Sunday, 29 November 2015

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Natural bling.....

I started to feel sorry for myself. We will be alone for Christmas. No family, no precious grandchildren, no friends and no lights, baubles and bling....
So I began to compile a list of "gifts" and "thanks", there are so many, I could write a book. I add to the list daily. 
Look at our "natural" Christmas lights, alive and glowing!

Friday, 27 November 2015

FRENCH..."tout est possible"

mmmmm yes we are getting there, slowly, with plenty of effort.  I can sometimes smell the "rubber burning!"

I have opted for  the French CANAL +TV,  instead of DSTV.  We have found amazing programmes, I miss the gist of most of it, but surely I am absorbing something??

I have begun to listen to French music, find the lyrics and "try" and sing along!  This is one of the fantastic albums I have bought.... Global Project/Francais, Hillsong, Paris

I do the Michel Thomas Method and Duolingo, as often as I feel up to it, can't say when I find the time, as there is plenty of that!!

But finally I think I am learning the most from my maid, Seraphine, who know absolutely NO English....

I think I can, I know I can, everything is possible!

Monday, 23 November 2015

You soul, like the waves, always restless...

If you came back, you wanted to leave again; if you went away, you longed to come back. Wherever you were, you could hear the call of the homeland, like the note of the herdsman' s horn  far away in the hills. You had one home out there and one over here, and yet you were an alien in both places. Your true abiding place was the vision of something very far off, and your soul was like the waves, always restless, forever in motion." Exiles Return #aforeigneringabon #nyangaranch #picoftheday #africanbushveld #gabon

I've done my first painting in Gabon....

It's just a little 60cm x60cm acrylic on canvas, and my first with acrylics.  We had very limited transport to  get our kit here, but I will slowly add to my art tools.  I snapped this pic of the cockerel on one of our many trips to the capital, Libreville.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

the Gabonese love cane rat........

and if you ask me, they would definitley be   "flatty ratty's" after trapping them like this.... You see these traps dotted here and there in the bush waiting for their favourite bush meat to be caught....

Here is a link about the cane rats. It seems we have the same type in Zim and Mozambique, from looking at the map....
Cane rats....

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

another lesson learned today......

 from these 2 “Egyptian hunting dogs”, as JB calls them.
I whistled for them and they gladly followed to join me for my daily walk.

I was apprehensive before even starting my walk.  The thick heavy clouds were down, so I didn’t have “much sight” ahead.  There was no phone signal (so how could I call for help in an emergency?)  Just yesterday an elli uprooted a mango tree close by, to get to the ripe ones at the top, and to top it all the locals had told me that they are around and quite “tipsy” from eating the fermented mangoes, so afraid of nothing! Mmmmm

I was adding another km today to my route so was a good 4 km from any habitation.  All was going well, I was doing all the right things, giving thanks for all the beauty etc etc, when I heard a faint rustle in the bush to the left of me, it slowly got louder and louder, small branches were breaking and the birds became quiet.  My heart started racing, my brain became numb (no sense!), my body paralyzed from fear.  I stood staring, waiting for the inevitable to come crashing through the bush, and out runs the little black dog, tail wagging, happy to find us.  I started laughing, then……. How pathetic I am!

But it’s another lesson I need to learn.  I preach it to the person I need to preach to the most.  I preach to me….

I was already nervous…. What informs us, forms us.
Fear paralyzes, making us unable to think clearly.  It plays with our minds, falsifying information and making them hugely exaggerated.
Fear prevented me from noticing the obvious signs that “all was well”.  The little brown dog was sitting at my feet wagging his tail, anticipating his friend to pop out the bushes.
Most of the time, fear has no grounding and its “nothing really!”

I find it’s a daily renewing of my mind….  It seems to dissipate fast! Like ice in this Gabon heat….
Removing the fear, replacing it with faith….
Removing despair and doubt, replacing it with delight and gratitude…
Removing skepticism and replacing it with trust.
He is able…

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Sahel horses..........

A little history from where these "tough" and "hardy" Ranch horses originate from....
The SAHEL REGION is a belt of up to 1,000km wide that spans the 5,400 km in Africa, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea...

"The wealth of the States came from controlling the trade routes across the desert. Their power came from having large pack animals like camels and horses that were fast enough to keep a large empire under central control and were also useful in battle.  The Sahel states were limited from expanding South in the Forest Zone of the Ashanti and Yoruba as mounted warriors were all useless in the forests and the horses and camels could not survive the heat and diseases of the region." ( yes, ask me about it!)

These lovely friendly Ranch horses came from the North Cameroon area of the Sahel region and have adapted well.

And here is another link written by someone who lived in this area and owned 2 horses

Friday, 13 November 2015

A new jewellery trend?

I am not sure what tree (but will soon!) this large seed pod and seeds belong too. The pod has curled but I guess was straight once. It is heavy and so are the gorgeous seeds! Imagine a necklace made of these seeds, oh yes let me go and dig around the forest for more! The locals tell me that it comes from a very large, tall tree, and there are many of those!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Mission de Saint-Francis-Xavier de Lambarene, Gabon, 1880

This church and the outbuildings, built of pink brick seems very well preserved and overlook the Ogooue River.  I have tried to find out more info, but apart from it being built in 1880 and finding a stamp, I can't seem to find much more....

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Dr Albert Schweitzer - "The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. ... It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. ... Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."

a corner in Dr Albert Schweitzer's room

The bed he died in at the age of 90
I believe behind every successful and brave man, is certainly a very brave and encouraging wife....
Helen Breslau Schweitzer was certainly that if you read these two links...

Bresslau-Schweitzer (1879-1957)

Helen Schweitzer - "He hates to brag, and so I must do it for him."

the table beside her bed....
The front of their home and the nurses dormitory....

The cemetery where the Dr  and others that came to help, lie.

"'Those hours with [Schweitzer] at the organ are unforgettable. I would sit with him on the organ bench listening and he would ask my opinion and we would discuss phrasing, tempo, dynamics. It was in those hours that I received my best musical education. The Doctor also loved these evenings for he was always in his happiest mood when playing the organ. All responsibilities, the whole world, disappeared for him; there was only music--the organ, nothing else. He loves music and needs it. Even in Africa, when working very hard, the day is not ended before he has his one hour of practice on his piano with organ pedals.'

His home and nurses dormitory.....

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Dr Albert Swcheitzer...."Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate."

The view from the hospital on the Ogooue River...  This link will tell you a lot about this famous Doctor..
one of the Wards...... He was met with criticism by the Europeans as he got the patients family members to cook for them outside the wards.  

the outside of the surgery, laboratory, etc....
The Maternity section

The laboratory

The Dentist's section

The nursery

One of the wards in the background

Monday, 9 November 2015

Dr Albert Swchietzer....... "The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others"........

We were so fortunate to be able to visit the crumbling old hospital on the banks of the Ogooue River, Lamberene, Gabon on our last trip to the capital ... I have so much to share and really bad internet, so will do this over the next few days...What an amazing man, wife and team.... Click on this link, as it will tell you best about his life.....
Dr Albert Swcheitzer, obituary, 6th September, 1965
The Kitchen and Dining Room
The bell that was rung in emergencies only

The bell that was rung on his way to the wards and theatre and then at the end of the day when he was done....(the wards are seen here)

The consulting room leading into the theatre and laboratory

The consulting room entrance

The Theatre..... eeeeek!

The resident Pelican that has been there for 14 years