Showing posts from April, 2014

Citrusdal Country Lodge is an ideal stopover for family breakaways

A kitchen dresser with many artifacts in the dining area of the Citrusdal country lodge- a place where home is! On the spur of the moment our family decided to hit the road for an overnight. Since Levona had always wanted to visit Citrusdal, we agreed to travel to this sleepy town along the N7.   Travelling along the N7 with its sprawling farmlands provides its own unique vistas of the South African countryside. Now and then you will see a herd of cattle or shep in the distance after seeing nothing but grazing fields.The undulating autumn-hued landscape stretches for kilometers without any sign of buildings along the road. It is just you and nature, the silence and the long, long road winding Cape west coast road. Eventually after travelling along this road and its flat landscape for about 90 minutes, you travel through a beautiful mountain pass, the Piekernierskloof, to get to our destination, Citrusdal with its vistas of citrus farms.   After winding through Piekenierskloof, we arr

Celebrate the small victories en route to the big goals

Celebrate whenever you can. Why don't we make time to celebrate our small victories? Why do we feel that those small steps are not worth being showcased? We only want to highlight the big goals we have achieved. Somehow we believe that those breakthroughs are the only ones worth celebrating. I suppose others can see the fruits of our labour because the final product is there visually. But,what about those smaller, significant steps of success along the way that made the big dream come true?   Organisations that integrate celebrations at all levels of achievement as a cultural practice, maximize the spin-offs. Staff morale increases because they can see their efforts are being acknowledged. There is also renewed energy to accomplish the bigger goal. They can see the progress. They also get a better understanding of how goal-setting activities scaffold one another. If other stakeholders are invited to these occasions, they too feel valued, energized and driven to work harder.

Sometimes we need our own space to shut out the noise

When I saw this lonely bird sitting there on the branch, I wanted to give it a high five. There were no ear-shattering noises coming from this goose today. Today was its time to reflect and enjoy its solitude. Soaking in the views from the comfort of its perch. Don't all of us long for quiet spaces where we can cut ourselves off from all the noises?  The world is far too noisy. I am not talking about the usual city noises that attack our ears all the time. Those sounds are mere products of the busyness we have created for ourselves. Somehow I can deal with such activity and sounds because we can block these out. We have a measure of choice here. The noises which are most disturbing and that trap us, are those that crawl on our skins and invade our thoughts. The ones that come from people, from their mouths, their body language and their actions. Those utterances and actions that drown out sensibility, honesty and integrity. Zapiro's latest cartoon captured this incre

Go to class now, the shooting is over for this morning in Lavender Hill

Learners pledging their commitment to uphold the anti-bully code   Term 2 of this year has started just two days ago. And so has the shooting between two rival gangs in the Lavender Hill area. This morning was no different. In the Lavender Hill township, learning, looking for employment and dodging bullets are par for the course.   At about eight o clock this morning, while the learners were walking to school, gunshots were fired from one block of flats to another block of flats further north. Only an open field of about 500m separates these blocks of flats. This very field is the one that the learners of the primary schools of Levana and Hillwood and Lavender Hill High school use to get to school on time. Between the three schools the learner pedestrian traffic is in the region of 3 600 learners. When the children leave their homes in the morning, they become moving targets, already at risk less than 500m from home or school.     When I arrived at Hillwood Primary school to attend th

Rawsonville town boasts a top class camping resort but has no pharmacy

  Scenic drive en route to Rawsonville We visited the small sleepy town of Rawsonville during this school holidays again. We visit this town occasionally because it is home to one of our favourite camping sites, Goudini Spa.   As you drive to Rawsonville, after passing through the beautiful Huegenot Tunnel, you can easily be blown away by the beauty of the landscape. The tall, dark folded Mountain range with its deep ravines and layered smaller peaks is stunning. In large parts of the mountainous landscape, the orange strata of the lower rock layers covered with shrubs and grassy patches complete the natural canvass.   When you enter Rawsonville, you just see sprawling vineyards reaching far into the distance. Here and there you can see the rooftops of the main farmhouse and perhaps the outbuildings on these farms. Many of the vines closest to the road are already brownish and bare, signalling the end of the grape season. The skyline is also clear of all the pylons and electrical li

Intolerance towards the disabled rears its head at The Book Lounge

Ernest looking happy and relaxed after the event and he had no clue what had transpired earlier. Our country still has to travel a long road in terms of accommodating our people who have disabilities. I became aware of this yesterday when a group of us - a few of the school principals and I - attended Jonathan Jansen and Molly Blank's launch of their book, How to fix South African Schools, at the Book Lounge in Roeland Street, Cape Town. The place was packed to capacity, even the basement was overflowing with folk who wanted to hear the pair speak.   I spotted two of my colleagues, Bevil Velensky, the head of Kommetjie, and Nelson Mafrika, the head of Masiphumelele High school right at the back of the bookstore. They indicated that there was a vacant spot close to them and waved at me, urging me to join them. Now, being able-bodied, I wormed my way through the crowd, apologizing profusely and made sure that my arms and handbag did not become missiles in the process. Another guest