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So much to love about our country!
Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00

Why we love South Africa!


There are so many reasons to feel good about South Africa!

We are truly lucky to be able to live is such a special place.

Here is a list, in no particular order, of the reasons why South Africans (and visitors) love South Africa:

1. Sunshine! And a lot of it…you don’t find blue skies like this in Europe, or Canada, or New Zealand (okay, maybe in Oz – we’ll allow that…) The climate is rated as one of the best in the world. Even winter has sunshine!

2. Bushveld – big 5 country, a vast expanse of acacia trees, dry sand, the occasional water hole, the sighting of elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, lion…Three of the five fastest land animals live in South Africa - the cheetah (63 miles per hour), the wildebeest and the lion. The wildlife - Unrivalled. Kruger National Park supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent.

3. Highveld thunderstorms – nothing like that rolling, slate-grey approach, and the smell of the earth after rain

4. Bunny chows – Durban‘s famous hollowed out half loaves stuffed with curry is half the reason people return home

5. We don’t have a nuclear weapons program – we might have a nuclear power station or two, but we’re the only nation to voluntarily dismantle our nuclear weapons

6. Table Mountain – one of the most recognisable icons, and one of the oldest mountains in the world. Table Mountain in Cape Town is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Table Mountain alone has over 1,500 species of plants, more than the entire United Kingdom.

7. Incredible landscapes – the Drakensberg, the Tsitsikamma, the Karoo, the Panorama Route, and innumerable mountain passes

8. Shosholoza – the one song we all love to get wrong

9. Our inventions - The Kreepy Krauly, CT/CAT Scan, first Heart Transplant, APS Therapy, Smartlock Safety syringe, Pratley’s Putty, Thin Solar Cells making solar panels cheaper, Cybertracker Retinal Cryoprobe, Speed Gun for cricket, Q20, Hippo Water Roller, Tellurometer, Computerised Ticketing ie Computicket, Cats-eyes and Dolosse blocks – we invented them all

10. Open roads and free parking (most of the time)

11. Outdoorsy - In sunny South Africa, our great weather invites you to enjoy the outdoors, play golf year-round, cycle, run, diving, swimming, take advantage of the nearly 3000km coastline.

Why family meals are so important
Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

The importance of family  meals

Why Family Meals Are So Important

"What did you do in school today?" "Who did you play with at recess?" "Did you see that article in the newspaper?" Eating together as a family is one of those things that doesn't seem like such a big deal. But it can make a big difference for your kids in terms of self-image, sense of security, self-esteem and overall sense of happiness. "Regular family meals are probably the best psychological 'daily vitamin' parents can give their children," says Carleton Kendrick, a family therapist in Millis, Mass., and author of "Take Out Your Nose Ring, Honey, We're Going to Grandma's." "They're far more powerful in the long and short term than you might think they are."

That's because family meals make kids feel good, especially when you focus on keeping the conversation positive. "Dinner can be a wonderful time to hear about everyone's day or anything else your kids want to talk about that you don't usually take the time to discuss," says Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D., founder of the Better Parenting Institute in Melbourne, Fla. It also gives kids the chance to be themselves and share their opinions within the safe confines of home, without risking the rejection of their peers. And even toddlers can begin to feel like a valued contributing member of their family when they scoot their chair up to the dinner table and start to chime in. While the peas are being passed, the open forum gives your kids the opportunity to learn about your family's history and your past.

It's no wonder that family meals are associated with lower teenage pregnancy rates, higher grade point averages, fewer eating disorders in teens and lower risk of depression. Moreover, the psychological benefits go both ways. A recent telephone survey of 2,008 Americans sponsored by Barilla found that adults who eat with their kids regularly with few distractions (no TV or phone) report higher overall life satisfaction. "Family meals pay off for adults and children," says William J. Doherty, Ph.D., professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, who helped Barilla analyze the survey results. It's a ritual none of us really ever outgrow. The key is to start the meal tradition when your kids are young, then keep it up. "When you get your kids into the habit of family dinners, they'll keep doing it when they get older and become more independent," Doherty says. In other words, when they morph into eye-rolling teenagers.

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