Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Breaking writer's block

I've been told that a good way to break writer's block is to write something unrelated to what you actually need to write. I hope that is true... wait not quite. I think I will cheat and post up some photographs from my recent trip to Nairobi in hopes that they will inspire me to write.

Leaving Cape Town for Johannesburg early in the morning

A view of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi

Outdoor fountain in front of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre
Models at the gala dinner on the last night of the IWA conference

Public toilet in CBD of Nairobi

Squat pan inside of bio-centre in Kibera (the one I used!)

Rooftops in Kibera     
Karen Blixen house (author of Out of Africa)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How can it be May already?

I like many of my friends seem to be wondering where the year has gone to, can it really be almost halfway through the year already? What have I accomplished so far? What do I still need to do? As another month rolls by, I've started to take stock of what's happened already, and what I hope to complete during the rest of the year.

The past few months have been jam packed, but at the same time, I have a tendency to get anxious that I'm not quite as far along with my PhD as I'd like to be, or that the end of the year is nearly here and that I need to start planning for this that and the other thing. I, like many people who are slightly type-A, tend to try and control and manage time, and bend it to our will so that we can squeeze as much as possible into it. Something that I have learned to appreciate, while living in a place where the pace of life just naturally seems to be slower than what I am used to, is to really enjoy and appreciate not feeling compelled to fill every waking hour with activity. While sometimes I'll admit that can be detrimental to accomplishing everything on the "TO DO" list, ultimately it has allowed me to be more reflective, to pray more, to enjoy just being alive.

A quotation that I found very recently sums this up very nicely, "“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it." -- Ray Bradbury, Farewell Summer


Thursday, January 03, 2013

A new year

There's something about the new year that always signals the possibility for change and new beginnings, even if they are largely symbolic. 2013 is no different despite dire forecasts from political and financial analysts. Although I'm hesitant to make too many new year resolutions, there is at least one that I hope to uphold. I hope that this year I can more fully appreciate the time that I have with friends and family, however limited, and lament less about the time that we don't have together.

On a lighter note, Melissa mentioned something she's doing for the new year, which I think many would benefit from. Writing down at least one good thing that happens each day, and storing it in a jar over the course of the year so that at the end of the year she can recall and reflect on all of the good things (big or small) that happened. Since I don't have a jar ready yet, let me write these first positive notes from 2013 down here:

Jan 1: Hung out with Schoolies where we made homemade pasta (my first time!) and played Just Dance, making a fools of ourselves and having a blast.

Jan 2 My cousin Jenny, whom I have not seen face to face in over six years came to visit.