We have been quiet on here… sometimes life just absorbs us so much, there is no time to stop and smell the roses….
It’s not a good thing! To feel you are being lived, instead of living. To feel you are rushed, instead of being able to take time to reflect on the little things. To worry, instead of remembering that even if the little birds don’t know where they will get their food from, they know they have a Heavenly Father who takes care of them.
The whole family has been very busy. But I want to share how super proud I am of my daughter. She has been working hard to get our Etsy shop updated (hope you are taking a moment to check it out right here on our blog, the tab marked Etsy), and has been finding opportunities to have a stall at various events to sell our handmade shawls and blankets. To build up a business like this takes time, and is very slow going. But she is sticking with it and I am not apologising for promoting this!
She is learning valuable skills, like patience… something I struggle with on a daily basis.
I am just trying to remember to stop once in a while and lookup and around me, to see the beauty nature has to offer me, and to remember that I have a Heavenly Father who longs to spend time with me, as much as I do with Him.
Below some snaps of some precious moments in nature where His voice is the loudest. Hope you are also able to take these moments of rest, quiet time, and find time to recognise those around you that make you proud!
It’s exciting to be able to attend a technology conference in the area of my work. The location is Orlando and although hot and humid, the presentations inside are cool!
The best one of the day was given by Bear Grylls. The topic: how to be your best. He came across so personable and humble, quite striking and awesome! He explained how he did not see himself as this very successful person and shared his 4 words of encouragement.
Am taking his idea and share it here, cause it’s too good to keep for myself!
A mentor friend of mine always says: fail fast, fail forward. And that was also Bear’s first word to share: Failure.
We don’t like to talk about failure.. failure is seen as negative. But for every success there are probably dozens of failures.. we should not be afraid of it, but embrace it as a path to learn.
The second word is Fear. We are probably all scared of the unknown, of taking the next step. Fear can also motivate us though.. to keep doing it, to put ourselves out there.
The third word is Fire. Fire in nature is the start of new beginnings. After a devastating forest fire, the forest renews. Fire can move us forward, gives us the passion and drive. Persistence is key. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little bit extra. Never giving up.
The fourth word is Faith. God is there to lean on and encourage us. We all gave our mountains we have to climb, and faith in God gives us that perspective to keep going.
Achieving dreams means embracing failures….
As a perfectionist and driver it’s hard for me to accept failure.. but keeping those 4 words in mind I am pushing forward.
My car is very small… Smart small that is.. and while I don’t like how tiny it is at times, I love I don’t have to worry parking it… I park it on the tiniest of corners while I am traveling, trusting it will start again when I need it driving to work…
I had joked about it before I set off this morning…. wonder if my car feels deserted and is willing to start today….. yup! It did… Hei ho…. off to work I go!
Until I reached the first little hill on a tiny road… the lights came on all at once… never a good sign… I managed to steer it as close to the curb as possible…no more power… stuck on this small road….
I was surprised how many people actually stopped to ask if I was ok…. uhmm… yes… although my car won’t start…. a motor cyclist asked at least twice.. a cyclist called out to me.. total strangers… when a big truck appeared wanting to crawl past, a couple came out of their driveway to assist. So kind…
It reminds me of the story of the Samaritan… the wounded stranger on the ground needed help… and everyone was too busy to stop and help… until a kind stranger came by. Not only did he tend to the wounds, but he went out of his way to ensure the wounded person got the care he needed. Unselfishly kind. Kind without expecting anything in return…
I got rescued too… my car in fact did start up again… and I could continue my Friday as planned… remembering how I felt when strangers were kind, I tried to do the same…
So I thought I would start a series on the do’s and dont’s that are associated with wildlife. For the first one I thought I would go with turtles. Now as you may know, I am a marine biologist with a huge love and passion for conservation. This has led me to take multiple trips around the world with focus on conservation and eco tourism. One thing that I noticed a lot was animal eco tourism trips and specifically those with the focus on sea turtles.
So over the years I have been on multiple trips where turtle spotting has been part of it. Whether it was working on a turtle conservation project with Archelon in Zakynthos or turtle spotting in Tobago. I have picked up certain behaviours from tourists that inspired me to write this.
So lets start with the Dont’s:
If you are fortunate enough to see one in the ocean whilst on a boat…do NOT go near it with the boat…keep a safe distance and don’t drive over them!
If you see one whilst swimming/snorkelling/diving…again keep a safe distance. Turtles can be very quick swimmers so if they get stressed by you, they will swim away but always give them space. DO NOT touch them!
If you encounter an adult on the beach, give her space as it will most likely be an adult female who is getting ready to lay her nest. This will occur at night (or very rarely at sunrise) so do not shine your torches as that stresses them out and again give them plenty of space. Do not use any light at all, this includes phone lights, flashes from cameras and normal torches.
If you are lucky enough to see hatchlings coming out of the nest. No matter how tempting it may be. DO NOT pick them up. They use their journey from the nest to the ocean to ‘learn’ where to come back to to lay their own nests.
Don’t litter…This is an easy one. Even if you aren’t seeing any turtles, the litter you drop on a beach will inevitably affect a turtle at some stage. Whether its an adult or a hatchling, they all are effected by litter on the beaches and in the ocean.
Do not buy turtleshell products when travelling. They are normally caught by poachers and are always illegally and inhumanely sourced.
Now for the do’s:
If you are fortunate enough to see them…enjoy the moment! Do it responsibly but enjoy it none the less! They are beautiful creatures and I will never get bored of seeing them.
If you spot a hatchling going the wrong way…pick them up and turn them around. If it is during the day…try and shade them so that the sun doesn’t roast them. And if it is at night, try and block out the lights that are disorientating them.
Do a beach clean every time you go to the beach. Even if you only pick up 5 pieces of litter each time it will make a huge difference.
If you decide to go on a turtle spotting boat…make sure you go with a reputable company that is known for its eco tourism. If you aren’t sure which company to chose, there are companies in most countries that are there for the sole purpose for turtle conservation, such as Archelon in Greece and Save our Turtles in Tobago, they will be able to tell you companies that they recommend.
Use recyclable straws or reusable straws. Straws are some of the biggest culprits of turtles dying. Making a small change to reusable straws or no straws at all will make a huge difference.
Eat locally sourced sustainable seafood. Companies that are locally sourced tend to use better fishing techniques so less turtles get caught in fishing lines. The sustainable companies will use more turtle friendly fishing gear.
Last but not least. Donate to local turtle conservation projects. Most are NGO’s and need the money to keep running. If you can’t give money, maybe you can give some time and volunteer with them. I can’t recommend that enough. My time volunteering with Archelon in Zakynthos was one of the best summers I’ve had. The information I learnt then have stuck by me and have changed my daily habits.
Overall, enjoy them! They are truly beautiful creatures, so lets protect them so that we and the future generations can still enjoy them!
I wish I could express with a picture the amazement I felt when we saw the first whales today. A mother and it’s baby. So graceful through the water! Melody said the mum was teaching the young to breath. We saw another 7 at the various spots the boat took us. Amazing!!!
We could get in the water at whale island, so named as the island sometimes spews water. Just as we were about to graciously drop ourselves off the boat another whale passed by! How cool!!!
As I said… I wish I had pictures… am sure Melody will upload a little clip.
In the mean time, here are some snaps from the beach location… a little bit of heaven on earth…
In case you were wondering where? Uvita, Costa Rica… it feels like holiday… I may not come back!!!
I know that I have been very quiet on here recently and the reason for that was that I took a break. I took time for myself and learnt to listen to my body.
The last couple months haven’t been easy for me and my mental health took a huge hit. Depression had a strong hold on me and I couldn’t find a way out. But after taking this time away from blogging and social media as a whole, I’m happy to report that I am much better now! My mental health is in a better state and I am actually looking forward to the upcoming events in my life.
I’m currently writing this from Costa Rica where I am really taking the time to do the things that I love to do…crochet, reading, photography and just binge watching Netflix. Allowing my brain and body to relax and to just be myself again. I’ve missed enjoying the day to day things and I feel like I can and am now!
So instead of all the doom and gloom that I had been seeing since the beginning of the year, I am now able to find joy in every day life. So I’m back now with lots of blog posts in mind. Be ready!
Did you know that some hummingbirds are as small as bees? They are the most amazing little creatures, with their ability to fly backwards and flap their wings so fast you can’t see them…
Costa Rica has these beautiful little birds in abundance and this weekend Melody and myself were privileged to be taken out by friends where we saw loads.
It was an early morning start.. breakfast in the hotel had only just started, so I was at least able to get some coffee… the first stop was therefore breakfast in San Jose.. with coffee in a traditional little coffee pot… then on to the national gardens about 2 hours south east. That’s where we saw the hummingbirds… I tried to take pictures, but that’s just not possible with a phone.. they move so fast!
We had a great walk through the forest, where we also saw beautiful woodpeckers.. if you are a bird watcher there was lots there!
After a slightly strenuous walk, we went to a trout farm for lunch.. we gave the fishing a miss.. but ate some very fresh trout freshly caught.
I love seeing and experiencing all these things on my travels. I know I am privileged and blessed that people are willing to show me around.
Below a selection of snaps of the day… minus the hummingbirds… you just have to believe I saw all different kinds!!
To end it all, there were several smaller earthquakes here… the bed shakes. Rather alarming!
Everyone has them… expectations… especially on other people… how a person should act, dress, behave, raise their kids, love their parents etc..
And then we have expectations on ourselves… what we should achieve, do etc.
I am the wife if a pastor, and although we live in the 21st century, and my husband co pastors a large reasonably modern church there are expectations.. not just on me, but also my husband and daughter… it’s expected to contribute in a certain way. I am away a lot, so some of that transfers to my daughter too. When a member expresses how my husband should behave as a pastor it hurts too… I also have expectations on myself as to how I should live my life.. and I often let myself down too… especially being away so much (which also attracts comments)
Why am I writing this? Cause I read a recent article on self worth and what matters. Is it hard to look at yourself through someone’s expectations on you? Yes!! But it’s not needed to be hard. Our self worth comes through Jesus only. Only through His grace can we live up to our full potential. His expectations on us are that we accept His grace.
With that in mind, I will try to be not do hard on myself… it’s good to be reminded sometimes!!!
(And dad… am not sad!!)
The King’s daughter is all glorious within” Psalm 45:13
Quite a number of years ago there was a Dutch entry for the European Song Festival… the chorus had the sentence ‘een beetje van dit, een beetje van dat, een beetje zus, een beetje zo’… (English : a little bit of this, a little of that) Not sure why that song popped into my head but I guess it’s like that cause my thoughts are all messy…
My family is currently over the ocean, flying to Tobago to celebrate with the bride and groom there.. a wedding on the beach, how awesome is that! Sad I can’t join them, an experience I have to live through their eyes backed up by photos and FaceTime (what would we do without it).. meanwhile I am busy at work, currently in the US, which feels less like home now I am staying in hotels again..
Am sitting here in the Mall of America, eating an ice cream, listening to all the screaming from the people in the rides in the theme park in it.
Carefree they are, not burdened yet by all we as ‘responsible’ people deal with on a daily basis…
Jesus said ‘be as the kids, as they will inherit the Kingdom’
Maybe that is my topic of today… it does not matter where we all are, as long as we can enjoy and share together.. and be spontaneous and carefree as the kids are…
See, this and that… really nothing much…