Random Monday

Random Monday: My Easter Refreshment – Victoria Falls

The magnificent Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe side)

The magnificent Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe side)

So the Easter holiday was last weekend, which was a long weekend. Easter for me, is a time of refreshement and renewal. A time set aside from my everyday work and routines. A time to be introspective and to look inward spiritually.

So I went to what is officially one of my favourite places in Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls. Not only did I have a restful weekend away from the busy city life of Harare but I felt thoroughly cleansed and refreshed from the waters of the Zambezi River.

View of Devil's Cataract

View of Devil’s Cataract

There was a lot of 'smoke' from the water

There was a lot of ‘smoke’ from the water

The Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya meaning the smoke that thunders) is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is not the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world but it is claimed to be the largest because it forms the largest sheet of falling water in the world. The falls are at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, but most of the view of the falls can be seen from the Zimbabwean side.

I went at the time when the volume of water in the Zambezi River is very high, so there was a lot of water, mist and rain falling in the rainforest, hence the raincoats. The water from the falls is believed to have healing and rejuvenating properties in many religions. It makes sense when you see God’s hand in creating this masterpiece.

The falls are absolutely magnificent, and photos don’t do it justice. It’s a sight one must see at least once in their lifetime.

Vic Falls Bridge - one of the best bungee jump experiences in the world

Vic Falls Bridge – one of the best bungee jump experiences in the world

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Me in my orange raincoat, I still got a little wet though

Me in my orange raincoat, I still got a little wet though

Visibility is low though due to all the water mist, but the mist does often lift for a few minutes

Visibility is low though due to all the water mist, but the mist does often lift for a few minutes

In low season, one can stand right on the edge, but at this time of the year it's too slippery and therefore just too dangerous

In low season, one can stand right on the edge, but at this time of the year it’s too slippery and therefore just too dangerous

The Victoria Falls Bridge where people come from all over the world to bungee jump

The Victoria Falls Bridge where people come from all over the world to bungee jump

Nice little restaurant on Elephant's Walk, great food, great atmosphere

Nice little restaurant on Elephant’s Walk, great food, great atmosphere

Warthog at The A'Zambezi River Lodge

Warthog at The A’Zambezi River Lodge

Crocodile, that I thought was fake, but definately wasn't

Crocodile, that I thought was fake, but definately wasn’t

So a group of large elephants on the banks of the Zambezi River

Saw a group of large elephants on the banks of the Zambezi River

*Note: all pictures shown in this post belong to the author.

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Random Monday: The Introverted Vesion

A post I wrote about introversion, via Readers Cafe Africa http://readerscafeafrica.com/2012/07/the-introverted-version/ 

After years of being misjudged as aloof & snotty and hearing statements such as ‘Come on, smile” or ‘ you’re too pretty to be walking around angry”and ‘shame, she’s an introvert”, I always felt that there must be something wrong with me although I’m yet to see anyone who walks around everywhere with a huge Cheshire cat grin and be normal. Growing up, I always felt confused about myself, why my mind often went blank when someone asked me a question then later had numerous responses to the question; how other times, I would talk until I’m begged to stop;  how even today I want to be acknowledged yet feel overwhelmed with too much attention when others would feel thrilled. How I would dread social events and when I did socialize, how I would be fantasizing about being alone in my room watching a good movie over a cup of hot chocolate. It took me years and reading a few books including the book The Introvert Advantage to realize that I wasn’t some strange social creature full of contradictions but a normal introvert.

Extroverts being in the majority influence the entire cultural view of introverts and honestly, introverts get a bad rap. It doesn’t help when you have serial killers and sociopaths often described as introverted; those individuals are damaged people no matter what their personality type is. Extroverts get most of the good press and for most of my life, I’ve felt the pressure to be a certain way and conform. Most think that extroversion and introversion relate to how loud or quiet, fun or boring and people loving or people disliking a person can be. It is actually more to do with energy. Introversion and extroversion are opposing ends of an energy spectrum with most people falling somewhere in the middle, but on the extroversion side. People who fall on the introverted side focus inward to gain energy whereas extroverts focus outward to gain energy. Introverts keep energy inside, are very reflective and less expressive than extroverts, making it hard for others to know them.

If there ever was a model for an opposite end of the spectrum to me, it would be my closest friend. If we go for any social event or place where there are many people and there is a lot of activity, his face lights up, his eyes sparkle, he becomes excited and one can just see how he loves it. I’m amazed at how he says and communicates exactly what he wants or feels without having to think first.How when he is down or tired, he feels better when around people and activity, making parties, concerts and sports matches a must. As for me, I have to gather up energy for group activities or I shrink away because it’s too much stimulation and I end up feeling drained. I love observing and learning from watching and being around small groups of people if not just one other person.

Often people have differing opinions on what I am, some will say there is no way I’m an introvert because I’m not shy or reclusive so I would like to debunk some myths associated with the introverted versions of our population:

Introverts are shy wallflowers: I used to be shy and I sometimes am, but I have become considerably less so, as I have grown older. Introversion and shyness are definitely two different things and being able to distinguish the two has helped me work on my shyness that doesn’t mean I have become less introverted as I’ve grown older. Introverts are not scared of people, most like me, like people but don’t feel the need to always be around them and always be talking. As for being a wallflower, usually what drives introverts onto centre stage is different from extroverts, their quest for meaningful work, unusual circumstances or an unusual talent may bring them there but there is a big energy drain. Shyness is social anxiety, an extreme self-consciousness when around others it is not about energy.

Introverts are loners: We are not recluses who hate people, that is not characteristic of an introvert. Like I said before, I like people. I do like being alone too, but not all the time, I do enjoy being with close friends (usually in small groupings or one–on-one) even for very long periods of time. I am private but I do feel that I’m good at getting people to open up. I do share on what I’m passionate about but if no one finds it interesting I keep it to myself.

Introverts are boring: Truthfully, fun is relative. If your definition of fun is being in a crowded, dark, smelly space with music blaring and being unable to hear each other talk, then that’s not my definition of fun. I like adventurous things, I like concerts (as long as it’s not in a smelly place), and my definition of fun is also just sitting listening to good music.

Introverts are not very good with the opposite sex: I have extroverted female friends who like particularly introverted guys due to their mysteriousness. I know a girl in particular who said that these guys usually make the initial approach, although they might not be great at it, enough interest would have been garnered for her to give her number. It’s all about energy and setting; an introverted guy might not want to meet a girl at a club but somewhere like a music store, he will thrive. As for female introverts, once again the energy levels and setting have to be right. If the setting is wrong for me, I will most probably seem aloof. Most introverts also hate small talk, if there is nothing to be said, I would rather keep quiet.

There are a lot more myths and more I’m learning about this and myself. It is such a relief that I don’t have to be a certain way but myself and learn to work and live well with the majority of people, being in the introverted version of the population.

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Random Monday: Let’s Talk About Porn

Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Bodies writhing, ok maybe not writhing, more of spasmodic movements. Body parts at maximum exposure, no emotions shown or even feigned by the people partaking, as if they were doing something as meaningless and valueless as popping corn. Actually, popping corn would have more worth, it would seem. This is how Lillian* described a pornographic scene as she had seen it on a movie.

I met Lillian at university in Pretoria, she was what I would call, an example of true humility with excellence in all she did. She was kind, exciting to be around and a mature Christian. She also had a secret. She was addicted to pornography. And before the more self righteous among you, shake your heads in judgement, she didn’t just wake up one day with an addiction.

It was a 10 year progression, of being slowly drawn in to something that disgusted her, yet she was unexplicably curious of. It was a vile journey that started off with reading romance novels in High School, then to more explicit literature, to soft core pornographic movies on TV to hard core movies sold in sex shops. Then the internet, which contained a world of information, became her vice, opened up a plethora of pornographic sites and she found herself in a bona fide addiction. The pictures and film were no longer enough, she got sucked in to more, she was using adult chat rooms, connecting with people from all over the world, for sexual exploits through cyberspace.

We all know that pornography is a major issue in the world; by far the most searched for terms on the internet are related to pornography, but how about in the church? Surveys show that 60% of Christian men in America have viewed porn within the last year and 25% within the last 30 days. In 2000, more than 10 years ago, one in three visitors to adult websites were women, this statistic has probably more than doubled now.

Porn has already gotten hold of American culture and is gaining a stranglehold on cultures across the world, as they become more developed and more globalised. A reason could be in the false message that porn viewing is harmless and socially acceptable for the sexually frustrated. Stigma and fear work against Christians who wish to address this issue in the community of their church…. continue article here

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