Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Manly Men

(Written on 2/26/2011 from Vrede, South Africa)
You know those people who come into your life and you’re instantly in love?  I knew Glynda was sent from Heaven when she told me all of her animals were named after food – among them were Spud, Peanut, Pizza, and their newest addition – puppy Basil.

Spud might be the new love of my life

Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?  LOVE.

Glynda is a foodie like I’ve never known a foodie – she’s a magician in the kitchen and she makes entertaining for 10 people look easy as pie.  But seriously – her cheesecake was divine, and I don’t even normally like sweets.

I always say everything happens for a reason – and there’s no doubt that I was meant to meet Glynda and her wonderful family.  My friend in the U.S. emailed Glynda to introduce me about a week ago and as soon as Glynda found out I was coming to Johannesburg…she swept me up from the airport, demanded that I stay with her adoring family, and then drowned me in delicious food.  (Other than Rugby players...what more could a girl ask for??) 
On my first night in Johannesburg we had a wonderful Braai (barbeque) with the Kramer's friends.  I was told that "braaing" is a man’s job and that it's their bonding time as they hang around cooking meat.  I'm guessing they drink beer, discuss football (the rest of the world's football, not America's "football") and rugby strategies, grunt, scratch, high five (maybe in the 90's), chest bump, and whatever else menly men do. 

"The Men" Braaing

Even though I'm not a man, Sean let me try the Braai!
As if any sort of meat isn't enough to satisfy me (which was made even tastier by marinating on branches of bay leaves from their backyard), Glynda also whipped up a typical South African Pap - like a mix between grits and potatoes.  Add to that salads, sushi, cheeses, biltong (a dried meat snack), wine and dessert - and I was in 7th Heaven.


The food was painfully delicious, and the company was even more enjoyable (which was nearly impossible given how I felt about the food).  We sat around the table outside in the warm summer night air talking about everything from world affairs and education to healthcare to fannies (slang in SA is definitely different than in the USA).

Lolli - the best hostess ever!

I thought things couldn’t get better until I was whisked away for a weekend with the family and friends at their farm house two hours away from the city.  I continued my gluttonous ways and thankfully, since Glynda is a gal after my own heart, she packs the farm house full of goodies. 
The farm was an exceptional experience that I knew God gave me for a reason.  Coincidentally, there were two other families (guests of the Kramers as well) that happened to be there at the same time.  One couple from Seattle, whom I adore – David and Robbi.  David is spirited, fun and energetic - he lights up a room with his enthusiasm and flair for life.  And Robbi possesses a beautiful awareness and tranquility.  She shares her special gift with the world through her "spirit capture" portraits.  I was blessed to witness some of her artwork - truly beautiful and moving. 

The other family, the Weinbergs, are from Washington DC and they were passing through South Africa on their own round the world adventure.  They took their two young kids out of school for the year (jealous!) to travel, attend "school" with a tutor, and learn about the world first hand.  I'm sure this trip will stretch their minds, inspire their imaginations and teach them much more than if they were sitting at a desk.  I admire the Weinbergs for taking their own "road less travelled."
With these three wonderful families, and an abundance of food, drinks, and laughter, I'm certain that the farm memories will only continue to get better.  Once again I'm reminding myself to constantly live in the moment and appreciate the present. 

Since this is a recurring theme for me, I ask you today to just pause.  Take a minute.  Literally, no matter how busy you are, you definitely have ONE minute.  Just pause for one minute and think about what you're doing right now and what you can appreciate about what you're doing right now.


  1. lindaaaaaaaaaaa mi hermana escribes muy lindo y me imagino cada situación , muy bueno tu blog, espero q estes muy bien y no lo dudo, porque tienes toda a tu favor para que todo te resulte muy muy bien, no sabes las ganas que me dan de volver a estar contigo hermana te extraño montones y espero q no sea muy lejana nuestro reencuentro.... besos china fea!!!! te quiero millones

  2. Graccccias hermana ..... debes venir a visitarmeeeee! Te extrano mucho. Ven a Seattle.... o por lo menos piensa en eso. Seria incccreible este verano pasando contigo en mi ciudad. :) Como julio? Agosto? Guarda plata!!!!

  3. BAHAH I missed the Fannie's caption until just now! So funny. Love you and safe travels. XOXO.

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