Building brain connections between grandmothers and grandchildren

South Africa has an unusual challenge in our aging population. For a number of years, the HIV and AIDS pandemic left many small children without parents and in the care of their grandmothers. At a time when these Gogos’ as they are lovingly called should be enjoying rest and leisure time, they find themselves looking after another generation of children. The story has been told to me by the BrainBoosters facilitator, Anne Timms. “I have met the ladies through Bafana Dladla, at the time he was...

Life changes in an instant

As long as I live I will never forget these words. I was on holiday in the UK with my son and at around 8 pm my phone rang. It was my Thai son-in-law. He was crying and said these words “Mom please come". Bronwyn, my daughter had been in hospital for about a week struggling with severe joint pains, a rash and then a cough. She started coughing up blood and her team of doctors were waiting for blood test results from Bangkok to try and make a diagnosis. On the Wednesday she was moved from...

The story of the black mittens

On the 15th May I went past my Mom's home to give her the post I had just collected from the post office as well as to say good-bye as I was going down to Cape Town for a few days. We chatted for a few minutes next to my car and I asked my mom a favour. Last winter she had knitted me a pair of beige mittens that I found very useful early in the morning during our odd cold spells.Most of my wardrobe in winter is black, so I asked her to please knit me another pair in black for this year. The next...

What is LOVE?

It is amazing as we get close to 14 February how the marketing world hots up around this topic. Just like Christmas and other holidays, the marketers consume our minds and pockets about how important this time is. Daily I get Facebook reminders,emails, sms's all reminding me about what LOVE is???? I am not cynical or sad because I do not have a partner at this time. I am sad about what the consumer world is doing to us as humans. Love is one of the most important human elements of life and encom...

Me,Myself and I

Social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are moving from early adopter to main stream stage around the world. I am interested in your thinking around how you use social media? Is your facebook only for friends? Why do you use twitter? Do you use skype only for family? Have you tried blogging? Once you have thought about these questions I would like to know if you have thought of an integrated social media strategy for your life? Why would you avoid sharing information on facebo...

The story of life

I have stumbled across a great blog site called: In some ways I feel as if I know Charlena, even though we have never met. That is one of the great gifts of the Internet. Every now and then one stumbles across someone who seems to reflect your life, inspires one to go to the next level or just to sit back and learn from their story. Three years ago I took the brave step to live a more authentic life. I wanted to walk in my calling with God....

Happy Birthday Madiba- 67minutes- “46”-6-“64”

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. Nelson Mandela Today Nelson Mandela celebrates his 92nd birthday. It is also the first global day of donating 67 minutes of your time in honor of this great man. The “67″ represents the number of years he served the Nation of South Africa. This morning on the news I heard that the success of the Soccer World Cup is the gift he hoped for. South Africa showcased our c...

Gini coefficient

The Gini coeffecient is a complex calculation. In simple terms it is a measure of the difference between the rich and the poor within a country. The bigger the difference the worse the gap. Sadly this is a South African statistic that we should never be proud of. At the moment we hold the award of having the greatest difference of any nation in the world. Developing nations will always have this as a challenge. The rich have so much and the poor have so little. This past week I saw a few exam...

Your children are my children

There are about 30 000 schools in South Africa. Only about 6000 of these schools are working with any sense of excellence and giving the children an education that may prepare them for a 21st century world. Education is a basic human right and currently the state of our nation is a disgrace when we measure ourselves against this part of the agenda. We are all citizens of this nation. Daily we hear and read about this challenge. It seems hopeless and one may feel helpless. The easy route is to...

Waiting for Naomi

My daughter, Bronwyn is a missionary in Thailand. She and her Thai husband, Noiy run a YWAM ( Youth with a Mission) base in Ratchaburi. This is a medium size town about 90 minutes out of Bangkok. I arrived here a week ago to await the birth of their second child. Daniel, their first born is 17 months old. It is so tough to have your grandchildren on another continent and not get special time with them on a regular basis. I know that many South African grandparents face this same hea...