Archive of ‘fieldnotes’ category

The Joshua Tree Casita

The Joshua Tree Casita Sometimes when you’re ready to face your fears, to go into the darkness, that is when life decides to show you the light. Laying in the hammock at the casita, in the desert sun, I ask myself how can we heal the planet from what we’ve done? Trump had just been […]

To Love and Leave the Cape

I will always remember my first time in Cape Town, South Africa. The first time my toes touched the ice-cold waters of the Western Cape. So many feelings were wrapped up in this encounter, but if I could choose one word it would be freedom. During this last year in Cape Town, I’ve simultaneously faced […]

Culture and Cafes in the Capital City

For the entire five days I had to spend in Pretoria it rained. Nonstop. It was almost like being back in Vancouver except for the distinct feeling of being in Africa. Pretoria is nothing like Cape Town and I’m sorry to say, it is a slightly mangled, dirty city with the only redeeming feature being […]

Grazing South Africa

The holiday break at the farm and the road trip to the KwaZulu-Natal coast has left me with a renewed and resounding connection with the beauty of South Africa. Just when I thought I was in love with Cape Town, the Eastern Free State stole my heart again. We arrived at Mullersvlei Farm two days […]

The New Year Within

Being back on the farm in the Free State for the holidays, I am reminded of where it all started. The new year brings with it the energy of new possibilities, new beginnings, and the excitement of the unknown. After an incredible year in South Africa I feel rejuvenated, full of love and appreciation for […]

Heading for the Hills: The Cape Winelands

Last weekend we headed west into the Cape Winelands for a little getaway. We arrived in Bonnievale, “the valley of cheese and wine,” located along the beautiful Breede River and spent the next three days surrounded by mountains, vineyards, and the most gorgeous gardens in the Western Cape. If it weren’t for the Bonnievale Bonanza […]

Writer’s Block

I am having one of those unfortunate days where sitting down to write feels like a colossal challenge, causing me to vacuum and clean the entire apartment, do laundry (I took my sweet time to hang it out to dry in the sun and stopped in between to appreciate the sound of the birds and […]

Hopefield Farmhouse Cheddar – Part 2

I mentioned a month ago in a post on how to make Cheddar (Hopefield Farmhouse Cheddar – Part 1) that the cheese would need to age for at least one month. Well folks, here we are. The plan was to leave my three little cheese wheels to age slightly longer, since I prefer sharper cheddar. […]

Hopefield Farmhouse Cheddar – Part 1

Ever since the cheese course ended in June, I have wanted to try out my new skills at home, but haven’t quite had a chance. Mostly because I have been house-sitting in lovely Camps Bay with distractions that include taking the very naughty dogs to the beach, spending too much time outdoors in this warm […]

Curds & the Cape Whey

There is a constant, underlying sense of fear that one must acknowledge exists while in Cape Town, or anywhere in South Africa for that matter. It’s not quite paranoia, and sometimes you don’t even realize that you are in imminent danger when you are, but it’s there: a threat that lives on the edge of […]

The Free State

The farm is located near the foot of Lesotho’s gorgeous mountain range – the highest in Africa south of Kilimanjaro. The hills create a striking backdrop for South Africa’s farmland in the Free State, casting great shadows over the crops in the afternoons and glowing pink and lavender in the hour just before dusk. At […]

A Country Palate

I have quickly developed a country palate, out here in rural South Africa, amongst the golden veld lands, horses, dogs, owls, wild rabbits, blue skies… Coming from Vancouver, Canada, this is a stark contrast to the concrete and noise. And the rain. The farm is a vast sanctuary in South Africa’s Free State. It produces […]

Reflections

I find myself buried in thoughts of India. My mind shifts uncontrollably to the country that reached into the depths of my heart, nearly pulling it out of me, back to the millions of people, the dust, the heat, the dark red earth. The memory of the sounds and smells come back to me too. […]

A bright new church in Kerala

I was fortunate enough to be invited to an elaborate Indian-Christian wedding just a short distance from Kanyakumari, the tip of India. It was incredible. We rode with the groom in a shiny white car covered in flowers and walked the beautiful bride to the church. The whole village watched as the marching band led the […]

Monsoon

Since my last post, I decided to check out of society for a while and spend some time in an ashram, perched on the banks of a beautiful lake in the hills of Kerala, surrounded by nothing but lush forest and a small local village. The bell woke us every morning at 5:30am, when it […]

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