Lessons from Africa ~ Coming soon

This entry is part 2 of the series God in Africa


When you think of the land of Africa, do you think of the fantastic wild animals? Or the beautiful mountains and floral kingdoms? How about the cultures? The strange habits of some tribes? Did you know there are over 3,000 different ethnic groups in the continent, who speak in more than 2,100 different languages. It just doesn’t seem possible. read more

Cover Background Survey Results

Inspirational photo taken on my son’s property in Africa

Thank you to all who contributed to this survey.

As those of you who responded know, I am

working on an inspirational book based on stories and images of Africa. At the same time, I discovered I had credits with a photo stock company that I had to use within two days. My Scots blood would not allow these to go to waste, so I had to jump ahead and buy something I would use in the future.Opinion Stage

I tried several software programs to run a survey. None of them suited my requirements until I came to  Opinion Stage. This turned out to be ideal, and it had excellent support.

I created five polls, then joined them into a set and asked you to vote on each poll.

Each poll consisted of a choice of three photographs which could have been used as a cover background for my upcoming book. However, I wasn’t committed to using one of the 15 photos. I wanted to find out, with your help, what TYPE of picture would tempt people to take the book off the shelves and read the back cover.



Each photo focused on one of three categories:

  • Scenic view
  • Animal scene
  • Sunset 

This was an extremely useful exercise, and I will definitely use the idea again. It showed my idea of what you would like and your idea of what you would like were polls apart. (Pun intended!)

Now, I do know there were not that many people participating (77) and hopefully next time I will be able to run one for a longer time. Nevertheless, the results were enough to show a clear trend, which is what I wanted.

Here is a reminder for you of the 5 polls you voted on:

Out of a total of 333 votes, the statistics read as follows:

  • Scenic view, which I anticipated being highest: 17.74% preferred this type of image.
  • Animal scene, which I expected to be a close runner-up, scored 21.12%
  • Sunset came in with a high 61.8%

Out of the entire option of 15 photographs, one came out as a clear leader. The ellie with the sun shining through the trees. What a magnificent photo!

So what inspirational photo did I choose?

As I live in South Africa and have taken a lot of sunset and animal photos myself, and I also have a couple of family members who take wonderful photos, I decided not to spend my credits on this picture, beautiful though it is. I’m sure, with the help of Photoshop, I can create a photo similar to the ellie photo if that’s what I decide to go with. And I can always go back and purchase it if I wish.

So I spent my credits on a photo that I can change in various ways and use, if not for this book, for another. I probably won’t use it exactly as it stands, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a lovely photograph—and it is certainly one I wouldn’t be able to create.

Thanks to 123rf for this photo. Hover over the image to get the attribution.

So thank you to all those of you participated. I was amused by the number of people who commented on the photo at the top, taken on my son’s property in Hoekwil, South Africa.

Over to you:

Whether or not you participated in the survey, won’t you tell me which, out of all the photos on this page, you would like to see on the cover of a devotional book? That includes the one on my son’s property, and the one I finally downloaded. Just describe which one you like best.

Of course, if you like C best, you will add something about the picture so I can identify it, right? Yes, I knew you would.  😆

Desert Road

Originally published in December, 2007.  Updated 3 May 2017

Into the desert

On our holiday away from home, we had to travel through an area of arid desert. We turned off the tarmac onto a gravel dirt road. It looked long and straight and as if it was without end.
The sun baked down on the parched earth, and we were grateful for our air conditioner that ran at maximum speed.
“Even the birds keep away,” I remarked to my husband.
“Yes, apart from the occasional vulture, and I should think they find plenty animal corpses out here to feast upon.”
No clouds offered the promise of rain. All we could rely on was the knowledge that if there was a way in, there must also be a way out.

A lesson for life

This also applies to life, doesn’t it?
No matter how difficult or barren our lives may be at times, there is always a way out of the predicament. Every bleak situation will eventually offer us an ending.
God promises He will always supply an escape route.

Hosea 2:14-15 (CEV)

I, the LORD, will lure you into the desert and speak gently to you. I will return your vineyards, and then Trouble Valley will become Hopeful Valley.

Pray with me?

Lord, help me to learn the lessons of the desert, then show me how to move on.

How do you face times of trial that seem never-ending?

I’d love you to add a comment below and let’s be in touch.

If you leave me a live link, I’ll get back to you.

Other inspirational posts from Africa:

Even Elephants Communicate
The Shepherd with an Impossible Dream

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Z is for Zimbabwe Ruins

This entry is part 28 of the series Out of Africa


The name, Zimbabwe, means “Stone Houses”, and the country originally known as Rhodesia has taken over this name.  However, for many of us who spent our childhood years in this country, the Zimbabwe Ruins, now often known as Great Zimbabwe, was a place of great majesty and mystery. Once upon a time, it was the residence of the Zimbabwean monarch and his people in ancient days. read more

Y is for Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

This entry is part 27 of the series Out of Africa


I grew up in Gwelo, Rhodesia (now Gweru, Zimbabwe) before moving to South Africa in my late teens. Years later, together with our three young children, we spent several years in Salisbury (now Harare), the capital city of Rhodesia.

Whenever we were able to, we traveled to Gwelo to spend time with my parents who still lived in my childhood home. Rich green lawns with lots of space for playing, a beautiful rose garden, and a swimming pool, made it an ideal retreat for us, and the children loved to spend time at Granny and Grandpa’s home. read more

X is for Xhosa

This entry is part 26 of the series Out of Africa

XWho Are They? The Xhosa people of South Africa form the second-largest ethnic group, second only to the Zulus. They mainly live in the Eastern Cape province, where the main towns are East London, Mthatha, and Port Elizabeth. read more

W is for Warthog

This entry is part 25 of the series Out of Africa


The day before writing this, my husband and I were in the Addo National Park. It was clearly baby season in the warthog family, and it was no surprise to learn that the Warthog is one of the least endangered species of African animals. Everywhere we looked, we spotted warthogs and their offspring grazing alongside elephants, buck, and other animals.

These wild pigs live in the savanna regions of Africa, mainly south of the Sahara, and can survive for months without water.

read more

V is for Victoria Falls

This entry is part 24 of the series Out of Africa


I saw the Victoria Falls for the first time when I was twelve-years-old, en route from Rhodesia to the U.K. with my parents in a propeller-driven airplane. But before I saw the falls, I heard them from my bedroom in the Victoria Falls Hotel. The loud thundering in the background initially scared me. How could a mere waterfall make so much noise? read more

U is for Understanding African Culture

This entry is part 23 of the series Out of Africa

UWhen the “New South Africa” dawned, I was working as an RN in a busy hospital. The superintendent organized a speaker to lecture us on the subject of African Culture. What an eye-opener it was to many of us. Although we had lived most of our lives in this country, there were traditions we knew nothing about, and some we even considered wrong. read more