Meditation and Nature

That moment you enter Ngorongoro you are welcomed by a land that is perfect in its wildness. You are looking at nature in its pure, uncultivated and authentic manifestation. It maybe is a beautiful day. The sunrays are shining through the arms of the trees and the forest is majestic in its wild appearance. Everything is haggard but still rooted into a deep silence and harmonious expression of life. The weavers, sunbirds and bee-eaters are flying up and down the shrubs, celebrating their life and their freedom. The grass is green and strong. And a nice breeze is caressing the flowers that pop up out of the grass.

If only Read more

Does this really still exist?

Imagine you wake up at 6.00 am in the morning. You wash your face and take a cup of tea. Then guide Ginew comes to pick you up and brings you to a big baobab tree. Under this tree four Hazdabe bushmen are sitting around a small fire. They are half naked though it is cold in the early morning. They are accompanied by many dogs. Tanzanian dogs are good watchdogs but they also show a totally sweet character. Ginew shows you the place where one of them sleeps. It is not even a house. It is outside and there is some reed above their heads.  Read more


Driving through the gate of Lake Manyara National Park we enter a typical Tanzanian forest. It is very nice but you do not see much animals of course. We start with a hippopool but far away we can nearly spot two hippos. But there was a group yellow billed storks, Egyptian goose and ducks. Then we headed for the hot springs. We saw a lot of Baboons, Vervetmonkeys, Giraffes, and Impalas on the way. But most impressing was a large group of Pelicans. And three Zebras eager to drink from the river cross that scenery and somehow it happens to be a beautiful sight.

Read more

Leaving a safe world behind

An adventure means to leave your safe world behind and follow your nose because there is no map to guide you.

Four years ago I started sponsoring a Masaï guy of 22 years old to study in Arusha and become a teacher. One year later I travelled to Tanzania to visit him and to meet his family in Ngorongoro. At the airport I immediatly was confronted with the police because they asked for my vaccination papers, which I did not take with me. It costed me $ 50,- to buy a fake paper from him. Now I know I should have refused because they can not force you and after some intimidating behaviour will let you go.
In Arusha I stepped out of a taxi and I see three black guys with dark sunglasses in a typical macho way of walking come towards me. Was I really going into the ghetto with them? That night I slept in a room with a strong door and bars in front of the window, which stimulated my nightmares. I was lying in a double bed with a young girl and two black guys were lying on the floor. All night (and the next ones to come) the neighbors were repeating very loudly the same music of the Bongo flava hit of that moment. Can you see the situation? I did not sleep much that night. I had arrived in a totally new and unknown world and my mind was clearly awake.


The first evening I was introduced to the sister of my student. He told me she ran away from home to Arusha to escape from forced marriage. She looked like a girl that lived for a long time on the streets. Her appearance was unhealthy and she suffered from stomach pains that are very common in Tanzania because of lack of food. What can you say confronted in such a visual way with the hardship of their lives?

A few days later we left to visit his family in Ngorongoro. Everything was an adventure to me. The aliveness of the bus station early in the morning, the way black men were jumping on me to sell a bus ticket of their company, the baskets with bread, eggs, nuts, cakes, fruits and other stuff that appeared at my window once I had seated. And do not forget the smell, the typical African smell that comes to you the moment you enter Tanzania.

After two and a half hours we arrived at Karatu. Karatu is the last town before entering Conservation area Ngorongoro. So you can imagine the special character of this town. First of all it has red, dusty roads and houses. Many jeeps that transport tourists drive through the main street and are parked in front of multiple restaurants, shops with tools, sleeping accommodations, many banks and supermarkets. You can even get real coffee here.  And everywhere you look you will see Masaï men and women in their colorful shuka’s.

After stocking up a lot of food for the village, we find a local jeep to transport us and many other Masaï to the home village of my student. I am invited in the front and accompanied by the cheerful sounds of Tanzanian music we are on our way to the gate of one of the most beautiful places on earth.

To be continued…..

Glady is getting married soon

“Send of” celebration in modern Tanzania

Glady has been travelling all the way from Dar Es Salaam to Arusha to have her Send of celebration at the home of her family in Arusha.  She is the niece of Msafiri. During this celebration her family send her of to have a new life with her husband. It is like cutting the navel cord for the second time. The celebration starts at 7.00 pm but before that moment everybody is preparing and dressing and making sure everything is okay and looking their best. Glady looks beautiful in her pink dress. She is surrounded by many young unmarried girls that wear her veils and several young unmarried boys. They laugh a lot together. Africans laugh much about everything. It sometimes makes me forget about the harship of their lifes Read more


Ton van der Lee was a young Dutch producer of movies. He worked from 7.00 am until 11.00 pm every day and his business went extremely well. He had a beautiful girlfriend and a great house at one of the canals of Amsterdam. One day he was in a meeting with colleagues at a terrace using his mobile phone and suddenly was struck by this feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness. Everybody around him Read more

Avaaz still runs a campaign to Save Elephants

Avaaz renewed its campaign to save Elephants from slaughter by poachers. Reason is the announcement of China to bring slowly down its Ivory Industry. Also it states that 10 American States are ready to accept a new law that forbids the trade in Ivory.

Right now 100 Elephants are killed each day. If this continues there will be no Elephants left by 2030 (some say 2020).
Most of  the Ivory that comes from Africa is taken illegally by poaching. They cut of the tusks with machetes and more then once the Elephants are still alive when this happens.
In many African countries the Wildlife management authorities are under-funded. Poaching is therefore a chronic problem and domestic Ivory markets continue and fuel the International Ivory Trade.
Mostly Avaaz works with petitions. This time they ask you for a donation. If you want to support this action please go to (stop de uitsterving van olifanten voor Nederlandstaligen).

Read more at:

Where is our Bob coming from?

The story of our housecat

You can say many people did see a lot of photos of lion cubs over the years. And their appearance is very recognizable to all of us. The photo above shows its familiar and adorable face. As a child I was allways confused about the statement that a lion was a cat. In my childish perspective it looked more like a dog. I never spoke to people about that opinion because it was obviously not true for them. Even when I grew up I had still difficult feelings about the fact that a lion really was a cat. But today I accidentally ran into the photo below. And I stared at it and stared again. Yes a lion must be the earth mother of our ordinary, cute, sometimes crazy and very lazy housecat.

welpjeBut when I looked it up in Wikipedia, they tell me that our housecat is proven to be the descendant of a mix of three felines: Desertcat, Swampcat and African wild cat.

But other sites swear it is related to Hyenas… Hyenas?? Ever seen a Hyena cub? or even one speaks about ancestors like Sabertoothcat. To my surprise nobody mentions a Lion.

But to me from today on it is clearly, without any doubt a Lion. Right?

Dancing in Africa

Africa is music. Africa is dancing. Dancing and singing is part of their daily life and they learn young. In fact they get trained from the moment they are born. Most of the traditional dances serve a specific purpose, Read more

Life without stress

Walking through Ngorongoro in Tanzania, looking and listening to the spectacle around you, you will see that the whole of existence is one relaxed movement. The trees are standing solid in the ground, rocking their branches a little. The rivers are flowing because the water is searching for the lowest level to find rest. The wind blows and birds are twittering and singing. Zebras are grazing and birds of prey are gliding through the sky. Only humans are walking around chronically stressed. And this stress is so familiar that we believe it is normal. Read more