I am officially a Prize Winner

Well, it is official , I can now retire my dance shoes after tonight as I have received my first ever, and I am confident only, prize for dancing!

Personally, I think that it was a pity prize but I definitely took it ūüôā

To explain, it all happened at the DJ Battle taking place at Alliance Francaise. A total of 15 DJs had 15 minutes each to spin their tunes. You voted for the DJs that you liked by dancing. I even did a check in with one of the judges to see is just booty shaking qualified as a vote and was told a resounding ‘Yes’.

Well, you do the math…I danced and /or shook my booty for 3 1/2 hours straight. At one point it was just me shaking my booty with three guys…not bad for an old white chick ūüôā

Although I knew that there were prizes be given out to the top three dancers it never occurred to me that I would be one! I had music, an out door dance floor and flat shoes on. I was a happy camper.

Imagine my surprise when I received my prize, a CD of African music. While there were much better dancers there than me. I mean much better, apparently I scored high simply because once I started dancing I simply didn’t stop and everyone could tell how much I was enjoying it.

So I came home a winner in more ways than one with I might add my shoes actually on my feet this weekend. I may never get another prize for dancing but that certainly doesn’t mean that I am going to stop now. I am just happy to know that I can be on the dance floor with the amazing dancers who actually have rhythm and can really shake their booty. ¬†Life is good!

 

 

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This Is Not Winter!!!!

Okay people, I am slightly confused. Bear with me please!

Botswana is an arid country and as a desert area there can be extreme fluctuations in temperatures. Before packing up and heading here I was told by many people to be prepared for the extremely cold weather conditions of winter in Botswana. So like a good girl, I packed a leather jacket, a wool unlined winter coat and my thermal undies.

Well guess what? Only my thermal undies are getting any use. It does get chilly indoors some evenings and especially early mornings (for reference please see https://cheryljdalziel.com/2013/05/08/i-am-officially-a-wimp/)

However, other than a couple of slightly chilly mornings I am still waiting for winter to hit. And having an inordinate amount of fun teasing Buche every time he is bundled up in his puffy winter coat. Yes, Mom, I know that I promised you that I wouldn’t tease him about the traffic cop anymore and I am not but I can’t stop teasing him altogether.

Every time I go to a mall and see the bulky puffy winter coats that hardy Canadians are prone to only wear in January and February, I am dumbfounded by the selection of winter coats and boots for sale here.

What is even more astonishing is fact that today the temperature hit 30 degrees mid afternoon. It has been hovering in that range for most of the week. This is winter in Gaborone???? Today in Toronto, Canada there was a heat alert issued because the temperature was going up to 30 degrees.

So can you see why I am mildly confused? But if this is winter I will take it.

I am planning an afternoon nap tomorrow out by the pool after a late night of dancing tonight. Who gets to nap outside by a albeit closed over pool in winter in 30 degree temperatures????

And oh, by the way my very dear Lawrence today reminded me to pack for the colder temperatures in Zimbabwe next week…guess what? I smacked him in public again because his idea of colder temperatures still doesn’t qualify as winter to a Canadian…just saying!

Road Trip

Woo hooo!!! I am going on a road trip with Lawrence! I couldn’t be any more excited, can you tell?

Next week we are finally making the trip to Gweru, Zimbabwe to visit his family and give me a taste of life in Zimbabwe. We were suppose to make this trip at Easter time but a number of circumstances intervened to delay the trip. There is nothing going to stop us this time.

And unlike our road trip to Ghanti, I am bringing my own shampoo this time as I have come to accept that Lawrence simply doesn’t get the importance of shampooing my long flowing locks every day. How could he, he shaves his head and the only women that he knows well are African. While I am over the profound disappointment that I suffered at his hands when he failed as my Knight in Shining in Amour by not bringing me shampoo as requested; I learned a valuable packing lesson.

Although I had learned the lesson of packing for travel in Africa 25 years ago when I made my first foray to the continent with a couple rolls of toilet paper securely packed in my purse, it seems that I have become complacent. ¬†When traveling in African countries ensure that you bring with you any and all things required as the likelihood of you acquiring it easily where you are going is very slim or non-existent. But lessons learned, I am packing everything that I could possible need for this trip. Besides my suitcase will still be smaller and lighter than Mr. Zimbabwe’s – yes, Lawrence I am going to post the picture yet again! And now I know for sure that he will make me suffer but it is sooo worth it ……

Who says girls pack more than guys?????
Cheryl’s suitcase on the left, Mr Zimbabwe’s is the much bigger one on the right¬†

 

I figure that I might as well tease him as he is making horrible threats to me.

Are any of you familiar with the collars that dogs wear which give them an electric shock if they wander out of bounds?

Well, Lawrence is threatening to get something similar for me to wear when I meet his grannies and other family members. He figures that if he has the means to send me an electric jolt when I say something inappropriate that I will be on my best behavior. The poor boy still hasn’t figured out that nothing is capable of making me being on my best behavior other than if I make up my mind to be. Plus, I like the idea of making him sweat as to whether I will behave or not….after all the trip was his idea and I am an evil being.¬†¬†ūüôā

I can’t wait to see where he grew up and meet the rest of his family but the best part I am sure will be the travel there and back. I love being on the road with Lawrence laughing, singing and having lots of fun. Although I feel slightly sorry for Lawrence’s younger brother who will be stuck in the vehicle with us, I am certain that he will never have another trip like it!

Five signs that I had FUN last night!

Okay, first of all I am ¬†putting my girlfriends back home on notice – at least one of you need to be prepared to go dancing with me when I return to the northern hemisphere. ¬†My bets are on my friends Alexa and Linda, lets see if they are up to the challenge ūüôā

Now to last night and this morning because it really was all the same thing. ¬†The original plan for the evening was to meet and go to the new Tyler Perry movie (note: if you haven’t seen it don’t go!) and have a drink after. As the week progressed we got a tip on a great new spot to dance the night away from 11:30 onwards. Since it has been a couple of weekends since we have had a good dance outing there was simply no way to resist.

So the night started off with Buche delivering me to Riverwalk Mall where we were meeting up pre-movie. Last night was a gorgeous full moon and as we were driving I couldn’t help but ooh and awhhh as it was so huge and low in the sky at that point. Thus prompting a serious discussion on the moon including comparisons between how it looks in different areas of Africa and Canada. Here it comes up some nights as reddish or orange but the color only lasts for about 10 minutes. Whereas in Canada, particularly the East Coast we get very colorful moons in Autumn that last all night long. The other notable difference between moons here and there is that here as the moon rises it appears smaller and smaller. Back home in Canada it never seems to rise as high in the sky as it does here and appears to remain relatively the same size through the night.

Buche’s advice was that I check it out throughout what he knew would be my long night of escapades. So just like the good girl that I am, I did at 1o:30, 11:30 and 2:30 am! He was right of course, the higher it rose the smaller it seemed. What a smart man both for knowing about the moon and Cheryl’s tendency to be out and about long into the night having fun.

And how would you know that I had fun last night?

  1. I almost forgot my shoes in Tshepo’s taxi at 3:00 am – thankfully I am blessed with him and Buche in my life here. While Buche ensures that I am safe and sound on his watch, Tshepo is equally¬†consciousness. Always when he returns me home at night after a weekend late night outing he pulls completely into my yard and insists on waiting until I have made the walk to my door. Only once I have the door opened will he let me open the gate so he can back out where he waits again to ensure that the gate is safely completely closed with no intruders before he leaves. Last night I actually got out of the car and started the walk without my shoes. (I had worn wedge heels which are not the best for dancing in but were perfect with my dress). ¬†Luckily, I have Tshepo¬†looking out for me and I am not sure that bright pink wedge heels would look that good on him ūüôā I am also starting to think that that African saying of “it takes a village to raise a child” actually applies to me as well. “It takes a entire African community to take care of Cheryl”
  2. Those bright pink shoes once retrieved from Tshepo’s cab only made it as far as the chair on my terrace just outside my door where I found them at 5:30 am! I must have put them on the chair when I was unlocking my door and forgotten about them…what can I say it was 3:00 am. Also, I had a kitty waiting for me which also distracted me. Miss Gabby was either locked out of the main house or simply was waiting for me to finally come home so she could come in on my bed. That is why I also discovered my shoes at 5:30 am as she insisted on leaving the apartment then. Thankfully I found them before Peter did, not sure he would ever have let me live that one down.
  3. ¬†The next sign that I really had fun was the trail of clothes from my front door through my apartment. Starting with the shoes outside the door. My purse just inside the door on my new desk. My pashima at the foot of my bed. My sweater dress in the kitchen and unmentionables in the bathroom. Now my Dad can tell you I have a long history of announcing my arrival home by a trail of clothing. Often when I was young you could mark my procession through our house by following the discarded trial of apparel. Let’s just say that some traits never totally disappear no matter how old you get. Although I seldom do that any more, last night proved to be a definite reoccurrence. Thankfully I live alone….my friend Kim back home in PEI who is slightly older than me had a similar experience about a year ago. She ¬†only made it as far as her couch and her husband came down the next morning and discovered her jeans on top of her kitchen table….thankfully I have not achieved that yet! Sorry to out you, Kim!
  4. I am a very light sleeper and seldom ever sleep more than two consecutive hours at a time. Thanks to the amazing Jetske and the renovations, I now have beautiful and highly functional blinds on my windows. These blinds ensure that my rooms are sufficiently dark that I don’t automatically wake up now with the advent of dawn. Having expended so much energy dancing last night I was thankful to tumble into bed. If Miss Gabby hadn’t of woken me at 5ish to be let out I would have slept through dawn. In fact, I went back to sleep and even when somebody got the bright idea at Game City Mall to blast music at 7:oo am this morning, I simply rolled over and went back to sleep until almost 9 am.
  5. And the fifth sign that I really had fun last night….my twinkle toes are so raw and sore from dancing that today is definitely a barefoot day….which is good given that recent history has proven that I would likely just forget them somewhere anyways!

 

Fringe Festival

I am proud to announce that my mother the playwright, Marjorie Hooper Dalziel, is making her second Fringe Festival appearance this summer with her play “I Am What I Am”. This is a one-woman show based on the true story of a¬†Labrador¬†woman, Lydia. (with the male voice of our very own Deer God, Mr. Mike Wedge who has been cajoled into providing his perfect God voice)

Last summer in the midst of the chaos that was my life pre-Africa I had the pleasure and¬†challenge¬†of producing and directing mom’s play “Circle of Stone” in the¬†inaugural 2012 Island Fringe Festival. ¬†Directing and producing a production of 8 cast members in an outside venue (park in the middle of downtown Charlottetown) was certainly a challenge that came with an incredible sense of accomplishment once over and done with.¬†There are some great pictures of the show available on the Island Fringe Festival website¬†http://iff2012.tumblr.com/

So my Mom enjoyed the experience so much she decided to enter another one of plays in the Fringe lottery, which is not surprising as it as won awards in the past. I love all of my mother’s plays but “I Am What I Am” is my absolute favorite of all that she has written. Why it is my favorite is based on many different reasons beginning with it is Lydia’s, a Labrador Metis, actual story spoken in her words.

“I Am What I Am” is part of the Labrador Trilogy which was written by Mom following her time living in Labrador.¬† While living there she spent many happy hours volunteering at Them Days¬†Magazine and Archives in Happy Valley.¬† She became very good friends with Doris Saunders, Editor and Administrator of Them Days, which was a quarterly magazine compiling the oral histories of people from Labrador.¬† Doris’ historical work on behalf of the people of Labrador was recognized when she was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1986 and received an honorary doctorate from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1994.¬† Mom and Doris became such good friends that Doris decided to share her own family journals, a multitude of resource material and wonderful stories so Mom could work her writing magic and capture the strength and courage of Doris’ ancestors through the Labrador Trilogy of plays.

The first time I read a draft of the play (as Mom’s editor) I fell in love with Lydia. Her character spoke to me in a way that just can’t be described. That is the secret of Mom’s ability as a playwright. She brings amazing characters to life with her words. This play in particular is truly magical as it is simply Lydia telling her story ¬†in a spellbinding way that captures your attention and holds it until the very end of the play.

Through this play, Lydia speaks to you as a master story teller telling her story as a Metis woman in the north in her own words. Her story is equal parts courage and humor and clearly reflects the challenges and joys of living in an arctic environment. Not only did she need to battle nature to survive but also learn to navigate her ever changing world as the result of colonization of the new World. I can promise you that if you attend a performance you will be mesmerized by Lydia and her story of life in Labrador.

While I won’t be there to direct and produce this year’s performance I will still be actively supporting from a distance including do as much public relations as I can. Once we have the performance times I will certainly be posting them here on my blog. In the mean time, all of the information about this year’s Fringe Festival and line of shows can be viewed via this link:

http://iffshows.tumblr.com/

So reserve some time on the weekend of August 30 to September 1st for some more wonderful theater in Boulder Park.

Makeover Reveal

I know! It has been a while. A week to be exact since I last posted and I promised that I would be more regular again but life happens ūüôā

So, the renovations are now finished on Bird Cottage – Apartment 2, Peter’s Place and they are a sight to behold. I would be lying if I didn’t say that it has been a long week and rather chaotic. What was originally meant to be a day or two at the most stretched to the final touches (I think!!!!) being done yesterday.

Last week, I have to admit that I was not my normally perky self for several reasons and having to liberate my undies and bra from the storage room at 6:30 in the morning probably didn’t make me the most happy go lucky person. Also knowing that the gardener was lifting the lawn mower over and above them also didn’t help. I am not a prude but I also am not an exhibitionist either.

In fact last week, I was unintentionally rude to the Amazing Jetske and I am terribly sorry about that! As the renos were s..l…o…w…l…y unfolding, Jetske the ever bright, caring and optimistic lady was attempting to pull me out of my state of crankiness. After all I was¬†essentially¬†living in their house non-stop except to actually sleep in my own bed. She brought me home the most beautiful bouquet of flowers. As she proudly passed them to me, my wicked sense of humor took control and before I could stop myself I said that they were beautiful but I had no were to put them ūüė¶ As Tanyala and I burst into to peals of laughter poor Jetske chastened me for my rudeness…”I am truly sorry!” And of course, she proceeded to beautifully arrange them and place them in my bedroom were I could enjoy from the cozy confines of my bed. In fact, the bouquet is almost a week old and still looking fresh and beautiful.

Okay, enough talk as I am sure that you want to see the final results of the makeover. I am thrilled with the finished product and the kitchen is so much easier to cook in and the closet, well it is a gift from Heaven and Jetske. So here are the pictures.

My new desk which is in my living room/bedroom.
My new desk which is in my living room/bedroom.

Please also note the presence of the beautiful bouquet and new blinds! The blinds are amazing…I got to sleep in Sunday morning thanks to them and no uninvited men straying into perform any kind of handy work.

Before
Before
The site of my former tiny closet
After: The site of my former tiny closet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before
Before

 

After - My closet!!!!!!!!!!
After – My closet!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Before
Before

 

After - my new kitchen cupboards
After – my new kitchen cupboards

Beautiful aren’t ¬† ¬†they!

So before my power goes out again, I need to get back into my kitchen and make supper.

Although the space is so much easier to work in now, I am still trying to get use to where everything now is. Quite often when I am cooking I will still turn behind me to the closet to get stuff out of the fridge which was there up until last week. Oh well, my brain will soon inprint my fridge’s new location…let’s hope that I don’t actually put the milk in the closet and leave there though…..

Make Over Chaos

Well, first of all tonight marks an evening where we at least have power, thank heavens! After only one evening with power since last Thursday it is appreciated. Doubly so because my world is in a little bit of chaos.

The reason for the chaos is exciting…my apartment is getting a make over. The impetus for renovation is my closet which has become the talk of the residence. You see when you take a woman, give her a closet that is no bigger than 1 foot across and enough clothing to last for 15 months a problem arises. To be honest with you, I thought that I was doing just fine…

The offender
The offender

 

Shocking I know
Shocking I know

 

However, those responsible for cleaning, ironing and then having to return the clothing to the said 1 foot wide closet were rebelling. It seems that the closet space was not up to the job of providing shelter for ladies apparel on a long term commitment. Isn’t that always the case! I would just like to note that my closet isn’t the only one that is getting an upgrade in size….my British colleague in Apartment 1 is also getting a bigger closet for his suits.

Because of the layout of my space and the limitation presented by it, my wonderful landlady, Jetske has undertaken to renovate the entire kitchen area (which is where my closet is located). The premise was that the new wardrobe which was going to three times the size of the old one, along with new kitchen cupboards, counter and a new desk top to be installed in my living room/bedroom area would all be pre-built and easily installed. Ha! Do home renovations ever go that smoothly?

 

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IMG_0938

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This morning my closet and kitchen were completely emptied out with clothing going into a storage room and kitchen stuffs in various and sundry locations. I came home this afternoon to this sight…

My kitchen on the terrace

At least my new wardrobe and cupboards are on site. The bad news….I don’t have clothes or even underwear for the morning! Oh well, there will be a mad dash to the storage unit in the morning to locate the aforementioned items so I can start the day fresh as a daisy.

All I can say is that living in the middle of a renovation is never easy but when you only have three small rooms to live in to begin with it you can imagine what it is like. There is no where to hide or that isn’t impacted except my tiny bathroom which isn’t big enough to hang out in for any amount of time. I did just liberate my kettle, David’s Tea, teapot and mug as I simply refuse to face 24 hours with out them. In fact I am sure that David’s Tea will get me through anything!

But once the make over is finished, I am sure that it will look spectacular. Don’t worry, I will be sure to post the pictures!

 

This is who I want to snuggle

Teenagers on the Moreson Ranch
Teenage White Lion cubs on the Moreson Ranch in South Africa

Jetske sent this picture to me this morning just to make me insanely jealous. Quite frankly, I just want to be rolling around playing with them and having a good old snuggle with one in my lap ūüôā

Jetske is currently in South Africa visiting with her family. While there she stays with her sister and her husband who own and run the Moreson Ranch http://www.moresonranch.co.za/. This spectacular ranch offers lots of activities including a Lion Camp, where you can get up close to lion cubs.

You can bet that there is no way possible that I am ever going to leave Sub-Sahara Africa without cuddling a lion, even if it is a baby!

Buche and Lawrence, I don’t care how dangerous you think it is….I am doing it one way or another!

Introducing Tabuchecabs.com

I did it!

This is my good deed for the month. I have been officially deemed the Tabuche Cabs Marketing Manager which means that I get a title, no salary and free rides to Tabuche Cabs marketing meetings. Oh, did I happen to mention that the owner Buche is one of my best friends here in Gaborone.

I am so happy that I have been able to assist him and his company. Now you know why he let me on the two way radio ūüôā

It is my first time ever creating a website from scratch with no IT expertise doing the hard work for me. It is certainly not my area of expertise and is still a work in progress but we are finally ready to send it out in to the Universe for all to see. A big thanks to my friend Gillian who did come to my rescue a couple time and answered very panicked questions.

World, I am happy for you to meet

http://tabuchecabs.com/

Please feel free to share this website with anyone! Who knows when they might end up in Gaborone, Botswana and need the best drivers in town. And make sure that you tell them that the Marketing Manager sent you!

I support PEI Fishermen

I was very proud to read in the on-line versions of the Guardian newspaper and CBC website that Prince Edward Island lobster fishermen have united in an effort to achieve a break even price for their hard earned catches.

PEI lobsters are reknown around the  World and the spring season has been underway for only a couple of weeks. Yet fishermen have not been told the actual price that they will get paid for their actual catches but the prices being tossed around by the buyers and processors are  from $2.75  for canners to $3.25 Canadian for market lobsters which are the ones that you and I would buy in a shop for more than $8.00 Canadian dollars.

Having grown up on a dairy farm and having cousins who are still farming I am all too aware of the costs of food production and how those responsible for the actual hard work are seldom ever fairly compensated. The lives of fishermen and farmers who provide our food is a tough living. However, those who chose that way of life have a passion and commitment not found in those who chose less physical jobs of sitting at a desk all day. These people are the ones who work extremely hard from early in the morning through long grueling days with little time off to ensure that we have food when we go to a grocery store. We often never think about how the food got there and whether those ultimately responsible for the creation of it are appropriately compensated.

I am truly thankful that my mother, Marjorie raised me to be a conscious shopper and supporter of buying locally available food when possible. And that means buying PEI, not Nova Scotia or Ontario if choices are available. Yes, we happily pay more for local goods to support our communities and neighbors. Do you?

I am not an economist and the whole supply and demand chain is a complicated system that requires expertise far beyond what I possess. However, I do know that PEI fishermen are not being treated fairly! It is historic that all fishing boats have tied up and the usually very divided fishing community stands united in their fight for fair compensation. So I am asking those who read this blog to consider supporting them in their efforts.

While we may live in a global market place, our food products still happens locally. Without these local fishermen and farmers would you have affordable food on your table? I think not. Next time you meet a local fisherman please ask them how much it costs for them to actual operate their boats and make their catches. Then see what they are getting paid in comparison to what you are buying the product for. I think that if you take the time to view it from this perspective you will find it easy to support their efforts.

For those who don’t live on PEI, here is a link to local media that can give some further perspective

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-05-09/article-3242148/UPDATE%3A-P.E.I.-lobster-fishermen-on-strike/1

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2013/05/09/pei-lobster-price-protest-584.html