Ulale Kakuhle!

Who knew languages could be so much fun!

I grew up Afrikaans, but found a love for English very early. I completely embraced the language and made it my own to the point where, when Luke was born, I decided he will be raised English.

Jacques is as Afrikaans as you can get.

Luke is a proper little English man. Even the way he drinks his tea is as proper as you can get. On Wednesday he will be writing his Afrikaans exam and the poor little man is really struggling with it. In an attempt to help him learn, we have a rule to only speak Afrikaans at home for two hours every night. It doesn’t seem to be enough, so today I told him that until Wednesday we will only be speaking Afrikaans at home. Needless to say he was not very enthusiastic about this.

So where is the fun part you ask? Xhosa added to our household, that is where the fun was!

Since my experience with Chippa on Thursday, I have seriously taken up the task of learning Xhosa. I’ve printed a course and some language modules and phrases. I’ve decided to focus on 10 phrases at a time and have been furiously studying them all weekend. At some point this evening Luke came across the papers and asked in broken Afrikaans whether I now knew how to speak Xhosa. I, very proudly, rambled off my ten phrases, which was met with a very surprised Yoh! from Luke. While Jacques and I were preparing dinner Luke took it upon himself to start practicing, with hilarious effects!

Every time I asked him something he replied with “Wag so bietjie” (wait a moment) then page through until he could find a suitable phrase, which he would then read out in Xhosa! He had us all in stitches. When he finally had enough he said “Ulale Kakuhle Goggo” and walked away. He refused to give me the translation. After searching and searching I finally figured out it means good night mother. Looks like I will have to invest in the Afrikaans Englisg Xhosa Zulu Guide by Isabel Uys!

So with that it’s Ulale Kakhuhle to you too!

Feed a child to feed his brain

This weekend our beautiful Peninsula fought one of the biggest storms we have seen in years. Wind, rain, hail storms and the first snowfall for winter. Unfortunately the ones who lost, were also the ones who have already lost.

Almost 3000 souls who lived in shacks, without power or running water, lost whatever little possessions they had. Their homes blown away by gale force winds, the rest of it drenched and washed away by torrential rains. The ones who were homeless before the storms hit, I shudder to think what they had to go through. I’m sitting here in my lounge and I can’t help but feel guilty. Like thousands of other people we heard warnings about the upcoming storms. What did I do? Did I offer to work as a volunteer? Did I take food, clothes or blankets to shelters? No, I did nothing. I heard about the storms and made sure my shopping was done, so we could spend the weekend indoors. They had no choice but to sit and wait. They couldn’t move away to prevent harm or damage. Their only option was to reinforce where possible and then sit and wait.

Disaster management had their hands full in rounding families up, feeding and clothing them. My heart goes out to these people and I pray for them tonight.

The events of the weekend reminded me of two organizations, which I have been meaning to write about.

You can not teach a hungry child. It is said that every day 3 out of 4 children in the Western Cape Schooling system goes to school hungry. It is a sad fact of the way things are in South Africa with unemployment currently at 1 in 4 adults who have no form of income.

StreetSmart and the Peninsula School Feeding Scheme are non-profit organizations, who focuses on helping these vulnerable children.

StreetSmart has been operating since June 2005. All funds collected go to selected and approved organizations that run programs for the normalization of street and vulnerable children. restaurants in seven cities have opted in to help collect funds for the group. This means that helping out is as simple as eating at one of the restaurants (by adding anything from R5 upwards to your bill) or by visiting StreetSmart.org.za. You can also contact them via +27 21 418 0621 or email them on StreetSmart@eqweb.co.za

The Peninsula School Feeding Association provides breakfast and lunch to around 43 000 children around the Cape Peninsula. The also receive fresh fruit 3 times a week. Various organizations and individuals have held private fund raisers, but the demand for meals increases as the economy worsens. R10 feed a child for a full school week. Beter yet, “adopt” a child for a year at a rate of R395. That is less than most of us would spend one a dinner date! For donations or further information visit http://www.psfa.org.za. You can also contact them via +27 21 447 6020 or email them on info@psfa.org.za.

The Zone

Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in “the zone”?

Do you know that feeling when you have something on your mind 24/7? It consumes every thought, even your dreams. You go to sleep thinking about it, you dream about it, you wake up with it right there in front of you mind’s eye. Don’t you also wish that sometimes you could have the ability to just stop thinking for an hour or two?

We all have different places to find mental solitude. I have tried meditation, but it only works when I already am in a good place. Reading becomes frustrating as I have to keep reading and re-reading, sometimes chapters! Walking gets my heart rate up, but I often end up getting lost in the surroundings as opposed to actually figuring out the problem.

For me mental solitude lies in Sudoku. Numbers have always just made sense to me. When I sit there with 81 little blocks staring at me, I find peace. I guess it’s the order that goes with arranging 9 little numbers to perfectly fit in rows and columns and squares that helps me to put my thoughts into order too. After an hour or two of Sudoku puzzles, I am able to think clearly and come up with a workable solution or two. During my divorce I went through roughly 100 puzzles a day and I definitely think that Sudoku was my saving grace!

Want to give it a try? Visit krazydad for loads of free printable Sudoku’s ranging in difficulty levels ranging from children to Master.

Where do you find your zone?

My Technology Rescue!

On Friday the WordPress Weekly Writing challenge was posted. My frustration? I can’t open the darn thing!

This frustration made me realize that I owe a small explanation to my followers.

Some background. When I’m not at work, I only have my trusted BlackBerry to navigate the highways and byways of the web. I read your posts that I get via email, but answering them becomes a tedious process. That being the reason why you don’t get much from me in terms of feedback.

As of this week however, it all changes. My mom have graciously offered that I can buy over her laptop. My dad and his wife then stepped in and offered to buy it for me as an early birthday present. Added to this huge present, a 3G modem! I have the best parents in the world.

I can’t wait for the parcel to arrive, then I will be able to read, post, write and comment to my hearts content!

Thank you for your continued support event though you don’t always get feedback from me! It is much appreciated.

Have a lovely Sunday all. Hopefully yours is less cold and wet than mine!