Part 1: Sydney, Australia by da-AL

 

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge by Khashayar Parsi.

Australia, including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge shown here, is stunning beyond what photography can convey.

Sydney Opera House by Khashayar Parsi.

Our vacation began with New Zealand’s beautiful Auckland / Rotorua / Redwoods / Huka Falls / Craters of the Moon / Waitomo Glowworms Caves / Taupo / Pirongia / and Hamilton Gardens. In Australia, we met terrific family in Gold Coast / observed these exciting birds — and these too / hiked breathtaking views / enjoyed delicious eats at the beach / saw some wild things and cute things at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary / had fun with Rita Rigby / delighted in a bit of the beauty and beasts of Brisbane / and later enjoyed Sydney’s art and the purring there, as well as this…

From — nature to architecture to entertainment to food to a heck of a lot more — it was impossible to see all of Sydney’s wonderfulness in the few days left to our holiday. What less would anyone expect of a city with a Writers Walk in front of their most notable site?! Mark Twain’s comments (near the Sydney Opera House) about his visit over a century ago still ring true…

Mark Twain quotation at Sydney Writers Walk.

Same as the other parts of Australia we’d visited earlier, ibis flock to Sydney as plentifully as pigeons do to our Los Angeles. We saw this ibis near a touching memorial to Australia’s working horses…

Ibis in Sydney.
Memorial in Sydney.

Their NSW State Library is as impressive for its architecture, collection, and reading room as it is for its displays of culture and art. Surely you’re not surprised by what caught my eye there — dogs, including a kangaroo dog!!!…

NSW State Library.
Art display at NSW State Library.
Historical art at NSW State Library.

What is a kangaroo dog? Well, here is what I found when I googled ‘kangaroo dog’…

We also ate various delicious types of food. The first night we had African food, another time I had a great veggie burger…

African food at Radio Cairo in Sydney is tasty!
I had a great veggie burger at Buddahlicious.

Visit back here soon, dear reader, for more about Sydney! What are your vacation plans?

Guest Blog Post: Wildlife then. by equinoxio21

Magic, fiction, and art: journalist/novelist/blogger equinoxio21 weaves them together with compassion and wisdom to create his fascinating equinoxio21 site.

equinoxio21 as a toddler
“Shah taught me Urdu, and proper table manners, the latter with great difficulty I might add.” equinoxio21

From the start, he‘s led exciting life! In a short reply to a reader, he described himself: “I am a cultural “mongrel”. Born in Pakistan, raised in Africa. It helps to add tiny details, the “couleur locale”. Reality, to me, is what adds weight to fiction.

Here he combines his historical photos (and here’s some of beautiful original art he posts as well) with those from antique books…

Equinoxio

k37ac

Wildlife is under a death sentence everywhere. Those giraffes (and ostrich, look closely) I saw in Kenya in 1969, fifty years ago (!) are being snared by poachers. What for? For giraffe hair bracelets? To turn their skin into a carpet? Pointless. As a teen, I was fortunate enough to see the last of the wild. Isolated pockets still remain with Game wardens practically turned into a military force. But who knows how long they will last?

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This is how giraffes were seen in 1879. (In Mammifères, Louis Viguier). 140 years ago. This is yet another of my books falling apart. Major restoration in the works. The engravings are priceless. Many would tear the book apart and sell each engraving for 20 Euros on the banks of the Seine.

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Warthog, 1879.

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1969, Nairobi National park.

IMG_7011“In the jungle, the mighty jungle…”

kdd10-14“The lion sleeps…

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Guest Blog Post: “Fes, Morocco’s Imperial City,” in Nilla’s exact words

Stone engraver, Fes, Morocco, AfricaStunning world photography is the cornerstone of each of fellow blogger Nilla’s post. Here she takes us to Fes, Morocco…

Image Earth Travel

March, 2011

Lose yourself in antiquated winding alleys whilst you crisscross your way along one of Morocco’s vibrant imperial cities, fabulous Fes.

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Guest Blog Post: “Lucky’s Amazing Story: What Has Lucky Done And Has Been Doing To Deserve A Place In Our House And In Our Hearts?” in the exact words of Oriyomi Isaac

Photo of a mixed breed brown and white dog lying down on a matt.
Lucky lives in Lagos, Nigeria. His family takes good care of him.

How do dogs get along in Nigeria? Blogger Oriyomi Isaac explains his site: “I live in the most historical part (Lagos) of Nigeria. I want people to know about things that happen in my own part of the world.”

Oriyomi Isaac

Not Hostile

Unlike his predecessors, Lucky is not hostile. He tends to recognise a person when such person calls his name; kids in the neighbourhood often play with him and he does not bark unnecessarily.

Watchful

Only God can watch over people but sometimes He could use a living thing. Lucky is always mild during the day and active by night. There were times when people broke into our shop which is front of our house and stole things, but Lucky would always bark at night anytime he sees someone approaching, so, we are always alerted.

Sometimes, I do wake up in the middle of the night to see if Lucky is getting himself a rest but he has never been asleep.

There was a time we thought about getting Lucky a companion. We actually did. My mother bought a little white male dog for him. One night, Lucky was…

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Be Your Own Best Role Model – & – Guest Blog Post: “Learning to make homes,” in Elizabeth Semende’s exact words

Thank you, Ryan McGuire.

Role models can be great. They provide wisdom for how to get where we’d like to be.

Take care, though.

In our eagerness, we risk blindness and deafness to how sometimes they’re better examples of what not to do. Of the ones we love, those who are closest to us, their familiarity can feel like normalcy.

The amazing poem posted by afroliz of Zimbabwe that follows illustrates what I’m trying to say.

I believe we must all continually work to be our own best role models. Let us be lighthearted in working toward that goal. Let us be as serious as happiness when it comes to understanding which role models we might already have unwittingly chosen.

flowers and poems 🌼

In these places where women come to die

My mother’s words take turns to hit my ears:

“When you find a man, carve a home beneath his pride and

learn to make homes from nothing.”
Then I screamed: Mother this is not my home!

This is not a home!

It carries the weight of a man’s pride

the same way corpses carry the weight of tombstones​

In silence.

Mother did not listen.
She too found a home

In these places where nothing remains

but a swam of men urinating on the flame of our souls

She said: that is how we make homes out of nothing

By carrying the weight of a man’s pride

In silence.

© Elizabeth Semende

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Guest Blog Post: “The Last Cat for a Meal,” in Abigail Padi’s exact words

Every worry dad might eat the cat?

Written by Ghanaian blogger Abigail Padi who’s written for Happiness Between Tails before, visit her new blog

Green Eyed Cat by Abigail PadiPets are lovely and the children love them. Other than dogs, we have cats. Initially they were many but the neighborhood in which we live is not safe for big and healthy animals especially cats because some selfish individuals steal them for commercial purposes or to satisfy their own needs.

My concerned dad thought that he also was human and had the desire Green Eyed Cat by Abigail Padito taste the delicious part of those cats and so there was no way he was going to give those people the chance to enjoy for free anymore. He advised himself and since then, their number reduced, currently left with two; a male and a female. Obviously the next to be a meal is the male cat and I can’t help but think about it.

That cat is such a lovely one. It has a darker color and very beautiful in my eyes. I don’t know what you think about it but that’s how I see it. All my friends who have visited me at home can tell that that cat knows no stranger and I believe that’s what made those selfish individuals get hold of them without us knowing.

I instructed my young ones to keep an eye on my dad and be on guard so that on that they I don’t want to imagine will ever come, they should plead with him to spare that only cat.

I’m Abigail Padi and I love to tell stories about myself and those around me. I operate 2 blogs, the recent one is relationshippointblog.wordpress.com where I post anything related to relationship with real life experiences and opinions.

Guest Blog Post: “Call for Submissions – Free Writer’s Residency and Airfare for African Women Writers,” in Sofia’s exact words

Femrite women authors

Any African woman writer who lives on the African continent, is working on a novel or memoir manuscript, writes in English, and hasn’t published more than one book!

Apply by July 15, 2017.

Thank you, Femrite!

Thank you, Sofia, for publicizing …

Letters of Tunsia

FEMRITE announced 2 months ago the call for submissions for the 7th Regional Residency for African Women Writers which will be co-hosted with Karavan, a Swedish literary magazine, with support from the Swedish Institute.

Fermite

The 10-day writing residency will take place, in Kampala, in February 2018. The 10 selected writers will re-work their submitted manuscripts, participate in peer reviewing of work(s)-in-progress, receive feedback from mentors, participate in a public reading, share information on writing, and work with selected schools to start reading and writing projects.

The residency will cover the return air ticket, accommodation, and meals for the period of the residency.

Who is eligible to apply?

Any African woman writer who lives on the continent, is working on a novel or memoir manuscript, writes in English and hasn’t published more than one book, can apply.

What you need to submit:

  • An extract from a…

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