In Praise of Mini-Retirements & How YOU can go on one too

I first read about this idea of mini-retirements in Tim Ferris’ book called the 4-hour work week. The idea stuck and I’ve been taking breaks between work contracts to travel and volunteer ever since. I for one do not want to wait until I’m 65 to enjoy discovering different activities and parts of the world…

I went looking for purpose… but did I find it ? (part 1)

So, here we go. I’m attempting it. A three part blog post on looking for purpose. Here’s the topic for part 1: “suffering is a universal, human condition. Its forms and depth vary.” I will now explain what I mean. It’s 2014, and I’m living and working in the Caribbean. It’s November, and it’s hot….

Inshallah-ing my way through life

I’ve been reprogrammed. I recognize it and.. I like it! At least this one specific program which has been rewired within me. And the root of this wisdom lies in the Arabic term of “Inshallah”. Literally translated it means “If God wills it”. Translated to life it means that you can do everything right, you…

Sundays in Dakar

Clip-clop, clip-clop, clip the horses’ hooves made echoing noises on the pavement as the thin man with his tired nag trotted smartly forward, pulling a simple wooden platform piled high with cement bricks. The horse-drawn cart was more audible than usual because the neighbourhood was quieter than usual, but that’s because it was Sunday. The…

The Pancha-what? First trip to an Indian Ashram.

How does one summarize 2 weeks  experience of a first-time in India, first-time in an Ashram and first-time doing a Panchakarma program? With a first-rate smile, I hope. First, let’s define the terms we’ll be referring to: 1. India, in this case the deep south-west, the province of Kerala. After flying into Trivanandrum (also known…

Disconnect to Reconnect: about Wifi’s fuzzy reminder

“We invest our time and energy into who and what we value.” Morning meditation and conversations at the Offline House can go real deep, real quick. I’ve been happily resting and rejuvenating my body, soul and mind with surfing, nature, yoga and great books at a concept-Hostel in the south of Portugal called the Offline…

The Courage to Disappoint

Keep it real, I say to myself, as I’m writing this post. Keep it very real. “I’ve been plenty humbled these past few days”, I can hear my pride is trying to negotiate with me, “do we have to publish this failure on the web?” Yes, we do, I argue. Firstly because I do not…

A Timeless run around the Pink Lake

It’s not usual that I’m up at 6:30 on a Saturday, and on the highway to the Pink Lake (“Lac Rose”) by 8am. We’re headed for the first 10km race around the lake – heading there not to race so much as to enjoy the jogging and walking around the unique pink waters of the…

Bandia Wild Animal Park

Somewhere in the divine timing of right-after-rainy-season (when the foliage is still nice and green) and before-the-ostriches-get-aggressive (and visiting the park gets a wee bit more dangerous)… we visited the wild animal park of Bandia. Here’s sharing some of our visit with you through images. Heading out. First sighting, the largest antelope in the world,…

Aïd el-Fitr (la Korité) festivities in Medina – the images

Celebrating the end of Ramadan in Medina, typical African neighbourhood of Dakar – in images. Peeking in on the women in the hair salons, the children in the streets and the beautiful, festive wear for the occasion. Includes spontaneous bike tricks from passing youth. …and, our fair dose of what I like to call “lounge…

Greetings from two months in

Me: Salam aleekum. Taxi Driver: Malekum Salam. (conversation around destination and taxi price ensues, in (my) patchy Wolof) Taxi Driver: How long have you been here? (a trickle of sweat slips down my back) Me: Two months. Ñaari wer.…Two months, and a bit. Taxi Driver: You are Senegalese now. Me (to myself): It’s time I…

Café Dakar with Stefania Zimmer

Café Dakar shares interviews with real people living in Dakar, Senegal. We talk about life here in West Africa’s francophone capital. The ups, the downs, what we love and what we could do without. Café Dakar is all about diversity and tolerance; it’s about work, life, fun and whatever we feel people should know about…

A Sunday stroll on the beach in Yoff

Today is an important day for Muslims as they make their way to the Yoff Mosque to listen to a well-known Marabout speak. Everyone is dressed in white. Why? A young woman tells us this is so “you cannot tell the difference between the rich and the poor”. Then, a walk along the beach turning…

It’s not really about the tea

After so many inspections of rice in warehouses comes the invitation to eat and drink. Everyone hovers around a big, metal bowl filled with spicy rice and fish elaborated with colours of boiled carrot and cassava and pokes a spoon in eagerly. It is delicious. I’m pretty sure we’re sharing spoons. Everyone crouches flat-footed on…