Happily Single: Keys to Thriving in a World Full of Couples

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“You singles out there, go to the lobby and just find someone to marry.”

Gulp! Someone whom I know and respect actually said that at a meeting I attended a few years ago. I kid you not.

It wasn’t a meeting about marriage or singleness; I wouldn’t attend either of those. It wasn’t part of some treasure hunt or a game like The Amazing Race, either, where teams had to successfully complete challenges. Read More

Pros, Cons, and Solutions for Working Remotely

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When I walked into my office—a streetside coffee shop called Brewed Awakenings—I thought something was on fire. Smoke billowed from a little toaster oven in the corner. But none of the staff looked concerned, and guests sipped their morning brew in peace.

Turns out, the owner was set on roasting his own beans, so he did what you do in a fullsizerenderdeveloping country: He improvised. He turned a little chicken rotisserie oven into a coffee roaster by adding a perforated drum where the chicken should be, and by bolting a floodlight to the cover to intensify the heat and thus cut the roasting time in half. Step aside, MacGyver! 

If that’s not enough, “Mac” sources his beans from a farmer just on the other side of our lagoon—fair trade at its best. I love it! Plus I love the taste of the coffee, which is why I decided to drive the 8 miles this morning to work from here rather than from my usual spot on the beach, which is but a short bike ride from my home.

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Abandon Ship!

Today was our last day of diving off Bunaken. The weather was questionable when we left, but the skipper assured us it’s changing for the better, that the weather forecast for the day was only light rain. Connie—my friend visiting from the US—decided not to go diving today due to a headache, and Marion—my colleague—thought she’d just snorkel around this area today, once the weather cleared up. Not wanting to miss out on a final dive of Bunaken Marine Park, I joined a dive party of two guys from India and their friend from Jakarta.

The hour-long trip over to the island wasn’t too bad. We dived—possibly my best dive in the 14 years I’ve been scuba diving—and then I stayed on the surface, snorkeling, as not to cut into the 24-hour no-dive period prior to a flight.  The moment the other three divers surfaced, we were told we’re heading back right away since the weather was changing… Read More

A Change in Perspective

I felt, the other day, what it’s like to fly. I ran off the edge of a mountain and soared, feeling the cold mountain wind directly on my face. After about five minutes, I landed in a tea plantation. Crash-landed, actually. But it didn’t hurt. I just laughed and laughed. Read More

Serious Play Case Study

Lize Albertyn-du Toit: Farmer and Small Business Owner

Lize with Poppie and Sophia, two of the Pêpa ladies

When you walk into Lize’s farmhouse, you immediately feel at home. Perhaps it’s the welcoming sound of footsteps on the wooden floors. Maybe it’s the rays of sunlight breaking through the little shutters in the solid wooden doors. It could be the laughter of friends busy in the kitchen, a room filled with things that say, “Life’s been lived here.” Old-school kitchenware, not for the show, but for use.

Everything and everyone—including the farmer and his wife—says, “Make yourself at home. Stay a while.” I had planned to visit for a day. I stayed a fortnight. Read More

Seeing with the Heart

“Here is my secret. It is very simple:
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
~ Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince

Rarely do I compare. I’ve seen too much in life to covet what others have/do/are. Instead, when I do compare, it is with pure gratitude in my heart for the blessing of a nice home, knowing that some of my friends around the world live in mud huts with wooden shutters, entire families crammed into small spaces. Read More

Psalm 84

I’ve been meditating on some Psalms recently, and remembered re-writing Ps. 84 into my own words when I lived in Kenya.

God, what joy to live in your presence,
in fact, to even have You live within me.
How I long to have more of You, LORD,
to live in a way
that my life is consumed with pleasing You
and You alone. Read More