Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coastal Impressions On A Grey Day

Grey, love making between black and white 

On a day, when the color grey reigns everything else is absorbed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Fisherman's Home In Situ Village

A fisherman's home on the sandy shores of Situ village

A fisherman's wife

 and her look on life

Numero 18

as it was then so it is now

the boat

the fisherman's children
and their homeground

The Sailors Of The Quirimbas Islands

I have not been as fascinated, enchanted and impressed in a long time as I was by the sailors and fishermen of the Quirimbas Islands in northeastern Mozambique. Boats and dhows are build using traditional African wood-carving and carpentry techniques that are hundreds of years old. 
When in the archipelago itself, where the waters are a considered to be a "bit quieter" all looks good and fine.

But the men venture fearless into the Indian Ocean and the expression "in a nutshell with one sail" is quite justified. All along the African coast line from Mozambique up to Tanzania these boats and dhows can be seen. At a second glance they travel the sea in an overfilled boat to fish and bring new supplies from the coastal town of Pemba to their villages. Passengers are allowed on board as well.
The dhow in the picture is a supply boat from Pemba cruising to the islands of the Quirimbas once a week.

While the sky gets dark and the next storm in already lingering on the horizon we wave to each other and wish for a safe trip for one another.

Did I mention, we had boat trouble each and every single day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Special Creation

Yesterday, in my garden.

Ilha da Situ - A short Island Story

Situ Island is situated in the Quirimbas Archipelago.The Quirimbas Islands lie in the Indian Ocean off northeastern Mozambique, close to Pemba, the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado. The archipelago consists of about 27 islands, including Ibo, Matemo, Medjumbe, Quirimba, Quisiva and Rolas Island. Originally home to fishing settlements, the islands' population grew around Arab trading posts and thrived under the Portuguese trading routes when it was known as the Ilhas de Sao Lazaro (Islands of St. Lazarus). Today, many of the islands are uninhabitated. These islands are known for their high-quality diving sites, including phenomenal drop-offs, some up to 400 meters. The Quirimbas National Park, spanning an area of 7 500 km², includes the 11 most southerly islands, which are partly surrounded by mangroves. The park was established in 2002. The outstanding natural and cultural value of the islands influenced the archipelago to be put on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on August 20, 2008, in the Mixed (Cultural + Natural) Category.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Beekeepers At Work

For five years I have been watching a bee hive living, breeding and growing in the big mortar bricks that constitute a "make do wall" in front of some old and empty rooms, that I intend to renovate. Very old houses do have separate rooms, commonly called the "servants quarters", that were used to accommodate maids and other personal of the ones who had the means to employ them in the old South Africa. 
I  have grown fond of the bees and since I think that bees are somehow magical animals, the question that presented itself now was: who could remove them safely and bring them into a new suitable environment?

After a long search I was referred to the best and most experienced beekeepers in the Eastern Cape, who happened to be a the same time the in-laws of one of my friends. The world is not a small place  but nevertheless things happen as they are supposed to happen.

One day, the energetic couple arrived with their rather large truck and complete armor in front of my gate, while I was still having a coffee outside in my short summer dress, watching the birds dreamily, not expecting much activity for the next two or three hours. 

The operation was run by the chief in command and master beekeeper Christopher. The experience of years of bee handling is written all over his face.

Assisted by his wife and bee keeper team mate, whose task it was to " smoke them out frequently"

Others, who happened to be at my place unfortunately at the same time when the bee-removal operation started, did get dragged into it eventually because more labor was needed considering the size of the hive.

For my friend and IT guy doing some work for me at the time, a simple bee by itself in a room constitutes a rather frightening thing. So I preferred to intentionally overhear his softly spoken question: " What will I be doing now" ?   

Stuffed into a  bee keepers suit he became a bee keeper assistant in no time.

Some things had to be improvised however !

But who can resist Roline's charm and smile?

A little tired after a whole day's work

But according to Christopher: This honey is of an excellent quality !

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pemba From The Sea

Imrpesssions of the shoreline of Pemba in Mocambique

 as seen from the sea

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Children

Until two weeks ago I thought my three rabbits were all GUYS
but then there came a big surprise.

The question now: who stays and who goes ?

He stays !

Her as well !
(Simsalabim, big white one is now 100% sure not a male)

Difficult, very difficult decision indeed

cause all twelve of them

are extremely cute.
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