Monday, May 29, 2017

Midnight Poetry...

I have managed to check another activity off of my list. 

35. ✔️Write a short story or a poem

One night I woke up at 3 am and couldn't get back to sleep. So I wrote some poems, in haiku* style, focusing on various themes. The first one was for international nurses day and the other 7 focus on other topics. Enjoy!

nurses are vital
they work hard to help save lives
thank a nurse today

six lovely ladies
on a boating adventure
spotting sights from sea

getting on a boat
is really an adventure
i'm glad I survived

what more can I say
i'm thankful and love you lots
happy mother's day

every child has rights
we need to love and protect
stand up for justice

malaria kills
expats need prophylaxis
be wise and prevent

rainy season's come
thank God my roof doesn't leak
unlike roofs of some

be kind to yourself
so that you can help others
it's good for your soul

#internationalnursesday #boatadventure #mothersday #childprotection #malariaprevention #rainyseason #selfcare #bekindtoyourself

#haiku #writeapoemorstory
#40before40 #sandraturns40 #40isthenew30 #bucketlist #sierraleone #alwaysanadventure

*Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. Haiku poems consist of 3 lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.

10 new recipes: completed...

17. Try 10 new cooking/baking recipes in 10 months – completed on 24/5/17

Here’s the list of the recipes I’ve made over the past 6 months:
-Pumpkin Roll
-Pie Crust
-Sugar cookies and icing
-Havermout chocolade banana muffins (oats, chocolate, banana muffins)
-Lentil Curry
-Cinnamon Rolls
-Quick Pickles
-Grilled halloumi, rocket and avocado salad
-Naan bread
-Lime bars
-I also helped make Turkey Soup, Cruesli and baked a Mango Crumble, just to add a few extras.

So, here’s the rundown:

Best recipe: Cinnamon Rolls – so tasty, especially right from the oven
Worst recipe: Havermout chocolade banana muffins – strangely this recipe does not call for flour and you end up with quite a mushy muffin – seeing as no one like them, this is not to be repeated.
Best discovery: Lentil Curry – I had never cooked lentils until a few months ago – what a brilliant discovery on my part
Fastest recipe: Quick Pickles, hence the name!
Recipe that needs some perfecting: Naan bread, tastes good but needs a little work in terms of presentation
Most labor intensive: Lime bars, squeezing 20-25 limes took me a while, as well as using a knife to grate enough lime zest
Most fun: Sugar cookies and icing – mostly because it was a great activity with nephews and nieces, both in the USA and NL
Recipe I would like to repeat soon: grilled halloumi, delicious!
Most challenging & creative: Pumpkin Roll, figuring out how to bake the dough so that it would be thin enough to roll, and then finding a way to roll it up to cool it down and then adding the filling and rolling it up again.
Recipe everyone needs to have: Pie Crust, important for any pie making, and so easy

Happy baking & cooking!

#10newrecipes #40before40 #sandraturns40 #40isthenew30 #bucketlist #sierraleone #alwaysanadventure

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Books & Basil...

Here's an update on two of the activities I checked off this week. I suppose it depends on how much my Basil needs to grow before I can check that one off. Maybe until I eat some of it? I've gone ahead and checked it off anyway. 

14. Grow something green (and edible!) (started 30/4/17, 3 sprouts 15/5/17)

18. Read 10 books in 10 months – (12/5/17) 

It’s been fun growing Basil. It’s the first time I’ve grow an herb (besides in primary school I suppose) and I’ve enjoyed watching the sprouts come up. I plan to branch out and grow some coriander and hopefully some rocket (arugula). If only I had a big garden, as opposed to a narrow balcony! This is a step by step learning process.

I’ve also managed to read 10 books in the last 5 months. This is probably a personal record for me! It also means I can check this activity off.  The easiest read of the 10 was the Dutch book, which one could argue is more of a children’s book, but I would like to add that it’s a longer children’s book and it’s not my primary language. Land of Love and Drowning was definitely the strangest of the 10 books. This is the book I read for book club, which I attended in March, which was also on my #bucketlist The book that I found most thought provoking was Half the Sky, which talked a lot about oppression of women, trafficking, lack of education etc. This is also the book that took me the longest to read, in part because some of the stories were pretty intense and I wanted time to process what I was reading. I would highly recommend this book.  The book I found the most inspiring was Dirty Glory, which is a book about the 24-7 prayer movement. I’ve enjoyed reading and am about halfway through book #11, which is The Five Love Languages. Let’s see how many more books I can read before my birthday!

#read10books #growsomethinggreen #basil #40before40 #sandraturns40 #40isthenew30 #bucketlist 

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Sunday snaps...

Over the past year, more and more of Asia's three-wheeled tuk-tuks have made their way to Africa. A year ago I would see the occasional tuk-tuk on Fourah Bay or Kissy Roads but now they are all over Freetown They are safer than the motorcycle taxis (slower and a bit more protected) and since their introduction, accident rates have gone down in Liberia. They also provide employment for youth, which is especially good as more bans were placed on motorcycle taxis (for safety reasons). In Sierraleone they are known as kekeh - I'm looking forward to my first ride in one! #kekeh #sierraleone

Friday, May 05, 2017

Mannequin Challenge in Sierra Leone...

Screen Shot of the Mannequin Challenge video (link below)
Last year, around the same time I was creating my #40before40 list, Jayne introduced me to a video fad known as the Mannequin Challenge. I was intrigued and entertained and thought it would be a great activity to add to my list. So, #33 ended up being: Mannequin Challenge in Sierra Leone.

For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s basically an internet trend where people remain frozen in action, yes you guessed it, like mannequins, while a moving camera films them, usually with the song “Black Beatles” playing in the background.  So, all we needed was a group of people, a venue, a camera and the song. Simple right?

As a joint activity to celebrate Jayne’s birthday and to complete #33 on my #40before40 list, we planned to create our video at Jayne’s birthday dinner at the New Brookfield Hotel. Jayne came prepared with the song, I had the camera and we had a group of people. However, none of us had done this before. What next? Thankfully, Haja was in the restaurant and had just walked up to our table to congratulate Jayne and overheard us talking about the Challenge. She told us she had done one in the past and so before we knew it, we had Haja directing the Challenge (thanks Haja!) and we all took our places in the restaurant, as customers, waitresses and bartenders and the music began to play. We froze in time while Haja did the filming to create our very own Mannequin Challenge. Some of the hotel guests and the executive director even joined in the Challenge!

Check out our video at:

We had a lot of fun and although this may not be the first Mannequin Challenge in Sierra Leone, it’s definitely the first one at the New Brookfield Hotel and the first one that I was a part of! And, this means that #33 is checked off of the list.

Thanks to the staff of NBH for helping out! 

Social media fast, Binch and Leceister Peak...

Since my last post I’ve made progress on my #40before40 list and completed the following activities:
19. Go 72 hours without social media
23. Learn to cook a Sierra Leonean dish
29. Walk up Leceister peak and have a picnic at the top 
I actually ended up doing two 100 hour social media fasts – one was planned in April and the other one happened after my iphone was stolen in a taxi almost two weeks ago! The first break was good in that it allowed me to focus more on the now and be more present, as well as spend time reading, writing etc. The second break was more frustrating, since it was unplanned and involved a theft!
Learning to cook a Sierra Leonean dish was great fun – we cooked BINCH (beans) with Edna’s help. It was a tasty dish with black eye beans, dried tenne fish, peppe (hot pepper), spring onions, maggi cubes (of course!), oil, tomato paste (also a staple item in these dishes) and onions. Up next, we will try groundnut soup. 
And finally, the walk up Leceister peak plus picnic was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Haley, Suzanne, Anna and I walked up with our picnic and laid out our food and drinks when we got to the top. We enjoyed each others company, the view, and various treats like cinnamon rolls, girlscout cookies, homemade pickles, sandwiches, fruit, wine and coffee/tea. We had a lovely time together.
Progress is being made on the recipes and books. I’m nearly finished with my online course and have started growing Basil. Stay tuned for news on the boat adventure and the swim to the island off of Bureh! 
The adventure continues…

#40before40 #bucketlist #40isthenew30 #sandraturns40 #alwaysanadventure

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~