weeks fom now.  Edwin's family also needs monthly help with food. The amount is modest by our standards. Food needs are about $50. (Canadian) a month (4200 Kenyan shillings, 189 New Israel Shekels, $49 Aussie, 32 British Pounds, 38 Euros, $50 US).

I've hemmed and hawed about publishing this post.  The reason is because last time only a very few people commented on the post or said they would pray.  I fear that men and women do not like to hear about things they don't want to help with or can't help with.  Yet I feel I must make this post and somehow try to get Edwin the help he needs for he cannot do it for himself.

If this was your child, or your family member, what would you give for his care? Would you count the cost or would you simply step in because he needs your help?



Only you can answer those questions.


He who has an ear, let him hear and may God bless you so much. 


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Day in the West End

I took in a film at the 2nd annual Vancouver South African Film Festival (VSAFF).  The VSAFF uses the film fest as a way of raising money for Fezeka Senior Secondary and Songeze Middle Schools in Guguletu, Cape Town. My readers know that I have the Missions of Hope which is dear to me and where most of my charitable giving goes. However, I do try to support other charitable endeavours wherever I can. I did that today by going to a film and making a small donation at the door.

This is where the film was shown in what we call the city's West End.  The film festival ends Sunday.
I got off the city bus and had to walk the last few blocks. I took these photos near the waterfront. I love the brilliant display of colour.

The film I saw was called "Stargazer" (aka Roepman) is an epic drama, based on the Jan van Tonder novel with the same title. It tells the story of a 1966 South African railway community, told through the eyes of an eleven year old boy, called Timus. Timus and his family are trapped within the structural violence caused by the government and the church of the day. It is a story with unforgettable characters and it combines the magical world of childhood beautifully with the cold realities of the world.

There were a lot of people at the beach and a lot of tourists in town. I overheard an American mother saying it was the last week of school break. Canadian school children had their school break long ago.

The film was purchased by an Black American and he kept the audience for a few minutes after the show to discuss some issues that will help him premiere the film in New York City.  The film was made in Africaans, with English subtitles.  It was interesting for me to see how much of the vocabulary I could make out in Africaans based on the subtitles. I enjoyed the film and if it was playing in a regular theatre sometime I would recommend  you see it.

I never tire of the scenes at the waterfront.

If you wish to see more beautiful scenes from around the world, please visit at Scenic Sunday.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Daily Life

Hi friends and fellow bloggers, How are you all doing?

I've been keeping busy with the daily things of life. Things planned and things unplanned.

You know like what happens when your washer/dryer suddenly stops working and you have to quickly find a replacement.  I'm afraid I can't go too long without a washer and these days there are fewer and fewer laundrymats.  since I've been living in my neighbourhood we've had at least 3 laundrymats close down and no new ones take their place.  What do you do where you live when your washer goes dead? Do you have a back up plan?

This is the replacement washer & dryer. Much quieter than my previous washer/dryer combo and more energy efficient too.

It is also that time again when I have to get the toenails groomed. I go out and have it done.  Though I know this is a luxury for many, I do it because I have diabetes and because I've been suffering for long now with ingrown toenails.  The pedicure helps to get the feet and toenails nice and clean. The polish also makes everything more presentable and who doesn't mind sitting in an automated massage chair while getting the feet washed and cleaned?  I can't do the pedicure myself these days.   I'm going to one new girl since i discovered that I had needle like shards of nails imbedded into my skin. Trust me, it hurt a lot to get it all out.  I'm going to have to keep the toenails very short to prevent the ingrown nails and make sure I don't miss my appointments.



It was also past time to get the hair done. I have been thinking for awhile now that I don't want to have my hair chemically processed any more.  I started highlighting my hair rather late in life and so  I've minimised the hair dye in that way but going every month to the  hair salon adds up to a lot of chemicals. I know I still have chemicals to contend with (like in the nail polish above) but I want to minimize it all as much as possible.

I did some research on henna and thought I'd give it a try. I had to wait an extra long time before getting the henna done since you can't put henna onto chemically processed hair unless you wait 8-12 weeks.  Initially I intended to do the henna myself but my hair dresser said she'd help. I thought for the first time that might be wiser. However it turned out she hasn't done it for ages and ages and was rather nervous about it all. I reminded her that it was her idea to help me and to more or less to stop complaining about the two step process and time that was required.

Here is the end result.

I like it.

Next time we will add some lemon juice for golden colour and some yogurt or eggs for conditioning. I'm experimenting with using henna and will also be experimenting with using different brands.

Lest you think my free time is spent on primping and preening, I am also keeping up with the reading in between other work and errands. I still have my goal of reading 24 books this year. For me that is challenging as I have to remember to read a little a few times a week.  I used to think I read a lot when I completed 6 or 7 novels a year and then I discovered that some people say they read a hundred books or more a year. Well based on the kind of books I tend to read (dense books, rather than read in 2 hour books), I will likely never reach 100 books a year. I will be content to read 24. 
I will have to update my completed reads soon but these are the books I'm reading right now. I finished the top one; an interesting and quicker read about a young woman growing up in Iran and how her family escaped to Canada. I am about two thirds of the way through "A Suitable Boy" and about  half way through Sarah Palin's book, "Going Rogue".

I have more respect for Sarah Palin after reading her book about her political life in Alaska. It is always good to try and learn as much as you can outside of what the media feeds you during political campaigns.

This was the vapour trail above my head today. Whenever I see these, I think of the song "I"m Leaving On a Jet Plane".   I wish I really was!

I leave you with a verse for today.It came to me as I was contemplating on the many tragedies and horrors I find on the internet news and through social networks. 
If we could only have brotherly love toward one another, these horrors would be fewer.

Let brotherly love continue. 
Hebrews 12:1

I wish each of you peace, and brotherly love.

To find more fabulous skies around the world please visit

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring?

Hello my friends and fellow bloggers,

I'm still waiting for warmer weather. Though we have been getting a few days of sunshine here and there I cannot believe it is still very inclement and cool. Even the tree blossoms that lined the side street where I live died off already. They hadn't even fully bloomed though I think there are still many tree blossoms around town. Hopefully I will see some this weekend when I go to the Vancouver South African Film Festival (VSAFF).

I finally planted my pansies yesterday as they were beginning to die off in their little starter plant boxes.  They are now in containers. I know that pansies are a very hardy plant so I think those that were dying off will revive if properly cared for.

I love pansies and I love the different colours of them.  The pansies speak to me of childhood memories.  Memories of walking to school in the  morning, seeing dew on the grass in the fron tlawn and the pansies "smiling at me" before walking to school through a forest.  We were living in a small town near the western coast, far from my northern childhood home.  I had never seen pansies in my home town and at the age of 5, I guess the pansies spoke to me of the excitement and exoticism of being far from home and extended family. I liked living in this new place and so pansies are associated with good memories in a child's world.  Perhaps this is why I love pansies so much.

When I bought my starter plants, the store didn't have the white pansies with burgundy centres or the plain yellow ones.  I will look for those colours somewhere else.  In the meantime, I'm so glad I have these ones to look at. 


Can you see the mixed yellow and burgundy pansies in the background?

The humble pansy has always been one of my favourite flowers.

I see my Solomon's Seal is coming up nicely despite the coolish weather. In one day they suddenly shot up about 6 inches! This plant looks so wonderful every year when in full bloom. I will take more photos of it later in the season.



My vegetable garden will have to wait for awhile yet. I think early next week if I am up to it I will prepare the soil, raining or not and see what I will plant.

In case you haven't looked at it yet, I've added an epaper to the top of my blog. Please check it out. You can scroll up and down the page.  If you hold your cursor just under the profile icon you will see a sliding rule come and you can click on it to scroll up and down the page.  If you want to check out other  parts of the paper you can make selections from the right hand column options. Or, make it easier on yourself by clicking the title "Cherop's Mix". It will bring up the epaper onto your computer screen and you can read it in full size.  The paper will be updated every day.  My hope is to feature some interesting photos and African gospel music and African culture each day. Content will depend on what is being featured on twitter on a given day. Let me know how you like it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Words and More Words

I've started a beginner's class in Kiswahili. Although there are probably a lot of Kiswahili speakers where I live, I've never come across any Kiswahili language classes in my city.  But in the wee hours of Tuesday morning someone sent me a notice about the class. Next day I called the office  about registration and found myself in my first class at 6:30 p.m.the same day! I don't generally make decisions that quickly but I have been wanting to take such a class for a long while and I didn't want to miss this opportunity which won't come again until the Fall 2012.

The class is being offered by a local Non-Government Organization (NGO), or as we call it here, a non-profit society (NPS), that does charitable work in various countries in Africa.  Though the NPS doesn't appear to be working in Kenya, the languages classes are taught by Kenyans.

The class was full and most of the students were young people fresh out of university or still in university. In fact, we had one grade 9 student also.  Many of the students have travelled to different countries where Kiswahili is spoken,like Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Some of them have Kiswahili parents but don't speak the language. One young woman said she worked for an NGO and lived and worked in Tanzania.  She wants to keep up her language skills.  I personally thought she belonged in the Intermediate class but of course it is her decision where she chooses to register. However, I've been in classes before where one student is not a beginner like everyone else. It gets irritating when they obviously already know the answers to everything while others of us struggle along. Who knows before the class is over, I may ask her to be my private tutor, lol.



I liked the idea of creating a "Joy Cloud" so much  (see my eaarlier post from today) that I've made a Kiswahili word cloud, using some of the basic vocabulary I picked up in the first class. Don't worry though, I won't be posting word clouds every day, lol.

We covered a lot more than what I've put into the word cloud but phrases and sentences don't work so well in the wordle program.  That is why you see my short phrases with hyphens between words.

I'm thinking these word clouds might help me practice and retain the vocabulary.  I find I can pick up vocabulary fairly easily, especially if someone says the words for me first, and I can repeat after them.  However my problem is retaining what I've picked up. I would probably do much better immersed in the language and if I had one on one instruction on a daily basis. I haven't been able to spend enough time in Kenya at any one time to really learn the language.  I'm hoping this language course will help me make a better start on learning the Kiswahili language.

Our instructor told us that the late Miriam Makeba sang a Swahili song that we could also use to learn some vocabulary in an easy way. I've posted that song for you. It's a Tanzanian song called "Malaika" (My Angel). The video has some very interesting information about Ms. Makeba in the first 2 minutes and 44 seconds of the video.  If you wish to skip that part, you can fast forward the video to the start of the song at 2 minutes and 44 seconds.


"Malaika" was a sad song for me because it speaks to the economic realities of so many people who are poor and want to provide for their would-be intended. I've heard other versions of the song being sung by native Tanzanians. The song sounds much more upbeat but when you know the words, I don't know how it can be an upbeat song.  The only thing I can think of that would make it more upbeat and make sense, is that one has to make the the best of the life they have.  This is probably easier to do when everyone else around them is in more or less the same boat. If any Tanzanian reader has something to say about this song, I'd love to hear it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Joy Cloud

I got this very neat idea from my blogging friend Jan. I wrote down a bunch of things that give me joy and put it into this wordle program (on line) and it makes a "CLOUD"  out of your words for you. I call this one my "Joy Cloud" following Jan's lead but you can make different kinds of clouds too.  There are other things that give me joy but these are the ones that came to mind rather quickly.


You can adjust the fonts and colours within the pre-set limits.  The program (here) does allow you to identify and give prominence to words but I couldn't quickly figure out how to do that in the context of so many words (I'm sure there is a way but I wasn't able to intuit how). Still I really like this program and the idea of having a "Joy Cloud".

Originally I started this blog with the intention of helping me remember that there are many things for which I can be joyful even though a lot of what I've had to deal with over the years really sucked.

This cloud would be a nice visual way to help me remember some of the joys in my life. I can always tweak my list and make more lists for printing and meditating upon.

What do you think dear reader? Do you think a cloud like this would be helpful to you, or do you just see it as a messy piece of words that would give you a headache?  We all learn and remember differently I know. What is appealing to one is not necessarily appealing to another person.

If you want to give it a try visit Jan's blog here and see what she has to say about how she is using the "joy cloud".

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Evening to Remember

I was privileged to attend one of the very few Soweto Gospel Choir performances in Canada during the choir's current touring schedule.  The choir is only playing 4 dates in Canada and it performed in Vancouver this past Saturday, April 7, 2012.

I haven't attended a concert  by this choir before so once I purchased my ticket, I immediately went on line to find out what I could about the choir, it's members and music. What I learned inspired me. I was delighted to learn of the community spirit which these choir members have and how much they give back.  Not only to their own communities, but also to the communities where they perform.

On the night of the performance I got to the concert venue about a half hour early only to be met with a terrifically long line up.  The long line of people was at a standstill and it only grew longer over the next 15 minutes or so.  I finally decided to see what the hold up was and discovered that the theatre doors were actually open.  The lack of people moving into the venue even though many of them had their tickets really puzzled me, but I did not wait around. I quickly made my way into the theatre and found my seat.

This line ended up going around the block (behind the woman in the blue jacket). In fact, I heard later that the line up went on for several blocks, coming from both directions.

Once I settled in it turned out that there would be a longer wait.  At 15 minutes past the concert start time, a choir member came out to thank us for our patience and announce that concert was delayed due to the overwhelming demand for tickets.  We were told that the concert would get underway shortly.  Another 15 minutes went by and a representative of the local concert promoter, Caravan World Rhythms came out because the crowd started to clap to indicate they wanted the concert to get underway.  He let us know that the reason for the delay was the last minute nature of Vancouverites in purchasing their tickets causing a back up at the door.   Immediately after that, the concert got underway.  I felt badly for the choir members who were ready to go but were held up by the tardiness of their audience.   I do hope that next time concert goers would prepare properly and make sure they get their tickets on time. It is only common courtesy to the other paying members and to the performers,  though I realize that time pressures are always an issue in this day and age.

While many people are seated there are still many looking for their seats.  There are also those that haven't made it into the Queen Elizabeth Theatre yet.

The anticipation of the musical extravaganza that awaited had only grown with the wait and the choir did not disappoint! All I can say is that this group is fantastic!!! They really gave their all in the concert and they have such exuberance and professionalism in the performance also.  The members of the choir are all so talented vocally and physically, and each of them have their own strengths which become evident when you watch and listen.

Before I even got to the concert, I have to say I already had my favourite choir member picked out through watching YouTube videos.  His name is Shimmy Jitane and he is my favourite for many reasons.  When he dances, he has such high energy that I would say he is like an“energizer bunny”.  You really have to see him to see what I mean.  Shimmy is also very comical and I found it really breaks the "tension" that can exist between performers and audience while everyone is settling into the rhythm of the evening. Most of all, Shimmy sings with the voice of an angel. I first heard him sing solo on the YouTube video,“I Bid You Goodnight”. After that I knew that he has a very special gift. Seeing him live made me appreciate just what a talented performer he really is. He is giving his all for practically every minute of the concert.

But also the rest of the choir really showed me just how great they are too.  I was blessed to have a seat very close to the stage and so I had the full impact of the show.  It was a visual and sensory feast. Fabulous costumes inspired by the flora and fauna of Africa, are worn by the beautiful and graceful women. The men look pretty good too in their African themed shirts and vests.  They are also fantastically athletic and it was thrilling to watch them dance and kick their heads high above their heads to the cheers of the audience.  Each of the men and women are gifted in voice too and it was great to hear so many of them in solo performances. 

The first part of the thrilling show went quickly by and then it was time for intermission.  The charity of choice was World Vision Canada and audience members were encouraged to consider sponsoring a child during the break.  Those that took up the challenge were rewarded with a free CD of the Soweto Gospel Choir's music. I can't say enough about the choir's generosity toward their fellow human beings. 

At intermission, I rushed out to the lobby to purchase a CD since I already sponsor several children through Compassion International Canada.  I actually wanted a DVD but didn't have the cash on me. When I tried to use the ATM, it did not provide the needed cash. Sadly,  I was not the only person with this problem. Thankfully I had just enough cash to purchase at least one CD.  Since I am not so familiar with the different songs by name,  I  purchased the CD called "African Spirit".  I'm sure it will be fantastic.

When the performers returned for the second part of the concert, I could feel the energy in the room was ramped up.  The choir was really firing up the audience with their energy and vocals.  This was especially evident when the choir performed a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Sarah MacLaughlin's “In The Arms of an Angel”. The audience went wild and gave the group a long and well deserved standing ovation. I was very touched by their rendition of this beautiful song and it brought a tear to my eye. I always remember my dearly departed sister when I hear this song.

After this heartfelt number, the Vancouver crowd finally let loose and showed the choir just exactly how much they were enjoying the performance. I think at that point, the choir members were gratified to know that their efforts to uplift the crowd had truly worked.  The choir's finale was really high energy and electrifying.  There was so much joy and love in the room.  Still singing, several of the members, including Shimmy, began coming to the edge of the stage to shake hands with the people standing there.

I was initially a little too shy to go forward but in the end I ran to the stage to make sure I shook Shimmy's hand.  I am so glad I was able to connect with a brother and to hear him say “God Bless” at the same time I was asking God's blessing on him.  As the choir and musicians sounded their last notes you could see that the crowd did not want the concert to end.  But alas all good things must come to an end.  The choir had given their all and they now had to leave.

We were not supposed to take photos but as the concert was concluding I simply had to try and photograph the beautiful costumes and get a remembrance photo of the night.  I hurriedly snapped the photo below and was gratified to see it turned out reasonably well.

You can clearly see the exuberance of the performers and their wonderful costumes.

It was a night I shall not soon forget.  But it wasn't over quite yet.  I made my way to the lobby and several of the female performers were there meeting and greeting people.  Too many people for me to wait so I kept on going. To my surprise, I found  and met Jehoschefatt Fata (Jeho).  It was a real pleasure to meet this beautiful woman.  I could sense that Jeho is a quiet, reserved person (which she confirms on the Soweto Gospel Fan site) but she is such a gracious woman.



Upon arriving home, I posted Jeho's photo on Twit Pic and let the people know just how much I appreciated the Soweto Gospel Choir's Vancouver concert.

I am now following Jeho and her fellow choir member, Thembisa Khuzwayo, on Twitter.  Thembisa is the woman with a smile so bright that it lights up the whole room.  Like Jeho, she also has a lot of charisma and stage presence.  These dear ladies and Shimmy Jitane, blessed me so much on Saturday.  I was looking forward to a great concert and having that "personal touch" made it that much more special.  These choir members and their fellow choir members, are truly wonderful ambassadors for the country of South Africa.  I do hope they will continue to keep their humble spirits and down to earth approach to meeting their fans. I believe they will as they have already achieved enormous success in worldly terms.

I would like to end this post by encouraging my readers to attend a concert by this fabulous choir if they get to your city.  You won't regret it and not only will you be supporting them and uplifting your spirit at the same time.  You will also be helping all the charities that they connect with and support.  The Canadian leg of their tour ends April 9th in Edmonton.  The last performance in the North American tour ends in Los Angeles on April 11, 2012.  In the new year, there will be an extensive tour in The Netherlands.


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 and see what else people are up to in this fascinating world of ours.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

An Awesome Night

Some of you will know that I was to attend a Soweto Gospel Choir performance tonight for the very first time. It past bedtime so I won't do a full post until later.

I just wanted to say I had an awesome time at the concert tonight.


After the show I unexpectedly "ran into" a choir member and had the opportunity to photograph her in her beautiful costume. I posted the photo on Twit Pic and learned her name is Jehoschefatt Fata though the Tweeter said "Jeho".  She is beautiful and had a magnetic stage presence. I found her very gracious dealing with the public after the concert. Thank you Jeho!

More on the concert later. For now I wanted to leave you with this photo.

God bless your Easter weekend.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dark Clouds

 
The poetry that sustains me is when I feel that, for a minute, the clouds have parted and I've seen ecstasy or something.
Rita Dove

The other day I saw this interesting situation in the sky. As many of my regular readers know it has been raining a lot here this Fall, Winter and Spring. In fact, we are still having inclement weather but we now have the welcome addition of sunny rays here and there throughout several days this week. I hope it continues until the weather warms up. I digress. Let me get back to the clouds.


I was looking up at the sky and I saw something almost like a straight line on the horizon. The "line" was made by low lying clouds. I thought it was quite interesting and I don't think I've seen anything like it before so I am now sharing it with you.



I hope you can see the portion of the sky just above the tree blossoms.


Let me take a moment to wish you and yours a blessed Easter weekend.

For more interesting sky photos please visit here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Photo Journey to Kamloops

I recently went to visit my mother who lives about 4 and half hours north through the mountains. I thought it would be good to show you the scenery along the way.

The first 2 photos were taken about 1.5 hours into the journey. Truth be told I never seem to think about taking photos until I see this mountain range. The mountains are always spectacular but on this day they seemed to be outlined somehow in that the shape of them seemed more clearly defined than usual. Perhaps it was just my imagination. No matter how many times I travel this highway, things always look different to me.

This photo is taken on the highway going through Chilliwack, an agricultural area.
 

This photo is past the City of Hope. We are climbing up to the summit of the mountain range.  There used to be a toll bridge here for many years but it is now gone. Instead they are building a toll bridge closer to where I live.

I am always awed by this sheer rock face on the mountain no matter what the season.

There was very little traffic on the highway going up or coming home. It causes me to think that the price of gas has so many people deciding not to travel far these days
These photos show you how much snow has fallen this year. There is still plenty of it. In fact, a light snow fell on the drive north and more flurries fell on the return journey.

 

 
When we get to this flat stretch it means we are nearing the City of Merritt which is about 1 hour south of Kamloops.  For years Merritt has been known as the home of the Merritt Mountain Music Fest, a large country music festival held every summer.  This year it will be held July 19-22, 2012.



It is hard to see but if you look at the lower part of the photo you will see some of the buildings (homes and businesses) that make up part of Merritt.

We are now nearing the City of Kamlops; my destination.

We are missing the main town by driving down the side of a mountain into the North Shore.  This scene is always very pretty at night when the city lights are shining.

Normally  the weather would be very warm by now but it is still chilly by Kamloops standards. This is a view of the north shore of the city, Bachelor heights to the top left and the Kamloops Industrial Park and Raleigh in the far distance on the right. You keep driving on the Trans Canada Highway north beyond those mountains. You can read a bit more about that journey here.

Once I got to my destination I quickly set about doing the work mom requested to re-arrange her closet and her drawers, put a stacking shelf on her dresser to hold her products and locate several photos in her storage tubs. I was able to tape all her photos inside the picture frame and hang it up. I also managed to have dinner with my niece and visit mom for a bit. The journey home was quiet and easy. I arrived home in the wee hours of the morning.

I hope you enjoyed the journey with me.

African Music & Happenings