18 August 2017

The Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse....


The road to Magoriapitse...

"Travelling-it leaves you speechless, 
then turns you into a storyteller." 

Ibn Battuta

Today was a day for the Henriques storybooks, we travelled 100kms to a remote village outside of Gaborone, Botswana....where my daughter, Miss Claire, has been living for the past year as a Peace Corps volunteer. One year down and she is totally immersed into the culture and rhythm of village life... and the hearts of The Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse.

The Good Ladies of Magoriapitse, Miss Claire and me 

Mr. H and I were the honoured guests for the day, where we met Claire's extended family...a large part of the village, and enjoyed traditional Botswana hospitality. We walked, we talked, we laughed, we prayed and had a delicious traditional homemade feast on mdombi (boiled bread), seswa (pulled beef), tswana chicken (traditional spices) and beans with corn. It was one of the most genuine welcoming experiences Mr. H and I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. 

Laundry day...Magoriapitse

Miss Claire speaks the Setswana (Tswana) language with a natural 'hip' ease as she greets men with "dumela rra" and women with "dumela mma".  In my mind, to fully appreciate the rhythm of the language, you need to slow down the pace and kick into 'Botswana time' with ...ddduuuummmmeeeellllaaaa mmmmmaaaaa...and say it in the sing 'songy' kind of way that leaves you wanting more. If only I could..but I reckon the only way you could get me to slow down my speech pattern (which at times has been said to be faster than the speed of lightening) is to hit me up with a valium. I love the way Miss Claire rolls with and into the language. Does a mama proud!

Mindful Mama Elephant
South Luangwa National Park

Speaking of mama's...it was a matter of minutes into my first introduction of the Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse that I learned I was not Claire's only mother. I was told she is the daughter of many and sister to more and proudly so. I was delighted to see and hear it but admit to feeling a bit jealous as I tried to assert my ultimate role as 'the mother'...of all mother's to the Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse. By the end of the day, I was ready to embrace all the men and women we met as sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles...one smile is all it took.

Mentoring Mother and Miss Claire
One of the Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse

Miss Claire and Little Donna,
sisters in arms.

Throughout the day, I couldn't help but think of the Alexander McCall Smith book series, No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. The characters in the book came to life all around me.. the heroine of the novels, Mma Precious Romotswe and her fastidious assistant Mma Grace Makutsi, the gentle soul, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and the list goes on. I was grinning from ear to ear...pure elation. If you haven't read the series and are curious or if you have read them and like me want to read them all over again, you can discover them here and better yet, watch the HBO TV series here and enjoy Alexander McCall Smiths 'Author's Diary' while on the production of the TV series here.  In my mind, you can never get enough of Mma Precious Romotswe and her adventures.

Village life...a homemade clothes line, a gentle warm breeze and an ax.
All in a day's work for The Good Ladies' of Magoriapitse.

"I would like to be known 
as an intelligent woman, 
a courageous woman, 
a loving woman, 
a woman who teaches by being." 

Maya Angelou

PS...Yes...that fast talking, squinting lady in the back row of the picture above is me. I had the brilliant idea to place everyone ourside of the shadows and in full blare of the sun...which managed to work for everyone but me. Ha! Lesson learned. ;)

More to follow
from our safari days in Zambia...

An elephant comes calling...

OH...the stories they tell!


16 July 2017

Safari, College Tours and a Surprise

Resting leopard....Botswana

Dear Friends,

Life has been full since I last checked in! I am writing in between packing for a trip to Botswana and Zambia. This time last year, our daughter, Miss Claire, was packing for her two year assignement with the Peace Corp in Botswana. One year down and we are on our way to visit with her for the first time! I am so excited, I am busting! We are heading out on a two week safari to Zambia. I took the photo above on a previous safari through Botswana in 2005. I am hoping to have the same luck this time around. Fingers crossed!

22 May 2017

For the love of a house and garden...

Guess Who?

You know how I said I do not like having my photo taken? Well, on special occasions, I will attempt the odd selfie, especially as it makes my daughters laugh..when mom does her mom smile. ;) I had a good reason for this one...I wanted to show you my latest purchase, the 'Glenmore' hat. The story follows...

15 May 2017

A Creative Sabbatical...

Hanging out in Sydney

Greetings from Sydney!

I hope you had a lovely weekend and Mother's Day! I spent the day in Sydney with two of my four children, daughter #1, Miss Christine and son #2, Connor. On Mother's Day I caught up via Facetime with son #1, Patrick and daughter #2, Miss Claire, who jumped in with a photo from Botswana to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Mr. H checked in from Hong Kong making my day complete. It was a cool..ish, rainy autumn day...we cooked, talked, read and relaxed together. I knew my day was on the right track when Connor suggested we watch a 'mom' movie together, Under the Tuscan SunI have trained him well!  I love hanging out, something I rarely get to do these days...it is the perfect time for letting your thoughts run away from you.

17 April 2017

Expat Diary: Hong Kong

Thinking about life at No. 43 with my velvet slippers
 from Shanghai Tang here

Greetings from No. 43 in Hong Kong!
I am in Hong Kong for two weeks continuing my efforts to set up a life in our apartment at No. 43. Shortly after my departure in March I made an executive decision, or rather, an executive demand to hire an interior decorator. Given that my time in Hong Kong will be limited in 2017, it is near impossible for me to complete all the tasks before me in two weeks.  Fortunately, we found someone to help us. Curtains, light fixtures, carpets, re-upholstery, art...it's all on the list. With decorating underway it allows me to focus on spending quality time with family...and carry on with my travel notes.

04 April 2017

The One Thing....


Sometimes I look at my 'to do' list and it gives me the shakes.

But then again...my outlook on 'to do' lists is probably not your average outlook.

25 March 2017

Going with the flow...around the world

Indeed it is!
(in Sydney)

Before musing on the flow of life...I want to thank you all for the creative and clever names you suggested for our 'perch' in Hong Kong. We loved them all!  They continue to come in and as soon as I am back in Hong Kong I am going to sit and contemplate each and every one!

02 March 2017

First Impressions and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Hong Kong

The day begins at #43... sun rising to the east, behind the mountain ridge 

Good Morning, Good Evening and Hello!
Well, here we are again, on the Expat Express to Hong Kong! Many of you have been with me for the long expat haul, from our first days in Australia (pre-blog) to last days in New Zealand ( started blog) to life in England, Vietnam, Tahilla Farm and now Hong Kong. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you..from the bottom of my heart and up, it is full of appreciation!
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