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7 Links: My Starry-Eyed Travels so far

By on Jul 23, 2011 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

It’s taken me a while to get round to writing my own 7 Links list, but after being nominated by MalloryOnTravel and stirred into action by the fabulous lists appearing on travel blogs everywhere, here it is. It’s a great idea dreamed up by Tripbase, one which has allowed me the great luxury of meandering through my archives, stopping nostalgically here and there and reflecting on my still young but evolving blog. I have nominated 5 further bloggers who I hope will enjoy writing their lists as much as I did! So without further ado, here are my 7 Links. Most beautiful post La Vie Douce in the Dordogne All the posts I’ve done about France fit into the ‘beautiful’ category, with all the breathtaking landscapes, incredible cuisine and historical gorgeousness that I’ve discovered there. However, it was the Dordogne Valley above all places that truly...

Starry-Eyed Africa Roundup

By on Apr 25, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So, the two-week Africa theme is over, and what a fabulous two weeks it has been. It sounds stupid, but even though part of the point of it was to show that this amazing and complex continent cannot be defined or described in simple terms, I thought that I might be able to show a lot more of it in two weeks. At the start, a fortnight felt like a luxurious amount of time, but before long, the days were slipping away at an alarming rate and I only managed a few feature pieces, which in no way adequately portray all that is Africa. I hope that you can accept these weaknesses and that what is here has in some way opened your eyes and has left you wanting to discover more. I am very lucky to have had a whole range of expert guest bloggers and contributors, who all approached the idea of ‘Starry-Eyed Africa‘ from a different point of view, but who provided an incredible series of...

Starry-eyed in Africa

By on Apr 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

The final guest post of the Africa fortnight comes from Joanne Haws of Classic Retreats. Prepare to become starry-eyed… The phone rings… slightly disorientated, you lean over and reach for the receiver. ‘Hello?’  - “Good morning this is your 5:30am wake up call.” A jolt of excitement and a rush of energy pulses through your body as you throw yourself out of bed! It is dark, slightly cold as you leave the warmth and luxury of your chalet. Making your way to the communal area there is a smell of fresh earth and sounds of crickets and morning birds.You are handed a much needed strong coffee by a warm friendly smiling face, far too awake for this time of the morning. Your ranger wonders over with a smirk on his face, realising in an instant that this is your first time safari experience, he confidently knows he is about to take you on an exceptional life changing...

News: A Small Act

By on Apr 20, 2011 in Films | 3 comments

Creating lasting change in Africa One small act can change the world. I can hear the rumbling of cynicism already, but allow me to explain. On the 15th April 2011, the film A Small Act by Jennifer Arnold was released in the UK and I went along to see it. What unfolded was the remarkable story of Chris Mburu, who began life in poverty in a Kenyan village and became a Human Rights lawyer working for the United Nations. He tracked down the Swedish schoolteacher who had sponsored him through secondary school, a lady who never knew what had become of that little bit of money she donated  each month. He also founded his own sponsorship programme in her name: the Hilde Back Education Fund. With a small budget and limited resources, the foundation managed to support 10 children per year to attend secondary school. The story would be incredible enough, but the documentary was so successful and...

A Journey beneath an African Sun

By on Apr 18, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Today’s guest blogger Jo Woods reflects on her first-hand experiences of Mozambique and her own Starry-Eyed Moment in Africa. I remember it was a melodic racket which first woke me: the squawk of the chicken that had slept among us, the slowing chug-chug of the train, the women on board all scrabbling at once, throwing themselves at the window ledge so as not to miss the best of the days produce. Cabbages, carrots, beans, tomatoes, bananas and onions were all flung wildly into the carriage; children on the ground were yelling to sell their wares, little ones at play, everyone chat-chatting. As I sat aboard a rickety train (somewhere between Cuamba and Nampula in Northern Mozambique) heading towards the kind people of Malawi, the African sun rose stridently and decisively. While one window was bombarded by the colour of the crowded market place, the other displayed quite a...

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