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Brew Ha Ha: a trans-Africa tea tour

first_imgI can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to ride a motorcycle “Cape to Cairo”.I am sure the desire to do the journey has been with me forever; or at least since my earliest childhood in London when my imagination, fuelled by reading comics in the late ’60s and early ’70s, began to dream of far-off lands and exotic people from the time before mobile phones, GPS and the internet, when adventure meant one man pitted against the elements.The impulse for a long distance trip also fed into the enduring idea of escape, and as I get older there seems more to escape from.More exotic than EalingI got married in Johannesburg in the 1980s, which was the first time I set foot on African soil and was thrilled to see I had arrived in the comic book scenes of my childhood: of Zulus and witch doctors, of lions and elephants, of stifling heat and tropical storms.It certainly seemed more exotic than the London Borough of Ealing, where I was brought up.But it was not until a couple of years ago when I bought a home in Cape Town and started dividing my time between Britain and South Africa that I started taking the whole idea of riding through Africa seriously – Cairo to Cape.Nobody else did of course but that’s the thing with hare-brained schemes, they wouldn’t be hare-brained if everybody wanted to do them.The journey was taking shape in my mind, I just needed a little push to get started, and I got it from a most unexpected place.Tea; not only as a thirst-quencherLike the African overland journey, I have always loved tea, not only as a thirst-quencher but also because of the cerebral effects it has on the drinker – I’ve used the amber liquid to commemorate, commiserate and celebrate, so I’m used to turning to the teapot to help me through every occasion.The tea ritual also has long fascinated me. I am sure world summits, peace negotiations and civil wars could be resolved more quickly over a nice pot of tea.But of course someone would have to make the tea; that is an important part of the ritual, the idea that somebody has gone to the trouble of boiling the kettle, setting a tray, enquired “Milk or lemon?”, and then poured the precious liquid into your waiting cup breaks down perceived barriers and is the perfect starting point for conversation.After you’ve shared a pot of tea you feel closer to your guest (or host) in a way that sharing a pint in a pub can never do. The ritual is in your own hands, you create the encounter, you make it what it is, and every one is different.Mandela, PW take teaOn July 5 1989, before Nelson Mandela was officially released from prison, he was taken to a meeting with President Botha to negotiate reforms that were to change the face of South Africa. The remarkable meeting prompted a surprised Mandela to later recall: “The thing that impressed me was that he poured the tea.”Why was Mandela impressed? Because tea is a great leveller, and the politics of pouring the tea says more than a year of diplomatic negotiations ever can.The meeting proved that even at statesman level there is something human-scale and undeniably intimate to the ritual of sharing a pot of tea. It cements long-held friendships, turns strangers into new friends and, apparently, helps politicians create the New South Africa.My thoughts on tea got me wondering, what do Africans think about the tea ritual? Do they even drink tea? Do they serve milky tea or tea without, tea in a mug or a china cup, served on a tray, with or without sugar? What time of the day is it served? Does it matter? Is it served with the same formality as it is on occasion in Britain? Does the phrase “I’ll put the kettle on” at times of crisis have the same connotations? Is it used as a soother or a pick-me-up, a consolation or a celebration?The used tea bag transformedThese were some of the questions I needed answering. So it was fortuitous that my embryonic thoughts on tea were given a shot of inspiration after a visit to Original Tea Bag Designs in Hout Bay, Cape Town.The project, whose products are sold around the world, creates superb gifts based on the humble tea bag. The used tea bag is dried, emptied of its leaves and then painted on. The resulting artworks are applied to a huge number of products from coasters to trays, from bookmarks to jewellery, from wooden boxes to candle holders.I found it inspiring that someone had found a way of extending the life of the modest tea bag – the very epitome of the throwaway society.My plans for the trans-Africa trip and my love of tea coalesced into one brilliant idea: wouldn’t it be great if on the Cairo to Cape trip I stopped for tea with people I met along the way.Tea stops across AfricaNow it began to get exciting as I planned a five-month trip across two continents, stopping for tea at every opportunity and collecting the teabags for Original Tea Bag Designs to make more amazing products.The project would be the final destination of the journey (not least because they promised me a “welcome home” tea party on February 22 2008), which I had now christened the African Brew Ha Ha – The Search for the Ultimate Cuppa.The solo trip through Africa proved to be the most physically challenging five months of my life but also, in many ways, the most poignant.I had no idea what the trip would involve before I left, but with the help of everybody I met along the way I succeeded.And the tea was terrific – I had tea as a consoler, tea as a celebration, tea as a thirst-quencher, tea as a greeting, and finally a tea party as a great welcome home when I arrived in Hout Bay (15 minutes late!).Cheers!© Alan Whelan 2008Story submitted to SAinfo on 1 May 2008last_img read more

Infographic: how South Africa fared in the RWC2015

first_imgSouth Africa gave a stellar performance in this year’s Rugby World Cup, despite experiencing a shocking start when they lost in their opening match against Japan. Overall, the Springboks secured a solid third place following their 24-13 bronze play-off win against Argentina. Research and text: Priya Pitamber Graphic: Sachin Baboo Click on the image below for a larger view. Source: Rugby World Cup That is a hat-trick try to @BryanHabana as he scores 64th test try and another in RWC history joining Jonah Lomu = 15 pic.twitter.com/hvefZGuyfd — South African Rugby (@Springboks) October 7, 2015Having equalled @JONAHTALILOMU‘s RWC try record of 15, @bryanhabana enjoyed the moment with fans after RSA’s win https://t.co/aMsDN7tqwf — Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 7, 2015What a privilege it has been pic.twitter.com/qCwNBy3oRG — Victor Matfield (@VictorMatfield) October 31, 2015Now that’s what we call a selfie. #RSA pic.twitter.com/uHuxYWWmgC — Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 30, 2015#RSA and #ARG, you’ve been great. Thanks for the #RWC2015 memories! pic.twitter.com/shdGgjrtdk — Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 30, 2015last_img read more

Everything Changes: Mister Postman Gets Saturdays Off

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … If you ever thought that something will last forever, get ready for a smack on the head.The latest evidence of this grand falsehood is today’s announcement from the United States Postal Service of a new plan to halt mail delivery on Saturdays, with the exception of package delivery.The move, which is scheduled to begin this August, would save the post office $2 billion annually. Under the proposed plan, mail would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, and post offices currently open on Saturdays would remain so.This is all just in the planning stages, since Congressional approval is needed to make such a drastic change. But the USPS is expected to cite figures demonstrating the American public would be behind such a move when it makes its formal announcement later today.Shifting Technology, AlwaysTechnology has a way of disrupting the hell out of the things and processes we have come to accept as “always there” in our lives. If you went back 15 years, it would hard to imagine five-day mail delivery, yet here we are, with an proposal that makes sense. Personal mail delivery has fallen drastically since the advent of e-mail and social media networks.Five years ago, I might have objected to such a plan. Saturdays were a big day for checks from publishers. Now that all my funds are direct deposited, I no longer care.It’s not just the mail, of course. A decade ago, it would have been hard to conceive homes not having landlines for phones, and yet these days it’s commonplace, thanks to ubiquitous cell phones and e911 services that geolocate phones. (If I didn’t live in a plaster-walled Faraday cage, I would ditch the landline in a minute.)Five years ago, it would be really hard to imagine a world without a desktop Windows monopoly, but then Apple and Google took the computing world sideways into the land of smartphones and tablets and now things have gotten so bad for Microsoft, they’ve had to put financial stakes into companies (i.e., Nokia and now Dell) just to ensure Microsoft has a vendor that will actually sell Windows on said smartphones and traditional PCs.For those of you who find that line of reasoning hard to accept, it may be time to let go of the staid notions you might have about technology. Nothing in this business lasts forever and something will always try to replace the technology you are using.It’s All Been DoneMany of us of a certain age have watched some new technologies rise to prominence, only to nearly completely fade away. Fax machines had a particularly short tech cycle, and VCRs shorter than that. Landline telephones had a good long run, as did personal desktop computers. But now, it seems, their time is waning.This is not a proclamation that “the desktop is dead.” But personal computing is changing, and drastically. We have inklings of what this might look like, but like any change, it’s going to have its share of bumps and scrapes along the way.Today’s announcement from the USPS reflects the fundamental change in the ways we communicate. There will be other world-shaking announcements in the months and years to come, and we need to be ready.Five-day mail delivery?No idea is unthinkable any more.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… brian proffittcenter_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Related Posts Tags:#Future Tech last_img read more

Asa Miller finishes in top 70 of men’s giant slalom

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum Philippines’ Asa Miller competes in the Men’s Giant Slalom at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINIAsa Miller made a huge leap in his second run to finish 70th overall in the men’s giant slalom event in alpine skiing Sunday in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter OIympics at Yongpyong Alpine Centre.Seeking to improve his time of 1:27.52 after finishing 81st in Run 1, the Fil-Am alpine skier performed better in Run 2, completing the course in 1:22.43, the 68th-best in the round.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises View comments LATEST STORIES That showing hiked his total time to 2:49.95, still 31.91 seconds behind the leader but enough to get him a spot in the top 70 among 108 competitors.Marcel Hirscher of Austria claimed the gold medal after topping the field with a total time of 2:18.04.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHenrik Kristoffersen of Norway made a huge run in Run 2 to take home the silver with his 2:19.31, while Alexis Pinturault of France settled for bronze with his time of 2:19.35.Miller will compete in the men’s slalom event on Thursday. UE should have a ‘win now’ mentality, says Adorador Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PHlast_img read more

Instagram update changes the way profiles look in a big way See

first_img Instagrams New Update That Sparked Outrage Was Just A Test Close Instagram is working on many features and changes that are going to change a lot of things for its users and influencers. While the news of Instagram hiding like counts on the platform has brought mixed feelings, it’s not the only big change that is going to embrace the social media app. If you haven’t updated your Instagram app, a new version has arrived with a few changes that you might or might not like.Instagram for Android received a new update and with it came a major redesign. The change is mainly for the profile page of Instagram accounts, where things have been shuffled a bit. Users are familiar with the years-long design where the profile photo appears on the top left with the user’s name and bio beneath. The counter for Posts, Followers, Following alongside “Edit Profile” option is alongside the profile photo.The profile design has been unchanged for a long time, making it quite familiar and easy to use. But Instagram decided to bring a new change to the way profiles look and users might need some time to adjust to it. Instagram new update changes profilesIBTimes India/Sami KhanThe new design for Instagram profiles now show the handle right on top and the name user has chosen to be displayed just below it in larger font size. This way, the name of the account holder is highlighted. The account bio, if the user has added, appears below the name in a smaller font, followed by the number of followers and the accounts that the user follows. The number of Posts is no longer shown on the profile.The profile photo appears on the top right corner, just below the settings menu and story archives. There’s a bigger Edit Profile button, which also separates the profile information from the content posted on the account. Users’ Stories will appear below the edit button followed by photos and videos users have posted on the account.Check out the difference below: Instagram new update changes profilesIBTimes India/Sami KhanInstagram is clearly putting the focus on the content here and the information, which would otherwise miss the visitor’s attention. The change is as big as the upcoming features like new Stories camera UI with Create Mode, Shopping from Creators option, Donation Stickers and hiding the precious likes, which is the bread and butter for a lot of influencers out there.Hiding the likes on photos doesn’t take away much from genuine influencers as they can still share statistics about the post’s reach. This will help businesses connect with the right influencers.center_img IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:02/1:10Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:08?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …last_img read more

Pakistan to release Indian pilot in afternoon

first_imgIndian people hold placards and photographs of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, as they celebrate the announcement of his soon release, in Amritsar on 28 February 2019. Photo: AFPPakistan was set to free a captured Indian pilot Friday in a “peace gesture” aimed at lowering temperatures with its nuclear arch-rival, after rare aerial raids ignited fears of a dangerous conflict in South Asia.Wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who has become the face of the crisis between Islamabad and New Delhi, will be handed back to Indian officials at the Wagah border crossing on Friday afternoon, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.In New Delhi the announcement of his release was seen as a diplomatic victory, with Indian leaders welcoming the pilot’s return but announcing they would remain on “heightened” military alert, showing little sign of de-escalating the rivalry.Abhinandan was shot down over Kashmir on Wednesday, after a dogfight in the skies over the disputed Himalayan region which sent tensions between India and Pakistan to their highest levels in years and alarmed world powers, who issued calls for restraint.”As the prime minister has said, as a peace gesture and to de-escalate matters, the Indian pilot will be released. So today, this afternoon, he will be released at Wagah,” Qureshi told a joint session of parliament Friday.A diplomatic source told AFP the handover was expected between 3:00-4:00pm Pakistani time (1000-1100 GMT).The Wagah crossing gate is famed for hosting an elaborate daily ceremony by Indian and Pakistani soldiers at sundown. Thousands of people had already gathered on the Indian side early Friday to welcome the pilot home, an AFP journalist said.The pilot’s parents travelled to Amritsar, near Wagah, via Delhi late last night and were applauded by all the passengers on the plane they travelled on, TV footage showed.Media on the Pakistani side were being stopped by authorities around 1.5 kilometres (a mile) from the border.The surging tensions had prompted Pakistan to close down its airspace, disrupting major routes between Europe and South Asia and grounding thousands of travellers worldwide.On Friday morning the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced a decision would be taken on re-opening airspace “shortly”. Earlier it had said flights would remain grounded until at least 1.00pm Friday local time (0800 GMT).#WelcomeBackAbhiPakistani students hold placards with the image of Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force pilot captured by Pakistan authorities in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on 27 February and shout anti-India slogans during a protest in Lahore on 28 February 2019. Photo: AFPThe latest confrontation between the neighbours, who have fought three wars since independence in 1947, erupted after a suicide bombing in Indian-held Kashmir killed 40 Indian troops on February 14, with the attack claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group.Twelve days later Indian warplanes launched a strike inside undisputed Pakistani territory, claiming to have hit a militant camp.It was the first such aerial raid since their last war in 1971 — before either country had nuclear weapons.An infuriated Islamabad denied casualties or damage, but a day later launched its own incursion across the Line of Control, the de facto Kashmir border.That sparked the dogfight that ended in both countries claiming they had shot down each other’s warplanes, and Abhinandan’s capture.Residents on either side of the LoC also reported heavy shelling, which continued into the early hours Friday.Analysts said the pilot could prove to be Islamabad’s trump card, but prime minister Imran Khan unexpectedly announced Thursday that he would be released a day later in the first sign of a potential thaw.Khan alluded to the catastrophic consequences of nuclear war and called for talks, even as he warned India should not take the announcement as a sign of weakness.With the pilot attaining hero status and the hashtag #WelcomeBackAbhi swiftly trending on social media, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi called on his citizens to “stand as a wall” in the face of an enemy that “seeks to destabilise India”.The last time an Indian pilot was captured by Pakistan, in 1999, the handover was facilitated by the Red Cross (ICRC), who met flight lieutenant K Nachiketa at the Pakistani foreign office in Islamabad before escorting him to the Indian high commission overnight.He left for India that same day.On Friday a Red Cross spokesman told AFP the aid organisation is “ready to provide any assistance necessary”, but so far “is not involved” in Abhinandan’s return.Kashmir is ruled in part but claimed in full by both India and Pakistan. Two of their three wars have been fought over the territory.last_img read more

Waterfront Partnerships First Annual Field Day

first_imgThe Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore is hosting the first Annual Field Day at Rash Field, 201 Key Highway, Baltimore on July 30 from noon to 6 p.m. Attendees will enjoy an afternoon filled with local food vendors, adult beverages and outdoor games and activities. The event is free. Visit waterfrontpartnership.org for more details.last_img