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Life Missions

(2 out of 5 complete)

To meet other hand made bears

To visit teddy bear museums and shows

To see real bears in the wild or in bear sanctuaries

To have teddy bears picnics

To meet Threadbear and visit the Teddy Bear Clinic

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Travelog for: Hector

At home, South Africa - 17th November 2008

By: MrsC

It rains an awful lot in summer in Jo'burg.....


* Posted Jan 15, 2009, 9:18 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

The yard, South Africa - 18th November 2008

By: MrsC

Oh dear, Pinky Bear returned from her 'holiday' in a very bad mood. She stuck her head under a pillow and would not speak to anyone at all....


It turns out that she was supposed to go to Romania with Fi's brother and the simpleton left her behind... in a bag full of important documents... and then when he returned he LEFT her in the bag for ages before returning her to Fi. Wow, no wonder she was so upset...

We told her she was lucky that she got left in Jo'burg - imagine he had left her somewhere in Romania! It turns out he left his best fishing rod behind. Well that made her think that it wasn't so bad after all and she agreed to play a game of basketball with us.





...and then it started raining again... so we went inside.

* Posted Jan 15, 2009, 9:29 pm Last edited Jan 15, 2009, 9:34 pm by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

School field, South Africa - 21st November 2008

By: MrsC

Tonight we went to Carol's by Candle light at the children's school.

The entire playing field is covered in people having picnics and the children sit up on the stands and sing and dance. It was lovely...

Heh heh, we ate Reindeer eggs! And sausages and carrot cake and...ooh, my tummy is grumbling with hunger just thinking about it....


...and chocolate hedgehogs too! Yummy!


The children were to far away to get nice photos of, so you will just have to imagine them all in Santa hats, or reindeer antlers waving big green shakers around.

Once it got dark we lit our candles.


Luckily the rain held off until it was time to go home, but it sure cleared the field fast!

* Posted Jan 15, 2009, 10:05 pm Last edited Jan 15, 2009, 11:05 pm by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

War Geeks HQ, South Africa - 22nd November 2008

By: MrsC

I could not understand why Fi was running around like a nut, moving stuff and setting up tables and while her husband was reeling out metres and metres of cables....

Before long the gate intercom was buzzing and strange men drove in with...their entire PC strapped in their cars!

The War Geeks had arrived. Usually they play a game called Battelfield on line. They have a forum too and they have funny nicknames like 'Useless' and 'You are toast', Fi's son is called Shrapnel (cause he is small and annoying? :p ). Today however, they were having a network session and taking over the house!


When I say taking over the house I mean it!

Upstairs… (Wow! That is a massive screen!)


In the garage!!!! Two teams...



In the dining room...oh, umm... that's me having a turn!


They were in the lounge and someone even commandeered Fi's PC. Aha! It was Shrapnel - that's okay then. He plays quite well for a kid (though his mother would prefer he didn't play at all!)


Could someone send out for pizza? The troops are starving - an army marches on its stomach you know!


* Posted Jan 16, 2009, 9:31 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Botanical Gardens, South Africa - 23rd November 2008

By: MrsC

Fi and her friends formed a book club for their children called Bookworms. They meet once a month, share books, read stories, have lunch and play. They have been doing this for about three years now.

Today was the Christmas meet up as most of them would be on holiday in December. We all met at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens.


Each child gave a book present to another. The children also gave their Dads a small gift to thank them for attending Bookworms for the VERY FIRST TIME! One of the Dads took the children down to the waterfall to see it. (We had to stay behind because Fi had just found out that her Grandmother had passed away after a very long and happy life) We wandered around the area and found a tortoise! There was another, bigger one but they move faster than you think!


After a picnic lunch, we all sat down and listened to Christmas stories... and 50% of the Dads fell asleep  ;)


I had some left over pudding that Fi made - oh it was yummy!


* Posted Jan 16, 2009, 9:54 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Home, South Africa - 27th November 2008

By: MrsC

There is always something going on in this house. Every year Natalie and Shane take part in an international Christmas card swap. The rules are simple: the children have to make ten cards by themselves and then they get sent to other children who are partaking and whose names are randomly drawn.

Well, we really wanted to help so they let us! As you can see we went with an 'African Christmas' theme.


We helped with cutting, gluing and glittering (and we stayed clean and glitter free!) and then popped the cards in envelopes.




* Posted Jan 16, 2009, 10:08 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Kitchen counter, South Africa - 2nd December 2008

By: MrsC

Tomorrow is the last day of school. Fi had decided to give the children's teachers a platter of home baked biscuits as an end of year gift. Nice, but she only started baking once the children were in bed! We got roped in to help - to speed things up, but all the posing for photos actually slowed things down  :p We ended up going to bed at 4 in the morning!  :o We had an extra pair of fins to help. A little turtle called Squirt arrived from Okinawa today.

First up: Pistachio and cranberry biscotti (if you want any recipes just ask Fi)


Looking good, but a bit too big...


That's better!


Pop them on a baking tray and in the oven they go!


Shall we mix the next batch while that bakes? Good idea!


Okay, we need butter...


Chopped nuts... Fi wouldn't let us help here; she said the knife was too sharp and dangerous.


Oooooohhhh! Treacle sugar! Yummy!


Now that it is all mixed up we need to add the nuts and chocolate chips... it is very hard working with all these yummy things and not being allowed to eat anything - my tummy is grumbling...  :(


Tada! The first batch of choc chip cookies!


The biscotti comes out the oven and the choc chips go in...


The loaves get sliced...another big sharp knife!


...and put back on the baking tray... biscotti means 'twice baked biscuit'.


The choc chips are done! The smell! My tummy is EATING itself....


The biscotti are done! There is a hole in my stomach...I think I am digesting my own stuffing...


Fi says she usually uses the ends of the loaves as 'testers'. She gave us one to taste (heavenly - what a relief for my poor starved tummy) it got passed around and we all had a nibble...








All gone! Next up: gingerbread! Ooohhh...molasses!


The dough was all mixed up and the counter cleared, ready for rolling. Can you make out the time on the clock behind us? 23.20! We'd better get moving.


Good grief! What a lot of cookie cutters! And these in this jar are JUST the Christmas ones...


I tried to get Fi to use these bear shaped ones but she said no...


Rolling out the dough was such hard work we had to take it in turns.



Oh my hat! It has just gone mid-night and Fi is starting on fudge...it takes almost an hour to make... yaWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWn


I can't keep my eyes open any more...I need to sleep now... fudge is setting, gingerbread is decorated...what more?


Ah, trays! Fudge is till to warm - Fi says she will get up early to sort it out  :o she hasn't even gone to sleep yet and it is four in the morning! I bet she will have a mid morning nap!


Bed time!

* Posted Jan 16, 2009, 11:06 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Montecasino, South Africa - 7th December 2008

By: MrsC

Today we all packed into the car very excitedly as we were going somewhere that was a surprise...

As we set off it became apparent that we were driving into a massive storm! Fi and her husband looked a little worried as the surprise was outdoors.

We finally drove into the parking lot of the Montecasino...which was mostly flooded because the rain was bucketing down... We went upstairs to the outdoor arena to be met with a solid sheet of water and hundreds of sad looking children and grumpy looking parents.

We had come to see 'The Beautiful Creatures' concert and it was the very last show and it looked like it would be cancelled. After much milling about and unhelpfulness from the ticket agents, we went to have some lunch. On the way back we saw that all the children were still hanging about with their even grumpier parents, so we went to ask what was happening...aha, if the rain stopped by 4 the concert would go ahead!

At quarter past four we took out our tissues to try and dry our seats! The children eventually just moved to the front and sat on the wet floor because they were so excited to see their favourite African animal songs come to life...


The children did all the actions and sang along (actually, so did most of the parents - once you have heard the CDs a million times in the car, you pretty much know all the words!)


Oh it was lovely! Worth the rain and the wait and the damp seating...and I was right up front to watch it!


After the show, we queued up to buy the new CD and had it autographed by Ed Jordan who created the series (and Alan Glass, but we never got a photo of him) and sings on the CDs.


* Posted Jan 19, 2009, 6:46 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Christmas tree, South Africa - 9th December 2008

By: MrsC

Usually Fi puts up her Christmas tree on the first day of December. This year she didn't feel inclined to bother.... so the children nagged and nagged and said they would decorate it.

Eventually she decided to haul it out of the trunk it is kept in - it is just too hot for a real tree, it would be dead way before Christmas!

So we helped 'puff' it all out.


Not very awe inspiring is it?


Oh...<blush> that was just the bottom piece, it comes in segments...


That's more like it! Fi said we could stay on there if we wanted and be the decorations. Ha ha ha! Always so funny...Hey! Take me down!!!


The children started decorating the tree - three days later they still hadn't finished so Fi took pity on them and finished it off - You will have to wait then to see what it looked like.

In the meantime, we popped up our tree - easy peasy - it took 2 seconds!


...and we hung up our stockings... there is no fire place and therefore: no mantle, so we found the next best thing: the gas heater.



* Posted Jan 19, 2009, 7:56 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Sweat shop, South Africa - 10th December 2008

By: MrsC

You know, Fi really takes advantage of us....
baking, tree puffing and now KNITTING! Honestly...


I didn't even know I COULD knit!


* Posted Jan 19, 2009, 8:07 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Dining room, South Africa - 12th December 2008

By: MrsC

She's at it AGAIN...or rather WE are at it again...


We are not really even that sure of what we are making...


* Posted Jan 19, 2009, 8:19 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Still at it..., South Africa - 13th December 2008

By: MrsC

Oh! They are mice, Christmas mice! They are gifts for fi's friends - they each get a bowl of tree decorations....


...and what would Christmas be without gingerbread men...and ladies?


* Posted Jan 19, 2009, 8:30 pm Last edited Jan 19, 2009, 8:32 pm by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Jo'burg Zoo, South Africa - 16th December 2008

By: MrsC

Today is a public holiday in South Africa called 'The Day of Reconciliation' read about it here.

We went to visit Fi's Mom for lunch. We thought we would stop by the Zoo in the afternoon to look at the animals and then wait till the lights came on.... Luckily we passed the Zoo on our way and saw that it was jam packed, so we gave up on that idea and just waited until dusk to go when we knew most of the people would have left.

This is the closest you'll ever get me to an ostrich.


I have an uneasy feeling that something is going to drop down on me....


This is the entrance to the gorilla enclosure. They were inside though as they have a new baby (a few days later Fi's brother walked through here and the gorilla threw a stone at him!)


How brave am I? Actually, I think I am too small for him to see or bother with. But if he takes a step sideways he will squash me!


This has got to be the only place a lioness would meet a polar bear...


This Christmas tree looks tiny in the photo but is was really, really big! Whoops, the top lights seem to be off...


Yikes! A hippo wants to eat us! Run for your lives....


Phew! We had to sit down and catch our breath after all that running!


We are safe here... oh! The flash just blinded me - it lit up the whole area, could you see what was behind us Fi? Why are you laughing?


That is one grumpy looking buffalo.


Hey! We found the gorilla! Mostly, because we nearly tripped over him in the dark.


This was Natalie's favourite.


Oh and this one!


We had a few turns on the funfair rides and then we left as it was getting late and very dark and none of us had eaten supper.

* Posted Jan 19, 2009, 9:06 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Olivedale, South Africa - 20th December 2008

By: MrsC

We went to Fi's sister for supper as the children had been swimming there all afternoon.

This is a traditional way of cooking food. It is called a 'potjie' which means 'small pot'. Usually it is placed on a fire but a Cadac gas cooker works just as well. The food is layered in the pot, with the longest cooking ingredients (meat usually) at the bottom and the quickest cooking at the top.

In the rural areas this is the only way to cook when you have no electricity. These post range in size from tiny to ridiculously enormous (a friend of Fi's has one so huge it takes three strapping men to lift it!)


Hmmm! Smells delicious! Lamb and rice...


* Posted Jan 20, 2009, 7:39 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Krugersdorp, South Africa - 21st December 2008

By: MrsC

Today we went to the Krugersdorp Game Reserve, but we didn't see a single animal...

We were there for an end of year party with some friends and just went to the recreational part of the reserve.

Mostly we sat under a thatched umbrella to stay out of the sun (it was so hot!) and the children swam...


We watched some young men playing soccer....South Africans are CRAZY about soccer.


We made some international friends... (We may have eaten them...oops, tasted just like chocolate!)


…and we just hung around chatting and listening to music...


Then we ate too much...Braaied (BBQ'd) chicken and pap (finely ground corn meal that is mixed with water and salt and cooked to a stiff porridge - it is a staple in the diet of most South African people) with tomato and onion gravy and carrot and pineapple salad.

* Posted Jan 20, 2009, 8:03 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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