Of A Blog Being A Community

My name is Beaton but you call me B. I am a digital storyteller, which basically means that I use the medium of the internet to immortalize myself the only way I know how by WRITING.

When I am not writing I am builder of blogging communities running an online platform that serves to bring together and network bloggers from all over Africa, where the world meets Africa as we like to call it.

where the world meets Africa

The Blogging Culture: A Website means community

A website means community

I am blogger although technically when no one is around, I call myself a writer with a blog. But what is a blog anyway?

what is a blog?

To answer this I will have to delve into a brief history of blogging and WordPress

Blog comes the word WebLog which means literally a log of the web

Blogging started in the developed countries, around the mid to late 90s, when it was mostly online diaries……  By early 2000s blogging had become, A THING a movement even a full time business for some, not just endorsing products and affiliate marketing but marketing and selling their own skills services and crafts as diverse niches of blogs mushroomed.

It no longer was about just personal diaries, but lifestyle, fashion, health fitness, travel, tourism, parenting; the list is endless there’s a type of blogger for everything somewhere on the internet; even those who blog about blogging.

Here’s a fun fact……Did you know WordPress was built and evolved from a blogging platform called B2/CafeLog which had gained quite a huge community count up until the programmer created of the platform vanished leaving a sizeable community who no longer had developer support.

An innovative user of this platform worried about this development came up with the idea to create anew platform integrating the “cool stuff” from there and adding more features and May 2003 WordPress was born

15 years later here we are:

32% of the internet powered by wordpress

What does this mean?
There’s a huge community of bloggers and its growing and so too has the definition of what blogging is; blogging has no longer has a clear cut simple definition, it means different things to different people.

The official definition of blogging goes something like this:

a website whose posts listed chronologically from most recent to oldest updated regularly usually by one author


I can attempt to summarily define it as:
The online updating of content onto a digital platform

Something as simple as posting a status onto your Instagram, sharing a note on your Facebook, tweeting a tweet or even a video on YouTube or updating the content on your website; blogging is a little like running a magazine.

Blogging has transcended simply being just something you do on the internet; its more than just a marketing tool too; its also a political tool, an awareness campaign raiser, a society watchdog and even custodian of culture. A blog is like a key that opens doors to worlds one can only dream and tap into the community of people beyond the person simply on the end of the screen

I call my blog a gentleman because opens doors for me

A website is more than a conversation; a website is a community and for community to flourish we need each other..

Redwoods trees grow to dizzying heights reaching for the sky and last for thousands of years yet they have very shallow roots

How Do They Do This

The secret to their strength is that their roots … intertwine with other redwoods to create an underground network of powerful connections.

I have kept my personal blog for about five years now and my reach stats look  like this


I did a little research via my peers in the blogging community to see if anyone had any ideas why the blogging culture in the global south is so low  and the most common reasons were as follows:

The Cost of data is very prohibitive Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) released a report in October showing that on average 1GB of data costs 2.5% of the average monthly income; this translates to over two billion people living in a country where 1GB of mobile data is unaffordable… and bundled internet packages make the net be largely regarded as a just social media since all people do is mostly go onto social media

As for people not understanding the blogging culture, that’s part of why I am always encouraging and helping out fellow content creators and building blogging communities it seems like fun but a lot of work goes into having a website and when you put effort and get nothing back that why websites die……

How to support bloggers

  •  Number One Read our work
  • Subscribe, like, comment If you read and love something or find it useful say so
  • If a product is being sold or reviewed why not buy or recommend to a friend
  • Share links with your friends
  •  If you spot any errors hit the contact tab let us know
  • And Pay US ha!

Remember Archimedes’ famous quote; that give me a fulcrum, along enough lever and a place to stand on and I will change the world

 I say to you:

Give me a blog, an audience and an internet connection, and I will move the world.

~Beaton

Thank you!!

~B

PS And while I have you here, I am part of blogging community that picks a weekly blogger to crush on, I am this week’s Blog Crush but you dont have to take my word for how A Blog means community have a quick read at these posts:

Beaton 
Becoming The Muse

Makupsy – Dreadlocks Love Affair

Leo – Dreadlock Rasta!

Ubu – Of Possible Coffee Addiction

Hey Anci – Beaton -the man,the dreadlocked hallmark card and the myth

Life With Dimples – BlogIndabaWednesday ~ B

Tee Madzika – Wednesday share a creative 4

miss chiseche – wednesday creative crush

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Of Coffee On The Couch

If you were having coffee with me I would be pleased that you dropped by, have a sit go ahead put your feet up. I can offer you coffee, but it doesn’t have sugar apparently that’s how a real coffee drinker has theirs, no sugar no milk. I ran out of sugar and cant find it at the shops, besides who needs sugar when the pleasure of your company is sweet enough.

coffee

If you were having coffee with me I would ask something asked in group chat;

“After how many visits, to your house can a visitor sit back and put their feet up on your sofas?”

Never maybe? Well if you visit me, be comfy, drape yourself on the couch like you have a right to be there.

If you were having coffee with me I would inquire if you ever tried crocodile meat? If you haven’t what would do you think you have eaten other people would consider weird?

croc meat

Crocodile has become quite my regular dinner guest as the main course, of course. For some reason its super cheap where you can find it. I don’t know why its so cheap I remember the first time I tasted crocodile I was about 10 years old at a crocodile farm in Chiredzi; in the Lowveld region of Zimbabwe. I wouldn’t remember the prices but I am sure it was treated as a delicacy with a fancy name like the fisherman’s platter

crocodile meat

Well in this crazy economy its now the affordable option unless of course you fancy these chicken bones going round on social media

chicken bones

someone tell me this is a joke

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I was planning on travelling to go visit my mum; then I heard of a horrific accident involving two buses which resulted in the death of over 40 people and now I have a fear of travelling; sometimes we forget the little miracles that we take for granted, every time we safely reach where we are going.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you there’s also other things I wanted to say but the loss of so many lives, puts a dampener on things. Allow me to share this solidarity image:

Rusape bus disaster pass the flame on

pass the flame on

On that somber tip I will have to bid you good day, have a blessed week and remember live your life to fullest

~B

PS and yeah if this is you first time bumping into these pages of mine hey why not share a link to your site and I promise to get back to you and if you see any shared links do check them out

Africa connected

 

Of Coffee With Mental Poverty, Pettiness And Miracle Cures

If you were having coffee with me, I would be very happy that you are here to keep me company because the power utility company is carrying out critical maintenance works so there wont be electricity in most of the city for the next twelve hours, at least they warned us in advance even though I still could not manage to buy fuel for the generator but that’s a long queue of a story, anyway I am so glad you are here.

I hope you aren’t really expecting to have coffee because well there’s no electricity and also we just ran out of LP gas for the cooker and its become very hard to refill the gas canisters; like everything else you have to stand in a long winding queue, which you are not guaranteed wont run out before your turn or opt to buy from suppliers who charge at triple the price but then that just reduces the cost effectiveness of using a gas cooker and might as well as use an electric one because in comparison the electricity bill is less shocking….

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If you are having coffee with me I can only offer you lukewarm water but I can guarantee you its safe, I measured out the water purification tablets myself. I haven’t heard any news on the cholera outbreak that broke out over a month ago so I presume it’s now effectively contained but still that doesn’t mean one must slack on hygienic vigil have you washed your hands? Even if its to just drink water with me.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I have been thinking a lot on an unpopular opinion a journalist tweeted:

My first reaction was to find it insensitive and highly offensive given the challenges we constantly face in an economy that runs practically on fumes and speculation and a government that doesn’t quite seem to be in control yet tells us that the country is fine, that social media and fake news mongers are responsible for the shortages, resulting in people panic buying and the crippling inflation caused by unscrupulous business operators out to make a quick buck,……

I felt like what she was saying boils down to all the struggles I face are all in my mind, that I am poor because I think like a poor person and it did not help matters when she also made the following tweet about those who left the country to find economic asylum in foreign lands at the risk of being second class citizens…

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I looked up the phrase Poverty Mentality on the internet and it’s a term used by motivational coaches to describe the state of mind where one is focused on the things they lack, that no matter how hard they work, they will always lack and end up blaming the system for never giving them a break.

Zig Ziglar characterized poverty mentality as

  • Constant fixation on money or the lack of it
  • An anti rich people attitude
  • Fear-based decision making

The only way to break out of it is break out of it and really succeed you have to make a conscious choice to do so, be proactive, use what you have— believe in yourself, have a plan, and go get it.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that this great advice on entrepreneurship but you cant have a nation where everyone is forced to be one out of necessity or risk starving someone, what I think we need is an ecosystem where people can focus on what they are good at and love to do than just where is the money and what solution can I do to come up with it.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that in the world of hip hop; rapper 50cent and Ja Rule have a long standing feud thats old enough to vote (maybe its one of those manufactured publicity stunts to get hype going like most beefs usually are case in point I did not know Ja Rule was having a concert)

50cent posted on instagram that he bought 200 seats in the front so they can be empty

50Cent.png

50cent

photoshopped impression of what it would like

Well, I wanted to crown him as the King of Pettiness but I don’t want to seem like I am hating because I wish I could afford to be that rich but hey if I was Ja Rule I would be laughing all the way to the bank thats $3000 *sips lukewarm water*

Maybe we should be enterprising entrepreneurs like prophet Magaya who today who made an announcement that after a revelation from God  he has found a 100% organic and”scientifically proven” cure for HIV and AIDS the aguma plant and working with Indian pharmaceutical experts to form Aretha medical

magaya

Here’s to an awesome week

~B

Africa connected

PS yeah because if you randomly ended upon on this post please do say hello and lets connect; even drop a link to the post you think I should check out and if you see any interesting links in the comments do check them out cause we  roll with awesome company

PhotoCredit 50Cent 

 

 

Of Coffee With A Chance Of Networking

If you were having coffee with me, I would be very happy that you could make it back, (assuming you have been  here before that is). You know how you go to someone’s house and see the things being done that cannot make for things to be done and make you think “I am never coming back to your house again!!

I am doing things that need to be done! So you see I am very happy that you dropped by, put your feet up and have a coffee and if coffee is not your poison you could try the water, water would definitely be your poison with the cholera outbreak you cant trust the water in your tap and now it seems you cant even trust the bottled water sold in the shops or even the borehole in your backyard unless you have it tested.

zimbabwe bottled water bombshell

Where were we? Oh yes, I recommend a hot beverage since boiling the water definitely kills gems, so does alcohol, I might have whiskey somewhere…. Suddenly I am thinking Irish Coffee. Yes? No? Maybe sprinkle everything with holy water and I read that you ought to be careful of germs from those bowls with holy water where everyone dips hands before getting into church, do people still do that? I haven’t been to church in ages but I still pray……..

If you were having coffee with me I would say surviving in this country of mine is an extreme sport, it should actually be a skill added to a CV. Living here makes you jack of all trades, if any of my posts are a barometer my CV would read

  1. Political analyst
  2. Financial expert
  3. Legal Expert
  4. Gender Equality Champion
  5. Chef and Handyman
  6. Travel trip advisor
  7. Digital Media Expert
  8. Geography, History and African Legends custodian
  9. Childcare specialist
  10. Fitness Trainer

And dont take my word for it;  lets see, whats a CV without refs:

  • Ntomby moyo says I am fave tweeps  (tweeps=twitter + peeps)
  • The Britchy says I deserve an award

If you were having coffee with me I would tell that I still surprised people put so much faith in people’s CV when searching for potential employees my CV might as well read as Graduate from the school of imaginary technology with honours in creative manipulation of reality.

If a whole minister of health has shall we say “made up” qualifications on his CV who am I to not strive for excellence on mine, I mean as long as I can deliver right? The First Rule in the hustler’s diary is dont get caught, and also always have an explanation and an exit plan….

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that, our free falling economy is quite the crazy roller coaster; the runaway rate of the United States Dollar versus our surrogate bond currency hit a crazy peak during the week then come crushing back again and who knows how it will be tomorrow, *sips tea*

Zimbollar Rate

I did say I am a financial expert right? Well the rate started going up after the minister of finance and the Reserve bank governor implemented some harsh economic reforms  which the President says are necessary bumps along the road to rebuilding the nation.

Sometime during the week announcements were made that another “Facility” might be backed by the Afreximbank (same bank which backed our surrogate bond currency)

and who knows what other arrangements those guys made (speculator) considering a quick look on their website shows our reserve bank governor is a Class B Director of said bank (Investigative Researcher and verifier of facts)

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that we launched a weekend blog comment thread, where Africa can meet the world I should update my CV to read Digital Community Builder ^_^

Afrobloggers Comment thread

Africa connected

It looks like I just made my blog a network zone, so after your visit please do drop a link to a post on your blog in the comments you think people must check out and I will come round to visit and also if you spot any interesting posts in my comments do check them out and also give them my regards so they know where you found their blog from because I have friends with good taste ^_^

~B

PS……. Also I remove unwanted people from pictures (Adds Creative Graphic designer to CV)

 

 

Of Zimbabwe: Final Report

The European Union Election Observer Mission presented its final report on the Zimbabwe July 30th harmonised elections… and their verdict is although the elections were largely peaceful and markedly improved from previous electoral processes, they did not quite meet the standards…..

So what happens next:
In a post where I tried to explain what consists FREE, FAIR and CREDIBLE elections, I also included how people placed unrealistic expectations on election observer missions, what they mostly do is: Observe, Document and Offer recommendations, they do not have legislative authority to do anything else.

Priority Recommendations

  1. ZECs independence needs to be strengthened, free from governmental oversight in the approval of its regulations.
  2. ZEC must provide effective and timely information on all steps of the electoral preparations, making all information of public interest, including ZEC resolutions and verifiable polling station level results, immediately and easily accessible.
  3. Voter registration needs to be enhanced in “under registered” districts of the country to ensure universal and equal suffrage.
  4. Legal measures should be introduced to mitigate abuse of the advantage of incumbency and abuse of state resources
  5. State-owned media must abide by their legal obligation to be impartial and provide equitable treatment to all political parties and candidates.
  6. The results management process needs to be more coherent and fully explained to all stakeholders well in advance of the polls in order to enhance transparency, verifiability and integrity of the results process.
  7. The process of aligning the Electoral Act with the 2013 Constitution needs to be pursued and completed.
  8. Develop regulation of political party financing to promote accountability and transparency and as a key step towards creating a level playing field between political parties.
  9. Procedures for the security of the ballot from printing, deployment to polling stations and on Election Day should be reviewed and procedures clearly announced for future elections.
  10. Multi-Party Liaison Committees should be a regular feature of inter-party dialogue throughout the entire electoral cycle, to be an effective conflict resolution tool for political parties and to provide an effective forum for reporting on non-compliance with the Code

And how did the state controlled newspaper react?

EU Poll reads like MDC script

EU poll report reads like mdc script MDC being the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, which to date even after a Constitutional Court judgement on the elections still contests the results.
And besided who needs EU EOM opinion when the African Union Observer Mission to Zimbabwe issued a preliminary report which declared the elections largely a success although they cited a few “issues” and had recommendations they were also offering

Whats this all mean?
What do I know? I am like Jon Snow, I know nothing except that the democratic process in Africa has serious problems and these revolutionary governments need to stop supporting each other in bad politics and policy and patting themselves for doing things they as responsible governments should already be doing and they really need to pay more attention to their citizens, after all they are the ones who voted them into power if you will believe the polls….


“Aint nobody but ourselves that can free our minds”

~B

Of Coffee And Running On Empty

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you read today’s paper? I haven’t read it but I can guess what it says and its nothing good. I long decided that if the universe wants me to know something it will eventually get to me…..

headlines

So whats been happening in my neck of the woods?…. Lets see, our free falling economy is in a downward spiral which sounds like a fun ride at the amusement except this isn’t the amusement park and its not fun…

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the governor of the reserve bank and the new minister of finance released a couple of policy reforms which have started a fire they are busy trying to put out.

One of those being that banks should keep separate accounts for their clients one to reflect Foreign Currency balance and the other for our pseudo-currency, effectively making it “official” that the bond currency is no longer equal in value to the United States Dollar. Also this means that somewhere along the lines money’s value got eroded or stolen or something. For a catch-up on the bond currency you can read this post from last year here: OF BOND AGE

The other reform was to increase tax on all electronic transactions from 5 cents a transaction to 2 cents on every dollar transacted, which translates to a 2% tax (not including bank charges). Because of the cash crisis, Zimbabwe has become a cashless society not by choice but out of necessity and the government saw the volumes  of money transacted and decided to  expand its tax base, because its running on empty I presume. How do governments make money anyway?

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the prices of things are going up and basic goods disappearing from shops, even medication is going up while there seems to be a fuel crisis but of course the government blames Social Media for causing the panic buying that’s resulting in the shortages and that there’s no fuel crisis.

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Oh and a few days later they tried to “clarify’ the 2% tax, and include exemptions

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looks to me like they are just winging it but what do I know? All I see is prices are going up, goods are being limited in some shops, medication getting hard to find in pharmacies and some no longer accepting medical aid and the fuel queues I witnessed during the weekend show we are running on fumes but of course don’t panic, well that’s what the government is saying I don’t know when we really should panic or at least down right admit we are somewhere at the bottom tier of a meltdown….

Empty

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do927lwxsaaertg

do-pe4uxoaimjeq

Fuel Queue

Fuel Queue

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that people should start paying more attention to social media, it might have started as an online fad but it has become a powerful tool that can make or break a country, an economy or even a person. Its not just social media………

Jacaranda

dorvcljxoasbtuo

If you were having coffee with me  would tell you that its summer and the Jacaranda lined streets are ablaze in their purple glory, walking on a carpet of their purple mess beneath my feet and the purple canopy above my head its almost easy to forget all my problems. They remind me of a time way back when I was still in school that when you saw the Jacaranda trees blooming you would know that its exam season!!!!!! I always thought that Jacaranda trees were indigenous to us or rather its something I never thought about not until I read this post by Miss Chiseche.

The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you will never expect to sit your lifetime

jacaranda

~B

 

PhotoCredit: Jacaranda Bloom @LeeGraphyMedia

Bread rationing Wiliam du Plooy

 

 

Of A Website Being A Conversation

A website is a conversation

A Website is a conversation

Well if Code Is Poetry……Then A Website is A conversation.

I am a story-teller I come from a line of story-tellers  its in my blood we used to sit round a fire and tell stories and now, we gather round our devices in this digital age stories are immortalized on the pages of the internet, I start digital fires.

Screenshot (53)

A Website just like a good story, tells not just a story but it’s a conversation; it captures the mind, it engages your audience and they ask those four words every story-teller loves to here…. And Then what happened next.

So you have a website its perfect everything is on fleek. The design is flawless, the seo is optimized so is the device compatibility….

Screenshot (54)

And then what happens next? What comes after:

Screenshot (56).png

The internet is where websites go to die, buried in the digital grave of the information superhighway… Here is how you keep it alive:

  • Keep it up to date

Screenshot (57)

Have you ever visited a website only to find that content on it is all outdated?  Everything was uploaded and edited probably on the day the site went live and then never again. You scroll along, nothing new to see here, and they just lost a reader or client or potential stream of revenue.

  • Consistent content

Content is king

Schedule a content calendar, so you always know what and when you are posting.

Social media has changed the way websites are treated. Your site must be RELEVANT and  RESONATE with the audience and is also CURRENT.

relevant

*Cant find a word for current or up to date that begins with R

Whats worse than a site that is irrelevant and does not resonate with an audience …. Well I would have say one where you cant find the contact details. Maybe removed because they don’t want emails flooding inbox telling them how out of touch the site is…..

  • Contact Details

contact details

Contact details should be easy to find. If you include an email address, make sure it’s a working email address,  and please respond to your emails, you might want to even keep an eye on your spam folders too.

  • Interaction

Like I said a website is a conversation, and a conversation means you are not just talking to or talking at but you a talking with someone.

A website is a conversation

Make it easy to engage with you. Don’t add sign up procedures that require one to create an account and chant incantations on a full moon night, maybe howl a little, then verify they are human by making a small sacrifice……

A website is a conversation, engage with your audience if you get an email, reply, if you get a comment reply to it. You might want to have links to your social media visible on your website and likewise your social media pages points to your Website.

Interact

I visit a lot of websites, blogs mainly, the ones I keep going back to are the ones where I feel my presence is appreciated and will probably respond to the call to action from them, than have you ever read a post on a website and then left what you felt was a comment that needed a response and the site owners just ignored you… its like a blue tick message on Whatsapp.  And chances of me coming back or subscribing…. low

Here is protip for bloggers who want to build their readership, its ridiculously easy….When a fellow blogger reads and comments, go to their site and read and comment some of theirs. Read other blogs go out there and find them, read to see how other people write or interact with their audience, and read to find out how to not write, if you go to a website and find things about it that you don’t like then you learn to not do that on yours……..

  • Be classy

Make sure that your call to action is not over powering. You click on a website and the first thing that fills the screen is this:

Call to action

A large pop up window covering everything else, telling you to subscribe to the newsletter….. why should I subscribe when I don’t even know what you are about, I don’t want you in my emails I don’t know you like that, the conversation hasn’t even started……

I might probably close the page entirely without proceeding further, I really might and my chances of subscribing if I do proceed are slim…..On my tiny screen its easier to close the site entirely than to try and press the x to close the pop up window.

A Website is a conversation….. what does yours say?

~B

This was part of my presentation at the WordCamp Harare 2017 you can find my presentation slides here: A website is conversation 

Of Hurricanes And Avenging Spirits: The Origin

Where do hurricanes come from?

Have you ever noticed how all the hurricanes that devastate America start roughly in the same area on the North West Coast of Africa, and follow more or less the similar pathways across the Atlantic ocean……

Hurricane tracks

There’s a reason for that…..

Sometime early in the 16th century slavers came to the west coast of Africa beginning the dark time in Africa’s history of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Africans were enslaved and transported across the Atlantic ocean for the next 400+ years however slavery had been going on prior to this in small pockets across the continent but the Atlantic slavery was the largest in both volume and intensity.

slaves_ruvuma

The slavers worked with African rulers who were willing to trade guns and other “modern” goods for the lives of captured rival tribes and also those who had committed offences punishable by death; who ended up in plantations in the Americas which produced raw materials for European markets

1024px-triangular_trade

By Sémhur – a (very) simplified map from this map by François Nancy

slavetrade-58d199915f9b581d72a541c9

The slaves were treated as cargo and packed in appalling conditions for months on end with an estimated mortality of less than 13% a cumulative total in the millions died from illness, murder, starvation, drowning, suicide, rape and simply just losing the will to live.

PJ - MBJ  -3.gif

The Myth

Hurricanes are the avenging spirits of all those who died in transit, which is why their path follows the Atlantic Slave Trade Route…..

To be specific, some believe hurricanes are the spirits of the black women, who died during this forced migration; Herricane this is her rage.

ricane

The Anatomy Of A Hurricane

Hurricanes are basically violent storms generated by low pressure systems and driven by warm moist air; which is why they form over warm ocean waters near the equator.

Warm moist air rises causing low pressure in the area below, surrounding high pressure air moves to the low pressure area and it too warms up and rises; the rising air cools  and condenses into clouds as the cycle spins.

Related image

Storms that form north of the equator spin counterclockwise. Storms south of the equator spin clockwise. This difference is because of Earth’s rotation on its axis.

The Sahara desert is largely responsible for the formation of the African Easterly Jets; strong high altitudes winds blowing east a result of the differences between air from the hot, dry Sahara desert mixing with the cooler, wetter air from the south and surrounding the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa.

African Easterly Jet

The African Easterly Jet undulates causing waves of tropical disturbance which move westward off the West African Coast. Combined with warm ocean temperatures they gain moisture and lift, and cluster, resulting in a hurricane.

Ocean currents also affect the direction and intensity of the storms (warm currents cause stronger storms) Ocean currents follow a well-defined paths formed by the combined effect of Earth’s rotation, pressure gradient and wind speed.

gobal ocean currents

global conveyor belt

warmer ocean surface currents (in red) and colder bottom currents (in dark blue)

world-hurricane-map-legend

Every recorded hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon between 1850-2016

Shipping routes are also determined by the ocean currents. A ship passing through a current whose direction isn’t where the ship is headed, burns more fuel to provide the necessary thrust to counter the current; whilst riding a current’s momentum, consumes less fuel.

global shipping routes

Global shipping Routes

Image result for slave shipping routes

hurricane-map-firefox-logo

does the hurricane track map look somewhat like the Firefox logo?

Science says hurricanes aren’t as result of any avenging spirits but hey sometimes there are forces in the universe are beyond our understanding………

~B

Day 28 Africa stories home

Photo Credits:

Atlantic Hurricane Tracks: wikimedia By Nilfanion

The Triangular Trade Wikimedia

Her-ricane KushitePrince

Where Storms are born Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

global ocean currents Physical Geography

global shipping routes wikimedia B.S. Halpern (T. Hengl; D. Groll)

Map of hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons metrocosm.com Max Galka

Firefox and Track Map comparison @kimaidou @galka_max

 

Of Taking One’s Leave

large.jpg

saying goodbye

Why is it so hard to say goodbye? Separation anxiety is real, put effort in how you say goodbye……

You know how when the parent has to leave a child behind, they have to employ various tricks, cons, promises and sometimes downright threats.

Scenario 1 For the strong:

You ask someone to hold the baby. “Goodbye” you say firmly, as you walk away, not looking back not even once, you don’t turn around because you don’t want to see them breaking and because truth be told you really aren’t as strong as you are pretending to be.

little-girl-crying

Scenario 2a For the chicken:

You distract the child with a treat or toy and while they are playing you sneak out of the house and out of their lives (but not forever right?, only till you come back…)

toy

Scenario 2b For the chicken

You send the child to go play at the neighbour’s house and while they are away, you make your escape.

kids playing

Scenario 3 The Promise Breaker:

You tell the child “We are going together. We are leaving as soon as you finish bathing and put on some nice clothes” or “Go put on your shoes and we can go” And while the child is dressing you take your leave, child comes back and you are gone, and the water works fill the hole you left.

shoes

This scenario might be the reason kids grow up to have trust issues right there.

Scenario 4 The Bully

You tell the child you have to leave and they start crying you shout at them and tell them you will beat them, even threaten them with the branch of a peach tree as a whip, plus that you wont bring them back anything when you come back

Scary mom

Scenario five For the little grown up

You explain you that you must go but that you will be back and tell the child not to cry and they are grown up now you even entrust them with looking after the house and ask them what they want you to bring them back when you come back… when they tell you a pony, that’s when remember they aren’t quite the grown up you like to think of them as “ok sweetie ho about some chips instead

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Of course all these methods are put into use depending on the age and ability of the child to comprehend language but one thing is always common you bring back treats when you come back.

Once we had real drama with a nephew when the child over heard the mum telling me that she would bring me “something” as a bribe thank you for looking after the kids. The mum comes back gives the child Charhons chocolate coated biscuits which is quite a level up from the normal sweets and corn snacks

charhons

but the child threw a tantrum throwing away the biscuits demanding that they want “something” too. Their logic was that if they got biscuits and uncle (that’s me) got “something” then “something” was better, bigger testier and more expensive…. Go ahead good luck trying to explain what something is.

After a certain age though the child understands that the parent must go and that the parent will be back, they actually understand a whole lot more too; like when you explain you cant bring them treats when you come back because you don’t have any money to spare, basically you have no money at all because the economy is….well no need to cause unnecessary alarm and despondency…

mother-daughter-goodbye

Just when you think you have dodged the bullet they reply:

I know how I can help you make some extra money, if I pull out all my teeth and put them under my pillow, the tooth fairy will come and leave me lots of money and I will give it all to you

Bless their little hearts

mother-daughter-welcome-home

~B

PS Which methods have you employed or been used on you and any alternatives I might have missed

PPS when you start dropping them off at school or kindergarten or creche thats a whole new level up…..

Day 26 Africa stories from home

 

 

Of Coffee, Combis And Other Things

If you were having coffee with me, I would greet you by fist bumping you, it’s not a new secret greeting, its just that well, we have a nasty outbreak going on. Reminds me of what one conductor said that he just might get a wooden cooking stick to collect people’s fares with.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the president made his first State Of The Nation Address at the official opening of the 9th Parliament.

Sonazw

justices

League of extraordinary justices

I have always wondered though, when they do these things, what is the purpose of inspecting the guard of honour? What’s with the horses, ribbons, the medals and whats up with the swords and the robes?.

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Can the reason we have problems with democracy be that we are simply playing pretend at things we have no idea how to handle, simply doing what others did, no rhyme no reason no explanations?

If you were having coffee I would ask you if you had a look see at my last post about the public transport system of minivan taxis in Africa and the funny stories that happen there. This one time a fellow commuter said he did not have enough fare for the trip and the conductor said he could pay what he had but he would have to seat paKadoma and face the nation which is the space behind the driver and front seat passengers before the first row passengers (named after Kadoma a town halfway between Harare and Gweru)

pakadoma

When the gentleman was seated or rather perched by the spot, he proceed to buy a packet of Lays potato chips from a vendor. The conductor was not amused, saying if he could afford to buy nice snacks like that, he most certainly could afford to pay the full fare and demanded a full payment and of course that did not stop him from dipping his hands into the passenger’s packet of lays chips saying “who doesn’t want nice things

It might have been a hilarious episode but looks like commuters might need to start negotiating to travel with insufficient fare. Commuter omnibus operators are hiking the standard fare from 50cents to 75cents another indicator of the rising cost of living, or rather the failing economy, as the fuel queues start getting longer and basic foodstuffs slowly disappearing from the food shelves.

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If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you how the government used the cholera outbreak to remove the vendors who had practically invaded the city streets. As I was walking in the CBD I was actually surprised that city could be this neat, walking on the pavements without danger of accidentally stepping on or knocking over someone’s wares.

harare

However simply forcing vendors of the street is not the solution, as its like the government telling them to Just Die and its no surprise that we now have a situation where vendors are now in running battles with the riot police. Walking in the CBD is now rather unsettling you never know what will begin where, wear sensible shoes, the weather forecast is tear gas with chance of running.

That’s  been my week crazy right, whats going on in your neck of the woods?

Here’s to an awesome week

~B

Day 21 of my blog everyday challenge themed Africa: Stories From Home

Photocredit Guard of Honour @globaltimesnews

Opening SONA OpenParlyZw