Archive for the ‘GUEST BLOGGERS #GB’ Category
Not completely the food blog but here you go:
What an amazing experience! I got the privilege of experiencing the MTN 19th SAMA through work. We were one of the brands contributing to the famous GOODIE BAG and this year it was valued at a whopping R18Â 000. Our contribution was the Monster DNA headphones which retails for R2499, along with the headphones we also gave a Vida E coffee voucher and a t-shirt.
The hard work and no sleep were totally made up by the phenomenal time we had. I met so many different artists, actors and performers. Most of them are so humble and a lot of them are actually such divas and ironically all the âdivasâ were guys.
We had long hours of manning our stand and then rushing back to our hotel room to get done for the evening awards and after parties. Hanging with the rich and famous is a totally different world and also a really humbling experience.
Friday morning when we got to Sun City it was the tough job of setting up our pop up shop and unpacking all the boxes of headphones.
We also had this amazing MONSTER CELEBRITY wall, where selected artists/performers/bands/actors/presenters had to sign a headset which will then be auctioned off and the proceeds will be donated to a charity.
The Friday evening was the industry awards, which wasnât as glamorous as the Main awards on the Saturday evening but still a very well organised and fun evening. The performances was amazing and the sound live was great as well.
The Saturday night live performance was awesome but boring at the same time. They performances were âdifferentââŚ I mean they collaborated 2 totally different artists which was a good idea and lots of funâŚ for me atleast it was. For example Bobby Van Jaarsveld performed with Oskido ft Candy Remake. 2 artists from totally different backgrounds performed together which was brilliant â in my opinion.
A friend came to chat to me this morning about his upcoming wedding. He starting off by saying how nervous he is and he’s not sure he’s doing the right thing. I know him pretty well, and this seemed totally out of character. So his next words were “imagine how entertaining the wedding would be for me if I did really feel that way.” He also said it feels like he “should” be feeling nervous and yet he’s not at all. And this led me down a path of realising some things about life and marriages.
Thinking about the old school traditional Indian way of life, the marriage was arranged, you got married, and that was your life, “stuck” with that person until death. There was no option for divorce. Even when the marriages were not arranged, the mindset of both parties was that of being married forever. However, this didn’t prohibit adultery either or guarantee happiness. So there ended up being the couples that lived together happily ever after, making it work… and the couples who were not happy, but stuck it out and resorted to external options to find happiness.
These days however, divorce is a very easily accessible option. The divorce rate throughout the world has escalated exponentially over the last decade. It seems to be human nature to go a bit overboard with things. We suddenly have an escape route. Things get tough and we run for the exit. This is not to say that all people who have used divorce took it as the easy way out. There are definitely many people who try hard to work through their issues and come to a common ground and still find they are not happy in it. They have exhausted all their options and put 10000000% effort into making it work and then get divorced after trying absolutely everything. I do feel though, that all that effort made within a marriage can be minimized if this is addressed prior to marriage. Ultimately though, all issues with anyone can be resolved not by trying to change the other person, but by looking at oneâs own behaviour.
The Law School held an International Party over the weekend where the LL.M.s got the opportunity to showcase their country. South Africa was grouped with Uganda, Kenya and Zambia. We decided that we would make pap and chakalakaâŚ everyone really enjoyed. Itwas great to speak to other people about CT, although most of the students were really only interested in the food.
The Africans also showed off our talents by singing Nkosi Sikeleli Africa. I shouldnât say âourâ talents because I canât sing to save my life. But that did not stop me from singing at the top of my voice. I am pretty sure I sounded terrible, but I was filled with such pride that I really didnât care how I sounded.
In having to keep up with social networks, one often finds oneself completely stumped as to what to post! The last thing we want is to be “that friend” that keeps posting about what they are eating (usually accompanied by a picture)… every day. And yes, I have felt the need to share a snap of my oh so very delicious salmon roses – - but I feel that that is art. Your pumpkin fritters, however, may not be that artistic or really be showing off your culinary expertise.
I waffle (excuse the pun) – the point of it all really is that we are a generation that has the following tagline “I am famous online” – that’s it. Our lives are consumed by the online-ness of it all Â - to the point that I even felt the need to blog! GASP!
And yes, it will be shared to the copious other social networking sites to which I subscribe (as a result of accepting every single invitation to join a new platform). What do you think it is? Is it the competition to see who can have the most friends, followers, who is tagged in the most pics and at the most places, how many “cool” pages you like… or are we just so obsessed with stalking? lol … I can view you without you knowing? Honestly, I miss the old-fashioned letter writing and landline days. I miss being curled up against the wall hugging the phone to my ear like a lifeline as I flirted with my high school crush or spent hours talking to my friend (who I had just spent the entire day with). Birthdays!! You never left the phone – every Tom, Dick and Harry and Aunty Thelma called to wish you. Â Now we read “hbd’s” on Facebook.
Am I complaining? Gee – who knows. I am sure that I tweeted about this very thing a while back.
Nay-sayers will always be around. There will always be those who criticize and try to discourage us. Should we listen to them? Perhaps. Should we consider what they have to say? Sometimes. Should we allow them to discourage us? NO WAYS!
I read a great quote the other day: âIf you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, go with others.â Itâs important to surround ourselves with people that will support us in our goals. Getting help and support from others who share similar views and goals, will only benefit us. But the nay-sayers will always be lurking around. For whatever reason, some people are just generally negative and they put negative vibes on other people. So they will always be there, but we canât allow their negativity to completely discourage us.
I struggle with critique at times. It takes me a minute to put it out of my mind and not dwell on it. I have been told that I am naĂŻve to think that I can change a whole Cityâs perspective. That I canât make people be more ambitious. Obviously I donât think that I can do convince everyone to think bigger, Iâm not some type a god (it would be awesome if I was though). But does that mean that I shouldnât try? OF COURSE NOT. I would have truly failed in life if I allowed some foolish person to persuade me to give up.
Even though we shouldnât allow criticism to bring us down, we shouldnât dismiss all of it either. Some criticism has value and can be used to your benefit. We should really be thinking whether the negative words have any substance to it, or is it just used to hurt? I also try to think where the person is coming from: is this someone who really just wants to crit, for the sake of it; or is it someone who actually has my interests at heart. If it has some substance, you can then decide whether the critique is valid and if you should perhaps change something.
Dwelling on it does not help. Itâs difficult at times to merely dismiss the critique. Itâs important however that we do not allow it to sidetrack us. It should NEVER cause you to give up on something or stop something that you truly believe in and are working hard at. Â If you have a clear goal and objective in mind, Nay-sayers should never let you give up on that. Period.
Life would have been great if we didnât have negative people in it that donât want us to succeed, but the fools are here to stay, lol. Itâs what we do with what they tell us thatâs more important. Never let them get you down.
Believe, think and dream BIG
AlvinoÂ van Schalkwyk
I think that the swiftly approaching birthday always brings a blast of introspection. You look back on the year that seems to have flashed by in a blur of Mondays, work, debit orders, opting for quiet nights in as opposed to painting the town red, holiday plans that never materialised, promises that you’ll take up a hobby and start something new.
On top of that, you suddenly receive the proverbial slap across your face as you now realise that you didn’t actually do anything for yourself this year. You never kept any of the promises you made to yourself. Now you are about to be a year older, and embarrassingly not a year wiser.
I am reminded of my teen self where I started counting down to my special day 3 months before the time. Excitement was an understatement to describe how I felt about being a year older.
My adult self, however, can no longer relate to 16 year old me whose only responsibility was getting to school on time and washing the dishes after supper. Lucky me.
Instead, I have come to dread birthdays in a way because they serve as a reminder of the big important decisions I have to make. Is now the right time to buy a new car? Should I buy a house or rent a flat? What about marriage and starting a family? The thought alone is usually coupled with a state of internal panic that can only be likened to Tazmanian Devil on Prozac. Yes, these are necessary choices to make but is it wrong that I prefer the comfort (ignorant bliss) of not having to make them?
Adult things aside… what about me? Am I happy? Is this where I am meant to be? Do I like myself? And these are particularly difficult questions to answer because I feel that we put ourselves on hold while we apparently live our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I am not holed up at home having a relationship with a good book and copious amounts of tea or preferably wine (although those moments are lovely). But I am also not taking advantage of the precious opportunity to say that today I did something new, different, totally “out of character” or incredibly exceptional.
I think we allow ourselves to get so caught up in what we have to do that we forget to do what we want to do or at least make excuses as to why it is just “not the right time”. How ridiculous, actually. We should not in fact seek comfort in the promise of tomorrow for it is not guaranteed. We know this!
Now that I am almost a year older (shudder, gasp) I believe that I owe it to myself to ensure that a year from now I can have that blast of introspection and not be intimidated by it. Instead, I will be content in the fact that I lived a fulfilling year – just for me.
@laurendanielz / laurendanielz.wordpress.com
I love being given a topic and told to write something about it. You see, I love writing, always have and my gift for making people understand what Iâm saying by writing in a conversational manner was discovered in primary school when I was given this same instruction and no boundaries. The teacher didnât smaak for us that day and just said pick a topic and write an essay.
The other kids were annoyed, confused and not very impressed with the woman, but like Mandela, all I saw was freedom. The freedom to write whatever I was feeling and I jumped at the opportunity. I was a lonely child ok.
My essay on a day at the beach was read by the principal to the entire school at the next assembly and thatâs where it all started. I realised I was really good at something. We all need that you know. The affirmation, the recognition, the knowing that you are special somehow. It builds character and if you donât believe me think back to your childhood and think of that boy or girl who was good at something nobody else could do properly. The Black belt the genius, the ballerina, that kid who always got the lead in school plays, the overachievers basically. They always had an air about them, a sense of knowing they were special and they just kept excelling throughout life.
Iâm turning 30 this year and its not a fun prospect. I still feel 25 and I really liked being 25 and quite frankly I think I still look 25 even if most donât agree with me, but Iâm not 25 anymore. In fact Iâm leaving my 20âs in a few months and the idea of being an adult is finally hitting home. I was depressed for a bit until I looked back on my almost 30 years and realised how fortunate a life Iâve had so far, how blessed I am, and how we need to appreciate the good, learn from the bad and never look back. The past is behind us for a reason, so donât dwell, donât hate and donât regret. Everything happens for a reason and its up to me and you to try and learn from whatever happens to us.
I only started writing professionally about five years ago and today I wish I started even earlier. If you know you are good at something, donât shy away from it. Use your God- given talents and donât hide it from the world because it will only lead to regret. Regret is the worst feeling because regrets are unanswered and you cant do anything about regrets. Opportunities exist for a reason, so please donât let a single one pass you by. Grab hold, keep tight and just go on that journey. I always wanted to play an instrument, but my parents couldnât afford lessons or instruments, so I never got round to it, but I can afford it now and my wonderful boyfriend got me a guitar for Christmas so guess what Iâm doing this year! My parents gave me everything they could and they gave it with love. They put me through school and helped me through varsity by not charging me for food or my bedroom, but the rest was up to me and but more importantly they loved me even if it was obvious that I had no interest in the opposite sex. We never even did that coming out confession moment because honestly I would be insulting their intelligence if I initiated such a pointless conversation.
As spring term starts at Harvard (I still find it funny how they can call it âspringâ when the average temperature is -10 degrees â how I miss CT weather) I am reminded of my mantra: hard work always pays off. Although at the moment I donât know whatâs in the cards for the next phase of life, I keep telling myself that l will reap the benefits of the effort I put in today.
Itâs not always easy to achieve goals; there will always be times when you might want to give up. I sometimes feel discouraged (especially as the homesickness increases). But then again, nothing in life is smooth sailing. How boring would life be if it were? Itâs important though not to dwell on these thoughts. All it takes for me is to look at other people and see how they work relentlessly to achieve their goals and Iâm again motivated to keep at it. Today we have many examples of Cape Townians who rose above the odds. This encourages me to keep doing what I do and work hard while doing it.
This time away from the familiarity of family, friends and the great CT weather has also showed me the importance of gratitude. Gratitude for those who have paved the way so that I can be a Harvard student. Gratitude for my family that has always been supportive in everything that I do. Gratitude for the encouragement of friends. Gratitude for people like Baydu who has allowed me the opportunity to use his blogging website to achieve another goal of mine that has nothing to do with academics. It is all these people that motivate me to keep my eye on the prize. I canât let them down by not putting my best foot forward all the time.
So for everyone who has impacted my life in anyway, I want to say thank you! All the help, encouragement and love are appreciated.
Believe, think and dream BIG
Alvino van Schalkwyk
I recently had the rug pulled out under meâŚ for a few minutes at least. Â Last week I had a conversation with our career counselour at HLS and for a moment she shut me upâŚshe made me think of something that I hadnât really given any thought to before. I believe that my being at Harvard will all be for naught if I donât in some way âpay it forwardâ as they say. So one of my goals is to convince people, especially Cape Townians to apply to Harvard and assist those who have been accepted into a Harvard school in any way I can. But more generally, I feel we need to be more ambitious and think bigger.
This led me to the conversation with the career counselor. However, it is all good and well to tell someone that they should apply to Harvard, but it costs money; a lot of money actually. In a nutshell, she told me that I should consider only focusing on those for whom studying abroad will not break financially. I didnât really think of this and I didnât have a come-back for her. Somewhat embarrassed and taken-aback, I excused myself and returned to my room.
But if I only speak to people who are financially able, surely the vast majority of Cape Town will be excluded. I would be excluded. This made me think: should we limit our ambitions, to what we think we can afford? Realistically this is what often happens. We are discouraged by the cost of things. I myself always say that I would probably have decided to defer my LL.M. for a year or maybe two to save enough money. Last year I definitely could not afford to take a year off from work, pay my tuition, housing and continue paying âroom and boardâ to my mother for the time Iâm away (this is something that was important to me). Had it not been for the fellowship, I donât think I would have been sitting here. This is what pulled the rug out under me; maybe I should just be minding my own business. Â Because I at least have the financial means to be here, and many do not.
NO WAYS!!!! Finance is a factor, an important factor. But this should not encroach on our ambitions. Where there is a will there DEFINITELY is a way. It may take longer but if we want to achieve something we need to work hard at achieving it. Part of that is working at the finances as well. The solution might be a loan, a second job, postponing the plan. Â But as long as we keep our eye on the prize; all the details can be worked out.
So now I believe that I shouldnât let money stand in the way of my goals and ambitions. If I really want something, I should find a way of getting it. That is true for everyone. All it takes is some hard work and effort. In the end the rewards will be worth the effort.
Believe, think and dream BIG
AlvinoÂ van Schalkwyk
Itâs exam time at HLS, so I find myself in the library on a Friday night until 23:00, back at 09:00 on Saturday until about 22:00.Obviously we take breaks in between, but that is still a lot of time to spend in a library.Â Seriously, who wants to be in a library on a Saturday evening when you can be out and about?
But it got me thinkingâŚ what is keeping me here? What motivates me to sit for hours on end to study for an exam? Obviously I want to do well in the exam, but I also know that there is something else that drives me. I have a couple of motivations. In the short term there are certain things I need to achieve to get to my ultimate goals. Without getting too personal, I want to be able to provide (I wonât elaborate). So that is something that is constantly on my mind and really keeps me going. I know that I need to put in the effort now so that I can reach my goals.
I recently read a Japanese proverb which reads: Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. Having a motivation is important. Itâs vital to have something to work towards. It can persuade us to put in 110% ALL the time. Goals arenât reached on their own. It is important to have something that motivates us because it shapes the actions that we take.
I must admit I have some selfish motivations as well. Excelling does bring a certain amount of âpublicityâ with it as well. Letâs be honest, popularity is nice. [*hide*] I am sure other people have even less noble motivation for doing what they do. I canât think of a few people actually, but thatâs for another day. Does it matter though? Who cares what your motivation is, as long as it is keeping you focused and driving your towards your goalsâŚitâs nobodyâs business what motivates you. Of course your actions affect others so we donât have total carte blanche.
My point really is just to find your motivation. Make the thing that motivates you something that you are constantly aware of, that way it will keep you going, at all times.
Believe, think and dream BIG
AlvinoÂ van Schalkwyk
If studying at HLS is a motivation (which I hope it is or it is for someone you know) the applications for the LL.M. program for 2013 has unfortunately closed. The applications for a JD (our law degree)are still open though. So spread the word if you know someone that would be interested. http://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective/jd/apply/the-application-process/index.html