Saturday, March 25, 2017


I came across this video earlier this year. It’s just over 11 minutes long. I found it hard to watch in the light of the current drought conditions in Kenya.  

Check out the beautiful imagery. I am fascinated by how composed and graceful these women look under these circumstances. The portraits of the Maasai women by Marc Haers are fantastic. I especially like the group portraits (at 7:23 and 7:37 min.). These people have been working so hard to stave off drought.  

"Let’s think about the small things and the small places that you cannot reach, but can affect you. That are seriously affected by climate change." 

Benson Leyian
Jusdiggit Project Coordinator

Project by: Justdiggit

Interviews by: 
Safi Graauw

Cinematography by:  Marc Haers

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

World Water Day

I feel privileged not to have experienced water rationing in my life. Today is World Water Day; a call to be more water-savvy and a reminder as well that not all are so lucky. It's hard to grasp that there are those for whom every drop counts as they struggle to get their daily needs met. 

This year's theme is wastewater; something I try to keep to a minimum by using just as much water as needed. My biggest water-saving practice is capturing gray water when doing laundry. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Smog of the Sea

Applied foot moisturizer for dry skin on sole. Massaged some hand cream into palm. Realized dryness on lips. Applied lip balm. 

Done in reverse order, there would be some lip balm residue on my hand and foot which would be way better than having some sole softener on my lips. Well, no cracked lips in a while -- guaranteed. 

Having some minuscule amount of foot balm on my lips is not a big deal. What bothers me though that these skin care products come in single-use plastic containers. 

The Smog of the Sea is a documentary about plastic pollution. Click on the title below to watch the film. Available to stream for a limited time only. 

Writer/Editor/Director: Ian Cheney
Cinematography by: Ian Cheney & Jack Jhonson
Duration: 30 min.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Cat's Dream

The slippers came by mail neatly stuffed in an oversize envelope. Velvety soft to the touch and adored with pom-poms, they were designed for maximum comfort. I call them A cat’s dream.

I had a cat encounter of the first kind on the street last week. There was this gray, ball-like creature sunbathing on the concrete ledge of a fence looking at me as I approached. 

After capturing my full and undivided attention, the next trick the cat did was to dance around my leg. Then it paused to look up at me. A second later I'd find myself stroking it, at which point I realized that I am not a cat person. “I am not a cat person,” I told the cat. It ignored me. It then promptly repeated the experiment by performing its eel-like moves again and posed -- as if for a camera. “Wow. What a show. I must be special,” I thought as I left.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

It’s just a bit late for new year resolutions so I simply made a short list as a reminder with no time frame attached.

Be humble.

Do no harm.

Keep safe.

Practice water saving measures throughout the year.

Practice mindfulness.

Learn a language that no one speaks. Note: Great. And who am I going to practice it with?

Keep learning.

Value the most what you learn from by making mistakes.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gold Is Not My Color

Festive earrings made of craft wire. The design comes from an old book. Following the step-by-step instructions was the easy part. It was hard enough on my wrist to make the coils, but the real challenge was to make them look identical. I ended up making a few extra pieces to match. None are identical, just close enough. In most cases, it’s the same with our ears; they can be slightly different in size and shape. Earrings are to emphasize symmetry and they can be more fun to make than wear. I can see lots of plier marks on the coils.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sisal Bag

It happened in the middle of the summer on a weekday in the early morning hours. I can’t recall what I was wearing that day except for the sisal bag and the straw hat. The hat was new. The bag was slightly used -- a lucky find from a nearby thrift store.

I was alone taking a stroll downtown at a popular holiday destination. In my bag were a water bottle, a shopping list and small amount of change. As I walked, I heard footsteps behind me and slowed down to let the person pass. It seemed that he could never catch up with me as he also slowed his pace.

When he finally passed me, he took a sharp turn and grabbed my bag by the straps. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I just acted on instinct. Since sisal doesn’t slip easily, I also could get a good grip on the straps. We now were face-to-face pulling the bag full-force.

He was steady on his legs but slow as if hesitating over his next move. I felt his strength gradually increase as he tried to overpower me. It made me realize that I was no match to him. My bag was still in one piece; with all the opposing forces exerted on it, the sisal wouldn’t break. At that point, I thought I should let him have it.

There was a construction site nearby and the workers heard the commotion. They couldn’t have seen what was going on and they decided to find it out. As they got closer, the man eased his pull and let go of the bag. Then he took a few steps to walk away as if nothing happened. Just around that time, the guys from the construction site reached the scene. Once they made sure that no one was harmed, they headed back to work. The experience left me shaken and in disbelief. I was too upset to say anything.

Due to the pulling contest, the slots through which the straps were attached to the bag seemed to be a bit wider now. Other than that, there was no visible damage on the sisal.